Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Photo Flash: ...AND EVERY TALE CONDEMNS ME FOR A VILLAIN At Bridge Street Theatre

One of the things actor Steven Patterson discovered during his first run with Gareth Armstrong's play "Shylock" at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre back in 2007 was a way of getting inside Tubal, its main character, by viewing him as a Catskills tummler.

"Gareth was determined to make our production in Florida (the first he'd authorized in English by anyone other than himself) unique - not just a carbon copy of the one he'd toured all over the world for a decade. He tailored the script in ways that made it more friendly to an American audience, as opposed to his original British one. He forced me (gently) to find my own way even when I begged him to 'PLEASE just let me know how you solved this'. However, the major way we found to make the show more distinctly 'American' was to draw on the bottomless wealth of immigrant Jewish humor that's so much a part of our theatrical heritage here in the U.S. Jacob Adler's Yiddish Theatre. The great Jewish comics of the vaudeville circuit and radio (the Marx Brothers, Jack Benny, Fanny Brice, George Burns, etc). And especially the Borscht Belt jokes of the vintage Catskills resorts. All gave me a real 'in' into this character. This guy is trying hard to please, trying to make sure everybody's having the best possible time. And when approaching a play as full of potential landmines as 'The Merchant of Venice', that tack proved to be ideal. Now that my husband John (who's directing this production) and I have been residents here in the Catskills for more than a decade, it feels as though some of that history has seeped into my bones and I only hope I'm at least living up to the second definition of a tummler - a lively, mischievous man! Can't wait to share this unique, funny, and tragic vision of Jewish identity with audiences here in the Hudson Valley. 'They tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat!'"

Patterson brings his performance in "Shylock" to the stage of Catskill's adventurous Bridge Street Theatre from August 15-25, in rotating repertory with "Thrice To Mine", Roxanne Fay's one-woman show that tells the fascinating story of the woman on whom Shakespeare based the character of Lady Macbeth. Generally perceived as villainous in the plays in which they appear, these two characters receive far more probing and sympathetic scrutiny in both these bracing theatrical inquiries. Were these two "villains" really villains?

"Shylock" and "Thrice To Mine" will be performed together in Catskill under the title "...And Every Tale Condemns Me For a Villain". Recommended for audiences ages 13+, the plays alternate performances on Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00 and 7:00pm from August 15 - 25, 2019 at Bridge Street Theatre, 44 West Bridge Street, in Catskill, NY, just a block and a half west of Main Street across the Uncle Sam Bridge, which spans Catskill Creek.

You can view the shows individually or in "one fell swoop" at Saturday and Sunday Marathons (with a break in between). General Admission is $25, Students 21 and under are only $10. Discounted advance tickets are available online at and or by calling 800-838-3006. Tickets will also be sold at the door one half hour prior to each performance on a space available basis. "Pay What You Will" performances take place on Thursday evening August 15, Friday evening August 16, and at both the matinee and evening performances of the Sunday Marathon on August 18 ("Pay What You Will" tickets are available only at the door one half hour prior to these performances). For more details, visit the theatre online at

Related Articles View More Central New York Stories

More Hot Stories For You