Mayerling is the name of a notorious Austrian village linked to a romantic tragedy. At a royal hunting lodge there, in 1889, Crown Prince Rudolf--desperate over his father's command to put away his teenage mistress, the Baroness Marie Vetsera--shot her to death and killed himself. The misfortune may indeed have been a murder-suicide, but perhaps it was a political assassination, or even the result of a lunatic family vendetta: scholarship is still catching up with the facts.
In Shakespeare's classic play, the Montagues and Capulets, two families of Renaissance Italy, have hated each other for years, but the son of one family and the daughter of the other fall desperately in love and secretly marry.
It's 1948 in Communist-controlled Prague, Czechoslovakia. A mind-reading act is commanded by the authorities to entertain at a private party. They discover what the authorities really want is for them to use their "powers" to expose spies and traitors to the regime. In addition, the anti-Communist Czech president has recently died a mysterious "suicide", and the officials want them to falsely swear in a statement that they knew the man and he was depressed and suicidal. Realizing the kind of trouble they're in for, they decide to escape using their best stage tricks.