>It’s amazing how many people are willing to spend a couple of hours at the theater on a sunny Saturday afternoon, including me. All to watch one of the best skewerings of religions that you could want.
Barabas is one bad guy. But then there are a lot of bad guys in The Jew of Malta, one of Christopher Marlowe’s great works. But this “rich Jew of Malta” (powerfully played by James Keegan) is particularly nasty. It’s almost a joy to watch him defeat the Christians, poison the nuns, kill the monks, and plot against the Turks, all with the very able help of his Muslim slave Ithamore (John Harrell, being his creepy best). Everyone else is fine, too, but those are the memorable performances in this production by the American Shakespeare Center at the Blackfriars Playhouse, one of the five shows in this year’s Renaissance Season.