It's not unusual: Against common sense and societal expectations, unlikely people fall in love.

In "Private Lives," divorcees meet by chance during their second honeymoons -- with new spouses. Despite the circumstances, and their volatile past, the two realize they're still in love.

"Even if they can't live with each other, what is absolutely true is that they can't live without each other," says Maria Aitken, director of the Huntington Theatre Company's production of the Noel Coward comedy. "This is not an uncommon predicament. It defines some of the most exciting love affairs that have ever been. Burton and Taylor, for example."

Ironically, notoriously warring Hollywood couple Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who married and divorced each other twice, performed in this show in 1983.


Aitken has also starred in "Private Lives." In fact, she holds a record for most performances in a Coward play.

"You leave the theater entranced by people who are flippant, bad-mannered, and break all the moral rules of the universe," she says. "It's very enjoyable to see a playwright manipulating people's mind-sets in an attractive way."

'Private Lives'

Through Sunday

Huntington Theatre

262 Huntington Ave., Boston

$15-$89, 617-266-0800

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