A Song at Twilight -- What a Difference a Theater Makes

By Karen Isaacs

Westport Country Playhouse is opening its season with A Song at Twilight, a late play by Noel Coward. It previously ran at Hartford Stage.

But this time, on the smaller Westport Stage and the more intimate seating, I enjoyed this production directed by Mark Lamos much, much more.

The play is about Sir Hugo Latymer, an aging British literary giant, and a long-held secret. It is set in the 1960s when homosexuality in England was a criminal offense. The play takes place in Switzerland where Sir Hugo and his German wife Hilde are staying. Carlotta, an aging actress with whom Sir Hugo had an affair when both were young is coming to dinner. What does she want?

I won't reveal what she does want, but they spar at each other over their love affair, his literary reputation, her career, and another man. It has some of the famous Coward witty humor -- but it also deals with the costs of living a lie.

Since the production in Hartford, the performances of the three leading characters -- Brian Murray as Sir Hugo, Mia Dillon as Hilde and Gordana Rashovich as Carlotta have deepened.

But I think the real difference is the theater itself -- the smaller stage has allowed this somewhat personal play to blossom.

This review aired on WNHU-88.7 fm.
Posted 5.13.2014


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