The Merchant of Venice is one of the wonderfully exciting plays showing at Bard on the Beach. Adapted from an amazing play written by the famous William Shakespeare, this theatrical production has captivated the hearts of many with its interesting plot twists and diverse characters. Giving life to such unique characters must have been a difficult task for Katrina Dunn, the director. I enjoyed her modern twist of such an aged classic. .
The story of The Merchant of Venice revolves around Bassanio, a middle-class man, who overcomes many obstacles to woo Portia, a lady of nobility who is forced to marry under the request of her deceased father's will. Bassanio believing that the only way he could stand a chance against Portia's many suitors is if he could reflect an image that matches one of nobility. He goes to ask Antonio, his best friend and a merchant of Venice, to sponsor a little excursion to woo Portia. Antonio, not having enough money to fund Bassanio's quest, goes to the local Jewish moneylender, Shylock, and asks for a loan. Tension arise between the Jewish moneylender, who has been ridicules all his life for being Jewish and Antonio, who is the spinning image of everything Shylock hates. Shylock reluctantly lends Antonio the money, but demands that Antonio give up a pound of his flesh if the money is not paid back within an allotted time. Antonio agrees to Shylock's request and many struggles and conflicts emerge. New loves surface, conflicts arise and story lines intertwine to make an enjoyable viewing experience.
I must give Mara Gottler, the costume designer, excellent commendations on her brilliantly designed outfits. I was amazed by the captivating seams of Portia's costume. It was an excellent Elizabethan styled dress adorned with beads that sparkled like stars on lovely shades of velvet green. I feel that Mara Gottler captured and brought to life the atmosphere of The Merchant of Venice.