|You don’t need a crystal ball to find a great night of theatre with a farcical script, superb acting and hysterical laughter. Noel Coward’s classic play gets new life at the Skokie Theatre, running now through June 26. |
The plot revolves around author Charles Condomine, who is uninspired when writing his new book. He enlists the help of one Madame Arcati, a psychic who believes in séances, for his research. Seemingly happily married to his second wife Ruth after his first wife has passed away, Arcati manages to conjure up the spirit of his first wife, the exotic Elvira. The problem is Elvira likes it back on earth and doesn’t want to leave. Charles is the only one who can see or hear her, so that causes a bit of a problem for Ruth, who doesn’t like sharing Charles with Elvira one little bit.
Hilarity ensues as Charles tries to figure out how to deal with both wives, and send Elvira back. Only when the audience discovers Elvira’s true intentions does the plot become even more complicated.
Starring Andrew Pond from the theatre’s recent production of Cooking With Bubbie, Side Effects May Include, Rocket City, Alabam’, Clutter, and more. Andrew also serves as the Artistic Director of the Eclectic Full Contact Theatre, which also produced the show. Michael Wood directs.
The play features Andrew Pond as Charles, Maiko Terazawa as Ruth, Jessica Lauren Fisher as Elvira, Christopher Grella as Dr. Bradman, Lisa McConnell as Mrs. Bradman, Jan Slavin as Madame Arcati and Kaeley Osterman as Edith.
Andrew Pond is outstanding as Charles who wears his conflicted feelings for the women he loves on his sleeve. His comedic chops are also evident in his physical comedy where he stumbles over things, falls and tries to hide. Jan Slavin as Madame Arcati is fabulous as the medium who is more thrilled with her achievements than the reality of the ruckus it caused. You’ll remember her from the “Boomer Babes” and she is a stitch every time she’s on stage. Lauren Jessica Lauren Fisher is a seductive as they come as Elvira, the enticing first wife with her graceful movements and come hither look.
Kudos to set designer Amanda Grissom for her elegant staging and costume designer Emily Bloomer for her amazing period costumes and makeup for the ghostly women.
Fans of Noel Coward will appreciate one of his signature theatrical devices at the end of the play, where the central character tiptoes out as the curtain falls.
The show gives a whole new meaning to be “ghosted!”
For tickets for the remaining shows, go to eclectictheatre.com/blithespirit.
Coming up next is the start of the new 2022-2023 season, “Avenue Q – The Musical” from July 8 – August 7, “Falling for Make Believe,” September 9 – October 16; “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”
from November 4 – 20, “Book of Merman” from February 3 – 26, 2023 and “Rumors” from March 31 – April 23, 2023.
For season tickets, go to skokietheatre.org