Al Pacino extends “Merchant of Venice” Broadway run

By Sean O’Connell It’s not all “doom and gloom” on the Great White Way this holiday season. Only “Spider-Man” seems to be struggling to take flight (both literally and figuratively).

But down the street, Oscar-winning actor Al Pacino’s “The Merchant of Venice” continues to play to packed houses at the Public Theater, prompting the venue to extend the show’s run. Pacino now will remain on stage in “Venice” through February 2011.

That’s great news for Broadway fans, but a kick in the gut for those of us who are looking forward to Pacino’s next film. The major A-lister rode a wave of supporter for his turn as Jack Kervorkian in Barry Levinson’s “You Don’t Know Jack.” And right now, he has three films on the docket for 2011: “The Son of No One” (where he plays a detective); “Jack and Jill;” and “Mary Mother of Christ,” where Pacino will play King Herod.

Think he’ll chew a lot of scenery in that role?

In the meantime, if you are in New York City, make sure you see Pacino on Broadway while there’s (even more) time.

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