Al Pacino Starring in Half of the Public’s Rotating Shakespeare in the Park Double Bill

12/07/2009 1:09 PM |

Al Pacino in The MErchant of Venice

The Public Theater sent out a release today announcing the first round of casting for their 2010 Shakespeare in the Park productions at the Delacorte. As mentioned just over a month ago, their 2010 bill will be a little different, with two Shakespeare plays, The Merchant of Venice and The Winter’s Tale, playing on alternating nights with the same set of actors. Well, almost.

The biggest name in today’s announcement is Al Pacino, who’ll play Shylock in Merchant, but “due to a scheduling conflict with rehearsals, Pacino will only appear in The Merchant of Venice.” Which is disappointing, maybe, since Pacino might have done a good King Leontes, driven mad with jealousy and eventually destroying everything he holds dear in the world.

What we should probably be even more concerned about, though, is Pacino’s performance as Shylock, which will have to measure up to Pacino’s well-received screen Shylock from 2004. On the other hand, maybe we’ll get another meta-theatric documentary out of him on the occasion of this show. Title suggestion: “Shopping for Shylock.”