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NY Public Library To Host Noël Coward Exhibit 3/12-8/18

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and The Noël Coward Foundation have revealed further information about some the artifacts that will be displayed in the exhibition Star Quality: The World Of Noel Coward which will run from March 12 to August 18, 2012. They are also delighted to announce more details of the city-wide Noel Coward Festival which will take place in conjunction with the Exhibition. 

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 Second World War, 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.

Brad Rosenstein, curator of the Exhibition, notes “It’s such a thrill to be bringing this exhibition to the heart of New York, which was an adored second home for Noël and the site of some of his greatest successes. What’s particularly exciting is how fresh the show will be. We’ll be unveiling a number of items that have only been rediscovered in the past year, and which have never before been publicly displayed. New York will be seeing the best Star Quality imaginable, and in many ways be seeing it first.”

Jacqueline Z Davis, Barbara G and Lawrence A Fleishman Executive Director of NYPL for the Performing Arts said “I am getting more and more excited as the opening of this comprehensive and enthralling exhibition draws closer. I truly believe it will be a cultural highlight of 2012.”

Also, recently announced in conjunction with the Exhibition:
- in collaboration with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, a major film retrospective featuring Coward as producer, writer, director and actor, which will run during the weekend of May 11 -13
- the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will host a special screening of the Oscar winning CAVALCADE featuring celebrity guests on March 12
- from June 2-16, Feinstein’s at Loew’s Regency will present Christine Ebersole and Edward Hibbert in an entertainment called LOVE, NOEL written by Barry Day.

These events are part of a city-wide Noël Coward Festival which will take place between March and August 2012. Amongst other organizations taking part are Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Paley Center for Media, The Juilliard School, The Actors Company, TACT, The Mabel Mercer Foundation, The Light Opera of New York, and The Drama Bookshop. Further details on all the festival events can be found on the dedicated website

Alan Brodie, Chair of the Noël Coward Foundation, said, “This has been an exceptional collaboration with the Performing Arts Library and we are looking forward very much to the run of the Exhibition there. We have been overwhelmed by the support we have been receiving from so many organizations all over New York City. Noël Coward loved this city and he would be very proud that 2012 will be truly be a year where his status as an honorary New Yorker will be confirmed.”

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 and as the composer of songs such as “I’ll See You Again,” “Mad About the Boy” and “Mad Dogs and Englishmen.” Recent Broadway productions of his plays include PRESENT LAUGHTER, BLITHE SPIRIT, BRIEF ENCOUNTER and most recently, PRIVATE LIVES. There have also been a number of new recordings, and publications such as ‘‘The Coward Reader” and “The Complete Verse” which have shown that the work of ‘The Master’ seem particularly appealing to today’s generation.

Full details of the Exhibition and the Festival can be found on

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