NYC. Florencia Lozano and I attended a preview of The Merchant of Venice, now playing at TFANA in Brooklyn. It's directed by Arin Arbus, and it stars John Douglas Thompson as Shylock. It also stars our friends Alfredo Narciso, Varín Ayala, Jeff Biehl, and more. Jack Doulin did the casting.
I know this is a cardinal sin (irony), but I HATE most Shakespeare productions. I find Shakespeare to be really overdone and so many productions just fall horribly flat. They're boring and tedious and opaque and feel irrelevant. Well, not this one. I was blown away by what Arin Arbus has done here. This is an extraordinarily comprehensive production, with some compelling casting and some primo Shakespearean acting, and meticulous timeliness to boot. Deeply smart and moving, and it ultimately presents more questions and complications than it answers, which is probably the best reason to do Shakespeare. See it. Run.