Bohm shows little competence in the role of Portia, lacking the command and quicksilver intelligence that a more experienced actress might have brought to the role or to the beautiful "quality of mercy" speech.
Most of the supporting cast seemed to be in a different play. For instance, Adam Gallinat, as Gratiano, chose to deliver all of his lines as if he were on a sitcom, while Kelly Addyman, as Launcelot, ran about the stage, screaming her lines as if she were in a Saturday Night Live sketch, with no attempt at subtlety.
A lot of the blame for these lackluster performances must go to director Asher, who seemed to just throw the actors up on stage and let them go crazy with no guidance or, dare I say, direction whatsoever.
Thankfully, there was some good work from Leila Okafor (as Nerissa), Celeste Van Vroenhoven (as Shylock's daughter Jessica), Camilla Skoglie (as Salarino), and Matthew Harris, who although a little young himself for the role of the title character, managed to give a robust performance. As good as they were, though, I still find it hard to recommend this production.
My BlogCritics colleague Hannah Marie Ellison remarked in a column a few months back that "bad theatre puts her in a bad mood."
Well, the Queens Shakespeare's production of The Merchant of Venice didn't put me in a bad mood, but it certainly didn't give me anything to cheer about either.
The Merchant of Venice runs until June 27th.