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Coward the Playwright

Coward the Playwright
Your Price: $32.95 CDN
Author: John Lahr
Publisher: University of California Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 179
Pub. Date: 2002
ISBN-10: 0520234146
ISBN-13: 9780520234147

About the Book:

An adept and well-focused study of Noel Coward-as-playwright by award winning New Yorker critic John Lahr.

In Coward the Playwright, the Tony-winning author and theatre critic John Lahr investigates all the major plays and many of Noël Coward's lesser-known pieces. Hay Fever, Private Lives, and Design for Living, for instance, make a fascinating group of "Comedies of Bad Manners." Blithe Spirit and Relative Values raise the "Ghost in the Fun Machine." And John Lahr explores the "politics of charm" oozing through The Vortex, Easy Virtue, and Present Laughter. Further chapters consider the patriotic plays like Cavalcade and This Happy Breed and examples of Coward's later work, such as Waiting in the Wings and A Song at Twilight.

In all Coward's stage work, John Lahr detects a coherent philosophy in which charm is both the subject of Coward's comedies and the trap that makes his very public life a perpetual performance.

What people say:

"A stunning, thoughtful, and very good guide to Coward’s plays." — Sheridan Morley

"There's never been an American critic like John Lahr. His writing exalts, honors, and dignifies the profession and, more importantly, the art." — Tony Kushner

About the Author:

John Lahr was the hugely respected Senior Drama Critic at The New Yorker for more than two decades and touted as "the most intelligent and insightful writer on theatre today" by The New York Times. Now a regular contributor to The New Yorker, he is also the author of 18 books, including two novels, several best-selling biographies —the subject of one being his vaudeville comedian father, Bert Lahr — and numerous adaptations, which have been staged in England and the U.S. Among his honours is becoming the first critic ever to win a Tony for co-writing the one-woman show, Elaine Stritch at Liberty.