Speed Merchant (of Venice)

theatre · action! theatre company · Ages 12+ · world premiere · United States

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Review by anonymous

June 26, 2012 certified reviewer

My overall impression

Another fantastic and clever concept from director, Tiger Reel, although perhaps not up to par w/ most of his other work. Granted, “Merchant of Venice” is not necessarily Shakespeare’s strongest or easiest show to put on. Overall, direction seemed strong, although the cast didn’t all seem to be on the same page in terms of acting style (some people were big and presentational, while others were subtle and unemotional). In terms of performances, Jack Young (as Shylock) was probably the strongest in the cast even though it was very difficult to understand him most of the time (blame the accent). Nikki Jenkins was fantastic to watch and impressively versatile, while David Hardie and Nicholas Mongiardo were both charming and very believable. I hate to say it, but weaker performances by Vanessa Vaughn and Jon Weinberg were somewhat distracting, especially when in scenes with other cast members. They often didn’t seem to know/care what they were saying, but perhaps they may have just been having an off night. The hideous dresses for both Portia and Nerissa were irritating – but I think that was the point – so kudos to costume designer, Vicki Conrad. Overall, a strong, recommendable show.

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