Shylock opens at The J for two performances May 30 and 31.
Shylock opens at The J for two performances May 30 and 31.
Courtesy of The Jewish Community Center. Used by permission

Not long after the Jewish Community Center of Kansas City hosted the Shakesperean comedy, “The Merchant of Venice” with the main villain of Shylock, they reload their stage with another but alternate look at the Shakespeare character in “Shylock” a play by Gareth Armstrong with Guy Masterson in the title role.

Shylock opens at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 30 with a 2 p.m. performance on Sunday, May 31, both at the White Theatre at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, The J, 5801 W. 115 Street in Overland Park, a spokesman for The J said. The show is a short two-day run brings the national tour that explores Shakespeare’s most divisive Jewish character. “Shylock” previously won the Olivier Award when first produced.

“The fact that the play has been around for 17 years and over 1,000 performances is testament to how good it is,” Masterson. who produced the play originally in 1998 with Gareth Armstrong in the leading role, said. “Audiences will not be disappointed – and they will laugh.”

According to info provided by The J, Shylock is “one of the most controversial figures in Shakespeare’s canon and one that divides Jewish opinion. The play, the spokesman said, provides intelligent and entertaining insight into many of the stereotypes within
The Merchant of Venice” from a Jewish perspective.

“Shylock is, first and foremost, a rollicking good piece of theatre with comedy, pathos, lots of interesting characters and Shakespeare,” said Mastersoon. “But it also takes us into the world of one of theatre’s most controversial characters and gives him a context from where he can be truly and fairly judged.”

“Shylock” explores the tragic situation of the Shakespearean character from a different perspective. The play is rated PG. Performances are May 30 at 7:30 p.m. And May 31 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at The J website, in person at the box office or by calling 913-327-8054.