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Spotlight on Lake associate Jeffrey Leibham reviews “Merchant on Venice”

**RECOMMENDED*** “Merchant on Venice” is much more than just a simple adaptation of William Shakespeare’s classic play. Playwright Shishir Kurup, who was born in Bombay, India but raised in Kenya and the U.S. has moved the setting for his version from 1598 Italy to present day Culver City, California. That city, located within sprawling Los Angeles County, is well-known for having a large mix of very diverse ethnicities. Kurup’s play, which had its world premiere produced by Silk Road Rising in 2007 is now presented as a co-production between Rasaka Theatre and Vitalist Theatre companies. It is an engaging and engrossing look at the tensions between Hindu and Muslim Americans while also remaining as entertaining as a popular Bollywood film musical. 3 SPOTLIGHTS

“Merchant on Venice” runs through April 15th at the Greenhouse Theater Mainstage, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. Parking is available in the Lincoln Garage (formerly the Children’s Memorial Hospital Garage) about a block and a half north of the Greenhouse. 2-4 hours will run you around $10. Metered street parking can also be found, especially on week nights. Running time is 2 hours, 45 minutes, with an intermission. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 pm; Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30 pm. Tickets are $25. FYI

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