The Merchant of Venice

Every summer The Public (a very reputable theatre company in NYC) puts on a couple of free shows--one of which is usually a Shakespearean piece-- for the good people of New York, appropriately called Shakespeare in the Park

It takes place in Central Park in a gorgeous outdoor amphitheatre which over looks the lake and a castle. 

Tickets are insane to get ahold of. If there is a big celebrity name in the show, it's nearly impossible to accomplish obtaining good tickets. Because they are completely free, you have to wait in line or buy them off of scalpers for outrageous sums. 

One of my best friends Aaron Pratt and our mutual friend Wes Curtis waited in line starting at 10:30pm Thursday night, for tickets to be given out for the Friday night show, the following morning at 11am. By the time they found their place in the line, it was already 3 blocks long! They spent the night on the streets of New York to get these tickets!?

I was most graciously asked to attend as Aaron's date (you are allowed up to 2 tickets per person) and hastily agreed. It only runs for 1 more week and I certainly don't want to wait in line all night for my own ticket!

The show? Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.

Some of the cast?

I met the boys at the entrance to Central Park, we entered the beautiful auditorium and found our seats with 10 minutes till top of show. About 15 minutes into the show, clouds started rolling in with a lot of thunder and lightning. Withing minutes the rain began pouring down and the show was "paused" until further notice. The four of us pulled out our umbrellas and huddled together during what felt like a mini hurricane! It was pouring rain, thundering, lightning and the wind was howling: we were soaked! We waited it out (thankfully) and were happy to find that one hour later, Al Pacino came back on stage and started with the same line he'd finished with. Of course this was met with a huge applause from the audience and a smile from him :)

The show was phenomenal, the set was breathtaking and innovative, and Al Pacino's acting brought tears to my eyes several times. More than anything, I was shocked to find how much I like the show itself. I had never read nor seen a production of this show, and assumed it was one of Shakespeare's less popular plays for a reason. I was mistaken. It is funny, touching, intelligent and has a great plot! 

There is talk of it moving to Broadway, and if that's the case, make it a must see on your New York list!

1 comment :

  1. I love that you are going to these, I went to a few while I lived in the city, the talent is amazing, and FREE! love you!