Friday, August 10, 2007

Measure for Measure: Provide Your Own Block and Axe

On the upside, Measure for Measure will never be a "problem play" again: thanks to Doug Silver's cuts and Andrew Frank's circus-like modernization, this Shakespeare adaptation is very clearly a comedy. However, the constant mugging for attention, from both the characters on-stage and the actors watching (like cheerleaders) from the sidelines makes too many of the jokes flat, and the slimming changes to the text have made too many of the characters less than one-dimensional. Ato Essandoh stands out as the lecherous Angelo; he does so by being the only one who takes the show seriously enough to earn our laughter.

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