Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Measure for Measure 

Wednesday, Aug 13 2003
The set for Daniel Fish's version of Measure for Measure, produced by the California Shakespeare Theater, is webbed with an overhead network of fluorescent lights. The corridors of power under the Duke of Vienna here look suspiciously like a modern jail or a public high school (take your pick), with harsh bells signifying the end of certain scenes, Lucio the eccentric dressed as an Ali G.­style hip hop buffoon, the lovers Claudio and Juliet looking like an American teen couple, and a languid-eyed Girl -- not in Shakespeare's original script -- lazily doing homework and walking off to dinner with certain older men. Not all of this experimentation works, but the supporting cast is terrific: Andy Murray as Lucio, James Carpenter as Escalus the "ancient lord," and Gerald Hiken (in drag) as Mistress Overdone help keep this heavy barge afloat. In contrast, Bruce McKenzie as Angelo, the duke's deputy, who sentences Claudio to death for "promiscuity" with Juliet, is not always in command of his lines, and Carrie Preston as Isabella, the nun asked to give up her virginity to save Claudio's -- her brother's -- life, seems stiff except in her speeches. Michael Emerson is the Duke of Vienna, creeping around in disguise as a friar to observe his power-mad deputy. Emerson toured the country a while ago as Oscar Wilde in Gross Indecency, and his swish, clever performance in this play is marvelous.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • 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.'"