Already closed | 2h 30m | Midtown W

Present Laughter

From 665 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever

About the show

Tony and Oscar-winning actor Kevin Kline returns to Broadway in Noël Coward's classic comedy about a famous and self-obsessed actor whose comfortable life quickly spins out of control. More…

'Present Laughter' takes place in the home of celebrated actor Garry Essendine, a puffed-up charmer with a knack for histrionics, wooing women, and extreme displays of vanity. With his birthday rapidly approaching, Essendine is poised to set off on a tour of Africa. The actor’s expertly assembled life is upended when a predatory fan, an obsessed playwright, and a young woman with more than Essendine’s resume on her mind are simultaneously thrown into the mix, all vying for his attention. As things spin wildly out of control, Essendine must scramble to keep his house of cards standing—and decide whether there’s room in his life to love anyone but himself. Co-starring Tony nominees Kate Burton, Kristine Nielsen, and Reg Rogers, along with Cobie Smulders in her Broadway debut. Directed by Tony nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel ('Hand to God').

2h 30m | Already closed | St. James Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (665)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever
80
Avg Score

80
Clever, Funny, Slow, Well acted, Frivolous

See it if you like NC's classic comedies. The plot is silly, but characters are memorable and the dialogue goes down like sherry. Nice set/costumes.

Don't see it if you want a meaningful play. PL is fluffy fun. It is unnecessarily long; some scenes drag. Still, this PL is superior to the Garber.

79
Clever, Funny, Great acting, Quirky, Fluffy

See it if you want to see Kevin Kline doing what he does best, comedy. Colby was very good, sexy and funny in it.

Don't see it if If you don t like campy comedy. It can be slow at some points.

70
Fluffy, Great acting, Stylized, Funny, Pointless

See it if you enjoy wit at the expense of honesty, and want to see a show meant simply to entertain.

Don't see it if you want to care about any of the characters on stage, or see a show that even attempts to say something about anything.

70
Dated, Charming, Entertaining, Fluffy, Light-hearted

See it if you want to see a blithe Noel Coward drawing room comedy, adeptly acted & smartly directed; you want to see an all-too-rare Kline sighting.

Don't see it if you have no appreciation for flippant, frivolous stage comedies and seek anything contemporary, important and/or provocative.

78
Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Fluffy, Intelligent

See it if you're a Kevin Kline or Noel Coward fan, enjoy sophisticated comedies with witty characters & glimpses of celebrity lifestyles

Don't see it if you're not susceptible to wit and charm, lives of celebrities and actors do not interest you, intelligent farces are not your thing

69
Overrated, Slow, Dated, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if You love classic, dry, high-brow British comedies, or would be happy to see Kevin Kline act the phone book.

Don't see it if You think this will be a raucous comedy — it’s not. Even with a good central performance, this is long and tedious.

87
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Funny

See it if you enjoy laughing at clever character driven humor. It is an escape to a time that can only exist on stage or in our minds.

Don't see it if British affectation or caricature annoys you.

88
Hilarious, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Quirky

See it if You like old-fashioned British drawing room farces with ridiculous plots and larger than life characters; aka Noel Coward play & Kevin Kline

Don't see it if You want a staid,quiet,drama with normal, boring characters and a boring plot. You do not like silliness.

89
Delightful, Entertaining, Great set, Funny, Remarkable kevin kline

See it if you want to watch perfection in Kline's physical comedic acting and grace; you enjoy Noel Coward and beautiful 1930s sets and costumes.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy farcical comedy and laughter; you cannot sit through some slow scenes with one particular character that does not work.

Also Kevin Kline turns his potentially superficial, self absorbed character... Read more Read less

70
Slow, Overrated, Insipid, Fluffy, Confusing

See it if You enjoy English farce from another time.

Don't see it if Couldn't care less about English farce.

77
Dated, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you love Noel Coward.I found it tedious & never ending.Totally predictable. Kline is terrific, but for me Kristine Nielsen is the standout.

Don't see it if you want a play that has something serious to say. This just feels too light, without being funny enough to sit through it for 2+ hours.

