Cincinnati Shakespeare's PRIVATE LIVES Opens Tonight

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Cincinnati Shakespeare's PRIVATE LIVES Opens Tonight

Cincinnati Shakespeare will present the final production in their 20th Anniversary season, Noel Coward's "Private Lives". This sparkling comedy is the perfect ending to a fantastic season at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company! The design is generously sponsored by Thompson Hine.

Amanda (Kelly Mengelkoch) and Elyot's (Jeremy Dubin) first marriage was so vicious it nearly killed them, so imagine their surprise when five years later, each remarried and on their respective honeymoons, they find themselves in adjacent suites. The sparks start flying, and soon reignite a passion too powerful to fight. Noel Coward's trademark wit sparkles in this urbane comedy about the fine line between love and loathing.

The first production of "Private Lives" opened at the new Phoenix Theatre in London in 1930, starring Noel Coward, Gertrude Lawrence, Adrianne Allen and a young Laurence Olivier. A Broadway production followed in 1931, and the play has been revived at least a half dozen times each in the West End and on Broadway. The leading roles have attracted a wide range of actors; among those who have succeeded Mr. Coward as Elyot are Robert Stephens, Richard Burton, Alan Rickman and Matthew Macfadyen, and successors to Ms. Lawrence as Amanda have included Tallulah Bankhead, Elizabeth Taylor, Maggie Smith and Kim Cattrall. The play was made into a 1931 film and has been adapted several times for television and radio.

This production features long time ensemble members, and real life married couple, Kelly Mengelkoch and Jeremy Dubin. Fourteenth year company member, Jeremy Dubin is an audience favorite, bringing down the house nightly in comedic roles such as John Worthing in "The Importance of Being Earnest", Sherlock Holmes in "The Hound of the Baskervilles", and Launce in "The Two Gentlemen of Verona". Another company favorite is tenth season company member, Kelly Mengelkoch, most recently seen on stage as Hippolyta in "The Two Noble Kinsmen" as well as appearing on stage at Playhouse in the Park and Ensemble Theater Cincinnati.

Sara Clark and Brent Vimtrup are also featured in this production and were both most recently seen on the CSC stage in "The Two Noble Kinsmen". Sara is also a long time cast member of CSC's hilarious annual sold out production of "Every Christmas Story Ever Told" among her many critically applauded roles during her 8 seasons at CSC. Audience have been enthralled with new comer Brent Vimtrup since he arrived in Cincinnati 4 years ago, especially his recent critically acclaimed performance as the title role of Hamlet. He also has impressive comedic chops delighting audiences in "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and as the entertaining Algernon in "The Importance of Being Earnest" last season.

Cincinnati Shakespeare is pleased to welcome D. Lynn Meyers back to the director's chair. Her last project at Cincinnati Shakespeare was 2011's critical and box office hit production of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" adapted by Jon Jory. She is the Producing Artistic Director of the Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati where she has directed over 80 world and regional premieres. Her Off Broadway work includes "Traveler in the Dark" and "Max and Maxie" at the York Theatre. She is a member of the Casting Society of America and her favorite casting credit is as Location Director for "The Shawshank Redemption". She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Thomas More College and was a finalist for the Zelda Fischandler Award which recognizes directors whose artistic work is strongly contributing to their community.

Performances of "Private Lives" are scheduled from June 6-29, 2014 on Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm. Preview performances are on Wednesday June 4 and Thursday June 5 at 7:30pm and tickets are $20. Special events for this production include a GLBT Night on June 5. The theater is located at 719 Race Street, downtown Cincinnati, two blocks west of the Aronoff Center. Single ticket prices range from $22-$31 on Thursdays and Sundays and from $26-$35 on Fridays and Saturdays. If available, $14 student rush tickets may be purchased 30 minutes before a show with a valid student ID. Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted. Ticketing fees may apply. Discounts are available for students, seniors and groups as well as Enjoy the Arts and AAA members. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the CSC Box Office at 513.381.BARD (2273) ext. 1, or go online at www.cincyshakes.com.

Photo by Cal Harris.

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