Noel Coward Festival Kicks Off in NYC 3/12

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The Noël Coward Foundation today announced further details of the Noël Coward Festival which will run in conjunction with the previously announced Exhibition STAR QUALITY: The World of Noël Coward at the New York Public Library (NYPL) for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. NYPL will also be presenting a number of Coward related programs in the Bruno Walter Auditorium. For further information visit www.nypl.org/lpaprograms.

On Monday, March 12, the Festival kicks off with a special screening of the Best Picture Oscar winner CAVALCADE (1933) presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as part of the Monday Nights with Oscar film series at the Academy Theater at Lighthouse International.. Hosted by Exhibition curator, Brad Rosenstein, the event will debut a display of images and posters from Coward’s films in the Academy’s theater lobby .

Tickets for CAVALCADE are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with valid ID. Tickets are available for purchase at www.oscars.org. For more information, please contact the Academy at AcademyNYC@oscars.org, or call 212.821.9251.

Other Festival highlights include:

- April 5: The Drama Bookshop is hosting COWARD & CO. Devised and narrated by Barry Day with Simon Callow, Edward Hibbert, Dana Ivey and Steve Ross. This event will celebrate the publication of THE TREASURES OF NOEL COWARD published by Andre Deutsch, THE COMPLETE VERSE OF NOEL COWARD published by Bloomsbury.

- April 16: The Acting Company is presenting a reading of A SONG AT TWILIGHT featuring Jayne Atkinson, John Glover and Laila Robins directed by Maria Aitken.

- April 23: The Paley Center for Media A CAVALCADE OF COWARD featuring Nancy Anderson, Simon Jones and Steve Ross

- May 11 – 13: Lincoln Center Film Society is presenting COWARD ON FILM - a weekend of screenings and discussions reflecting Coward’s influence on the world of film as writer, director, composer, actor and producer.

Throughout this period there will be readings, cabaret performances, productions and discussions around the city. Other organizations committed to taking part include, The Julliard School, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Feinstein’s, Light Opera of New York and The Actors Company Theater and The Mabel Mercer Foundation. Full details are on www.noelcowardinnewyork.com.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support received from so many organizations throughout New York City and we are delighted to be working again with the Academy, who presented their own version of the Exhibition in Los Angeles last year ,” said Alan Brodie, chair of the Noël Coward Foundation. “Noël Coward would be very proud that 2012 will truly be a year which confirms his status as an honorary new Yorker – a city he loved.”

“The Academy is pleased to take part in this citywide celebration of Noël Coward,” said Patrick Harrison, the Academy’s New York Program Director. “The exhibition and screening of the recently restored print of CAVALCADE by the Academy Film Archive was very well received in Los Angeles last year. It is only fitting that this program is given the opportunity to dazzle fans of Coward in New York.”

Star Quality: The World of Noël Coward, is a major exhibition focusing on Coward as playwright, composer, director, stage, screen, and cabaret performer, and international celebrity. It represents the most comprehensive exhibition on Noël Coward ever assembled, including unique material from the collections of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

This Exhibition offers unparalleled access to the Coward Archives and draws on public and private collections in Europe and the US as well as his homes in Switzerland and Jamaica, Star Quality features photographs, posters, programs, scripts, costumes, personal effects, memorabilia, and other objects, many previously unseen, as well as rare audio and video components. It will cover all aspects of his life and work including his relationship with Hollywood, his work as a spy during the World War II, his worldwide celebrity status, and an extensive section on his life-long love of New York, which began in 1921. Amongst the items on display will be one of the Oscars® awarded in 1933 for CAVALCADE, his 1971 special Tony Award, the gorgeous Irene Sharaff gown worn by Florence Henderson in THE GIRL WHO CAME TO SUPPER, original costume and set design sketches by Gladys Calthrop, Edward Molyneux, and Cecil Beaton, and of course several notable dressing gowns worn by Coward. The exhibition will also feature original letters, lyrics and manuscripts as well as some of the remarkable first night gifts given by and to Coward during his extraordinary career which reveal much about the man and the era in which he lived.

Star Quality: The World of Noël Coward is presented by The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and the Noël Coward Foundation in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Museum of Performance & Design. It is an expanded version of an exhibition first seen at Ten Chimneys in Wisconsin, and then at London's National Theatre, San Francisco's Museum of Performance & Design, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles.

Noël Coward is widely known as the creator of a number of stage classics such as PRIVATE LIVES, BLITHE SPIRIT, HAY FEVER and DESIGN FOR LIVING and as the composer of songs such as “I’ll See You Again,” “Mad About the Boy” and “Mad Dogs and Englishmen.” However he was also a major presence in 20th Century film from his first appearance as an uncredited walk on in D.W. Griffiths HEARTS OF THE WORLD (1917) to his final role in THE ITALIAN JOB (1968). In between he appeared in many films including THE SCOUNDREL, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS and OUR MAN IN HAVANNA and wrote, directed or produced classic films such as IN WHICH WE SERVE and BRIEF ENCOUNTER. These two films together with BLITHE SPIRIT and THIS HAPPY BREED were all produced in collaboration with David Lean Ronald Neame and Anthony Havelock-Allen and are being released by the Criterion Collection in a box set entitled ‘David Lean directs Noel Coward’ to celebrate the Coward Festival.

Full details of the Exhibition and the Festival can be found on www.noelcowardinnewyork.com

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