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Archive for Noel Coward

BLITHE SPIRIT at the Ahmanson Theatre

"Blithe Spirit"

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Noel Coward is said to have written Blithe Spirit in less than a week. The play premiered a couple of months after he completed it, in 1941, when the Germans were bombing London, and audiences, no doubt desperate for distraction, stepped gamely over the rubble on their way to the theater. Read more…

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Noël Coward’s wonderfully daffy supernatural comedy Blithe Spirit is now playing at the Ahmanson, in downtown Los Angeles, with the marvelous (almost) nonagenarian Angela Lansbury portraying the idiosyncratic spiritualist at the center of the story. The acclaimed actress is returning to the role of Madame Arcati, for which she won her fifth Tony Award® in 2009 for Best Featured Actress in a Play. Read more…

Now running through January 18.

LOVE, NOEL at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Photo by Kevin Parry

Photo by Kevin Parry

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

Noël Coward’s songs should be standards, heard often, like those of his contemporaries Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart and Irving Berlin.  Coward’s cabaret tunes and show numbers are just as witty, his melodies just as harmonious. Read more…

Now running through December 21.


THE VORTEX at the Malibu Playhouse


Photo by Brian McCarthy

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

“We swirl about in a vortex of beastliness,” wrote Noël Coward in his 1924 drama The Vortex. True enough. While this story of selfish socialites being forced to acknowledge the effects of their actions hasn’t retained its scandalous reputation, the enjoyable new production at the Malibu Playhouse demonstrates that it still has emotional resonance.

Read more…

Now running through May 18.

A SONG AT TWILIGHT at the Pasadena Playouse

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Bob Verini -   Arts In LA

Noël Coward’s A Song at Twilight first saw the light of day as the centerpiece of 1966’s Suite in Three Keys, a two-night triptych of works set in a single luxurious Swiss hotel suite. Eight years later, with one play jettisoned, Song reached Broadway as part of Noël Coward in Two Keys. Now it stands by itself at Pasadena Playhouse, though there’s nothing one-key, or one-note for that matter, about Art Manke’s incisively acted production. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Last year, the Pasadena Playhouse presented the frothy concoction Fallen Angels, a light comedy about marriage and jealousy amidst lots of alcohol. The elements in A Song at Twilight remain similar to his earlier work, but the consequences carry more weight. Despite being written in 1966, when British law still prosecuted homosexuals, the play openly contemplates homosexual “outing” among celebrities, judging the character not for being gay, but for damaging others by remaining closeted. Read more…

Now running through April 13.



BRIEF ENCOUNTER at the Bram Goldsmith Theater at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts


 Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

Possibly his most recognized work, Noel Coward’s screenplay for David Lean’s 1945 British film Brief Encounter, with its proper and decent married lovers resolutely resisting adultery, was indubitably the adult romance of its time, with the swells of Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto counterpointing the personal sacrifice of ardor for order and honor. What could be more archaic or ripe for ridicule in an era characterized by hookups on the one hand, and the puritanical concept of an “emotional affair” on the other, making a hash of moral distinctions based on actual behavior? Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

Noël Coward’s 1936 one-act play Still Life was expanded into a feature-length film, directed in 1945 by David Lean and scripted by Coward.

Now UK’s Kneehigh Theatre has brought their version to the Wallis, adapted and beautifully directed by Emma Rice. In this lively staging (which essentially is a mixture of the film and the short stage play) the basic plot line remains yet it is spun into a frothy confection of bittersweet romance enhanced by lush cinematic projected visuals, puppetry, live music, song and dance interludes and mild comedic flourishes. Read more…

Sharon Perlmutter  -  Talkin’ Broadway

I often think it’s a shame that most of our medium-to-large stages in town are generally only used to bring in out-of-town shows, instead of highlighting some of our best local companies. I’d love to see what Evidence Room or Antaeus could do with a bigger stage and a decent budget, for example. Read more...

Now running through March 23.

Love, Noel: The Letters And Songs Of Noel Coward at the Lovelace Studio Theater, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts


Photo by Ed Krieger

 Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

The new intimate room at the old Beverly Hills post office has been nostalgically configured as a vintage supper club with alcohol and food service for this sentimental yet substantial cabaret performance of Noel Coward‘s words and music by a pair of genuine theatrical stars, John Glover and Judy Kuhn. In a satisfyingly full 90 minutes (including the de rigeur intermission to refill cocktails), Glover assumes the role, if not the persona, of the incomparably talented Coward, while Kuhn reads from the letters of his eminent female intimates.   Read more…

Bob Verini -   ArtsInLA

While the depths of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts are given over to a magical reinvention of Noël Coward’s bourgeois romantic melodrama Brief Encounter, a black-box studio space on the ground floor brings out his brittle, witty, demimonde side in Love, Noël.   Read more…

Now running through February 23.