Private Lives | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Private Lives 

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Ex-spouses Elyot and Amanda rediscover their passion--for good or ill--and tweak the nose of social convention while honeymooning with new loves in Noel Coward's wicked comedy. Joseph Wycoff masters Coward's wit, gliding through Elyot's sneers, barbs, rages, and sulks with the lusty grace and precision of a tango master. Melanie Keller's Amanda holds her own, although the two seemed to have trouble sustaining their wrathful energy at critical moments. They and supporting actors Leah Wagner and Christian Gray--appropriately shrill, pompous, and dump-worthy as the jilted newlyweds--maintain an aura of elegant opulence despite a drab, shabby backdrop. The First Folio Shakespeare Festival would almost be better off chucking the set. Through 3/19: Wed 8 PM, Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Peabody Estate at Mayslake, 1717 W. 31st St. (31st St. west of Rte. 83), Oak Brook, 630-986-8067, $25.

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