Date: 08/04/2016

Time: 8:00 pm

Price: Free

Parking Lot behind The Clemente, 114 Norfolk Street (E. side of Norfolk St. between Delancey and Rivington) In 21 years of producing Shakespeare on the Lower East Side, Shakespeare in the Parking Lot has never before attempted "The Merchant of Venice." The Drilling Company, producer of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, was wary of the play and baffled about how to approach it in what is historically a very Jewish community. But this year, the company was drawn in by the challenge of solving its apparent contradictions. Part of the play wants to unfold as a fairy tale while the rest of it wants to remain deadly serious. Venice recalls our modern Wall Street, being obsessed with money, while the young Venetians of the play are not as callow as they appear because they have heartfelt considerations. Also troubling is the ever-changing style of the play, which at times is Masque-like, sometimes is heightened and at other times is absolutely sincere. Most of all, the play tends to split the cast and creative staff into arguments about anti-Semitism at the first reading.

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