Blithe Spirits: Christine Ebersole to return to Broadway playing departed wife 'Elvira'

Variety reports that two-time Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole will star as the departed wife 'Elvira' in the Broadway revival of Noel Coward's comedy Blithe Spirits, to be directed by Michael Blakemore.

Ebersole won her first Tony for her role as 'Dorothy Brock' in '42nd Street' (2001 revival), and her second for her roles as 'Edie Beale / Edith Bouvier Bealei in 'Grey Gardens' (2006). Ebersole was nominated for a Tony for her work in 'Dinner at Eight' (2002 revival).

The same Variety report says that "Angela Lansbury and Rupert Everett are said to be on the wish list."

The comedy, which was first produced on Broadway 1941, is to open in Mar 2009 at a Shubert Theater still to be announced. Variety reports that the show will begin previews from 26 Feb 2008.

Blithe Spirits tells the story of socialite Charles Condomine an author seeking to expose psychics. During a seance with the eccentric medium Madame Arcati, Charle's dead wife, Elvira (Christine Ebersole), is accidentally summoned and refuses to leave. Only Charles can see and communicate with Elvira, and he grows increasingly alarmed once he relises that his dead wife is planing to kill him so that he can join her on the otherside - a plan which has unfortunate consequences for his present wife, Ruth.

Director Michael Blakemore is the winner of two Tony Awards: 'Kiss Me, Kate' (2000 revival) and 'Copenhagen' (2000). He has been nominated for Tony's for his staging of 'The Life' (1997), 'City of Angels' (1990), 'Lettice and Lovage' (1990), 'Noises Off' (1984), 'A Day in the Death of Joe Egg' (1968).

Blithe Spirits was revived on Broadway in 1987, directed by Brian Murray, it featured 'Richard Chamberlain' as 'Charles Condomine,' Blythe Danner as 'Elvira,' 'Judith Ivey' as 'Ruth' and Geraldine Page as 'Madame Arcati.' Page was nominated for a Tony for Best Actress for her performance.

The production will be produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Steve Traxler, currently represented on Broadway by Tracy Letts� August: Osage County and Spring Awakening. They are also the team behind the Broadway revival of David Mamet's Speed-the-Plough playing at the Ethal Barrymore Theatre from 3 Oct 2008 - 22 Feb 2009.

There has been no official announcement about this production.

Originally published on

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