Negotiations are getting down to the wire for bringing one of the West End's current success stories, Private Lives at the Albery Theatre, to Broadway this spring. The production, starring Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan, with Adam Godley and Emma Fielding, and directed by Howard Davies, ends its extended run at the Albery March 3.
Producer Duncan Weldon confirmed in late 2001 that he hoped to take the production to Broadway "somewhere in the first half of next year." Ira Pittelman, a co-producer of the UK mounting, told Playbill On-Line Jan. 22 "We're very close, but we haven't yet concluded conversations with Rickman and Duncan. If it does happen, it will be the Richard Rodgers Theatre" (previous home of 45 Seconds from Broadway).
The revival hit the West End Sept. 21, 2001 and opened Oct. 4. Rickman and Duncan played opposite each other in Les Liasons Dangereues in the mid-1980s.
Pittelman added that the London run is "pretty much sold out. People just love it. They bring their kids — teenagers who weren't even born when Noel Coward was alive, let alone when he wrote [the play]. There really is a connection between the audience and the piece."
The play, with (after Romeo and Juliet) the best known balcony scene in theatre history, was performed at the National in 1999, the year of Coward's centenary, with Juliet Stevenson and Anton Lesser; and at the Aldwych, starring Joan Collins and Keith Baxter, in 1990. The UK Private Lives is produced by Duncan Weldon and Paul Elliot with Emanuel Azenberg, Ira Pittelman, James Nederlander and Scott Nederlander. Tim Hatley (set), Peter Mumford (lighting), Jenny Beavan (costumes) and John Leonard of Aura Sound (sound) are the designers. Quinny Sachs lends choreography to Paddy Cuneen's original music in the piece.