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Monday, 23 August 2010 12:53

Public Theater's MERCHANT OF VENICE with Al Pacino Sets Opening Date

The Public Theater
(Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Andrew D. Hamingson)
Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel
Announce Opening Date
For Daniel Sullivan’s
Critically Acclaimed Production of



Previews Begin Tuesday, October 19
Opening Night: Sunday, November 7 at 6:45 PM
At The Broadhurst Theatre


August 23, 2010 –The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Andrew D. Hamingson), Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel announced the opening date today for the summer’s biggest hit, Daniel Sullivan’s critically acclaimed production of THE MERCHANT OF VENICE. Al Pacino will reprise his celebrated performance as Shylock on Broadway for 78 performances only, beginning Tuesday, October 19 at the Broadhurst Theatre (235 W. 44th Street) and running through Sunday, January 9.  Opening Night will be Sunday, November 7 at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for this limited engagement at Tele-Charge at 212-239-6200 or

“A marvelous new production. This is a Merchant for the age of Wall Street bubble boomers,

a haunting indictment of a money-drunk society.”—Ben Brantley, New York Times


Not only is this the best Merchant of Venice I’ve ever reviewed, but it’s one of the

finest Shakespeare productions I’ve ever seen, period. 

--Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal

“Daniel Sullivan’s smart, sober and thrillingly acted production

has a passionate leading man in Al Pacino.”—Davie Cote, New York One

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE is one of Shakespeare’s most thrilling and controversial plays, rich with love and betrayal, forgiveness and revenge.  The Jewish moneylender Shylock makes a loan to Antonio, a Christian merchant.  Their loan contract, steeped in prejudice and centered on the play's infamous “pound of flesh,” sweeps the two men and everyone in their worlds into chaos.  Only the insightful Portia can imagine a way forward, but for her and those she loves, even "the quality of mercy" has its limits.

Following a sold-out, eight week run at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, The Public Theater is transferring THE MERCHANT OF VENICE to Broadway with co-producers Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel who are also partnering with The Public on the upcoming Broadway transfer of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.  Richards and Frankel partnered with The Public on the Tony Award-winning revival of Hair on Broadway, London’s West End and the upcoming national tour of Hair beginning in October in Washington, DC.

The design team for THE MERCHANT OF VENICE will feature scenic design by Mark Wendland; costume design by Jess Goldstein; lighting design by Kenneth Posner; sound design by Acme Sound Partners; and original music by Dan Moses Schreier.


AL PACINO (Shylock) will reprise his critically acclaimed role of Shylock following a sold out, eight week run at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park this summer. On Broadway, he won Tony Awards for his performances in Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? and The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel and appeared in Camino Real, Richard III, American Buffalo, Chinese Coffee, Hughie (which he also directed), and two productions of Salome (1992 and 2003). Previously at The Public Theater, he played Marcus Antonius in Stuart Vaughan’s production of Julius Caesar (1988). His additional New York stage appearances include The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui, The Local Stigmatic and The Indian Wants The Bronx. He has appeared in more than 35 films, receiving Academy Award nominations for his performances in The Godfather, Serpico, The Godfather: Part II, Dog Day Afternoon, …And Justice For All, Dick Tracy and Glengarry Glen Ross; he won an Oscar for Scent of a Woman and an Emmy for Mike Nichols’ miniseries “Angels in America.”He recently received an Emmy nomination for his role as Dr. Jack Kevorkian in HBO’s “You Don’t Know Jack.”

DanIEL Sullivan (Director). His Broadway credits include Time Stands Still, Accent on Youth, The Homecoming, Prelude to a Kiss, Rabbit Hole, After the Night and the Music, Julius Caesar, Brooklyn Boy, Sight Unseen, The Retreat From Moscow, Morning’s at Seven, Proof, Major Barbara, the 2000 production of A Moon for the Misbegotten, Ah, Wilderness!, An American Daughter, The Sisters Rosensweig, Conversations With My Father, The Heidi Chronicles and I’m Not Rappaport. He directed The Merchant of Venice at the Delacorte Theater this summer and directed the 2009 Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night and the 2007 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Sullivan’s other Public Theater credits include Stuff Happens (2006), and The Merry Wives of Windsor (1994). His numerous off-Broadway credits include Intimate Apparel, Far East, Spinning into Butter, Dinner With Friends and The Substance of Fire. From 1981 to 1997, Sullivan served as Artistic Director of Seattle Repertory Theatre, where he directed more than 60 productions. Sullivan’s film and television credits include The Substance of Fire and “Far East.” 

THE PUBLIC THEATER (Producer--Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Andrew D. Hamingson, Executive Director)was founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 and is now one of the nation’s preeminent cultural institutions, producing new plays, musicals, and productions of classics at its downtown headquarters and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public’s mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day onstage and through extensive outreach and education programs. Each year, over 250,000 people attend Public Theater-related productions and events at six downtown stages, including Joe’s Pub, and Shakespeare in the Park. The Public has won 42 Tony Awards, 151 Obies, 41 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. The Public has brought 53 shows to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; The Pirates of Penzance; The Tempest; Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk; On the Town; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Elaine Stritch at Liberty; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Well; Passing Strange; the Tony Award-winning revival of Hair and later this fall, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.

JEFFREY RICHARDS (Producer) is celebrating his 10th year as a Broadway producer, having presented Gore Vidal’s The Best Man in the fall of 2000. Among the plays and musicals which he has presented with his partner Jerry Frankel are Hair, August: Osage County, The Homecoming, Race, Speed-the-Plow, Glengarry Glen Ross, Radio Golf, Blithe Spirit, Will Ferrell’s You’re Welcome America, Talk Radio, Reasons to be Pretty, November and Enron. Upcoming: David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre starring Patrick Stewart and T.R. Knight, directed by Neil Pepe, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, written and directed by Alex Timbers and featuring music by Michael Friedman.

JERRY FRANKEL (Producer) has received Tony Awards for producing Hair, August: Osage County, Spring Awakening, Glengarry Glen Ross and Death of a Salesman. Other Broadway: Tracy Letts’ Superior Donuts; David Mamet’s Race; Neil LaBute’s Reasons to be Pretty; Will Ferrell’s You’re Welcome America; Blithe Spirit; Enron; All About Me; November; The Homecoming; Talk Radio; Radio Golf (New York Drama Critics Circle Award); Enchanted April (Outer Critics Circle Award); Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards, Outstanding Revival of a Play); Jekyll & Hyde; and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Drama Desk Award). Regional: numerous productions at the Park Cities Playhouse in Dallas, including Love Letters with Charlton Heston. Film: Slap Shot with Paul Newman, Eye of the Needle with Donald Sutherland, The Big Easy and Fastbreak.

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