A romantic, bittersweet comedy set in pre-World War I Austria-Hungary, the story deals with Olympia, a charming young princess of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, who is visiting a spa with her mother, the Princess Clementine. Clementine smokes cigars and is concerned with keeping her family in line with the Emperor's wishes, which means no falling in love; it simply isn't done by anyone who has the good fortune to be a Plata-Ettingen. But Olympia is interested in an attractive young man, Captain Kovacs, and her entire family finds this a matter of great concern. Her older cousin, the Countess Lina, has summoned the family lawyer to the spa to help discover whom and what this Captain Kovacs is. Olympia's father arrives, and what began as a casual relationship becomes cause for tremendous turmoil. The clamor reaches its peak when it's learned that Captain Kovacs is not Captain Kovacs at all, but an impostor—a very charming young man who goes from resort to spa, fleecing guests at cards and appearing in a variety of disguises. Only a year before he had charmed Olympia's father with his gift for cards. But by the time this comes out, Olympia is in love with Kovacs, and he with her. Her enraged family decides to carry her off to Venice, away from temptation, and Dinglemann, the devoted butler, is told to keep a special watch over Olympia. Dinglemann has always had a soft spot for Olympia, and he has great sympathy for her feeling for Kovacs. So when Kovacs suggests to Dinglemann that in Venice the Princess Olympia should attend some choral concerts sponsored by Count Spinoza—his Venetian alias—Dinglemann is very happy to promise to see that Olympia gets to the "concerts."
After a play by Ferenc Molnar.