The Road to Rome

   Robert E. Sherwood's first important play, an antiwAR comedy, opened on 31 January 1927 for 392 performances. Produced by William A. Brady at the Playhouse Theatre with scene designs by Lee Simonson, and starring Jane Cowl and Philip Merivale, The Road to Rome chronicles the efforts of Amytis, wife of Roman dictator Fabius Maximus, to sneak behind battle lines to broker peace with the Carthaginian conqueror Hannibal. After much discussion, Amytis allows Hannibal to make love to her if he will promise to withdraw his army and give up his plan of sacking Rome. The long run achieved by The Road to Rome was due, in part, to a furor over the illicit sexual encounter between Amytis and Hannibal, but critics were impressed with the theme of love's power to defeat conquest.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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