Friday, November 3 at 9 PM ET on PBS
(Check your local listings)
Kevin Kline's Tony Award®-winning performance in Noël Coward's Present Laughter, first produced in 1942 with Coward himself in the leading role, comes to PBS continuing the Great Performances marathon within PBS's Fall Broadway's best lineup. Noël Coward's Present Laughter follows a self-obsessed actor in the midst of a mid-life crisis. Juggling his considerable talent, ego and libido, the theater's favorite leading man suddenly finds himself caught between fawning ingénues, crazed playwrights, secret trysts and unexpected twists.
Critics unanimously raved about Kline in this revival. David Rooney in The Hollywood Reporter enthused, “Talk about a match made in heaven. Kevin Kline was born to do Noel Coward, and his casting as Garry Essendine, the 1930s stage star and aging playboy at the center of his own eternal melodrama in Present Laughter, yields a performance of unimpeachable skill, made all the more delectable by its lightness of touch.”
The performance earned Kline the best actor honors at the 2017 Tony Awards, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards. The cast is also headed by three-time Tony® and Emmy® Award nominee Kate Burton (Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy), Tony Award® nominee Kristine Nielsen (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), and Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back) in the Broadway debut which earned her the Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut. Stage direction is by Tony Award® nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel (Hand to God).
The ensemble of Noël Coward's Present Laughter includes Matt Bittner, Ellen Harvey, Peter Francis James, Tedra Millan, Bhavesh Patel, Reg Rogers and Sandra Shipley, with Kelley Curran, Rachel Pickup, James Riordan, and David L. Townsend.