Ebersole Will Materialize in Broadway's New Blithe Spirit

News   Ebersole Will Materialize in Broadway's New Blithe Spirit Christine Ebersole will play ghostly Elvira in the spring 2009 Broadway revival of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, Variety reported.
Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole
Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole

The 2007 Tony Award-winning actress, who played two roles in the musical Grey Gardens, will be directed by Michael Blakemore, as previously announced, at a Shubert Theatre to be announced.

Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Steve Traxler, who are also producing the upcoming revival of David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow, will produce the comedy about a married man whose dead first wife materializes to make mischief.

No other casting has been announced.

A March 2009 opening is expected. Variety reported a Feb. 26, 2009, first preview.

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In Blithe Spirit, one of Coward's biggest successes, novelist Charles Condomine, living with his second wife, Ruth, invites a local medium, Madame Arcati, to his house. His intention is to do some research into the spirit world for his new book. But he gets more than he bargained for when Arcati conjures up the ghost of Charles first wife, Elvira. Caught between one live wife and one dead wife — both jealous of the other — Charles thinks matters couldn't be worse.

Blakemore's Broadway directing credits include Democracy, Deuce, Is He Dead?, Copenhagen (Tony Award), Kiss Me, Kate (Tony Award), The Life, City of Angels, Noises Off and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.

Ebersole won her first Tony for the 2001 revival of 42nd Street.

The most recent revival of Coward's 1941 comedy played the Neil Simon Theatre in 1987. Directed by Brian Murray, the cast featured Richard Chamberlain, Blythe Danner, Judith Ivey, Geraldine Page, Nicola Cavendish, Patricia Conolly and William LeMassena.

The original Broadway production starred Clifton Webb as Charles, Peggy Wood as wife Ruth and Leonora Corbett as Elvira. Mildred Natwick was eccentric medium Madame Arcati. The play originated in London, with Coward starring as Charles.

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