New York Post columnist Michael Riedel will introduce the absurdist comedy, which was written in 1899 and first performed in London in 1900. The cast for the one-night-only event will boast Lenny Wolpe as Leslie Rankin, Tyler Maynard as Felix Drinkwater, George S. Irving as Sir Howard Hallam, Veanne Cox as Lady Cicely Waynflete, David Lansbury as Captain Brassbound, Terry Wynne as Marzo, Simon Kendall as Redbrook, John Keating as Johnson, Howard Kissel as Osmon, Tim Artz as Sidi El Assif, Merwin Goldsmith as The Cadi, Adam Feldman as American Bluejacket, Allen McCullough as Capt. Hamlin Kearney and Patricia O'Connel as the Narrator.
Shaw was inspired to write Captain Brassbound's Conversion after reading "Sweeney Todd." Shaw's play, according to press notes, concerns "the charmingly controlling Lady Cicely [who] arrives in Morocco with Sir Howard. He is her brother-in-law and an infamous London judge. As the story unfolds, we discover that the Englishman hired to guide these two into the dangerous hills, Captain Brassbound, has been waiting for years to extract revenge on this very judge who wronged the young Captain's mother. The Captain is actually a feared and legendary pirate known as Black Paquito. When faced with the implacable Lady Cicely, he is led to confront the very essence he has built his life upon. Scrubbed and dressed in gentleman's clothes, Brassbound is actually forced to plead for his own life in a makeshift court overlooking the bay of Mogador. Brassbound and Lady Cicely create a sparing pair of wits, which Shaw later reversed and reused in Pygmalion."
The Project Shaw series is produced and directed by David Staller, who last year acted with Dana Ivey in Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession at the Irish Repertory Theatre. Dates stretching throughout 2006 and beyond will provide an airing of every sketch, full-length and one-act play by the playwright.
Casting is subject to change. All readings are on Monday at 7 PM. The next reading, Shaw's The Philanderer, is scheduled for Dec. 18. The Players is located at 16 Gramercy Park South. For reservations call (212) 475-6116. Visit www.projectshaw.com for more information.