Noel Coward's "Private Lives," written in 1930, is a decade younger than the Laguna Playhouse, at which this classic comedy is being joyously revived with its verbal barbs flying as fast as the props the actors hurl at one another.
Coward defined "sophisticated comedy," and directed and played the leading role in the original production (the second lead being taken by a promising young actor named Laurence Olivier).
At Laguna, director Andrew Barnicle — in his swan song as the playhouse's artistic director for the past two decades — is an excellent actor, but he's not pulling a Coward and taking the stage as well. Not with the likes of performers such as Joseph Fuqua around.
Fuqua and Julie Granata assume the principal roles of Elyot and Amanda, a divorced couple who meet on their respective second honeymoons five years after splitting up and pick up the romance all over again, leaving their stunned spouses in the lurch.