Sometimes within the first few lines of a play you know this is going to be a good night. This was the case last weekend at the Quogue Community Hall where the Hamptons Theatre Company presented, Noel Coward’s play, Private Lives. The moment Andrew Botsford uttered his opening lines, the audience was locked in and hooked. Director George Loizides once again displayed his magic wand talent of bringing a cast together with movements, staging, and timing. However within the sets designed by Sean Marbury, it is the actors themselves who launch this show into the soul of your memory of good theatre. Make no mistake about it, judging alone by the thunderous applause, Private Lives, is a smashing success.
If you are a regular attending Hampton Theatre Company productions, you understand the magic of the quaintness of the Quogue Community Hall. The venue itself stars in most productions with its appreciative staff, and regular knowledgeable loyal audience. Andrew Botsford (Elyot), Matthew Conlon(Victor), along with Rosemary Kline (Amanda) and Rebecca Edana (Sibyl) are all wonderful as a cohesive unit, with perfect chemistry and timing while bringing to life the genius writing of Noel Coward’s play. Diana Marbury, the Quogue Community Hall gold standard, adds to the show with her comedic rendition of Louise.
Mr. Botsford’s portrayal of Elyot is stunning. His cool, sleek demeanor along with the tone of his unique stage voice, wins the audience over from the get go. However Elyot is a complex character. Mr. Botsford delicately tiptoes around these complex issues and when the character explodes and it is within those moments that the genius of Mr. Botsford’s talents takes over. He also looks dapper in his white tux, that he wears as stunningly as did Sean Connery as James Bond.
The complicated role of Amanda is a gift to Rosemary Kline because it enables her to really bring her acting skills front and center for the audience to appreciate. Her energy, movement, and tone ignite the many sparks this show has. Ms. Kline wins the audience over the moment she first appears on stage. You can feel the audience moving their eyes to follow her around the stage, she has them that locked in to the fire within her character.
Rebecca Edana is endearing as Sibyl. Ms. Edana glows under the Quogue Community Hall stage lights. Her freshness, the poignant delivery of her lines is so effective it dazzles the audience. Her facial expressions are a talent alone, along with her gift of angelic movement and perfect timing. The audience by the end of the show is in her corner.
Last, but not least, is a personal favorite actor of mine Matthew Conlon, who practically owns the stage at the Quogue Community Hall. In his portrayal of Victor, Mr. Conlon utilizes his talent of comedic movement, along with his ability to deliver punch lines that brings out the belly laughs from the audience. Nobody does that stunned look before delivering a line like Mathew Conlon and there are many of those moments in this Noel Coward play.
Centered around the talent within the meshing of the skills of the actors is the writing of Noel Coward that shines as bright as the stage lights. Private Lives was written in the 1930’s and is so relevant to this day. There are shocking moments, loving moments and authentic comedic moments. With the great acting he harnessed into this show, Director George Loizides has added another high feather into his cap. Kudos to him, to the cast and to the Hamptons Theatre Company for yet another success to end their 2019 season.
Private Lives can be seen through Sunday, June 9, with shows on Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. An additional matinee performance will be offered during the final weekend of the production, on Saturday, June 8, prior to the regular 8 p.m.
Quogue Community Hall is located at 125 Jessup Avenue in Quogue. For more information, call 631-653-8955 or visit www.hamptontheatre.org.