By Andrew Gans
10 Dec 2008
As previously reported, four-time Tony winner Angela Lansbury will play psychic Madame Arcati and two-time Tony winner Christine Ebersole (Tony winner for Grey Gardens and 42nd Street) will be the ghostly Elvira in a cast that also boasts film star Rupert Everett ("My Best Friend's Wedding," "Another Country" and "An Ideal Husband"), who will be making his Broadway debut as Charles Condomine, theatre veteran Simon Jones as Mr. Bradman and two-time Tony Award nominee Jayne Atkinson as Ruth Condomine. Michael Blakemore, who directed Lansbury in Deuce, will direct.
Rush will play the role of Mrs. Bradman. The role of Edith has yet to be cast.
Tickets for Blithe Spirit go on sale exclusively to American Express card holders Dec. 10. Tickets for the general public will go on sale Dec. 20.
Deborah Rush was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress for her work in Noises Off! Her other Broadway credits include Absurd Person Singular, Hay Fever, The Sisters Rosensweig and Dance With Me. Rush's screen credits include "Strangers with Candy," "Law and Order," "Spin City," "Julie and Julia," "You've Got Mail" and "Purple Rose of Cairo."
The design team will include set designer Peter J. Davison, costume designer Martin Pakledinaz and lighting designer Brian MacDevitt.
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.
he 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.
The Shubert Theatre is located in Manhattan at 225 West 44th Street.