The Pasadena Playhouse presents “A Song At Twilight” by Noël Coward starring Bruce Davison, Sharon Lawrence and Roxanne Hart opening Sunday, March 23 2014. Following last season’s smash-hit production of Coward’s comedy, “Fallen Angels,” director Art Manke, recognized as the region’s current leading director of Coward, returns to The Playhouse to direct this rarely produced and final play of Coward’s illustrious career.
In “A Song At Twilight,” first produced in 1966, an elderly closeted writer hesitantly accepts a visit from his former mistress, leading to a confrontation of past secrets, forbidden affections and surprising confessions. “Song” was greeted with rapturous reviews, and provided a triumphant end to Coward’s long and remarkable career.
Sheldon Epps, artistic director of The Pasadena Playhouse, said, “In 1966, when ‘A Song at Twilight’ premiered, England was a year away from decriminalizing homosexuality. Coward, who reticent about this topic through most of his career, also played the part Hugo Latymer, and earned critical and audience praise. Now, almost fifty years later, with the landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings this past year overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8, this is a perfect time to revisit the play which dates from the beginning of the gay rights movement.”
Manke said, “We have assembled a first-rate cast led by the incomparable Bruce Davison, whose heartbreaking humanity – on display in so much of his work – will bring emotional nuance and great wit to the role of Sir Hugo Latymer. Sharon Lawrence could not be more suited to the glamorous, seductive Carlotta, and Roxanne Hart’s warmth and clear-eyed intelligence is a perfect fit for Hilde.”
In “A Song at Twilight,” celebrated author Hugo Latymer has reached the autumn of his days with everything a man could wish for: wealth, success, fantastic friends, and a life filled with laughter, luxury and travel. A profound fear of intimacy and public scandal, however, kept him from embracing the one true love in his life, and now he wonders if he would trade the success for a chance to do it all again.
“Songwriters and poets have taught us that greatest joy of life is to love and be loved in return,” said director Manke. “In ‘A Song at Twilight,’ celebrated author Hugo Latymer didn’t heed that lesson, choosing instead to live a life bound by societal expectations and fear. Now he wonders how his life might have been different had he made room for love.”
“Despite several decades of audiences roaring with laughter at his plays, Noel Coward was often the target of critics who found his work to be thin, at best. With his final play, 'A Song at Twilight,' he had the last laugh and proved that in addition to the usual sparklingly witty dialogue, he could craft characters of great depth and pathos.”
“A Song At Twilight” performs March 18 through April 13. The performance schedule is Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $26 to $72. Call 626-356-7529 or visit the box office during open hours or visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.
The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue in Pasadena.