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The Merchant of Venice Story

Portia is a rich heiress whose dead father left some eccentric instructions regarding her marriage; she must marry the man who solves a riddle her father has left behind. Bassanio wants to try his hand and woo the beautiful Portia, but he doesn’t have the money to get his foot in the door of her fancy estate. So he borrows the money from Jewish moneylender Shylock using the credit of a good friend, the merchant Antonio. When Antonio ends up unable to repay the debt, Shylock demands his famous “pound of flesh,” in payment. Add to that the Shakespearean trappings of women disguised as men, Elizabethan (or, in the case of this production, Edwardian) carousers and lovers stolen away, and all’s well that ends well.

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