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Broadway hails return of Kim Cattrall, 'Private Lives'

By Allison Reitz

The curtains rose over a newly revived comedy at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway last night, November 17. The latest staging of Noel Coward's classic "Private Lives" will run through February 5, 2012, at the Main Stem playhouse.

The three-act play centers on divorced couple Elyot (Paul Gross) and Amanda (Kim Cattrall), who find themselves in adjacent hotel suites while honeymooning with their respective new spouses, Sybil (Anna Madeley) and Victor (Simon Paisley Day). Old flames reignite, and the ex-couple elopes to Paris — with their spouses in hot pursuit.

Richard Eyre directs this revival, which arrives on Broadway by way of a spring 2010 performance in London and a more recent fall tryout in Toronto — both starring Cattrall. "Private Lives" was last staged on Broadway in 2002, playing for 18 weeks after opening and starring Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan.

Previews began November 6 at the 989-seat Music Box. Over the past two box office reporting weeks, the show ran only nine times. During that time, "Private Lives" played to audiences averaging 86 percent capacity and grossed $415,055 in ticket sales.

Regular ticket prices range from $46.50 to $121.50, while premium seating is set at $176.50, including a $1.50 facility fee. Ticket face values will increase moderately during the December 26-to-January 1 holiday week — $86.50 to $136.50 for standard seating, and $251.50 for premium seats.

"Private Lives" clocks in at two-and-a-half hours, including a 15-minute intermission. Evening performances are staged Tuesday at 7 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on Wednesday and Saturday, and a 3 p.m. stage time on Sunday.

Music Box Theatre is located at 239 West 45th Street in New York, NY. More details are available on the production's official Web site.

Opening Night: "Private Lives"

Publication Critic Review
New York Times Ben Brantley "Mr. Eyre's production convincingly stakes a claim not only for Ms. Cattrall as a skillfully pliable actress but also for the bubbly pleasures forever on tap in 'Private Lives.'"
TheaterMania David Finkle "The production...is so close to ideal that spectators caught caviling should be led to a corner and forced to hunker there until they come to their senses."
The Wall Street Journal Terry Teachout "[Paul Gross] and Ms. Cattrall have terrific onstage chemistry, and their romantic scenes couldn't be sexier."
New York Daily News Joe Dziemianowicz "[Gross] and Cattrall look good together, but that's not the same thing as hot chemistry."
New York Post Elisabeth Vincentelli "Cattrall shoulders her share of the heavy lifting with grace and sexiness, but you wish she had a better sparring partner."
New York Magazine Scott Brown "Clearly, Eyre still doesn't relish Coward, and Coward seems to feel the same way about Eyre."

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