The Stage: Old Creamery’s ‘Private Lives’ opens Thursday

Private Lives at Old Creamery Theatre
Private Lives is known for its humorous portrayal of explosive relationship drama. — photo by Adam Burke

Private Lives

Old Creamery Theatre Studio Stage
March 27 through April 13 ($18.50-$28)

A man sets off on a honeymoon with his much younger bride. They settle into their hotel suite—and discover that they are sharing a wall with the man’s ex-wife and her significantly younger groom. In the words of a lesser playwright, this would be the plot of a half-starred rom-com and the backdrop for a needle-drop or “sad trombone” sound effect. In the words of Noël Coward, it’s one of his most popular plays.

Written in 1930, Coward creates a witty and risqué comedy about a relationship that perfectly illustrates the maxim of two people who “can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.” Coward starred in the original production, which included a breakout performance by a young Laurence Olivier. Even though the play received an underwhelming reception when it debuted, its humor and explosive arguments have made it a favorite for the best directors and actors of stage and screen. It has been revived six times on Broadway and London’s West End and was adapted into a 1931 movie starring Norma Shearer and Robert Montgomery.

Even if you take a trip to Amana only twice a year to eat a massive German lunch and contemplate buying fudge, consider making an exception to see this gem on Old Creamery Theatre’s Studio Stage.

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