Private Lives set for International City Theatre
Jul 26, 2011
Sparks fly when Amanda and Elyot, formerly married to each other, find themselves in adjoining hotel honeymoon suites - each with a brand-new spouse in tow. Private Lives, Noël Coward's stylish, savvy comedy about the people we can't live with - or without - opens at International City Theatre in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center on August 26. Low-priced previews take place on August 23, 24 and 25.
Long Beach-based director Luke Yankee comes home and full circle when he directs Private Lives for ICT. "Directing this production is very personal for me," he says. "It means returning to the Long Beach Performing Arts Center where I was artistic director of the Long Beach Civic Light Opera 14 years ago."
Yankee continues, "Private Lives is one of my favorite plays. I love the sophistication, the dialogue that sparkles like good champagne, the witty repartee, and the whole aspect of these very wealthy, privileged adults acting like impulsive children."
In Private Lives, Amanda and Elyot can't live together and they can't live apart. When they discover they are honeymooning in the same hotel with their new spouses, they not only fall in love all over again - they learn to hate each other all over again too. Abandoning their new spouses, the reunited couple soon realizes the same issues that ended their first, turbulent marriage continue to plague them. Coward's biting wit and absurd irreverence unmask the conventions and social rituals by which people present their "public'" selves to the world, revealing the "private" passions and motivations that lie beneath a veneer of etiquette and respectability. It's a dark comedy of manners that remains sharply relevant today in a world filled with tabloid scandals and celebrity journalism.
When first produced in 1930, Private Lives was an instant critical and commercial success, earning Coward the honor of being the highest paid author in the English speaking world. He also enjoyed playing the role of Elyot for some time after the play's premiere, alongside his dear friend Gertrude Lawrence. Subsequent revivals on Broadway and the West End have earned nominations and major theater awards including Drama Desk, World Theatre, and Tony Awards.
Save this Article to del.icio.us • Digg This Article! • Stumble It!
Follow Us On Twitter