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

During previews
38
Dated, Disappointing, Umprepared, Mediocre

See it if Someone gives you a ticket

Don't see it if You value your time and your money. Kevin Kline acts indifferent. The worst performance I've ever seen him in. The direction is flat and

Also boring. The play the way its presented, is not interesting nor funny. ... Read more Read less

During previews
95
Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Must see, Great staging

See it if Very well done. Kevin is brilliant! The whole cast is great!

Don't see it if If you don't want to laugh.

During previews
90
Clever, Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Dated

See it if you like Noel Coward and clever, funny plays. Kevin Kine is a hoot - but entire cast is great. A bit slow to start, but laughed throughout.

Don't see it if Story is a bit dated, but it's still good theater.

During previews
58
Disappointing, Insipid, Slow, Great writing, Funny

See it if You appreciate Noel Coward, Kevin Kline's ability to work past obvious flaws & still shine, & want to see Kristine Nielsen steal the show.

Don't see it if You're overly critical, understand comic timing & want to see it in play here (because it isn't), and an ensemble that tries too hard.

During previews
86
Clever, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if Laughed out loud

Don't see it if You have recently had surgery and can't laugh

During previews
81
Great acting, Entertaining, Funny

See it if You want an entertaining evening. Great acting, especially by Kevin Kline. It was a very light, fun evening.

Don't see it if You really want a deep, thought-provoking show.

During previews
97
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny

See it if you enjoy English farce

Don't see it if You have trouble hearing

During previews
86
Clever, Entertaining, Resonant, Slow

See it if you want to see Kevin Kline look effortless and natural.

Don't see it if you seek something with more punch.

During previews
90
Funny, Exquisite, Entertaining

See it if You want a good night of pure laughing.

Don't see it if You don't like farce.

During previews
92
Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if You appreciate excellently written and acted comedy. Kevin Kline and main three support cast ladies were awesome!

Don't see it if You don't like comedy farce.

During previews
66
Slow, Funny, Cliched, Dated

See it if you are a Kevin Kline groupie, or a huge fan of any of the other actors

Don't see it if you're a huge Noel Coward fan -- the show just isn't up to his requirements in terms of wit or pacing.

Also I really thought Kevin Kline would be a natural as Gary Essendine, but... Read more Read less

During previews
82
Clever, Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Intelligent

See it if You like witty humor and the comedy of character interactions.

Don't see it if You're tired and won't be able to focus on more complex or subtle jokes

During previews
92
Delightful, Great writing, Entertaining, Funny

See it if You like Coward plays, Kevin Kline, great comic timing, and British humor.

Don't see it if You are looking for glitzy musicals (it's not a musical), or laugh-track type modern TV shows in play form.

Also The set is beautiful and the actors all do a superb job - and seem to ... Read more Read less

During previews
30
Banal, Cliched, Disappointing, Dated, Slow

See it if You are a tourist wanting to experience Broadway

Don't see it if You want to be frozen to death in the theater, bothered by Kline's inability to project his voice and don't mind a play full of dated tropes

During previews
73
Great acting, Great writing, Great staging, Masterful, Resonant

See it if you like Kevin Kline

Don't see it if you are tired of old fashioned British humor


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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