Present Laughter Broadway Play NYC – The Revival

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American Airlines Theater

227 West 42nd Street

2 Hours 30 Minutes with one 10 Minute Intermission

January 21, 2010 (Closing: March 21, 2010)

Broadway Play (Comedy)

History :: Now Playing :: Schedule :: Reviews

Present Laughter Broadway Play NYC is the revival of Noel Coward’s classic 1942 comedy. The play previewed on Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre Company’s American Airlines Theatre on January 2, 2010 and officially opened on January 21, 2010 for a limited run till March 21.

The Play

Present Laughter Broadway Play NYC is a three-act play that is set in the 1930s. The play is directed by Nicholas Martin. It stars Victor Garber as a graying matinee idol Garry Essen dines. He is depicted as a vain, egotistical, and aging star.

About the play, Roundabout Theatre Company says, “At the center of his own universe sits matinee idol Garry Essendine (Victor Garber). While Garry struggles to plan his upcoming trip to Africa, his elegant London flat is invaded by a love struck ingénue, an adulterous producer and a married seductress, not to mention Garry’s estranged wife and a crazy, young playwright. Just before Garry escapes, the full extent of his misdemeanors is discovered and all hell breaks loose.”

The cast includes Lisa Banes (as Liz Essendine), Harriet Harris (as longtime secretary Monica Reed), Marc Vietor (as friend Morris Dixon), Richard Poe (as producer Henry Lypiatt), Pamela Jane Gray (as Henry’s wife, Joanna Lypiatt), Nancy E. Carroll (as Scandinavian maid Miss Erikson), and James Joseph O’Neil (as valet Fred). The play also stars Brooks Ashmanskas (as a star-struck, young playwright Roland Maule), Alice Duffy (as Lady Saltburn), and Holley Fain (as ingénue Daphne Stillington and Lady Saltburn’s niece).

Though, the play, which was adapted into Present Laughter Broadway Play NYC, was written by Noel Coward in 1939 but due to the World War II, it was not performed until 1942. The play brings forth Coward’s insights into the life of a celebrity, growing old, and hanging on with everyone expecting him to bring home- the bacon.

This revival, unlike most revivals that seek out the dark shadows, keeps things moving fast; and is sunny and funny. The plot of the story revolves around Garry Essendine’s home in London where he is preparing for his tour to Africa.

The plot escalates into a series of ridiculous happenings, with the style remaining particularly Coward-esque, and the pieces binding together into a neat whole.

This comedy is supported by a creative cast that includes Alexander Dodge (Set Designer), Jane Greenwood (Costume Designer), Rui Rita (Lighting Designer), and Drew Levy (Sound Designer).

The Theatre

The American Airlines Theatre of the Roundabout Theatre Company, where the revival of Present Laughter Broadway Play NYC previewed, was built in 1918 by the Selwyn Brothers - Edgar and Arch Selwyn and was then known as the Selwyn Theatre. Designed by George Keister, it was built in the early Italian Renaissance style and was painted in blue and antique gold.

It was converted into a movie theatre in 1934 and continued showing movies well into the 1990s.

Offered to the Roundabout Theatre Company in 1997, the theatre was renovated and restored with a large donation and support of the American Airlines; was renamed the American Airlines Theatre, and re-opened in July 2000.

This is where Present Laughter Broadway Play NYC opened in January 2010.

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