The date: January 5, 1895. The place: the St. James Theater in London's West End. Tonight, brilliant novelist Henry James hopes to change his life with the opening of his new venture: a play, into which he has poured his vulnerable heart. In tragic-comic scenes that evoke his love and terror of the theatre, he stalls and hallucinates before attending the ill-fated premiere of his famously disastrous play Guy Domville. Meanwhile, deep in his imagination, a parallel short story, "Nona Vincent," unfolds. In it, a young, hopeful and impoverished playwright, Wayworth, is about to have his first, very commercial, play produced. He is drawn into a triangle with his elegant patron, Mrs. Alsager, and his young leading lady, Violet Grey. With increasing speed, these two stories, one real and one imaginary, drive toward their very different confrontations with destiny.
From the authors of the award-winning Bed and Sofa, a witty, touching and acclaimed new musical based on a notorious event in the life of writer Henry James. EMBARRASSMENTS was the first commissioned work—and first world premiere—at Philadelphia's Wilma Theater. "A lively, funny, and very smart musical…Klavan's clever book is well matched by Pen's music." —Variety. "An inventive musical…features Pen's explosive score and Klavan's exceptional book…EMBARRASSMENTS is the rare double treat. Whether you're seeking intellectual stimulation or just an entertaining evening out, this beautifully designed, written, and performed production is bound to satisfy." —Philadelphia Weekly. "An offbeat, original, and enjoyable musical…[a] witty and knowing book…concise and imaginative songs." —Philadelphia Inquirer. "A breathtaking ninety-minute chamber musical…cannot help but to redefine the artistic boundaries of the musical theater." —Reading Eagle. "Terrific fun." —WRTL Radio.