Fanny’s First Play, which features a play within a play, "is a satire of theatre critics, whose characters were based upon Shaw's own detractors," according to press notes. "Originally, Shaw had the play produced anonymously in 1911 and it caused a sensation. Ironically, the play was Shaw's first real commercial success. The plot involves the daughter (Emily Skeggs) of a man (Reed Birney) who refuses to live in the present. She writes an incendiary play, anonymously, and invites a group of critics to review it."
The cast features Tony nominees Reed Birney (Count O’Dowda) and Skeggs (Fanny O’Dowda) with Matthew Newton (Juggins) and Marc Vietor (Cecil Savoyard). The cast of the play-within-the-play includes Dan Daily (Robin Gilbey), Jeff Kready (Bobby), Jana Robbins (Mrs. Gilbey), Nancy Anderson (Dora Delaney), Laura Kenyon (Mrs. Knox), Drama Desk and Obie Award winner Everett Quinton (Joseph Knox), Nick Spangler (Lieutenant Duvallet) and Skeggs (Margaret Knox).
The critics are played by theatre journalists Frank DiLella (NY-1) as Mr. Vaughan, Michael Sommers (New Jersey Newsroom) as Mr. Trotter, Matt Windman (amNY) as Flawner Bannal and Jason Zinoman (The New York Times) as Mr. Gunn. Roma Torre of NY-1 narrates.
Founding artistic director David Staller directs.
Gingold Theatrical Group's Project Shaw, which is under the leadership of founding artistic director David Staller, 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). The season will continue July 20 with Man and Superman, Sept. 21 with a Chekhov Comedy Event, Oct. 19 with The Doctor's Dilemma, Nov. 23 with John Bull's Other Island and Dec. 21 with The Shewing-Up Of Blanco Posnet.
Symphony Space is located in Manhattan at 2537 Broadway (at 95th Street). Tickets, priced $30, are available by calling (212) 864-5400 or online at symphonyspace.org.
For more information visit projectshaw.org.