#TBT: The 20th Century Wit of Noel Coward
BY Christopher Harrity
May 22 2014 4:00 AM ET
We are terribly pleased to hear Chris Colfer will be portraying Noël Coward in a film shooting this summer. Coward was astoundingly productive and amazingly famous for most of the last century. His first play was written in 1917 and his songs enjoyed a big revival in the '60s and '70s. His plays Private Lives, Design for Living, and Blithe Spirit still enjoy rollicking productions and they were all made into films. His songs are the essence of wit and clever syncopation. And his life, though reasonably discreet, was led with style and panache.
In praise of Coward's versatility, Lord Mountbatten said, in a tribute on Coward's 70th birthday, "There are probably greater painters than Noël, greater novelists than Noël, greater librettists, greater composers of music, greater singers, greater dancers, greater comedians, greater tragedians, greater stage producers, greater film directors, greater cabaret artists, greater TV stars. If there are, they are 14 different people. Only one man combined all 14 different labels – the Master."
Chris Colfer has quite the silk dressing gown to fill.
Below, enjoy Coward's deadpan epigrams.