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Present Laughter


Theatre: St. James Theatre
Opening Night: April 05 2017
Jordan Roth, Jujamcyn Theaters, Spencer Ross, Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman, AC Orange Entertainment Ltd., Grove Entertainment, Stephanie P. McClelland, Eric Falkenstein, Harbor Entertainment, Joe Everett Michaels/Robert F. Ryan, Daryl Roth
Best Revival of a Play
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Best Costume Design of a Play


Noël Coward’s uproarious comedy follows a self-obsessed actor (is there any other kind?!) in the midst of a mid-life crisis. Juggling his considerable talent, ego and libido, the theatre's favorite leading man suddenly finds himself caught between fawning ingénues, crazed playwrights, secret trysts and unexpected twists. Starring Kevin Kline, Kate Burton, Kristine Nielsen, and Cobie Smulders.


  • The play's title comes from a song in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, which includes the line, "Present mirth hath present laughter." The song’s message is that when you’re having fun now, you’re laughing right now; the future is unsure, and there’s no reason to waste time.
  • The cast includes three-time past Tony-nominee Kate Burton as Liz Essendine, the principal character’s ex-wife. Burton made her Broadway debut as the ingénue Daphne Stillington in a 1982 revival of the comedy.


The play, written in 1939, was first performed during the playwright’s wartime tour of Britain beginning in 1942, with Coward in the starring role. It was first staged on Broadway in 1946. Coward starred in a 1958 Broadway revival, which also toured the U.S. This is the play’s sixth Broadway production. A 1981 TV version of the play was released by the BBC.


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