Shaw’s 1929 farcical comedy, which is subtitled A Political Extravaganza!, is described as such: “English King Magnus has quite a day on his hands. His Cabinet, headed by a devious Prime Minister, wants him dethroned. His extravagantly volatile mistress and his extremely ambitious Queen both have their grip on him. And then, the American ambassador arrives announcing the Grand Plan to colonize Britain. It’s all part of the Royal game, pitting Magnus against the Fates to do whatever he can to not upset The Apple Cart.”
The cast includes Donald Corren (Semphronius), Jim Brochu (Boanerges), Michael Cumpsty (King Magnus), Tony Sheldon (Proteus, The Prime Minister), Henry Yuk (Nicobar), William DeMeritt (Crassus), Robert Zukerman (Balbus), Alison Cimmet (Amanda), Robin Miles (Lysistrata), Melissa Errico (Orinthia, The Royal Mistress), Jackie Hoffman (The Queen), Bill Kux (Vanhattan) and Matt Windman (amNY Theater Critic), who serves as Narrator.
According to Staller, “When Shaw wrote this charming romp, the grip of the Great Depression had its hold on the world and people were questioning all forms of authority looking for a scapegoat. He realized that change was needed, but so was strong leadership. In this play, he examines the options of those expecting for our support and asks us to judge them by their humanity and not just their promises, title, or position. He also wrote a now famous ‘play within the play’ as a two-hander between the King and his tempestuous mistress — always a crowd-pleaser.”
Tickets are $35 and are available by calling (212) 864-5400 or online at Symphonyspace.org.
Now celebrating its 11th year, Gingold Theatrical Group's Project Shaw made history in December 2009 as the first company ever to present performances of every one of Shaw's 65 plays (including full-length works, one-acts and sketches). They are now also including plays by writers who most inspired Shaw to begin his playwriting career, including work by Chekhov, Ibsen, Wilde, Barrie and Harley Granville-Barker.
(Updated July 25, 2016)