by Noël Coward
Directed by Don Alder
Nov 6 - Dec 13, 2015
Purchase Tickets | $32/adults, $30/Senior. Discounts for students and groups.
Special Wine on Wednesday performance on Nov. 18 at 7:30 PM There is also a Wednesday, Dec. 9 performance at 7:30 PM.
The show sponsor is Mary Ann Swinford.
Set in the glamorous world of theatre, Present Laughter is a gloriously witty portrait of 1930s thespian life. Self-obsessed actor Garry Essendine (Gary Powell) faces his fear of advancing middle-age while juggling his estranged wife, a besotted ingénue, the wife of one of his business partners and a crazed young playwright!
Long-time Lakewood director Don Alder (The 39 Steps, Inspecting Carol, Noises Off) directs this comedy with a look back in time when being a famous actor could still be negotiated with suave sophistication and style, and where even those stalking the stars were well-bred, well-spoken and well-dressed.
Garry Essendine (Gary Powell) is a successful matinee idol who sits in comfortable style at the center of his own universe. He is the head of an affectionate and intimate accidental family, that includes his estranged, but still caring wife, Liz Essendine (Olivia Shimkus); his long suffering assistant Monica Reed (Marilyn Stacey); producer and friend Hugo Lyppiatt (Jacob Lee Smith); and manager and friend Morris Dixon (Grant Byington).
Lakewood’s production also features Melissa Whitney as glamorous interloper Joanna Lyppiatt, Brenan Dwyer as the besotted young Daphne Stillington, Jake Simonds as the aspiring playwright Roland Maule, Jane Ferguson as Lady Saltburn and John Morrison as Fred.
The story: Popular and pampered actor, Garry Essendine, is busily making preparations for an extended overseas tour. A beautiful stage-struck ingénue and an ardent, aspiring playwright, who both insist on his attentions, complicate his plans. When his wife, his agents, and his numerous admirers arrive, Garry is hard pressed to escape. Typical of Coward's sparkling dialogue and dazzling wit, Garry finesses the situation with style.
Present Laughter premiered in the early years of the Second World War just as such privileged lives were threatened with fundamental social change. Coward wrote the role of Essendine, an aging matinee idol, as a bit of a parody of himself and played the role in the original 1942 production. The play's title comes from a song in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, which urges carpe diem ("present mirth hath present laughter"), and so the word present in the title should be pronounced as the adjective and not the verb.
Present Laughter is designed by John Gerth, with lighting design by Kurt Herman. Stage manager is Michael DeMaio, sound design is by Marcus Storey, costumes by Clare Hungate-Hawk, props by Felix Kelsey, wigs by Jane Holmes and the producers are Kay Vega and Steve Knox.
Performance schedule: Opening Friday, Nov 6, 2015 and continuing Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 7:30 PM; two Wednesdays performance (Nov. 18, Dec. 9) at 7:30 PM; Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM (Nov. 8, 15, 22); and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM (Nov. 15, 29 and Dec. 6, 13). There is no performance on Thanksgiving.
Ticket prices: $32/adults and $30/seniors. Other discounts are available for students and groups. For tickets, call the Lakewood Box Office at (503) 635-3901 or Purchase Tickets.
Wine on Wednesday performance on Nov. 18, 2015 at 7:30 PM with tickets at $25 for ages 35 and under!
One hour prior to performance there will be a complimentary wine tasting hosted by World Class Wines.