CAESAR & CLEOPATRA Celebrates Opening Night Tonight
Gingold Theatrical Group celebrates Opening Night tonight, Tuesday September 24th, for this rare revival of Shaw's beloved almost historical comedy Caesar & Cleopatra at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues). This limited Off-Broadway engagement will continue through October 12th only.Artistic Director David Staller directs a cast that features Jeff Applegate (National Tours of Mamma Mia!, Cheers: Live on Stage) as Rufio, Rajesh Bose (Henry VI, The Seagull - NAATCO, Pygmalion - Bedlam) as Pothinus, Brenda Braxton(Broadway: Chicago, Smokey Joe's Café - Tony Award nomination, Jelly's Last Jam, Cats, Legs Diamond) as Ftatateeta, Robert Cuccioli (Broadway: Jekyll & Hyde - Tony Award nomination, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Les Miserables) as Caesar, Dan Domingues (Wild Goose Dreams - Public Theater; The Undertaking - The Civilians; To The Bone - Cherry Lane; The Jammer, The Cherry Orchard - Atlantic Theater) as Apolldorus, Jonathan Hadley (Broadway: Jersey Boys; Finian's Rainbow - Irish Rep; A Class Act - MTC; The Bodyguard The Musical, Into the Woods - National Tours; Widowers' Houses - GTG/TACT, Rothschild & Sons - York Theatre) as Britannus, and Teresa Avia Lim (Junk - Lincoln Center Theater; The Moors - Playwrights Realm; The Taming of the Shrew - Public Theater/Delacorte, Awake and Sing! - NAATCO) as Cleopatra. One of Shaw's most famous and least known plays, this remarkable comedy hasn't been given a full NYC production in over 40 years! As an early draft of the Eliza/Higgins relationship in Shaw's Pygmalion, this highly entertaining play boldly addresses women's rights, gender roles, empowering the disenfranchised, and being an active and contributive member of the community. In this delightful fantasy, Shaw dares us to imagine how theatrically magical the past might have been! Inspired by the artistry and activism of George Bernard Shaw, the Gingold Theatrical Group creates theatre and theatre-related programs that promote Shaw's humanitarian ideals including universal human rights, the freedom of thought and speech, and the equality of all living beings. Programs include full Off-Broadway productions as part of the Shaw New York annual festival, the Project Shaw monthly reading series, outreach and education programs, as well as the cultivation of new plays through GTG's Speakers' Corner writers' group. All of GTG's programming is designed to inspire lively discussion and peaceful activism with issues related to human rights, the freedom of speech, and individual liberty. This was the purpose behind all of Shaw's work and why GTG chose him as the guide toward helping create a more tolerant and inclusive world through the exploration of the Arts. Founded in 2006 by David Staller, GTG has carved a permanent niche for the work of George Bernard Shaw within the social and cultural life of New York City, and, through the Project Shaw reading series made history in 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). GTG brings together performers, critics, students, academics and the general public with the opportunity to explore and perform Shaw's work and to create new work based on the values that Shaw championed. Through performances, symposiums, educational programs, new play development, and outreach, GTG encourages all people to rejoice in the possibilities of the future. Gingold Theatrical Group's Project Shaw made history in 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). Since 2013, they also present works by writers who share Shaw's activist socio-political views embracing human rights and free speech, including work by Chekhov, Ibsen, Elizabeth Robins, Rachel Crothers, Pinero, Wilde, Barrie, and Harley Granville-Barker. The 14th season of Project Shaw will continue with continue with Scintillating Shaw Symposium with an international panel on September 23rd, Shaw's Arms and the Manon October 28th, followed by The Play's The Thing by Ferenc Molnar on November 18th, ending the season with I'll Leave It To You by Noel Coward on December 16th.[*] Last season's Off-Broadway engagement of Shaw's Heartbreak House inspired Terry Teachout in the The Wall Street Journal to declare, "Mr. Staller has taken on Heartbreak House, one of Shaw's most challenging plays, with altogether extraordinary results. Every gesture lands with the utmost potency, and the climactic convulsion that is the play's final scene sweeps away the bubbly comedy and leaves you, as Shaw intended, in shock. Mr. Staller has given us a uniquely satisfying production of this great but hard-to-stage play. This is one of the finest Shaw stagings of the past decade. Do not miss it." In his year-end recap, Mr. Teachout named Heartbreak House Best Classical Production of the year: "David Staller's conceptual staging of George Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak House, produced off Broadway by the Gingold Theatrical Group, was the best thing Mr. Staller has given us to date-which is saying something."