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CHAGRIN FALLS, OH - When Noël Coward's farce "Private Lives" first opened on the London stage in 1930, it was called "devastatingly funny." The classic comedy remains as sharp as ever when it opens on the Chagrin Valley Little Theatre stage on Jan. 17 for a four-weekend run. The savvy comedy, which has been entertaining audiences as long as CVLT itself, is a timely romance between people who can't live without, or with, each other.
"Private Lives" follows the saga of perpetually dueling lovers Amanda (Mitra Jahangiri) and Elyot (James Rankin), two divorcees who have unwittingly booked adjoining hotel rooms while honeymooning with their new spouses, Victor (Whit Lowell) and Sibyl (Sarah Katz). They soon realize that they'd rather be back together and impulsively flee to Paris, only to be caught days later by their jilted spouses.
The original London production of "Private Lives" starred Noël Coward, Gertrude Lawrence, Adrianne Allen and Laurence Olivier. A Broadway production followed in 1931. The play has been revived several times on Broadway (including a memorable 1983 production that starred Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton), and has been produced in theaters around the world. CVLT's production includes a number of newcomers to the CVLT stage, and includes Erika Hansen, David Gaines, Ellen Nicole Morales and Chirvata Balla Ram. Director Fred Gloor, a theater instructor at Baldwin Wallace and Cuyahoga Community College, is also new to CVLT.
"Private Lives"plays Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. Jan. 17 through Feb. 8. Tickets are $18 regular admission, $14 student/senior. Tickets for "Private Lives" and all CVLT productions can be purchased online at CVLT.org or by phone at 440-247-8955 between 1-6 PM, Monday through Saturday. Chagrin Valley Little Theatre is located at 40 River Street in historic Chagrin Falls Village. CVLT is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and supported by the Ohio Arts Council.