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Present Laughter

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Present Laughter is a comic play that was first written by Noël Coward in 1939. The play itself was then staged in 1942 on tour.

The name of the play comes from a song in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, which urges “present mirth hath present laughter.” It follows a few days in the life of a successful and self-obsessed comedy actor by the name of Garry Essendine as he prepares to travel to Africa for a tour. During a series of events, Garry needs to fact women who want to seduce him, placate his secretary and estranged wife, cope with a young playwright, and overcome his own midlife crisis.

The play itself was written as a very light comedy. In its present day rendition, Kevin Kline will be returning to Broadway to act as Garry Essendine. Produced by Jordan Roth and directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel, the comedy is scheduled to open on April 5, 2017.

Kline himself is a celebrated actor, and was member of the legendary inaugural season of The Acting Company. He’s also won Tony Awards for On the 20th Century and for The Pirates of Penzance. Both of these roles made good use of his skill at swashbuckling physical comedy.

This particular version of Present Laughter will be its sixth Broadway production since it first debuted. It was revived in 1958 and then again in 1982 with George C. Scott as the star. Then in 1998, Frank Langella took the role and in 2010, the comedy starred Victor Garber.

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Present Laughter Tickets