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 starredFour time Tony Award-winnerAngela Lansbury(Sweeney Todd,Gypsy, Dear World, Mame), Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s Wedding, An Ideal Husband), Two time Tony Award winnerChristine 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 Lansburyreceived her fifth Tony Award, along with the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards for her portrayal of Madame Arcati.
Cast & Creative Team
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)
Awards & Nominations