Blithe Spirit Producers Seeking Medium to Conjure Spirit of Playwright Coward

News   Blithe Spirit Producers Seeking Medium to Conjure Spirit of Playwright Coward
Although true psychics should already know this news, producers of the forthcoming revival of Blithe Spirit — which begins previews Feb. 26 at the Shubert Theatre — are seeking a psychic or medium to work with the cast of the Noel Coward comedy to "guarantee that each performance is every bit as genuine as possible."

Auditions will be held Jan. 22 at Sardi's, 234 West 44th Street.

Producers, according to a press release, are "seeking real-life mediums or actors who are also mediums to prepare a two-minute audition to conjure the spirit of Noel Coward or to display any psychic abilities. This psychic or medium chosen will receive full credit as the show's official consultant in the show's Playbill." Those interested should e-mail their name and resume to Those chosen will receive a confirmation e-mail.

As previously reported, four-time Tony winner Angela Lansbury will play psychic Madame Arcati, and two-time Tony winner Christine Ebersole (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, two-time Tony Award nominee Jayne Atkinson as Ruth Condomine and Tony nominee Deborah Rush as Mrs. Bradman. Michael Blakemore, who directed Lansbury in Deuce, will direct.

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

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.

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.

The Shubert Theatre is located in Manhattan at 225 West 44th Street. Tickets are available by calling (212) 239-6200 or by visiting

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