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Private Lives

Initially Private Lives was to be a one-off show and recorded, but plans quickly escalated and it became a touring production. Unfortunately, the show was never recorded.

While Private Lives was not a critical success, it was a massive commercial success, with the public loving the idea of Taylor and Burton playing a divorced couple who run into one another on their separate honeymoons. Elizabeth said Amanda and Eliot were “two middle-aged people who, though miles down the road from their once all-consuming passion, still care deeply for each other”.

While rehearsing for Private Lives, Elizabeth stayed at old friend Rock Hudson’s apartment near Central Park.

Architectural Digest magazine published a story on Elizabeth and Richard’s dressing rooms. Elizabeth’s sported a massive fish tank and had lavender walls.

Many nights the curtain would go up late as the audience was still getting to their seats—they could usually be found outside awaiting Elizabeth’s grand arrival.

Elizabeth introduced Alvin, a parrot into the final act of the play. Her companion since 1980, Alvin appeared in most shows, but was forced to sit out the Chicago run due to a cold.

Mike Todd had asked Elizabeth and then husband Michael Wilding to appear on Broadway in Private Lives many years before. Todd’s production of course never materialized.

Shubert Theatre, Boston (April 7, 1983-?)
Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, New York (May 8, 1983-?)
Forrest Theatre, Philadelphia (August 1983-?)
Kennedy Center, Washington (three weeks)
Wilshire Theatre, Los Angeles (?-November 1983)

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Elizabeth Taylor Archives © Copyright 2001-2009 Andrew Budgell