Friday, November 18, 2011

Private Lives Opens on Broadway

Noel Coward is coming back in style lately. Blithe Spirit and Present Laughter were both revived within the last year and a half, and now we have the official opening of a revival of his Private Lives. The reviews are in and they are generally positive. Some have said that the revival comes too soon on the previous revival of Private Lives, with the previous production appearing on Broadway only 9 years ago. The production takes the play in a different direction from the norm and turns it into a romantic farce -- a change that not everyone liked, but which most reviewers appreciated. Kim Cattrall's leading performance as Amanda received some high praise. Comparing her to Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, Cattrall has entirely shed the ghost of the character for which she is most known -- Samantha Jones on television's Sex and the City.

Paul Gross's performance as Amanda's husband Elyot received strong notices, as well, noting the steamy and strong chemistry between him and Ms. Cattrall. Comparing this production to the revival of 9 years ago, Ben Brantley of The New York Times wrote the following. "As Mr. Rickman and Ms. Duncan portrayed them (as, I imagine, did Coward and Gertrude Lawrence, who originated them), Amanda and Elyot were almost a single (if internally divided) androgynous being. Mr. Gross and Ms. Cattrall bring a more solid yin and yang to their performances." The supporting couple played by Anna Madeley and Simon Paisley Day, also received strong notices, and all four actors are (as far as I can see right now) likely to get Tony nominations, as will the production overall.

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