Blithe Spirit

BLITHE SPIRIT

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The Company Theatre kicks off the 20th season with this classic farce by Noel Coward. It takes place in the living room of successful British novelist Charles Condomine and his second wife Ruth, who have invited guests over for a séance with psychic medium Madame Arcati. All are highly skeptical of Madame Arcati's true ability to reach "beyond the grave;" however, they humor her so Charles can get material for a book he is researching. Everyone, including Madame Arcati, is completely taken by surprise when the ghost of Charles' spoiled and selfish first wife Elvira actually appears to haunt & harass and, even more troubling, refuses to return to the spirit world.  Charles soon realizes the dangers of dabbling in the occult when he discovers that Elvira is hatching a diabolical plot that involves murder! What ensues is a wacky romp through this world and into the next, complete with surprising twists and disastrous results!

PHONE: 800-838-3006

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REVIEW: Cast keeps "Blithe Spirit" lively

Noel Coward's stage classic stays fresh with unexpected ending.

Reviewed by Michael E. Barrett of the San Antonio Express-News

The traveling Company Theatre is teaming with Little Italy for its latest dinner-and-a-show staging of "Blithe Spirit", a classic comedy –fantasy.

Conveniently, the whole play takes place in one living room of an English country house.  It belongs to the irascible Charles Condomine (Damian Gillen) and his second wife Ruth (Heather Kelley).  They are the kind of people who sit around having cocktails and exchanging witticisms while the work is done by their clumsy maid (Erin Polewski).

Charles is writing a novel about a phony medium who gets in touch with the spirit world, so he invites local town kook Madame Arcati (Ida Steele) to dinner to make notes on the tricks of the trade.  Other guests are Dr. Bradman (John Eubanks) and his tippling wife (Joan Fox).

The séance seems to be something of a bust until Charles' late wife Elvira (Lauren Kelly) shows up, though she can only be seen and heard by Charles. 

This material is light as a feather and serves as a showcase for characters to shout at each other and behave eccentrically, so everything rests on the actors' ability to play these roles broadly and amusingly, which they do.  Gillen and Kelley have the straightest roles, but they keep them properly cartoonish instead of serious; Gillen doesn't mug exactly, but his face is always mobile.

The showiest role is Madame Arcati, who gets to dance, faint and generally feel the spirit; sometimes the role is flighty buy Steele plays her as more of a grande dame mixed with aging hippie, and it works just as well.  Fox plays the doctor's wife broadly and gets laughs as she carries on.

As the pesky ghost, Kelly doesn't have much to do besides indulge in catty mischief.  Still, she's attractive enough to show why Charles might prefer to spend time with his less-corporal wife. As part of the absurdity and black humor, Noel Coward takes the plot in directions that may surprise an unsuspecting audience.

The ending isn't exactly the same as the classic movie version, but neither play nor film does exactly what you'd expect, which is probably why the material can still seem fresh. 

With a polished cast, this production is safely in the realm of entertaining dinner theatre. 


"Blithe Spirit" can be seen at 6pm Wednesday-Saturday; doors open for dinner at 6pm at Little Italy, 824 Afterglow.  Tickets range from $30 to $40 for the dinner/show package.  Call (800) 838-3006 for reservations.

 


Cast of Characters:
Edith (Erin Polewski) - The Condomine's maid, Edith is always in a hurry.

Ruth (Heather Kelley)- A smart looking woman in her thirties, Ruth is the wife of Charles. She is a bit jealous of Charles's relationship with his first wife.

Dr. Bradman - Dr. Bradman is a friend of the Condomines.

Mrs. Bradman - The wife of Dr. Bradman, Mrs. Bradman is middle-aged and a bit faded.

Elvira (Nikki Young) - Charles Condomine's deceased first wife, Elvira returns as a ghost with a goal. In the process, she makes Charles's and Ruth's lives very complicated.

Madame Arcati (Ida Steele) A professional spiritualist, Madame Arcati is a striking woman. She is not too extravagant but has a definite bias toward the barbaric.

Charles Condomine (Damian Gillen) - Charles is an intelligent and urbane English novelist. Charles is the husband of Ruth Condomine and deceased first wife, Elvira.


TICKETS ON SALE:

CALL: 210-646-4284

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WHEN: Oct. 30 - Nov. 2nd  
Doors open for Drinks & Dinner @ 6pm, Show @ 7pm (NOTE NEW TIMES!)  

COSTUME PARTY & CONTEST ON HALLOWEEN NIGHT!

WHERE: The Big Apple Room at Little Italy (824 Afterglow @ West Ave, near Blanco Rd.)

PRICE: Only $30 for Dinner & Show combo (Tickets are $40 at the door. Seating is limited, reservations are strongly suggested!)

CALL FOR TICKETS: 800-838-3006

The Dinnerbox menu includes bread, salad, pizza snacks, tea or coffee and your choice of entree:

  • Baked Lasagna w/ Meat - Pasta Sheets layered with Italian seasoned ground beef, cheese & marinara sauce.
  • Baked Lasagna w/ Spinach - Fresh spinach sautee layered with pasta sheets, cheeses & marinara sauce.
  • Chicken Parmigiana – Hand breaded chicken breast fried then baked and topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.
  • Spaghetti with Meatballs – Homemade Italian seasoned ground beef Meatballs in tomato sauce over a bed of spaghetti.
  • Personal Pizza with one topping.

Beer & wine available for purchase separately. 

Please tip your waitstaff.

Don't feed the actors...they might bite.

Please email your Dinnerbox menu selection immediately upon ordering your tickets: info@thecompanytheatre.org