He has been played for laughs and played for chills, but the soon-to-be homeless Shylock who has taken up residence in Central Park in the Public Theater’s new production of “The Merchant of Venice,” directed by Daniel Sullivan, is played purely for pity. That it is Al Pacino, of all actors, who fails to give the Jewish moneylender a menacing edge, is surprising beyond measure.
In post-Madoff New York, two new productions of ‘Merchant of Venice’ (one starring Al Pacino) are on the boards this month.
Special To The Jewish Week
If any theatrical character continues to haunt and fascinate us centuries after his debut upon the stage, it is Shylock, the frightening, agonized Jewish moneylender who demands to be repaid only with a pound of flesh. While Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice” has always ranked among the most popular of the Bard’s plays in this country, Shylocks are popping up all over the city these days.