Review: ‘Merchant’ gets more drama and poses questions

Gulfshore Playhouse’s production of “The Merchant of Venice” is Shakespeare for people who hate it. Be prepared for your conversion.

Enter the bluebood, a dangerous mixture of softhearted and hardheaded, who offers to float a loan for his best friend’s happiness. He cuts a foolhardy contract with the very bookie he shuns, certain he’ll meet the payments.

Fortunes reverse. Hubris withers. Our blueblood can’t pay the contract, and its penalty is deadly.

The plot behind “The Merchant of Venice” could have been written for “Boston Legal.” So why isn’t “Merchant” in some area theater every other year? It’s the language, of course. The Rosetta stone of an engaging Shakespearean production is a cast — all of it, not just the principals —  who truly understand the words they’re speaking and can convey them as natural style rather than spitting out hairballs of Bard talk.

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