Kevin Kline is making his return to Broadway next year to star in Noël Coward’s classic sex farce Present Laughter, producer Jordan Roth announced Tuesday.
Kline, a two-time Tony Award winner, will play Garry Essendine, a vain actor undergoing a midlife crisis. Expect lots of drinking, sex, laughs, and plot twists. Coward wrote the part of Essendine for himself and originated the role in 1946. Kline was last on Broadway in 2007, playing the title role in Cyrano de Bergerac. Moritz von Stuelpnagel (Hand to God) will direct the limited engagement.
“In our fame and social media-obsessed age, it feels especially apropos to do a sex farce about being a celebrity,” von Stuelpnagel said. “We all curate a kind of facade, a public face, but when the laughs and the parties end, I think we’re left with something darker and deeply human: ourselves, private, true. Present Laughter is bitingly witty, full of glamour and vivid personalities, but beneath that, there’s something striking to me about the comedian stripped down to his most personal self, in this, Coward’s most personal play.”
Complete casting will be announced shortly. The play opens at the St. James Theatre on April 5.