82
Thoroughly entertaining quite traditional drawing room farce, enhanced by cowards dialog

See it if You want to see perfect casting. A kitzy set, great costumes and what wins Best Actor Tony in 2017. Cobie Smulders was perfection.

Don't see it if You want meaning in your theater going. This is for fun.

70
Enjoyable enough, Funny, Dated

See it if you enjoy a good old fashioned Noel Coward play with star talent. Kevin Kline is superb, as is Kate Burton and the rest of the cast.

Don't see it if you want to see something that's going to keep you laughing the entire time. It was humorous but not as funny as I had hoped.

75
Delightful, Great acting, Funny, Dated, Disappointing

See it if you love Kevin Kline in a role made for him, the cast is all quite good

Don't see it if if foppish British farces don't appeal to you

78
Kevin kline is a master, Dated but funny, Classic comedy, Indulgent

See it if Standard Noel Coward 30's comedy, probably brazen in its day but stale now yet to see Kevin Kline's artistry and subtlety in a role that...

Don't see it if ...could be mugged through is worth it. Some other fine acting, some too broad for my taste, all in the classic style. See a master at work.

83
Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if If you are a fan of Noel Coward's Present Laughter and course Kevin Kline who is outstanding as Garry!

Don't see it if If you do not like Noel Coward's plays and only enjoy light musicals.

80
Clever, Dated, Funny, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Classic Noel Coward, witty drawing-room comedy is your thing. Acting is great, but you must concentrate on every word as they fly by fast.

Don't see it if First act is a bit slow; I found myself somewhat bored. Second really picks up. Kevin Kline is perfect; strong supporting cast.

85
Dated, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy hearing language spoken at a much higher level than today's discourse allows, if you love Coward and Kline, if you love Brits.

Don't see it if Wry humor is not your thing, if you don't know Coward and/or don't care about him, if you need more current topics to keep you engaged.

85
Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Refreshing

See it if you want to see brilliant performances, especially by the masterful Kevin Kline, in an old Noel Coward play about an actor past his prime.

Don't see it if you don't like English chestnut plays that are old fashioned, but extremely entertaining with knockout performances.

80
Funny, Quirky, Slow, Entertaining

See it if you love kevin kline and a quirky play! Act 1 was slow but act 2 was very funny.

Don't see it if you want a musical

89
Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Delightful

See it if You enjoy the witty banter of classic Noel Coward. You're a fan of Kevin Kline. The entire cast is fantastic, don't miss this wonderful show

Don't see it if Dated revivals and/or "wit" style humor doesn't speak to you

86
Clever, Fluffy, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you want a fun farcical adventure into the world of London actors or you like Kevin Kline or if you liked An Ideal Husband.

Don't see it if you want a thought-provoking evening. This is the complete opposite :)

85
Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Hilarious

See it if Want to see good acting in a classic comedy done well

Don't see it if Want substance

80
Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Funny, Refreshing

See it if You are a fan of Kevin Kline and Noel Coward. It's a pleasant night out!

Don't see it if You don't like British farces. A little slow in the first act but the play picks up speed in the second act.

86
Delightful, Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Supremely witty

See it if you want classic Noel Coward wit and humor. Truly funny show, with Kevin Kline's tour-de-force performance and brilliant staging. Great fun!

Don't see it if you can't appreciate urbane, witty comedy. Noel Coward's writing at its best ... but it's not everyone's cup of tea. Still, a great show!


April 5th, 2017
“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...
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April 5th, 2017
“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 s...
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April 5th, 2017
“The production takes seriously the mess that radiates from Garry’s narcissism, and with that seriousness refuels the hilarity of the farce that overlays it. In the hands of Kline and a vividly intelligent supporting cast, it’s a great and frank and still modern comedy…The play’s three-act struct...
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April 5th, 2017
“Kevin Kline was born to do Noel Coward...A performance of unimpeachable skill, made all the more delectable by its lightness of touch…von Stuelpnagel's production can't entirely disguise the wheezy fatigue of the 1939 comedy, but as complications multiply and the quasi-farcical cogs click into p...
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Cast & Creatives (22)