Review Roundup: PRIVATE LIVES in Toronto
Private Lives, the highly anticipated pre-Broadway production of Noel Coward's play, just opened in Toronto on September 25th. Starring Kim Cattrall as Amanda (fresh off her run in the same role on the West End) and Canadian favourite Paul Gross as Elyot, this new production will have a limited run in Toronto before opening on Broadway November 17th at the Music Box Theatre.
Private Lives is written by Noel Coward, and is considered to be one of the greatest comedies ever written. This new production is directed by Sir Richard Eyre, and produced by Paul Elliott and Duncan Weldon.
For more information please visit the official website at www.privatelivesbroadway.com
John Coulbourn, Toronto Sun: While there is no way of knowing what Coward might have made of Eyre's Broadway-bound take on Private Lives, which opened at the Royal Alexandra Theatre Sunday, one suspects he would have embraced Eyre's talent to amuse and enthusiastically welcomed this as a Private Lives for our time.
Robert Kushman, National Post: Cattrall gets to sing it, twice, with more charm than accuracy, in which she probably resembles the first Amanda, Gertrude Lawrence. She may also resemble Lawrence in projecting a kind of guttersnipe sophistication. This suits Amanda. who is never as sure of herself as Elyot is, a quality that dramatically works to her advantage. Both characters are on a high-wire with, emotionally, no visible means of support. Or materially either, though what invisible means they have must, to judge from their lifestyle, be pretty substantial. For all her bravado, physical and otherwise, Amanda seems the more vulnerable, not only to Elyot but to Victor, her discarded stodgy second, to whom she shows some sympathy, even tenderness. Which is more than Elyot ever does to his newer model, the tearful fribble Sybil.
Richard Ouzounian, Tornonto.com: With the full-blooded, passionate performances of Cattrall and Gross (not to mention their splendid supports, Simon Paisley-Day and Anna Madeley), we realize that this is a play about people who can't live together, but can't live apart. It's wildly funny, but it's also terribly serious underneath, almost as though Shakespeare had merged Beatrice and Benedick with Antony and Cleopatra.
Keith Bennie, Blog TO: As the glamorous Amanda, Cattrall showcases an overt comic touch leagues different from the cynical humour of Samantha. It's a charming side to the actress so rarely seen on screen. She commands the stage with a self-assured confidence, but shows flashes of Amanda's vulnerability that give layer to the character. While her delivery is placed an octave higher than her natural register (which gives the impression that she's continually reaching), her performance settles into a better rhythm in the second act.