Speed Merchant (Of Venice)

May 23, 2012
Art/Works Theatre

HOLLYWOOD - On the heels of their LA Weekly nominated techno-military adaptation of "Othello", Action! Theatre Company Artistic Director Tiger Reel brings his acclaimed modern take on the Bard to the Hollywood Fringe Festival. In partnership with Jack Young, Head of the University of Houston Professional Actor Training Program and Houston Shakespeare Festival Associate Artistic Director, A!TC presents a World Premiere Adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice": SPEED MERCHANT (OF VENICE).

Attacking the Bard's most controversial story with their customary imagination and visceral staging: Action! Theatre Company presents the tale of corporate killer, Antonio. Antonio enters into a deal with Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, in order to help his former lover take part in "The Lottery", a reality game show, to vie for the hand of a beautiful heiress. Taking inspiration from the recent tales of corporate malfeasance and the reality show antics of the Kardashians, SPEED MERCHANT (OF VENICE) is a 90-minute sprint through one of Shakespeare's nastiest comedies.

"'The Merchant of Venice' is one of Shakespeare's most modern plays," Reel said, "its tone and presentation of some truly flawed characters could find a place on the television dial next to 'Mad Men' and 'Breaking Bad'. It's a world where racism and anti-semitism are common place and push a man to the point of rage and desperation. I'm thrilled to be able to work on this with Jack Young and see what buttons get pushed in this day and age."

SPEED MERCHANT (OF VENICE) stars Jack Young as Shylock, Abbie Cobb (ABC's "Suburgatory") as Jessica and Vanessa Vaughn as Portia. Also featuring Orestes Arcuni, A.J. Diamond, Raymond Donahey, David Hardie, Ted Heyck, Nikki Jenkins, Samantha Klein, Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper, Chris Triana and Jon Weinberg as Antonio.