Measure for Measure
By Andrew Andrews
Before the performance even begins, patrons are invited to don plastic beads from one of two jars, depending on whether they align more closely with justice, represented by purple, or mercy, paired with gold. Although some people, like my partner, chose their favorite color regardless of its value, I decided up front that justice and mercy are both important, and elected to pull a string from each of the containers.
Furthering their mission of drawing the audience into the show, we were polled before and after to express our feelings about particular ideals by signaling a thumbs up, thumbs down or somewhere in the middle in response to a short series of questions.
The performance itself was engaging, with a live saxophone accompanied by beats from a boom box, and costumes flashing back to the fab, funky flair of forty years ago.
Injecting a jive vibe into the words of their characters wherever appropriate, the cast wonderfully balances Shakespeare’s dark comedy with a message about forgiving the imperfection of humanity that is as relevant to the cancel culture of today as it was four hundred years ago.
Andrew Andrews attended Measure for Measure at Public Theater Shiva Theater in New York on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 @ 7:00pm to write this review.