The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1699  Thursday, 6 October 2005

From: 		Geralyn Horton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Tuesday, 4 Oct 2005 12:27:34 -0400
Subject: 	Barbara Gaines' MoV

Excerpt from Terry Teachout's Wall St. Journal review of Barbara Gaines' 
new staging of The Merchant of Venice, now playing at Chicago 
Shakespeare Theater:

Ms. Gaines' "Merchant" grapples head-on with the chief problem the play 
poses for today's audiences, which is that Shakespeare's portrayal of 
Shylock is widely felt to be openly (if not merely) anti-Semitic. It 
does so by underlining every reference to Shylock's Jewishness, to the 
point where the incessant repetition of the word "Jew" shrieks as 
shrilly as fingernails on a chalkboard. Not that the man himself is 
spared: Mike Nussbaum plays Shylock as a smug semi-gentleman in a 
three-piece suit whose elegant cut cannot conceal his raging bloodlust. 
Yet the more savagely he is treated by the other characters-to the point 
of being beaten and spat upon in a dark alley-the more intelligible his 
hateful longings start to seem....

The rest of the review is available on line-- but only by subscription 
to the WSJ, alas

G.L. Horton, playwright
Newton, MA
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