Yes, don't forget that this is all a dark comedy. Just as audiences were supposed to laugh at the hapless Jew and his deserved comeuppance, so too they were to tremble with a good man about to become his bloody victim.

However, this production wisely and skillfully emphasizes Shylock's justifications for his enmity. Especially if we can accept his having made the pound of flesh payment jokingly, we can appreciate his fury over an ultimate affront to his religion and therefore to himself: his daughter Jessica (Caroline Kaplan) is seduced away by a Christian, Lorenzo (Will Austin), to be converted and married. She, his own "flesh and blood," has been stolen from him — what recompense could be more appropriate?

Even if Berenson hadn't performed magnificently, moving us when the defeated Shylock must remove his prayer shawl, we would be rightly impressed with this production, which beautifully balances lightness and shadows.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Theater , Stephen Thorne, Joe Wilson, Stephen Berenson,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY BILL RODRIGUEZ
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   BEE'S THAI CUISINE  |  July 16, 2014
    On the radar of Providence foodies, the ding of Bee’s Thai Cuisine has grown increasingly louder and brighter.
  •   THE FINAL COUNTDOWN  |  July 16, 2014
    Strap in for a fast-paced adaptation of Agatha Christie's classic mystery.
  •   A SO-SO SATIRE  |  July 02, 2014
    There’s this poor country whose medium of exchange is goats (actually, promises of parts of a goat — promissory goats).
  •   PROFOUNDLY SILLY  |  June 25, 2014
    It’s been more than a half-century since Eugène Ionesco’s first play, The Bald Soprano , was written in a burst of splenetic post-WWII exasperation over the ludicrous behavior of his species.
  •   TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY  |  June 18, 2014
    It doesn’t hurt that Angels In America is, in several regards, the greatest American play ever written.

 See all articles by: BILL RODRIGUEZ