When we last left Malvolio (Ted Van Griethuysen), priggish majordomo to Lady Olivia, he was being led, barefoot and disheveled, out of his tiny prison after having been tricked by Twelfth Night’s merry pranksters into believing that the Lady Olivia loved him, and would love him even more if he acted like a complete nimrod. “I’ll be revenged on the whole pack of you,” he bellowed as he left.
Now – with apologies to the late Paul Harvey – it’s time for the rest of the story.
Malvolio responded by suing Olivia and her retinue (Shakespeare didn’t report this part) and winning a whopping ten million dollar judgment. His claims? False imprisonment, violation of constitutional rights, and (this claim didn’t exist in Shakespeare’s time) intentional infliction of emotional distress. But don’t count Olivia out; she has appealed, to the Supreme Court of Illyria…and the Court will hear her case on Monday, April 6, at Harmon Hall.
The Supreme Court of Illyria, as it turns out, bears more than a passing resemblance to the Supreme Court of the United States. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg presides, and Justices Samuel Alito and Stephen Breyer are on the Court – as are Chief Circuit Judge Paul R. Michel of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, and DC Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Merrick B. Garland, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Douglas Ginsburg (who was almost a Supreme Court member).
Malvolio has gotten himself a good lawyer: former U.S. Solicitor General Paul D. Clement, now with the firm of King and Spalding, LLC. But Olivia and her co-defendants haven’t done too badly either. They’re represented by Roy T. Englert Jr., and Richard A. Sauber, of Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauber LLP.
Argument will take place at 7.30 p.m. at the Shakespeare Theatre’s Sidney Harmon Hall, 610 F Street NW. In apparent contravention to the right to a free trial, tickets will range from $35 to $50, and are available by calling 202 547- 1122, and exercising option 1. A pre-show dinner, the details of which were not available at press time, is also available by calling 202.547.3230 ext. 2710.