AL PACINO AND LILY RABE HEAD THE CAST OF THE HIT REVIVAL
By HENRY EDWARDS
After a brief hiatus, The Public Theater's critically acclaimed production of Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" re-opens at the Broadhurst Theatre (235 W. 44th St.) on Feb. 1 for a three-week run through Feb. 20.
Al Pacino portrays the Jewish money lender Shylock and Lily Rabe co-stars as the rich and beautiful heiress Portia in the hit revival, directed by Dan Sullivan.
Critics acclaimed every aspect of the production which earned a place on the 2010 New York Times' theatrical Top Ten list.
"You will never see a more exciting 'Merchant!'" declared Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal.
"A spectacular reckoning with a disturbing classic!" wrote David Cote of Time Out New York.
"'The Merchant of Venice' reaches into our hearts and haunts out souls!" added Elysa Gardner of USA Today.
Pacino is one of the greatest actors in film history, and every night huge crowds have lined West 44th Street hoping to catch a glimpse of him after his performance.
He is also one good reason why the show has consistently grossed an astonishing $1-plus million at the box office since it began previews in Oct.
Along with only other two other shows that have thus far opened during the 2010-2011 theatrical season, "Merchant" has earned back its initial investment. (“Driving Miss Daisy” and “Rain” are the other two.)
During his break from Broadway, Pacino, in what apparently will prove to be a virtuoso display of his versatility, filmed a role in Adam Sandler’s twins comedy, “Jack and Jill.” He also received his fifth Golden Globe award, second Emmy and second Screen Actor’s Guild award for his characterization of doctor-assisted suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian in the HBO Films biopic, “You Don't Know Jack.”
The screen legend returns to a production that seems headed to earn a place in the record books as an especially successful Main Stem production of Shakespeare.