Gingold Theatrical Group’s Project Shaw, which is under the leadership of artistic director David Staller, continues May 23 at 7 PM with a reading of George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra at Symphony Space’s Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre (2537 Broadway at 95th Street).
Written in 1898 and first produced in 1906, Caesar and Cleopatra, according to press notes, "is considered Shaw’s first great play. Sparkling with Shaw's legendary wit, political drama turns to comedy when veteran strategist Julius Caesar becomes mentor to the enchanting young queen of Roman-occupied Egypt. Their first encounter under a desert moon will lead to a shift in the course of history, as Cleopatra gradually overcomes her timidity to become a determined player in the game of power politics."
The cast features Harris Yulin (Caesar), Sheria Irving (Cleopatra), Olga Merediz (Ftatateeta), Chris Ryan (Rufio), Ames Adamson (Brittanus), Brian Cade (Lucius Septimius), Max von Essen (Apollodorus), Bonale Fambrini (Ptolemy XIV), Everett Quinton (Pothinus), Aaron Lee Battle (Theodotus), Marc LeVasseur (Achillas) and Daniel Schwait (Sentinel). James Rana narrates.
According to Staller, “Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra plays fast and loose with history, but the entertainment quotient is well worth it. The tale of the wildly ambitious young queen and the world-conquering older Caesar has been told many times, but never as amusingly and irreverently as in this version.”
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.
Tickets are $35 and are available by calling (212) 864-5400 or online at www.symphonyspace.org.
(Updated May 23)