All good things must come to an end, and for Andrew Barnicle, his 20-year stint as artistic director of the Laguna Playhouse winds up with his revival of Noel Coward's "Private Lives," opening this weekend.
For Barnicle, the past two decades have been filled with challenges, effectively counterbalanced by a goodly number of laughs — including, he promises, the current production.
"There hasn't been a local professional production (of 'Private Lives') in some time, and it's funny as hell," the director said. "Ultimately, the funny part is what drew me, but I'm discovering very subtle social themes of personal freedom underneath the comedy."
Among the challenges in such an endeavor, Barnicle points out that "American audiences and actors have pre-conceived notions and expectations about Coward, so creating a new production from the ether is a challenge.
"Monitoring accents and physical behavioral things can take a lot of attention away from what's actually happening in a scene," he added. "Mostly though, there is more play here than meets the ear. Making it look easy is harder than one would expect."