Life is for Living: Conversations with Coward NYC Reviews and Tickets
Entertaining, Intelligent, Absorbing, Delightful, Great singing
About the Show
The creators of 'Coward at Christmas' return to 59E59 with the world premiere of their new musical celebrating Noel Coward's remarkable impact on British and American culture.
A uniquely British take on the twists and turns of life, 'Life is for Living' fuses theatricality, music, and conversations (both real and imagined). The show ties together Coward's songs and writings with the work of other artists he influenced, or with whom he shared similar sensibilities.
"Mr. Green is not performing an act of mimicry; he is not playing Coward himself, but interpreting his songs, and reciting from the diaries and letters, in a style that recalls the 'master.' His voice is neither large nor particularly rich, but his phrasing has the lightness and drollery, and the occasional bite, that’s ideal for Coward...I most enjoyed Mr. Green when he was on home turf, bringing a cool romantic ardency to Coward’s wistful love songs, or a lightly savage humor to songs."
"Green skims lightly over Coward’s life and art as a playwright, matinee idol, songwriter, bon vivant and embodiment of stiff-upper-Englishness. The performer’s light tenor nicely evokes Coward’s early recordings, but serves less well for later, more acerbic items. With light, crisp diction he navigates Coward’s twisty, rhyme-packed lyrics, but his comic attack is too gentle. And Green seems determined to elevate Coward’s brittle, slightly misanthropic humor with melancholy wistfulness."
"Artfully blends music and theatrics along with some of Coward's personal conversations and correspondences. Coward's extraordinary musical talent, wit, and wisdom are wonderfully depicted...Bravo to Green for his dazzling performance as Coward. His vocal talents are complemented by Shrubsole's outstanding piano accompaniment...The show will give you a true sense of Coward's personality and his brilliance...An insightful, entertaining show."
"Treat yourself to this champagne cocktail of an entertainment, celebrating a rather different Noël...Green and Shrubsole have assembled this delightful portrait of the artist...Green's most Coward-like quality: his ability to suggest a vein of deep feeling hidden beneath his clipped, civilized façade...Simon Green is a very Noël Coward sort of person -- and the perfect antidote to more tinsel-covered holiday entertainments."
“Green places the romantic Coward alongside of the cynical one for a very three-dimensional portrait. As he tells us at the beginning of the show, there may have been greater theater talents, but it would have taken 12 people to combine all of the things in which he excelled. ‘Life Is for Living: Conversations with Coward’, a sophisticated and scintillating evening of music, verse and wisdom is a fitting tribute to The Master and a delightful show for those who cherish the perfect bon mot.”
“It would be so much better if the skimpy narrative were to consistently connect the dots, succinctly indicate just what that conversation is, and how these particular selections contribute to it. Instead, the linkages jump from subject to subject and the transitions often seem arbitrary...Audiences should be prepared simply to appreciate the pieces...Green radiates casual British charisma, sophistication, wry humor, melancholy, and occasional archness.”
"Mr. Green is a tall, nice-looking gentleman with a poise, presence and demeanor that is tailor-made to represent, if not impersonate, the aura of Sir Noel. He segues from text to tune with artful and obligatory precision and sings well enough and at times very well, indeed...Green gets major and marvelous assist from his accompanist and composer David Shrubsole who doesn't miss a beat following Green's breezy and purposely fluid narrative."
"Yes, an argument can be made that Coward’s drinks-party sophistication, for which his cigarette holder is a perpetual synecdoche, runs so deep here that it just about reaches the genuinely philosophical...'Life is for Living' may only be 70 minutes in length, but it’s appreciably more in breadth and depth. Destiny’s tot himself would be grateful for the cleverly presented perceptions."