Cumpsty Joins Skinner, Fraser et al. in Project Shaw's HEARTBREAK HOUSE, 12/20

Michael Cumpsty (one of the recent stars of the hit film "Eat, Pray, Love") joins the cast of Gingold Theatrical Group's Project Shaw presentation of HEARTBREAK HOUSE, a light comedy about the residents and guests of an English country house crammed full of revelations, romance, and shocking discoveries, just before WWI changes everything -- on Monday, December 20 at 7pm at The Players Club (16 Gramercy Park South) in Manhattan. David Staller produces and directs.

In HEARTBREAK HOUSE, we are swept up in a roundelay of meticulously negotiated comedy, broken and mended hearts, politics and finance. Set on the eve of World War I, the farcical comedy of manners satirizes every class of British society as it drifts towards titanic disaster.

Mr. Cumpsty joins the previously announced cast which includes Brian Murray (Mary Stuart) Emily Skinner (Billy Elliott, SIDE SHOW), Alison Fraser (THE DIVINE SISTER), Elena Shaddow (LA CAGE AUX FOLLES), Mary Testa (XANADU), A.J. Shively (LA CAGE AUX FOLLES), Lenny Wolpe (THE DROWSY CHAPERONE), John Martello (Irish Repertory's ST. NICHOLAS) Jim Brochu (ZERO HOUR) and Elizabeth Inghram (AFTER THE BALL). Time Out New York's David Cote hosts the evening; and New York Times journalist David Belcher will narrate.

Tickets to PROJECT SHAW: HEARTBREAK HOUSE on Monday, December 20 at 7pm at The Players Club (16 Gramercy Park South) are $25. For reservations, call Theatermania at 212-352-3101.

For more information, visit

The Gingold Theatrical Group began its history-making PROJECT SHAW on Monday, January 23, 2006 with concert reading of the author's ARMS AND THE MAN. Over these past five years, and 55 Monday-night presentations, the readings have played to sold-out crowds at The Players Club and starred some of the theatre's most celebrated actors including Bryan Batt, Gary Beach, Kate Baldwin, Reed Birney, Blair Brown, Charles Busch, Michael Cerveris, Veanne Cox, John Cullum,
Daniel Davis, Tyne Daly, Jonathan Groff, Harriet Harris, Jayne Houdyshell, Amy Irving, George S. Irving, Cheyenne Jackson, Daniel Jenkins, Marc Kudisch, Rebecca Luker, John McMartin, Kate MulgrewMegan Mullally, Brian Murray, Brad Oscar, Lorenzo Pisoni, Maryann Plunkett, Jane Powell, Charlotte Rae, Kyrsta Rodgriguez, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Marian Seldes, Carol Shelley, Bobby Steggert, Wesley Taylor, Richard Thomson, Fritz Weaver, and Karen Ziemba.

Each PROJECT SHAW reading is produced and directed by David Staller, who founded the Gingold Theatrical Group. His inspiration to create the series was in direct response to the re-election of former President Bush. As all of Shaw's plays deal with human rights and the inexorable power of the individual, the time seemed right. As is evidenced by the results of many recent elections, the times are still in vibrant need for Shaw's entertainingly demanding call for human rights for all individuals. In addition to directing, Mr. Staller judiciously edits each play, consulting every available version of the author's plays, notes and letters to create the most comprehensive version for the concert reading.

Already this year, PROJECT SHAW has presented readings of ARMS AND THE MAN, THE PHILANDERER, THE DOCTOR'S DILEMMA, John Bull'S OTHER ISLAND, MAJOR BARBARA, VILLAGE WOOING, INTERLUDE AT The Playhouse, MAN AND SUPERMAN, CANDIDA and CAPTAIN BRASSBOUND'S CONVERSION, HOW HE LIED TO HER HUSBAND and THE FASCINATING FOUNDLING, as well as an evening of Shaw snippets presented during the company's second annual gala on St. Patrick's Day.

As Shaw began his theatrical life as a critic, (and since Project Shaw concert readings are not open to reviews), members of the press have also been involved in each reading. Among those who have introduced or acted include Mark Blankenship, David Cote, Gordon Cox, Adam Feldman,
Michael Feingold, David Finkle, Eric Grode, Patrick Healy, Charles Isherwood, Howard Kissel, Brendan Lemon, Brian Scott Lipton, Jeremy McCarter, Michael Musto, Patrick Pacheco, Rex Reed, Michael Reidel, David Rooney, Frank Scheck, Michael Schulman, David Sheward, John Simon, Raven Snook, Alexis Soloski, and Roma Torre.

Gingold Theatrical Group's plans include expanding the immensely successful PROJECT SHAW concert readings into fully mounted productions.

In addition to PROJECT SHAW, Gingold Theatrical Group (GTG) is also producing a successful new play development program. Named for one of Shaw' inflammatory one-acts, PRESS CUTTINGS: THE NEW PLAYS. The writers are currently on-staff critics or journalists devoted to covering the theater scene. The three writers chosen for the first year's cycle are David Cote, Jeremy McCarter and Robert Simonson. These plays will be developed in a yearlong workshop process. Once
their own theatre space is secured, GTG will be presenting a full season including two fully mounted Shaw plays and at least one new play. These plays are to focus on the Shavian precepts involving individual human rights, political and social responsibility and the comic absurdity of daily life. GTG also engages in educational programs, most notably with the Lighthouse International Saturday morning program, which promotes the Shavian precepts to inner-city teens.

All PROJECT SHAW readings are open to the public at The Players Club (16 Gramercy Park South). It's a rare opportunity to experience the inside of one of New York's grandest of old mansions, built in 1840, and filled with priceless theatrical memorabilia including portraits by John Singer Sargent. The Players Club is New York's most legendary private club. The former residence of Edwin Booth, it became a club for those interested in the arts in 1888.


Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos

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