The Letters of Noël Coward

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August 25
at 8:00pm

Runtime: 50 minutes. Staged reading and live Q & A session with Bob Balaban.

The Letters of Noël Coward features correspondence between English playwright Noël Coward, writer Graham Greene, and actor Sir Alec Guinness, in the years following their collaboration on the 1959 comedic spy film, Our Man in Havana, based on the novel of the same name by Greene. Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss, and Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning actor Marsha Mason read the correspondence in conversation. The letters, curated by director Bob Balaban, celebrate the wit, bonhomie and jaundiced eyes of three veterans of show business, as they discuss life, art, and everything from Cole Porter to varicose veins.

During its release, Our Man in Havana broke box office records in New York and London, and with a screenplay written by Graham Greene, and featuring Ernie Kovacs and Burl Ives (in addition to the aforementioned stars) the film has since developed a cult following. Shot on location in Cuba two years after the fall of the Batista regime, the set was visited during filming by Fidel Castro, who complained that the novel did not accurately portray the brutality of the prior regime.

This edition of The Letters of Noel Coward, serving as an informal reunion of the stars of the beloved film, The Goodbye Girl, is full of infectious and irresistible enjoyment that Dreyfuss and Mason take in each other, as they caper through these witty epistles.

 

Richard Dreyfuss is an award-winning actor and producer known for his roles in American GraffitiJawsClose Encounters of the Third Kind, and Mr. Holland’s Opus. He won the Academy Award and Golden Globe for his role in the 1977 romantic comedy, The Goodbye Girl, opposite Mason. Dreyfuss and Mason both appeared at Bay Street Theater in the 1998 world premiere of House by Jon Robin Baitz and Terrence McNally.

 

Richard Dreyfuss and Marsha Mason in the Bay Street production of "House," 1998.

 

Marsha Mason is an award-winning actor known for her roles in Cinderella LibertyChapter TwoOnly When I Laugh, and The Goodbye Girl, each of which earned her an Academy Award nomination. For her role in The Goodbye Girl, opposite Dreyfuss, Mason won the 1978 Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture. She also appeared opposite Dreyfuss in the Bay Street Theater production of House, by Jon Robin Baitz and Terrence McNally, which enjoyed its world premiere on our stage in 1998.

 

Academy Award-nominated actor, producer, and director Bob Balaban is known for his work in Close Encounters of the Third KindBest In ShowThe Grand Budapest Hotel, and Isle of Dogs. He directed the 2015 Bay Street production The New Sincerity, and recently made a special appearance at Bay Street Theater’s 29th annual virtual Starry Night Gala Telethon.

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