Noel Coward (1899-1973) wrote plays with witty characters who always seemed to be holding a champagne glass in one hand. In "Waiting in the Wings," which Stamford's Curtain Call stages from Jan. 7 through 23, his sophisticates aren't drinking much bubbly any longer. They're former actresses, Nancy Thode of Greenwich stars as one of them, Maude, who now live in a retirement home. Though they are in the last act of their lives, their rivalries, reminiscences, regrets and even declining health are all fodder for the lively banter and cheeky sniping that Coward characters are so good at.
In 1999, The New York Times called "Waiting in the Wings," then revived on Broadway,"An entertaining variation on 'Stage Door', the 1936 Kaufman-Ferber play about life in a theatrical boarding house. Here, too, an assortment of self-dramatizing actresses squabble, comfort and face off. The essential difference, of course, is that the actresses of ''Stage Door'' had futures; those in ''Wings'' have only their pasts."
For Curtain Call, the production is a milestone. Executive Director Lou Ursone, who also produced "Waiting in the Wings," says, "In my 11 years here, this is our first Noel Coward play and I'm very happy to be working on it. It's a very interesting piece and provides a number of really terrific roles for actresses."
If you've never seen -- or heard of -- Noel Coward's plays, Curtain Call's production of "Waiting in the Wings" will show you how effortlessly they merge poignance and laughs. Tickets are $14-$28. For performance times and more information, visit Curtain Call's website .
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