The Theater: Old Play in Manhattan, Oct. 18, 1948

Private Lives (by Noel Coward; produced by John C. Wilson) was, 17 years ago, a brittle comedy in which Gertrude Lawrence and Noel Coward deftly misbehaved. Last week it became a vehicle—a sort of battering ram—for Tallulah Bankhead. Miss Bankhead, with Donald Cook (Claudia, Skylark), puts on quite a show, though few would call it Private Lives.

Coward's tale of a divorced couple who meet again on their second honeymoon, fly their new mates, and let fly (between endearments) at each other, once seemed as faintly decadent as chain-smoking. In the Bankhead version, it is as strenuous as football. Miss Bankhead, between...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!