Blithe Spirit

Blithe Spirit

Blithe Spirit


BLITHE SPIRIT

Number of Previews: 20
Number of Performances: 145
First Preview : February 26, 2009
Opening Night : March 15, 2009
Closing Night : July 19, 2009

Opening Night Cast
Opening Night Cast
Christine Ebersole (Elvira)
Angela Lansbury (Madame Arcati)
Rupert Everett (Charles)
Jayne Atkinson (Ruth)
Simon Jones (Doctor Bradman)
Susan Louise O’Connor (Edith)
Deborah Rush (Mrs. Bradman)



OVERVIEW

Blithe Spirit, one of Noel Coward’s most popular comedies, was first seen on Broadway, in 1941, the same year it was produced in London where it set British box office records and was the longest running comedy (1997 performances) until it was eventually surpassed by Boeing-Boeing in the 1970’s. The original Broadway production played nearly two years and co-starred Leonora Corbett, Mildred Natwick, Clifton Webb and Peggy Wood. It was last seen on Broadway in an all-star production in 1987 with Richard Chamberlain, Blythe Danner, Judith Ivey, and Geraldine Page, in her final Broadway appearance. Coward, in his autobiography, claimed he wrote the play in five days during a holiday. Only two lines of dialogue were removed before its first production in London.

Blithe Spirit starred Four time Tony Award-winner Angela Lansbury (Sweeney Todd,Gypsy, Dear World, Mame), Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s Wedding, An Ideal Husband), Two time Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole (Grey Gardens, 42nd Street), and Two time Tony nominee Jayne Atkinson (“24”, “Recount” Enchanted April) Simon Jones (Waiting in the Wings, The Real Thing) and Deborah Rush (Noises Off!) round out the cast. The play was directed by two-time Tony Award winner Michael Blakemore (Kiss Me, Kate, Copenhagen).

Angela Lansbury received her fifth Tony Award, along with the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards for her portrayal of Madame Arcati.

AWARDS & REVIEWS

Awards

2009 Tony Award® Best Featured Actress in a Play – Angela Lansbury (winner)

2009 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play

Reviews

“Ms. Lansbury brings seven decades of experience with her – in work ranging from fabled musicals (“Mame,” “Sweeney Todd’”) to classic dark films (“Gaslight,” “The Manchurian Candidate”) – to the role of Madame Arcati, her juiciest in years. Even when she’s off her lines, she’s on top of her character, and she demonstrates how an expert can turn surface silliness into something of real substance.”
Ben Brantley, The New York Times

“The starry cast of the latest Broadway revival of “Blithe Spirit” delivers the goods, artfully keeping the classic Noel Coward comedy spinning merrily at the Shubert Theatre. But then it helps to have Angela Lansbury on hand to play Madame Arcati, the irrepressible spiritualist who delights in contacting those beyond the grave. She makes it look easy _ and blissfully funny _ as the woman who inadvertently sets up an otherworldly love triangle.”
Michael Kuchwara, Assosciated Press

“When a scintillating comedy, masterly direction and superior performances come together, what have you got? A rip-roaring revival of Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” that lights up Broadway’s Shubert Theatre.”
John Simon, Bloomberg News

CREDITS

Opening Night Production Credits

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Phillip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President)

Produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Steve Traxler, Scott M. Delman, Bat-Barry Productions, Broadway Across America (John Gore, CEO; Thomas B. McGrath, Chairman; Beth Williams, COO & Head of Production), Ken Davenport, Michael Filerman, Jeffrey Finn, Arlene Scanlan, Ronald Frankel, JK Productions, Kathleen K. Johnson, Patty Ann McKinnon, Judith Resnick, Terry Schnuck, Jamie deRoy/Alan D. Marks, Zev Bufman and Barbara & Buddy Freitag/Wendy Federman

Written by Noël Coward

Directed by Michael Blakemore; Associate Director: Kim Weild

Scenic Design by Peter J. Davison; Costume Design by Martin Pakledinaz; Lighting Design by Brian MacDevitt; Sound Design by Peter Fitzgerald; Wig Design by Paul Huntley; Associate Scenic Design: Ted LeFevre; Associate Costume Design: MaryAnn D. Smith; Associate Lighting Design: Caroline Chao; Assistant Sound Design: Megan Henninger

General Manager: Richards / Climan, Inc.; Company Manager: Bruce Klinger; Associate Gen. Mgr: John Gendron

Production Supervisor: Steven Zweigbaum; Production Manager: Aurora Productions; Production Stage Manager: Steven Zweigbaum; Stage Manager: Àra Marx

General Press Representative: Jeffrey Richards Associates and Irene Gandy; Advertising: Serino Coyne, Inc.; Casting: Telsey + Company; Psychic Consultant: Paula Roberts; Photographer: Robert J. Saferstein

Opening Night Cast

Christine Ebersole (Elvira)
Angela Lansbury (Madame Arcati)
Rupert Everett (Charles)
Jayne Atkinson (Ruth)
Simon Jones (Doctor Bradman)
Susan Louise O’Connor (Edith)
Deborah Rush (Mrs. Bradman)

Understudies: Mark Capri (Charles, Doctor Bradman), Elizabeth Norment (Edith, Elvira, Ruth), Sandra Shipley (Madame Arcati, Mrs. Bradman).


PHOTO GALLERY

Photos

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