"I remember saying, to no one in particular, when we played Blithe Spirit on Broadway, that the experience was so enjoyable and satisfying that I'd be happy to do it wherever Dame Angela and Michael Blakemore wanted to take it," said Jones in a statement. "I'm vastly pleased that they heard me and took me at my word. It's a sheer delight to be in such a polished and surely definitive production as this is, and it's going to be truly a pleasure to see and hear audiences all over North America surrendering to the infectious high spirits of this timeless comedy and the performance of our timeless leading lady."
As previously announced, five-time Tony winner Lansbury will return to the role of Madame Arcati following a Tony-winning Broadway run and a critically acclaimed London engagement.
Directed by Michael Blakemore, performances will begin Dec. 9 at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles with an official opening on Dec. 14.
Following the closing of the LA engagement on Jan. 18, 2015, the tour will continue to SHN’s Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco Jan. 20-Feb. 1 and Mirvish Productions’ Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto Feb. 10-March 15. The tour will conclude in Washington, DC, March 17-29 at the National Theatre, where Lansbury made her first pre-Broadway stage debut nearly 58 years ago to the day.
Lansbury will be joined by Charles Edwards, Jemima Rooper and Charlotte Parry with Susan Louise O'Connor and Sandra Shipley. Additional casting will be announced. ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼“During the course of my career, I’ve had the good fortune to play many, many unique and wonderful roles in the movies, on stage and television,” said Lansbury in a statement. “And it is a joy to once again step into the role of Madame Arcati, and bring Noël Coward’s classic comedy Blithe Spirit to wonderful audiences here in North America who have supported me for over seven decades.”
The production will also have scenic and costume designs by Helen Hayes Award winner Simon Higlett (Lansbury’s costume designs are by two-time Tony Award winner Martin Pakledinaz) and sound design by Olivier Award winners Ben and Max Ringham.
"Researching for his new novel," press notes state, "Charles Condomine invites the implausible medium Madame Arcati to his house for a séance. While consumed in a trance, Madame Arcati unwittingly summons the ghost of Charles’ dead wife Elvira. Appearing only to Charles, Elvira soon makes a play to reclaim her husband, much to the chagrin of Charles’ new wife Ruth. One husband, two feuding wives and a whisper of mischief in the air – who will win in Coward’s unworldly comedy?"
For more information visit BlitheSpiritThePlay.com.