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California Shakespeare Festival

Calshakes Does Noel Coward's "Private Lives"

If Lear or Macbeth haven’t compelled you to make the trek to Orinda to attend a California Shakespeare Company performance, Noel Coward’s Private Lives” may be a smooth entre; nothing can beat a warm breeze, a bottle of chilled chardonnay, a picnic and a comedy by a playwright whose style The New York Times once described as a combination of “cheek and chic, pose and poise.”

While Shakespeare’s players strut and fret upon the stage at the Bruns Amphitheater, Noel Coward’s will not so much strut and fret as spark and spar. In this 1930 comedy of manners, a divorced couple find themselves booked into adjoining honeymoon suites. Hilarity ensues.

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