The Cape Playhouse Presents ‘Private Lives’

The Cape Playhouse in Dennis continues with its second show of the season, “Private Lives,” which runs June 22 through July 2.

A comedy of romance and manners, “Private Lives” was written by writer, actor, singer, composer, and director Noël Coward.

Mr. Coward wrote the play with the intention of directing the comedy, casting himself as the male lead and casting Gertrude Lawrence as the female lead. “Private Lives” premiered on August 18, 1930, at King’s Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland, with Mr. Coward directing and playing Elyot, and Gertrude Lawrence as Amanda.

In the summer of 1940—following a stretch on Broadway in which “Private Lives” received positive reviews from the critics, the play was performed at the Cape Playhouse starring Ms. Lawrence. At this point in her life, Ms. Lawrence was married to Richard Aldrich, managing director of the Cape Playhouse, and they shared a summer home in Dennis which was adjacent to the Playhouse.

“Private Lives” is set in France, in the holiday town of Deauville in Normandy, and in Paris. Elyot and his younger bride, Sybil, are on their honeymoon and staying at the same seaside hotel as Amanda and her younger husband, Victor, also on their honeymoon. The two couples run into each other—a major complication because five years prior, Elyot and Amanda divorced following a tempestuous and strained three years of marriage. What commences is a hilarity of circumstances, a wildly comedic storm of love, hate, jealousy, betrayal, conniving, exasperation, and confusion.

The lead roles will be played by Charlotte Bydwell and Duane Boutté.

Among other accolades, Ms. Bydwell is the creator, director and stars in the one-woman play “Women of Leisure and Panic” and the one-woman film “The Nude Model.” Mr. Boutté is a veteran actor who has received accolades for his work on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in feature films. Mr. Boutté performed in the Tony Award-winning revival of “Carousel,” and in leading roles, among them Charles Dickens in “Discord at Primary Stages,” and Mercutio in “Romeo and Juliet” at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Tickets to “Private Lives” range from $45 to $80, with a 15 percent discount on groups of 10 or more. Tickets are available through the playhouse website.

The Cape Playhouse at The Cape Center for the Arts was founded in 1927 by Raymond Moore. His vision
was to create a smart, sophisticated summer theatre with some of the world’s most noted stage and screen
The Cape Playhouse at The Cape Cod Center for the Arts was founded in 1927 by Raymond Moore. His vision was to create a smart, sophisticated summer theatre with some of the world’s most noted stage and screen professionals. The realization of Moore’s dream has since been recognized by The New York Times, acknowledging the Playhouse as the “Place Where Broadway Goes to Summer.” Today, the theatre continues to feature world-class talent in shows produced specifically for The Cape Playhouse and is one of Cape Cod’s premier cultural assets. In addition to professional live-theatre experiences, the not-for-profit Playhouse is committed to serving the local community through its youth programming and arts education. The historic theatre is situated on an expansive 22-acre campus in Dennis Village.

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