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Blithe Spirit

The cast of this starry revival includes Angela Lansbury, Christine Ebersole and Rupert Everett.

Christine Ebersole Headed Back to Broadway in Coward's Blithe Spirit

Christine Ebersole Headed Back to Broadway in Coward's Blithe Spirit
Christine Ebersole
Two-time Tony winner Christine Ebersole has signed on to star in a Broadway revival of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, according to Variety. Michael Blakemore will direct the production, which is scheduled to begin performances on February 26, 2009, and open in March at a Shubert theater to be determined.

Ebersole will play Elvira, the ghost who haunts her husband, Charles Condomine, in Coward's 1941 comedy. Variety reports that Angela Lansbury who received a 2007 Tony nomination for Blakemore's production of Deuce is on the casting "wish list," presumably for the role of the medium Madame Arkati, as is Rupert Everett as Charles.

Ebersole won a 2007 Best Actress Tony for her dual roles as Edith and Little Edie Beale in the musical Grey Gardens. She also won a 2001 Tony for playing Dorothy Brock in the Broadway revival of 42nd Street and received a 2003 Tony nomination for Dinner at Eight. Other Broadway credits include Steel Magnolias, The Best Man, Getting Away with Murder, Camelot and Oklahoma! As a recording artist, Ebersole recently released the CD Sunday in New York, accompanied by Billy Stritch.

One of Coward’s most popular comedies, Blithe Spirit set British box office records as the longest running comedy until it was surpassed in the 1970s by Boeing-Boeing. The original Broadway production played nearly two years and co-starred Leonora Corbett, Mildred Natwick, Clifton Webb and Peggy Wood. It was last seen in New York in 1987 with Richard Chamberlain, Blythe Danner, Judith Ivey, and Geraldine Page, in her final Broadway appearance. In his autobiography, Coward claimed he wrote the play in five days during a holiday, removing only two lines of dialogue before its first production in London.

Blithe Spirit will be produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Steve Traxler, the team behind the revival of David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow, which begins previews on October 3 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

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