REVIEW ROUNDUP: “Present Laughter” Opened with a ShowScore of 78

Show-Score | Apr 6, 2017
“Present Laughter,” written by Noel Coward and directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel, opened on April  5, 2017 in New York City. “Present Laughter,” written by Noel Coward and directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel, opened on April 5, 2017 in New York City.


23 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 74.

Ben Brantley
The New York Times
ShowScore: 80
“An uneven but enjoyable production…Let us give thanks for what Mr. Kline, embodying the capricious god of his own theatrical universe, has wrought. It is hard not to wish that the heavy farcical high jinks that surround him were on his high level…The staging by Mr. von Stuelpnagel brings out the more boisterous aspects of Coward’s comedy, occasionally to hilarious, but just as often labored, ends. And the pace needs to be picked up throughout.”
David Cote
Time Out New York
ShowScore: 90
“An absolutely splendid revival…The simple act of handing America’s greatest exemplar of comic suavity a role he was born to play is half the battle…Kline is the very model of a star who lets his brilliance illuminate everyone around him…He enlivens each moment with palpable zest and impeccable style, arrogant brio shading into middle-aged insecurity with a twitch of his perfectly trimmed mustache. He must do more Coward or share his secrets.”
Marilyn Stasio
ShowScore: 90
“A delicious drawing-room comedy…Kline relishes the comic challenge in this snazzy production…Director von Stuelpnagel has assembled a cast of reliable pros who know the drill so well they could pace it out in their sleep. The lesser-skilled younger actors should study the technique of these veterans and bless their lucky stars for the opportunity to do so. Kristine Nielsen, who plays Garry’s secretary, Monica Reed, constitutes a master class.”

“Present Laughter” was also reviewed by Elizabeth Bradley of Broadway News, Steven Ross of Front Mezz Junkies, Elyse Sommer of CurtainUp, Jesse Oxfeld of Entertainment Weekly, Tim Teeman of Daily Beast, Mark Shenton of The Stage (UK), Robin Riegelhaupt of Reviewing The Drama, Robert Kahn of WNBC, Robert Hofler of The Wrap, Michael Bracken of Theater Pizzazz, Linda Winer of Newsday, Jeremy Gerard of Deadline, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, Jesse Green of New York Magazine / Vulture, David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter, Matt Windman of AM New York, Matthew Murray of Talkin' Broadway, Jonathan Mandell of DC Theatre Scene, David Gordon of Theatermania, and Alexis Soloski of The Guardian (UK).


The show was also reviewed by 192 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 78.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Delightful, Dated

ZORAYDA M, ShowScore: 75
See it if…"You want to see Kevin Kline playing an aging playboy in a delightful play that is both funny and absurd. The rest of the cast is great too." 
Don't see it if…"You are looking for something profound, inspiring, or heartfelt. This play is just silly and fun."
JasonBKLYN, ShowScore: 75
See it if…"Mr. Kline was magnetic and entrancing! Kate Burton was fantastic! Top-notch cast delivering Coward's witty play. Fantastic energy in Act 2!"
Don't see it if…"You aren't up for a slow setup to a play with really no ending. Act 2 has some excitement but most of the play is snarky, silly and pompous."
Jeremy West, ShowScore: 90 
See it if…"You love classic slapstick comedy and entertaining characters. I haven't laughed so much in months! Kline was born to play this role." 
Don't see it if…"You aren't a fan of dry, British humor or the classic style of slow and repetitious comedies. Not all accents are quite believable."

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.