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)


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

Dated, Funny, Slow

See it if You like dated plays with decent staging and good casting

Don't see it if You want a relevant play with outstanding staging

Entertaining, Funny, Slow, Great acting

See it if Want a decent night of theatre. The first act is slow but the second act gets very funny and makes up for it.

Don't see it if Easily nod off bc the first act is a bit of a snooze. Don't enjoy slapstick comedy which will awaken you during the second act.

Cliched, Dated, Disappointing, Fluffy

See it if you love Noel Coward or Kevin Kline.

Don't see it if you expect a cast that can handle literate comedy.

Funny, Entertaining, Great acting, Refreshing, Masterful

See it if You like Kevin Kline

Don't see it if Don't understand accents

Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Slow

See it if You enjoy Kevin Kline in a great performance, enjoy light shows with humorous chaos, and a cast of kooky characters

Don't see it if You want to be moved by a play, get easily bored, or need substantial character development.

Also Bottom line: Great overall ensemble led by Kevin Kline and Kate Burton... Read more Read less

Delightful, Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Refreshing

See it if You are a Kevin Kline fan. This was the first production I saw with him in it and it didn't disappoint thankfully. Great cast.

Don't see it if You're looking for a musical.

Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Fluffy, Overrated

See it if You want to see excellent comedic acting of a light story

Don't see it if You want to see a presentation that makes you think

Delightful, Enchanting, Funny, Great acting, Masterful

See it if you enjoy Coward's work at all. Or just some classy farce. Or the A grade cast who were even better than expected!

Don't see it if you can't deal with the slow build up to the ultimate farce situations. Or need something epic to the plot.

Entertaining, Funny

See it if you like Noel Coward and you want to see Kline doing a fun job of it

Don't see it if you don't like a dated piece

Clever, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if great performances; not one of Coward's best shows, but worth seeing; don't think too hard on this one

Don't see it if British humor is not your cup of tea

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Hilarious

See it if You want to laugh from begining to end. Cast puts on stellar performances that keep you laughing the whole time.

Don't see it if Laughing is not your thing.

Funny, Great acting, Fluffy

See it if you like Kevin Kline. The show is throughly entertaining and funny, a decent night out on Broadway.

Don't see it if you're looking for anything more than a light entertainment. Probably not the funniest show you've seen.

Funny, Dated, Clever

See it if You want to see Kevin Kline give a masterful performance of a not very sympathetic character

Don't see it if You are not a fan of farce

Funny, Masterful, Great writing

See it if you love Kevin Kline! He alone is worth the price of the ticket. Perfect casting all around.

Don't see it if you despise a director allowing caricatures and characters in the same show. Start of 2nd act is dull, Dull, DULL.

Delightful, Funny, Great acting, Fluffy

See it if want to see Noel Coward done by a cast that does it well. Kline is perfect for the part. Fun light comedy bordering on farce.

Don't see it if British drawing room comedy is not to your liking.

Also What we have here is Noel Coward done so well by a first rate cast. Th... Read more Read less

Overrated, Disappointing, Dated, Cliched

See it if you enjoy British accents, period pieces, the lead actors/actresses

Don't see it if you can't appreciate dated, British comedy

Great acting, Great writing, Hilarious, Raunchy

See it if You enjoy comedy that isn't quite in-your-face but is still quite apparent. Phenomenal performances and strong choices by all cast members!

Don't see it if You are not into straight plays and need a lot of action.

Delightful, Hilarious, Masterful

See it if You love the smart comedy of Noel Coward played by the best. Having seen this before I didn't expect to laugh as hard as I did.

Don't see it if You don't like drawing room comedies of any kind. You don't like Kevin Kline. How could you not like Kevin Kline! His casting is perfect.

Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Masterful

See it if You like Noel Coward, sparkling dialogue and a star performance by Kevin Klein in a masterful performance. Great sense of style & character.

Don't see it if You can't listen, need flashy musicals and hate Noel Coward.

Clever, Cliched, Dated, Disappointing

See it if I didn't like the play. The cast was terrific especially Kevin Klein. I usually like Noel Coward,but not this one.

Don't see it if You can't see it. It closes 7/2

Clever, Funny, Great acting

See it if you want to see Noel Coward done better than anyone before by the masterful Kevin Kline, a phenom supporting cast, & some stunning costumes

Don't see it if Coward or British comedy is not your thing - it is a specific style that is not for everyone

Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Great staging, Dated

See it if you want pure escapism and silliness brought to you by a classic play brilliantly performed in its original style

Don't see it if you are looking for something more serious or modern

Funny, Entertaining, Fluffy, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if You love Noel Coward even when he's not in prime form or if you enjoy a fine troupe of veteran actors giving their all to an uneven script

Don't see it if You want only wittiest of Noel Coward. There are two rather irritating characters to ignore. You shouldn't expect a plot that makes sense.

Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Funny

See it if you enjoy old fashioned comedy with colorful characters played by masterful actors.

Don't see it if if you dislike superficial stories where much of the fun comes from contrived situations and stereotypical characters.

Delightful, Entertaining, Enchanting, Funny

See it if you like Kevin Kline, he is brilliant and very funny. The show is quirky and fun.

Don't see it if you don't like period pieces or farce.

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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