‘Measure for Measure’ did not disappoint crowd
The News reviewer was needlessly harsh with the current play in Delaware Park, “Measure for Measure.” As much as Shakespeare in Delaware Park is an icon in the Buffalo entertainment scene, the second play is a precious gem within the icon. It is usually adapted from one of Shakespeare’s plays, sometimes with quirky or hilarious results. This production of “Measure for Measure” did not disappoint. The reviewer admits that the original is flawed. Presenting it as a Western at least mollifies some of the flaws. The Wild West is the obvious place to examine the play’s main theme: a study of lawlessness and abuse of power. The Bard’s contrived ending solving so many problems at the last minute by way of multiple weddings, no matter how implausible, works just fine in a Western soap opera.
Play No. 2 at Shakespeare is a Buffalo tradition. It should be both judged and respected as such, not like play No. 1. “Hamlet” was wonderful and duly noted by The News. Our august neighbor, the Shaw Festival, offers two of George Bernard’s works, “Major Barbara” and “Peace in Our Time,” this latter an adaptation of a flawed Shaw play. Both are three parts message and one part drama. But that is Shaw; he is pedantic and preachy. That is his nature. Judge him on that basis. Judge our own play No. 2 as a hokey romp.