Currently at Cincy Shakes – the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company – is the bard’s The Merchant of Venice, which I had never seen before.
One of our group said she thought it was a comedy – I had had no idea – thought it was drama / tragedy.? Which indeed it was.? Really – it was all three.
And at heart, it was a story of bigotry, more or less on both sides.? The Jewish merchant had been scorned, cheated, abused his entire life.? And finally, he was abusive back.? A natural reaction, particularly after his daughter stole much of his treasure and left his house to marry and become a gentile, a goyim.
But being abusive back didn’t work out, either.? He ended up literally losing everything – and being forced to convert.? Excellent playing, particularly by two of the longest-term cast members: Brian Isaac Phillips as the merchant Shylock, and Nick Rose as Gratiano, loud mouthed and quick to judge.
Add to that Will’s typical comedy of mixed up identities, folk of one sex playing another, and it was a busy evening for sure.? A very modern play in so many ways.