Present Laughter BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • presentlaughter
  • NY TIMES

  • AP

  • BACKSTAGE

  • VARIETY

  • WSJ

Opening Night:
January 21, 2010
Closing:
March 21, 2010

Theater: American Airlines / 227 West 42nd Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

At the center of his own universe sits matinee idol Garry Essendine (Victor Garber). While Garry struggles to plan his upcoming trip to Africa, his elegant London flat is invaded by a love struck ingenue, an adulterous producer and a married seductress, not to mention Garry's estranged wife and a crazed young playwright. Just before Garry escapes, the full extent of his misdemeanors is discovered and all hell breaks loose.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Present Laughter

    Ben Brantley

    January 21, 2010: Should Bergdorf Goodman experience a sudden run on velvet smoking jackets and silk pajamas, blame Victor Garber, the debonair star of the Roundabout Theater Company revival of “Present Laughter,” Noël Coward’s valentine to the maddening, marvelous world of the theater and to his own maddening, marvelous self.

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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW OF Present Laughter

    January 21, 2010: It's not easy maintaining the fizz in the frenzy known as "Present Laughter," Noel Coward's delightfully frantic comedy about a narcissistic actor and the chaos that inevitably erupts in his posh London household.

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  • BACKSTAGE REVIEW OF Present Laughter

    January 21, 2010: It's been far too long—more than a decade—since Victor Garber last trod the Broadway boards. Though he's been off making money and increasing his TVQ, it was clear just last year from his terrific Fredrik in Roundabout Theatre Company's one-night-only concert of "A Little Night Music" that his stage chops remained intact. The role of the grandly theatrical Gary Essendine in Noël Coward's comic warhorse "Present Laughter" sounded like a good fit. Even better, the show was a hit for the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, where Garber and much of this cast did it in 2007. So it's with bewildered disappointment that I have to report that Roundabout's current production amounts to almost a total misfire.

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF Present Laughter

    January 21, 2010: The silk dressing gowns and suave airs of aging matinee idol Garry Essendine are a fine fit for Victor Garber in "Present Laughter," as are the quietly melancholy undertones of a charming but vain peacock, too self-absorbed and infantile to appreciate the pleasures life affords him. He's housed in the swankiest of London apartments in Nicholas Martin's elegant production, with its gorgeous, honey-toned deco wall treatments and cascading chandeliers, dominated by a portrait of Garry as Hamlet that leaves no doubt as to who's the center of attention. But those assets can't keep a certain windy fatigue from creeping into Noel Coward's comedy.

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  • WALL STREET JOURNAL REVIEW OF Present Laughter

    January 21, 2010: The revival of Noël Coward's "Present Laughter" that opened on Broadway this week under the auspices of the Roundabout Theatre Company is the same one that I saw performed in Boston three years ago by the Huntington Theatre Company, give or take a couple of new cast members. I liked it with significant reservations in 2007, and I feel the same way now: It's effective, but not the "Present Laughter" of my dreams.

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