Song At Twilight

By Marlene S. Gaylinn

In keeping with a variety of plays to suit the eclectic tastes of its local subscribers, Westport Country Playhouse opened its 2014 season with Noel Coward’s, “A Song at Twilight.” This poignant play is about a fictitious, elderly homosexual, Sir Hugo Latymer (Brian Murray) who conformed to the customs of society in order to become a successful, highly respected writer. He has been living quietly and conventionally with his second wife until some private information that could threaten his reputation and social standing is about to be revealed. Although he is retired and sickly, this crisis forces Latymer to confront the choices he made as a young man while the two women in his life (Mia Dillon and Gordana Rashovich) evaluate their own motivations and the artificial roles they also played. How people are forced to come to terms with society and themselves is neatly illustrated along with the clever wit that Noel Coward--himself, a homosexual and a famous writer -- is noted for.

On the surface, this is a wordy play in the style of a drawing room comedy of manners but under the sensitive direction of Mark Lamos, one becomes deeply touched by the serious, emotional struggles of his great actors. The visual projections of tender, homosexual lovemaking may have made some audience members uncomfortable, however, they were quite effective here. This production is more suitable for mature audiences.

Plays to May 17. Tickets: 203-227-4177

This review appears in “On CT & NY Theatre” May/2014

Posted May 7, 2014

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