Three more great MERCHANT reviews!
They just keep coming, check ’em out!
From Lee Hartgrave, writing for BeyondChron.com and Lee Hartgrave Tonight! https://leehartgraveforallevents.blogspot.com/
From Richard Connema, writing for ForAllEvents.com https://forallevents.info/reviews/richard-connema/
and finally a capsule review in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, which you can find here now, but it might disappear later, so here’s the text:
Custom Made Theater presents director Stuart Bousel’s generally sharp staging of Shakespeare’s perennially controversial but often-misunderstood play. The lively if uneven production ensures the involved storyline cannot be reduced to the problematical nature of its notorious Jewish villain, Shylock (played with a compellingly burdened intensity by a quick Catz Forsman), but rather has to be seen in a wider landscape of desire in which money, status, sex, gender, political and ethnic affiliations, and human bodies all mix, collide, and negotiate. To this end, this Merchant is set amid a contemporary financial district coterie (given plenty of scope in Sarah Phykitt’s thoughtfully pared-down scenic design), where titular melancholic businessman Antonio (Ryan Hayes) sticks his neck out (or anyway a pound of flesh) for his beloved friend Bassanio (Dashiell Hillman) — no doubt the unspoken source of Antonio’s brooding heart as staged here — as the latter seeks a loan with which to court the lovely and brilliant Portia (a winning Megan Briggs). While the subplot concerning the wooing and flight of Shylock’s daughter, Jessica (Kim Saunders), is less adeptly rendered, fluid pacing and a confident sense of the priorities of the drama overall offer a satisfying encounter with this fascinatingly subtle play. (Avila)