Private Lives Goes Public on Broadway; Previews Begin April 19

News   Private Lives Goes Public on Broadway; Previews Begin April 19 The award-winning British production of Noel Coward's Private Lives, starring Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan, will begin previews for its limited run at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on April 19.

The award-winning British production of Noel Coward's Private Lives, starring Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan, will begin previews for its limited run at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on April 19.

In its Broadway incarnation, the revival retains its original cast. Joining the stars are Emma Fielding, Adam Godley and Alex Belcourt. All five appeared in the play at the Albery Theatre in London.

The Coward play will open on April 28. Howard Davies directs.

The production marks Alan Rickman's first visit to Broadway since he starred under Davies' direction in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, 15 years ago. Coincidentally, his stage partner in that show was Lindsay Duncan. (Between the two plays, Duncan paid a short call on Broadway in the Adrian Noble's 1996 mounting of A Midsummer Night's Dream. She was last seen in New York in Harold Pinter's Ashes to Ashes).

As in the more tragic Les Liaisons Dangereuses, the Coward comedy finds Rickman and Duncan playing brittle, witty lovers who wreak havoc on the lives of the people around them. (Though, to be fair, no one dies in Private Lives). Duncan won an Olivier Award for her portrayal of Amanda. In the past decade or so, Rickman has given the film world many a theatrical villain, including those in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," "Die Hard" and "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."

A spokesman for the new revival said the pre-sale income for the show is very nearly $2 million.

The original 1931 Broadway production of Private Lives famously starred Coward and Gertrude Lawrence. Since then, Broadway has seen stagings featuring (as Amanda and Elyot) Tallulah Bankhead and Donald Cook (1949); Tammy Grimes and Brian Bedford (1970); Maggie Smith and John Standing (1975); Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (1983); and Joan Collins and Simon Jones (1992).

A 1999 London production of Private Lives starred Juliet Stevenson. Regionally, famed American director Marshall Mason staged a March staging of the play for Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.