Nothing ‘Private’ about 4 Community Theatre’s next production

2015 season begins with ‘Private Lives’

4 Community Theatre begins its 2015 production season with “Private Lives”, widely considered to be Noël Coward’s masterpiece of sophisticated British comedy, sets two newlyweds — who were formerly married — on adjoining hotel terraces during their respective honeymoons in the resort town of Deauville, France.

Performances are at the Orono Middle School auditorium, 7 p.m. Feb. 13, 14, 20, 21 and 2 p.m. Sunday Feb. 15. Ticket prices: $15 adult/ $12 senior/$8 student. 4 Community Theatre pulls its core group of performers and staff from Rockford, Corcoran, Greenfield, Orono, Maple Plain, Plymouth and Wayzata … and the surrounding areas.

The main characters’ new matches are no match for the fireworks of their old flames as verbal sparring and comedic dexterity begin to flash and spark. Theater enthusiasts have said this is Coward’s best classic and timeless comedy about modern romance — but here, the romance is expressed in fast-paced dialogue and romantic embraces without nudity or steamy epithets. The main characters derive less pleasure from the touch of each other’s skin, than from getting under it.

Private Lives is a joy of a play, an absolute comedic romp that is never in danger of taking anything too seriously. As Elyot declares “Let’s be superficial and pity the poor Philosophers. Let’s blow trumpets and squeakers, and enjoy the party as much as we can, like very small, quite idiotic school-children. Let’s savour the delight of the moment.”

The cast is top notch, featuring some faces familiar faces to 4CT audiences and some new ones. Elyot is played by Warren Sampson, who has graced multiple stages in the metro area in recent years; Sibyl is played by Kayla Hambeck, a Bethel University graduate, most recently seen in Shrek, the Musical with Morris Park Players; John Hage of Buffalo plays the well-meaning but neglected Victor; Louise, the house maid is played by Nancy Lipinski of Annandale, who was recently featured in Buffalo Community Theatre’s “And Then There Were None”; and Orono’s own Virginia Haggart takes on the seductive role of Amanda.

Tickets available at app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=4comt

For more information go online to http://www.4communitytheatre.org/ or to 4CT’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/groups/4CommunityTheatre/

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.