Bianca Amato, James Waterston, Autumn Hurlbert, Jeremy Webb Share Private Lives at the Huntington Starting May 25
By Adam Hetrick
Bianca Amato and James Waterston rekindle an old flame in the Huntington Theatre Company production of Noël Coward's Private Lives, which begins previews May 25 in Boston.
Tony Award nominee Maria Aitken (The 39 Steps) stages the romantic farce that runs through June 24 at the BU Theatre. It is the final production of the Huntington's 30th anniversary season.
Amato (The Coast of Utopia) stars as Amanda, opposite Waterston (As You Like It) as Elyot. The cast also features Autumn Hurlbert (Legally Blonde, Little Women) as Sibyl, Jeremy Webb (The Visit, The Glorious Ones) as Victor and Paula Plum (Jumpers, No Exit) as Louise.
Director Aitken also appeared in the 1980 West End revival of Private Lives as Amanda opposite Michael Jayson. She was the youngest actress to play the part since Gertrude Lawrence originated the role.
"Private Lives is a pretty perfect play," Aitken said in a statement. "It is about love and pain and obsession and is very visceral. The fact that it is wrapped in elegance and wit makes it all the stronger. My admiration for Noël Coward increases with the years as I see what a stayer he is and how successive generations discover him and adore playing him. I've been involved with his work for I think 36 years, and it's with a sense of such promise that I approach this particular production in this, my favorite American theatre, with my extraordinary creative team and an incredible bunch of actors."
Here's how the play is billed: "Newlyweds Elyot and Sibyl are honeymooning at a hotel in northern France where they unexpectedly encounter Elyot's ex-wife Amanda and her new husband Victor on the adjacent balcony celebrating their recent nuptials. The romance between Elyot and Amanda is quickly revived, and the two desert their new spouses and flee to Amanda's Paris flat. There, the stormy rivalry that first divided them rekindles in time for Sibyl and Victor to rediscover the pair in the throes of a passionate fight."
Private Lives has choreography by Daniel Pelzig, scenic design by Allen Moyer, costume design by Candice Donnelly, lighting design by Philip S. Rosenberg and sound design by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen.
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