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The University of Wyoming's 2010 Snowy Range Summer Theatre season closes with "Private Lives," Noel Coward's classic comedy about the people we can't live with -- or without.
Directed by Lee Hodgson, "Private Lives" runs July 6-10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Studio Theatre. Tickets cost $10 for the public, $8 for seniors and $5 for students. For tickets call (307) 766-6666 or go online at www.uwyo.edu/finearts.
Coward was one of the most prominent British playwrights of the 20th century. Written in 1930, "Private Lives" is Coward's most enduringly successful work, still a standard of theatres everywhere.
"This play is the stuff of legend, a major classic, and one of those real favorites of many people," notes director Hodgson.
Coward's wickedly funny romp details the romantic escapades of Elyot and Amanda, high-society divorcees who, five years after the end of their tempestuous marriage, are ironically honeymooning with new spouses at the same posh French hotel.
Elyot, witty, frivolous, and profoundly cynical, has just married the very young and out-of-her depth Sibyl. Amanda, glamorous, passionate, and fiercely unconventional, has just married the very repressed and pompous Victor.
When Elyot and Amanda meet again by chance on the terrace of their adjoining honeymoon suites, the old spark between them is reignited, and they impulsively run off together, only to discover that their fiery romance is not a thing to be tamed.
"Noel Coward knew what he was doing when he wrote this play," Hodgson says. "The characters are well-drawn and the language is so beautiful. It's real language, but it flows so beautifully in that early 20th century idiom."
The play boasts numerous successful runs in London's West End and on Broadway, featuring such stars as Coward himself, Gertrude Lawrence, Laurence Olivier, Tallulah Bankhead, Tammy Grimes, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Alan Rickman and, most recently, Kim Cattrall.
"It's a good script and a fun script to work on," Hodgson says. "Here you have two very bright people who ultimately really love each other, but they will not give an inch to one another and that makes for a very funny play," he adds.