Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Jew of Malta

Theatre for a New Audience had a rare opportunity to expose theatregoers to Christopher Marlowe's brilliant, rarely performed The Jew of Malta. The play, arguably the greatest work of Shakespeare's only formidable contemporary, has been butchered beyond belief by director David Herskovits and dramaturg Michael Feingold. The cast is led by F. Murray Abraham as Barabas, the vengeful title character out to set right the wrongs done to him by his Christian countrymen. However, he is a far too natural actor for the role; there's no fire there. The ensemble that surrounds him is even worse: a JCC in Branson could put together a better group of thespians. By the end of the play, I was jealous of Barabas for being burned alive.

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