William Shakespeare

PICT’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

There is an effulgence to William Shakespeare’s work that is always better to channel than to distort. And this is especially true of the luminous “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” his first undeniable masterpiece, composed during the winter of 1595-96, and performed this midwinter in sly context by PICT Classic Theatre. For when better to have …

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CMU Brings Vivid Life to Marlowe’s Great Work

Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama manages to combine some of the strongest and rarest elements of great theatre in their production of Christopher Marlowe’s “Edward II”: rawness, mystery, risk and precision. This is the kind of performance of a classic play that eschews the pitfalls of tired masterpieces, and instead, evokes its subject like …

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Hath Not a Jew

Of Shakespeare’s major comedies, The Merchant of Venice is my least favorite because it’s the least funny. In a post-Holocaust world it’s difficult to stage the play’s anti-semitic jokes, and directors often make the understandable choice to shift the tone contour of the play toward the political and tragic. At first glance, a recent production …

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