Playreaders Moves to Three Nights with Coward Classic
By Michael Gottlieb
To accommodate the crowds, Playreaders moves to its high-season schedule of three performances per production with the Noel Coward world-class comedy, Blithe Spirit. This much-revived classic from the playwright of Private Lives offers up socialite novelist Charles Condomine, who invites the eccentric medium and clairvoyant Madame Arcati to his house to conduct a séance, hoping to gather material for his next book. The scheme backfires when he is haunted by the ghost of his catty and temperamental first wife, Elvira, after the séance. Elvira makes continual attempts to disrupt Charles’s marriage to his second wife, Ruth, who cannot see or hear the ghost.
Playreaders presents: Blithe Spirit
Tue, Wed, and Thu, Dec 2, 3, and 4, 7:30pm
St. Paul’s Church
Spirit characters have been part of theater since its Greek beginnings. In Shakespeare’s time, ghosts were prominent in his tragedies. Hamlet can see his father’s doomed specter, but Queen Gertrude sees nothing; she thinks her son has gone nuts. It’s a fun theatrical concept, perhaps now well worn. Despite this, Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit still feels fresh. The play goes beyond the comic mix-ups inherent in most supernatural comedies. Blithe Spirit playfully mocks the traditions of love and marriage. It also thumbs its nose at the Grim Reaper. West End audiences embraced this darkly amusing romp and the show became a resounding success that continues to haunt the British and American stage 70 years later.
Directed by Michael Gottlieb, the stellar cast of talented actors includes Jim Wright, Jill Gottlieb, John Wharton, Anne Campbell, Gerri Baruch, Barbara Ziff, and Cheri Rae Wright. Performances start at 7:30pm or earlier if the house is full. Doors open at 7pm, no advance tickets. Donation: 20 pesos.