Posted in classic, comedy, witty

Private Lives: Short-Lived on Broadway

Noel Coward’s wit is crisp and elegant. It’s a genuine shame that his classy comedy, “Private Lives” is closing at the end of the month.

So, our recommendation, hurry to see it if you possible can.

Kim Cattrell (Amanda) with Simon Paisley Day (Victor) in a photo © by Cylla von Tiedemann

“Private Lives,” at The Music Box in a run shortened to December 31st, takes us on a honeymoon to Deuxville France where Amanda (Kim Cattrell) and Elyot (Paul Gross) rekindle the sparks of their very fiery first marriage while on their honeymoons with Victor (Simon Paisley Day)
and Sybil (Anna Madeley).

See videos from “Private Lives” on YouTube

Amanda’s haplass spouse Victor and Elyot’s new bride Sybil don’t stand a chance once the old lovers meet again on the balcony of their honeymoon suites. Elyot is already bored by his young wife when he and Amanda share a cocktail outside their adjoining rooms.

Paul Gross as Elyot and Anna Madeley as Sybil in a photo © by Cylla von Tiedemann

The production does Noel Coward proud. Under Richard Eyre’s direction. “Private Lives” is well-paced and utterly enjoyable. The splendid set, by Rob Howell (who is also responsible for the wonderful costumes) includes the most marvellous apartment in Paris. The actors are all charming and mannered without affectation. Simon Paisley Day is extremely funny as the bombastic and conventional Victor. Kim Cattrall cavorts and dances with abandon; her Amanda is not given to humbug.

So, recap here, closing very very soon. Go… See it before it does.
There’s an opening night video on YouTube

Paul Gross as Elyot and Kim Catrell as Amanda in a photo © by Cylla von Tiedemann

For more information, visit

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Posted in comedy, romance

Who exactly is "Sid James"?

See The Best of Sid James which includes the Carry On films in which he played a sly lecherous Cockney.

It’s not giving too much aways to say that this is a romance that doesn’t stand a chance.

“Kissing Sid James,” at 59E59 Theaters through January 1, is Robert Farquhar’s sad-funny new play about a ill-suited couple’s sad-funny weekend away.

Crystal (Charlotte McKinney)is a vivacious young woman, who works as a croupier; Eddie (Alan Drake) invites her away for a tryst in the country. “You didn’t have any… niggling… You didn’t think, just you and me here,” she asks him, “that we might not get along.”

Photo by Carol Rosegg Alan Drake as Eddie with “the tash” and Charlotte McKinney as Crystal in “Kissing Sid James,” a Brits Off Broadway Festival offering

Crystal recognizes that Eddie has his charms, but he is basically a loser. Alan Drake is marvelously deflated as the hapless lothario. She is clearly far more imaginative than the uninspired Eddie.

After an awkward start, Crystal and Eddie settle in to some sex –which she initiates,– and then to a rainy stay and a very contentious game of Scrabble. “This is it. Life, the great non-starter,” Crystal announces in desperation at her choices.

For more information about Brits Off Broadway and “Kissing Sid James,’ visit

Posted in drama

2 Short Stories for the Holidays: "Farm Boy" and "A Christmas Carol"

Michael Morpurgo is one of the UK’s best loved storytellers. He is the former Children’s Laureate, an OBE. Many of his books have been adapted for the stage, most recently “Farm Boy.”

“Farm Boy,” at 59E59 Theaters as part of Brits Off Broadway, through January 1st, intertwines the story told in the Tony winning “War Horse” in which Albert goes to France to retrieve his horse Joey from the front with the story of Albert’s son, now “Grandfather” (John Walters) and great-grandson, (Richard Pryal).

Photo by Carol Rosegg From L to R:Richard Pryall (Grandson) and John Walters (Grandfather) i

In “Farm Boy,” we learn that when Albert came back from WWI, everyone in the village called him Corporal. We pick up the tale with the boy from the city visiting his grandfather on the family farm.

Photo by Carol Rosegg :Richard Pryall (Grandson) and the tractor i

When the Grandfather was just a boy, his father, “Corporal,” still plowed the fields with Joey and another horse until…he won the tractor.

In Daniel Buckroyd’s adaptation of “Farm Boy,” the tale is told mostly as a story, with Grandfather and Grandson taking turns in the telling.

“Farm Boy” runs for just about one easy-going hour.

Find out more about Brits Off Broadway, and “Farm Boy” at www.59e59.org or at www.BritsOffBroadway.com
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You’ll Find More Traditional Holiday Story Telling in “A Christmas Carol”

Bah, Humbug! Here’s to the Holiday Spirit. Scrooge was content to dismiss the holidays and carry on as if Christmas was just an ordinary day. He is all business and no pleasure until the spirits of the season reveal to him the error of his ways.

Charles Dickens (Jimmy Kieffer) visits Canal Park Playhouse to spin the famous Christmas yarn. The ghosts of Christmases past and future accompany him on his way.

The program will run through December 24th and you may find a complete schedule at www.canalparkplayhouse.com