Skip to content

November 17, 2011

The No. 1 Reason To See: Private Lives

by Jesse North

private lives broadway poster kim cattrall paul grossWedded bliss doesn’t last long for two married couples in the revival of Noel Coward’s Private Lives. Kim Cattrall and Paul Gross play a divorced couple, both on honeymoon with their new spouses in adjacent rooms at a French resort. We soon learn that this couple’s downfall is also what keeps them together—they can’t keep their hands off each other.

The No. 1 Reason To See Private Lives: Kim Cattrall and Paul Gross’ peacekeeping strategies
Cattrall and Gross’ Amanda and Elyot are so desperate to avoid the volatile spats of their original marriage once their flame is rekindled that they employ strategies to keep the peace. The passionate lovers, who are equally stubborn and opinionated, attempt to extinguish their thirst for the last word by calling out a catchphrase that immediately ceases speaking for five minutes so that the two may calm down. During these periods of silence, Cattrall and Gross meander around the stage performing actions similar to a person who is 40 seconds into holding his breath. Gross nervously plays the piano; Cattrall tediously rearranges the pillows on the bed. The two are about to explode. This humorous interlude also registers as sweet, due to the earnestness in which these characters are trying to circumvent their old habits, which are so ingrained in their DNA. What speaks well to this production is that Cattrall and Gross are so on their game that their non-verbal performances are equally as vibrant as their vocal ones.

private lives broadway kim cattrall paul gross

Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann

Follow Stage Rush on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for the weekly newsletter!

Leave a Reply

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments