Due to unforeseen circumstances, Opening Night for BLITHE SPIRIT has been rescheduled from Thursday, October 19 to Friday, October 20. The rest of the performance schedule for the show remains the same.
“Blithe Spirit is one of Noël Coward’s greatest hits — an audience favorite around the world for more than half a century,” said director John Sherwood. “That’s because it’s a hugely imaginative fantasy that flirts with farce and black comedy with the trademark style and wit one links so strongly with Sir Noël.”
The story begins when a British novelist, hoping to gather material for a new book, invites a clairvoyant medium to his house to hold a séance. Accidentally, the medium produces the ghost of the writer’s temperamental first wife. The scheming ghost refuses to go away, making life excruciating for the novelist and his insecure second wife, who must battle the unseen spirit for her husband’s attention.
Sherwood has streamlined Coward’s script to focus on the action, while applying his own 50-year study of stage magic and special effects to raise the level of supernatural shenanigans throughout the play.
“Coward was a magician with his stories and humor, but not with magic itself, so the special effects he suggested were limited,” Sherwood said. “We plan to stay true to his intent, but we’ll be ramping up the ghostly fun and putting in some quirky tricks of our own.”
Another goal is to make sure none of Coward’s wry wisdom is lost, Sherwood said.
“Coward’s humor is based on some of his unique ideas about life, love, death and what can only be called moral ambiguity,” he said. “The result is that this play definitely has literary meat on its bones, plus a psychological attitude that flatly dissects why people can’t get along with each other.
“In fact, Coward claimed he deliberately made all of his characters pretty awful people,” Sherwood said. “If you liked them, you’d think that his story was tragic and unhappy. But because it happens to people who are all deeply annoying and self-absorbed, what happens to them is extremely funny – and their fate is satisfyingly well deserved. Audiences have been agreeing with Sir Noël for 70 years.”