Photo by Don Kellogg

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Private Lives

Noel Coward is back on Broadway with his delightfully light and fun, Private Lives.  Despite its length (3 full old-fashioned acts for those of you who want to catch the 10:45 train to Scarsdale!) the characters' energy and vigor shine through in the performances and almost make you forget how late it is when you exit the theatre.

Kim Cattrall, while not a stranger to either stage or screen, appears to me from reading her bio in the playbill to be making her Broadway debut as Amanda.  Playing opposite her, as the ex-husband, Elyot,  her is the handsome Paul Gross, "one of Canada's most popular actors" (I'm quoting the playbill here).

Together they weave a bit of a farcical tale about two wild and crazy lovers who marry only to find out they didn't like living with each other and got divorced.  Reunited, by chance, on the French riviera on adjoining hotel balconies, both on their second honeymoons, they recklessly decide they were meant to be and run off to Paris together to start again.  What follows is a dizzying array of romance, fights, misunderstandings, and apologies in their fabulous Paris apartment (Kudos to Rob Howell, set Designer).

This production is fresh off the west-end where Cattrall first took the leading role.  Not exactly "freshened-up" for the American audience,  I was hoping for some of the references and dialogue to be a bit less European.  And for the record, it did not go unnoticed by my theatre-going pals that these characters were all supposed to be in their early 30's.  Sir. Eyre (director) - did you realize Ms. Cattrall is in her 50s and despite her ravishing looks and divine figure, nobody is going to believe those ages for one moment?  You could only hope we missed that line altogether for it not to matter.

But alas, the fine performances by Cattrall and Gross and the supporting actors, Simon Paisley Day and Anna Madeley were more than enough to keep the eyes open and the spirit lifted despite the late hour it all wraps up on 45th Street.