Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Pretty Piece of Flesh 

Wednesday, Jul 11 2012
Comments
Custom Made’s production of The Merchant of Venice represents at least two theatrical milestones. Not only is it the theater company’s first Shakespeare production; it’s also the first time this play has been fully produced in San Francisco city limits in decades. The reason for that, of course, is Shylock (Catz Forsman), whose greed and cruelty, the play more than implies, are the natural result of his Judaism. But director Stuart Bousel won’t be softening the antihero’s controversial qualities, as many other directors have done. “I’ll make him understandable, I’ll make him motivated, but I’m not going to pull any punches,” he says. For Bousel, our excessive focus on Shylock obscures the play’s real offerings. “It’s not a play about Shylock. It’s not a play about Portia (Megan Briggs). It’s a play about a complex society” -- and one that closely mirrors our own. Like modern-day San Francisco, Renaissance Venice was wealthy, ethnically diverse, socially progressive, and culturally rich. In other words, it too had a superiority complex. To convey that connection, Bousel’s design is “a temporal hodgepodge,” with the score coming from all eras of pop music and the costumes blending Mad Men and American Psycho. “It’s constructed to hit as close to home as possible with just enough distance to have perspective on it,” says Bousel.
Thursdays-Saturdays. Starts: July 19. Continues through Aug. 5, 2012

About The Author

Lily Janiak

Related Locations

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"