Leftists, Ladies, and Lenders--After the Revolution, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and The Merchant of Venice

New work from Amy Herzog and Jeffrey Lane and David Yazbek; plus Shakespeare hits Broadway

Last summer's Central Park Merchant of Venice has transferred to Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre, with mixed success. Mark Wendland's elaborate set, with its concentric metal rings, looks squashed behind a proscenium arch; director Daniel Sullivan's mix of 1910s touches with a generally 2010 attitude and sound seems less congruent than it did in the open air. Extensive recasting has brought some assets, notably Peter Francis James's crisply compassionate Salerio, and left other roles still unsolved, like Christopher Fitzgerald's Launcelot Gobbo. Both Al Pacino's Shylock and Lily Rabe's Portia, sadly, seem less effective in their new context. Pacino, now more businesslike and less cringing, has lost the deepening fury that grew, last summer, beneath the cringe. Rabe, having just suffered the tragic loss of her mother, seemed forced and harsh; hopefully time will ease that. Meanwhile, it's still The Merchant of Venice, not a common sight on Broadway, and therefore worth having.

After the Revolution's collective: Peter Friedman, Mark Blum, Mare Winningham, Katharine Powell, and Lois Smith
Joan Marcus
After the Revolution's collective: Peter Friedman, Mark Blum, Mare Winningham, Katharine Powell, and Lois Smith

Details

After the Revolution
By Amy Herzog
Playwrights Horizons
416 West 42nd Street
212-279-4200, playwrightshorizons.org

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
By Jeffrey Lane and David Yazbek
Belasco Theatre
111 West 44th Street
212-239-6200, lct.org

The Merchant of Venice
By William Shakespeare
Broadhurst Theatre
235 West 44th Street
212-239-6200, publictheater.org

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