Off-Broadway will bid toodle-oo to Noel Coward and Gertrude Lawrence -- in the persons of Harry Groener and Twiggy -- when the musical revue If Love Were All ends its run Sept. 5. The show, which began performances May 18 and opened June 10, will have played 27 previews and 101 regular performances. (It had initially been hoped that the show would run through Sept. 12, but Labor Day weekend is traditionally a time when shows that have lasted through the summer pack it in for the fall.)
Sheridan Morley's revue examines the relationship between Lawrence and her friend and frequent co-star, playwright Coward. Leigh Lawson will direct. Niki Harris is the choreographer and Tony Walton provides the sets. No word yet on whether the shows tunes will reach CD.
If Love Were All has been previously performed under the title Noel & Gertie. The show had its U.S. debut several years ago at the York Theatre and was revived last summer at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, Long Island. Twiggy's co-star at that time was James Warwick, who starred in the Peter Hall-directed Broadway revival of An Ideal Husband.
Lawrence was perhaps playwright Coward's most famous interpreter, appearing in many of his plays, including London Calling!, Tonight at 8:30, and, famously, Private Lives.
Twiggy acted in Private Lives in a London staging two years ago. However, in theatrical circles, she is still best known for her Broadway turn in George Gershwin musical My One and Only, in which she co- starred with Tommy Tune. Groener is best known for his many years as the star of the Broadway musical Crazy for You.
Morley is the London theatre critic for the International Herald Tribune and for the Spectator, and has appeared frequently on British television and on the cabaret stage. He has written more than a dozen books on entertainment personalities, including his father, actor Robert Morley. He's also a correspondent for Playbill On-Line.
-- By David Lefkowitz & Robert Simonson