Best of Fall #9: Kim Cattrall dazzles as the brittle Amanda in Noël Coward’s Private Lives (proving she’s much more than Carrie Bradshaw’s sidekick)
For many people, Kim Cattrall’s body of work begins and ends with Samantha Jones, the ageless, tireless publicist who put much of the sex—lewd, shameless, hilarious—in Sex and the City. But Cattrall’s career has been about much more than breathy double entendres and a legendary libido. Born in Liverpool and raised in British Columbia, she was discovered at age 17 by Otto Preminger. In the span between dating Pierre Trudeau in 1981 and co-writing Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm in 2002, Cattrall starred in Porky’s and played a Vulcan in Star Trek VI, a mannequin in Mannequin and Britney Spears’ mom in Crossroads. Often ignored in discussions of this eclectic CV, however, are Cattrall’s accomplishments on the stage. In 1986, she made her Broadway debut opposite Ian McKellen in an adaptation of Chekhov’s Wild Honey, and over the next two decades she appeared in half a dozen major theatrical productions. Earlier this year, in London’s West End, she dazzled as Amanda in Noël Coward’s 1930 classic Private Lives. Coward’s tart, impudent play tells of a divorced couple who reunite and fall in love (and hate) again while on honeymoon with their new spouses. The Telegraph described Cattrall as a “vision to behold…miraculously combining vulnerability with sharp wit.” This month, at the Royal Alex, Cattrall trains that sharp wit on Paul Gross, before the pair takes the production to Broadway in November. Amanda has been played before by many greats—Elizabeth Taylor, Maggie Smith—but Cattrall’s incarnation inevitably recalls her best-loved character. When she says, “To hell with love,” you can almost imagine Carrie Bradshaw in the wings, taking notes.
Oct. 16 to 30
Royal Alexandra Theatre