In 1930s London, Garry Essendine, a debonair matinee idol, is one of the world’s most famous actors. Garry sees his life as an eternal performance—one in which the spotlight never goes out. But can the man who can’t say “no” juggle an ambitious debutante, an aspiring playwright, a secret affair, his tart-tongued secretary, and his ex-wife, all in one morning?
Putting Together Present Laughter
Every bit of Two River’s revival…is sumptuous and satisfying…and better than any production of the play that I’ve seen in the past decade and a half.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Fabulous production [with a] running musical gag that may just be the best thing ever, anywhere.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
A welcome bit of sophisticated escape.
ASBURY PARK PRESS
MEET THE ARTISTS
Leighton Bryan made her Two River debut last year as Joanna Lyppiatt in Present Laughter. Broadway: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, u/s Maggie (performed) and Mae. Readings: Rainbow’s Return by Stephen Mo Hanan (as Stockard Channing’s daughter, dir. Chris Hart); work with LCT Directors LAB, McCarter, Shakespeare Society, and TACT. She co-created Death of Kings, a re-cutting of Shakespeare’s history plays (dir. John Adams) in London. Favorite roles include: Beatrice, Much Ado About Nothing; Cassius/Charmian, The Emperor Antony; Beulah, Orpheus Descending; and Alice in the premiere of Tony Kushner’s musical The Henry Box Brown Play (dir. Mark Wing-Davey). Brown University, RADA, NYU Graduate Acting. PLWIW, ly5.
Michael Cumpsty has appeared in The Lion in Winter, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Absurd Person Singular, Present Laughter and Much Ado about Nothing at Two River Theater, where he also directed The Importance of being Earnest and Third. Broadway credits include Machinal, The Winslow Boy, End of the Rainbow (Tony nomination), Sunday in the Park with George, The Constant Wife, Democracy, Enchanted April, 42nd Street, Copenhagen, Electra, 1776, Racing Demon, The Heiress, Translations, Timon of Athens (Bayfield Award), La Bête and Artist Descending a Staircase. Off-Broadway credits include Hamlet (Obie Award), Richard II and Richard III (all for Classic Stage Company); Twelfth Night, Timon of Athens, All’s Well That Ends Well, Hamlet, Cymbeline and The Winter’s Tale (all for the New York Shakespeare Festival); The Body of an American (Primary Stages and Hartford Stage). He has appeared in many of America’s premiere regional theaters, and played Leontes in The Winter’s Tale for the Royal Shakespeare Company at their home in Stratford-upon-Avon. TV: recurring roles on Boardwalk Empire, Nurse Jackie and Star Trek: Voyager; L.A. Law (series regular); Red Oaks, The OA, Madam Secretary, The Good Wife, Law & Order and Elementary. Film: Eat Pray Love, Wall Street 2, Starting Out in the Evening, The Ex, Flags of our Fathers, The Visitor, The Ice Storm, Fatal Instinct, State of Grace, Downtown Express and Collateral Beauty.
RICHARD HOLLIS (he/him) (KULYGIN) Previously at Two River: Present Laughter. Broadway: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Barrymore Theatre), Travesties (Roundabout). Off-Broadway: Hangmen (Atlantic Theater Company), Muswell Hill (Barrow Group). Regional: Taking Steps (Barrington Stage), Bedroom Farce (Huntington), Twelfth Night (Centerstage), Stones in his Pockets (Hudson Stage), Hit-Lit (Queens Theatre), The Illusion (Triad Stage), Sisters Rosensweig (Capital Rep), Romeo and Juliet, The Real Thing, Amadeus (Northern Stage). National Theatre, London: Coast of Utopia, His Girl Friday, Tartuffe, The Wonders of Sex and The Country Doctor. Other London Theatre includes Diana of Dobsons, The Skin Game, The Years Between and Factors Unforeseen (Orange Tree Theatre), Torn (Arcola) and State of Innocence (Theatre 503). Film and Television includes the upcoming Plot Against America (HBO), Blacklist, Dark Shadows, Believe, and the original BBC series of The Office, as well as Waking the Dead, Eastenders, Shakespeare’s Happy Endings, Silent Witness.
Playwright — Noël Coward
Director — David Lee
Scenic Design — Tony Straiges
Costume Design — Tilly Grimes
Lighting Design — Rui Rita
Sound Design — Leon Rothenberg
Music Direction — John O’Neill
Vocal/Dialect Coach — Ben Furey
Wig Design — Troy Beard
Casting — Cindy Tolan and Adam Caldwell
Production Stage Manager — Amanda Michaels