Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Private Lives: Where'd They Put the Funny

After my exile in Europe, and upon my triumphant return to New York, I was overwhelmed with the number of shows that have opened that I needed to see.

However, Private Lives turned out to be one I could have missed completely.  I did get a complimentary ticket from a friend.  So at zero dollars...I still think I could have skipped it.

Everyone did a fine job.  Showed up, looked good, hit their marks.  But it just wasn't funny.  There was no actual chemistry.  Paul Gross and Kim Cattrall did their utmost but their performances were totally independent of each other.  I think this is the type of show that requires a real acting duo.  The two leads have to make you believe there is real history between them and that their quick dialogue and quips are effortless.  Did not happen here.  No spark, no rhythm.

But the audience was apparently all Gross-Cattrall fans (yes that is totally intentional) because they were rapturous over the leads.  This show soooooo doesn't need me.

I could go on and on trashing this show.  But it doesn't even seem worth it.  I guess if you love Noel Coward and want to see Kim Cattrall and Paul Gross enjoy.  If you love Noel Coward and don't want to see it ruined, stay home. 

Or better yet save your money and see Daniel Kitson in January at St. Ann's Warehouse.  You'll laugh, you'll cry.  You'll thank me.*

*I intend to keep speaking the gospel according to Daniel until the show opens in January.  Prepare ye.   


  1. See my blog for a totally different reaction: http://pataphysicalscience.blogspot.com/2011/11/sex-in-settee.html

    I actually agree about the comedy because I don't really find Coward that funny, but I thought Cattrall and Gross had really good chemistry.

  2. Saw this in Bath with Kim Cattrall and Matthew Macfadyen. They had good chemistry and had excellent comic timing - it was very funny in places. The play is a bit too misogynistic for me though.

    I saw Blithe Spirit in London this year too, and it suffered the same - everyone hitting their marks but no real chemistry.

  3. Saw Private Lives in Bath (with kls010) and agree with her points.

    Would only consider seeing it in NYC for the lovely Simon Paisley Day, who I loved in the Bath production and was so charming and sweet to us afterwards!