The Theater: Champagne and Bitters

NOËL COWARD IN TWO KEYS

by NOËL COWARD

Noël Coward's iridescent wit sometimes did not quite conceal a quality in him that was sentimental and even heartbroken. Nothing vulgar or mawkish, of course—just a sense of life's complicated unforgiveness. These two short plays, which were among his last works and probably not his best, still glisten with the famous Coward talent to amuse. But the evening ends with a certain suppressed sadness.

The two are part of a set of three short plays in which Coward starred in London in 1966. The curtain-raiser, Come into the Garden, Maud, is a fast five-finger exercise...

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