Lily Rabe Returns to Merchant of Venice as Company Celebrates Broadway Run Nov. 7

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07 Nov 2010

Actress Lily Rabe has returned to the Broadway production of the Public Theater's The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino. The company celebrates its Broadway opening Nov. 7, though press performances and reviews will occur at a later date.



Rabe, who originated the role of Portia in the Shakespeare in the Park staging of Merchant of Venice this past summer, had been absent from the Broadway transfer this week due to the failing health of her mother, Academy Award-nominated actress Jill Clayburgh. Clayburgh lost her battle with leukemia Nov. 5.

Representatives for the production told Playbill.com that Rabe returned to Merchant of Venice as of the Nov. 6 evening performance. A new opening night will be announced this week.

Pacino stars as Shylock in Shakespeare's comedy, which shifts to a darker, more serious tone under the direction of Tony Award-winning director Daniel Sullivan (Proof).

Merchant began performances Oct. 19 and will play a limited 78-performance engagement through Jan. 9, 2011. The Public Theater, Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel produce the Broadway outing.

The principal cast also features Jesse L. Martin, Byron Jennings, Heather Lind as Jessica, Matthew Rauch, Richard Topol, Christopher Fitzgerald, Marsha Stephanie Blake, David Harbour, Peter Francis James and Seth Numrich.

The Broadway run of Merchant reunites the Shakespeare in the Park creative team, including Mark Wendland (scenic design), Jess Goldstein (costume design), Kenneth Posner (lighting design) and Acme Sound Partners (sound design). Dan Moses Schreier penned original music for Merchant of Venice.

Here's how the Public bills the Shakespeare classic: "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."

For tickets phone (212) 239-6200 or visit Telecharge.com. The Broadhurst Theatre is located at 235 W. 44th Street.