Measure for Measure
The director Robert Falls is always capable of illuminating a text, and in this case he treats Shakespeare’s “black comedy” as “black as pitch,” especially by imposing a shocking ending. And yet there is constant laughter through much of the play, a good sign. If you plan to attend one play by Shakespeare this year, this is the one to see. Falls sets the play not in Renaissance Vienna, but in 1970s New York, with two of his principal actors being Hispanic, Alejandra Escalante as Isabella and Kevin Fugaro as Claudio. Still, it is the universality of the theme—the relationship between absolute power and mercy—that is most striking.
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