Producers Look to Extend the Run of the Hit Show Merchant of Venice as Al Pacino Wows Audiences and Critics Alike

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As reported by NYTimes.com, producers of the hit Broadway production of the Merchant of Venice have asked the show’s stars Al Pacino and Lily Rabe to extend their contracts with the production. TicketsMate.com observes a hike in the prices and demand for tickets as the praise rolls in for the stellar cast of the show.

TicketsMate: For the Ticketing Community

...we expect this show to break even more box office records..

According to NYTimes.com, the producers of the smash hit Broadway production of Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice have entered negotiations with the main stars of the show to extend their schedules beyond the 78 performances they were contracted for. The producers of the show, the Public Theater, are reported to have gone into discussions about the possibility of running the show up till May, 2011, to give the show a chance of winning at the Tony Awards. While it is well known that the Tony Awards prefer shows that are still on stage, the planned duration of an extension is not certain.

The reason that the producers are so desperate to keep the show going is that the initial response to Al Pacino in his role as Shylock is overwhelming. Critics from all over the country have praised his turn as the greedy, tormented Jew while the show rakes in up to $1 million at the box office on some weeks. This is truly a big number for a non-musical stage play and is also the main reason that the producers cannot let the magic fade. As the show keeps getting rave reviews, Scott Briggs from TicketsMate.com reports that the demand and prices for the show’s theater tickets on secondary ticket selling websites are “rising expediently”. He went on to say that “If the star of the Godfather and Scarface sticks with the production, we expect this show to break even more box office records as it is already making Broadway tickets a hot commodity on the ticket market”.

This production of The Merchant of Venice at the Broadhurst Theater on Broadway is directed by Daniel Sullivan who has managed to keep the true essence of the story alive. Critics are praising both Al Pacino and Lily Rabe, who plays his daughter, for their perfect portrayals of two roles that have been played by hundreds of people in the 400 years since the play was written. Al Pacino’s character of Shylock is getting additional praise due to the fact that this is a role that is considered very difficult to play while Al Pacino has managed to maintain just the right balance to keep his character relevant and interesting. Much praise is also being levied upon the stage design and the director who has approached touchy subjects such as racism and revenge with the panache that a Shakespeare play deserves.

While thousands are flocking in to see the Merchant of Venice in New York, it is not certain whether the discussions would be fruitful. Both the veteran Al Pacino and rising star Lily Rabe committed to the show for a certain period of time because they have other commitments in the coming months. According to their contracts, they will take their last bow on the 9th of January, 2011, and that will be that for the production. If the producers do manage to persuade the stars of the show to stay, we can expect 2011 to be a great year for Broadway!

About the Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice is a comedy play written by William Shakespeare in the 16th century. It tells the tale of Shylock, an oppressed Jewish money lender living in the city of Venice in Italy. The story also features Jessica, Shylock’s daughter, who falls in love with a Christian man named Lorenzo. After many intricate twists and turns, the play basically tells the story of deceit, love and revenge. The play has been staged all over the world and is currently enjoying a very successful run on Broadway in New York City.

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Scott Briggs
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