‘The Merchant of Venice’ reopens Feb. 1

Last fall’s critically-acclaimed staging of “The Merchant of Venice” starring Al Pacino and Lily Rabe begins a three-week extension on Feb. 1 at the Broadhurst Theater. This is why Pacino was not on hand Sunday at the SAG Awards to pick up his latest prize for the telefilm “You Don’t Know Jack.” He also won the Emmy and Golden Globe for this role.

This production of “Merchant” first saw the light last summer as part of the Public Theater’s free series of performances in Central Park. Pacino received rave reviews for his portrayal of the money-lender Shylock while newcomer Rabe (daughter of the late Jill Clayburgh and playwright David Rabe) also earned good notices.

Pacino, who first came to fame as a stage actor, headlined a 1979 rialto revival of “Richard III” that was met with mixed reviews. His last appearance on Broadway was in a staged reading of the Oscar Wilde play “Salome” in 2003. He is one of only 18 actors to have achieved the triple crown, winning an Oscar for “Scent of a Woman,” two Emmys (the other was for “Angels in America”) and two Tony Awards, for “Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?” and “The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel.”

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