A sheer coincidink, no doubt.
Anyhoo, the producers were forced to remove posters promoting the play because they, er, "accidentally" equated Israel with the Nazis. They have since apologized for the, er, "mistake," and now the Jewish community is breathing an enormous sigh of relief. The Toronto Star's Bruce Demara reports on the drama (my bolds):
KINGSTON, ONT.—A poster that used Nazi colours and replaced a swastika with a Star of David to advertise a Queen’s University student production of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice has been withdrawn.
Nathaniel Fried and Ryan LaPlante, artistic directors of Vagabond Theatre, issued an apology earlier today after numerous complaints about the poster, which has a red background, a white circle and a black Star of David inside, similar to the infamous banners used by the Nazis.
“In acknowledgement of the unintended response this poster elicited, we have withdrawn the image and are in the process of removing the posters that were distributed,” they said in a joint email sent to The Journal, a Queen’s University student newspaper.
The production, directed by Fried – who is Jewish—debuts on March 11 at a theatre located on campus.
Joshua Zelikovitz, past president of Queen’s Hillel, a Jewish student group, said he and other Jewish students met with theatre representatives to express their concerns.
“The issue is that the poster itself, in the absence of other information, makes a very blunt comparison of Jews to Nazis, an inappropriate comparison that really pulls at the strings of sensitive historic memories,” Zelikovitz said.
“I know it’s not their intention to be hateful. . .but obviously, there’s some concern with the way (the play) has been publicized,” Zelikovitz added.
Len Rudner, spokesperson for the Canadian Jewish Congress, said he is pleased the theatre company issued an apology and has accepted their invitation to attend a production before opening night.
The play – which has stirred controversy among Jewish people for decades because of its villainous depiction of the character Shylock, a Jewish money-lender – may yet stir up more controversy.
Fried has promised “a portrayal of Shylock that is close to the original depiction of the character.”
One source suggested the character may wear horns and a prosthetic nose.I hope Shylock's appearances on stage are accompanied by a whiff of sulfur. That would add immeasurably to the devilish effect of the horns and fake Jew proboscis, don't you think? Aren't you relieved they've taken down the "unintentionally" anti-Semitic poster and everything's okay now?