Stage and screen legend Angela Lansbury will play Madame Arkati opposite previously announced stars Christine Ebersole and Rupert Everett in the forthcoming Broadway revival of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit. Direced by Michael Blakemore, who guided Lansbury to a Tony-nominated performance in the 2007 comedy Deuce, the production will begin performances on February 26, 2009, and open in March at a Shubert theater to be announced.
In Coward's 1941 farce, Lansbury plays the eccentric medium hired by author Charles Condomine Everett to perform a seance at his home during a party in order to seek material for an expose he's planning on psychics. Much to the dismay of Charles' second wife a part still to be cast, Madame Arkati winds up summoning the spirit of Elvira Ebersole, his first wife, who has plans to get revenge on her former husband.
Lansbury received Tony Awards for Sweeney Todd, Gypsy, Dear World and Mame in a stellar stage career that includes the Broadway productions of A Little Family Business, The King and I, Anyone Can Whistle, A Taste of Honey and Hotel Paradiso. During a long film career, she received Oscar nominations for The Manchurian Candidate, The Picture of Dorian Gray and Gaslight. From 1984-1996 Lansbury starred as mystery-writing sleuth Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote, for which she won four Golden Globe Awards.
Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Steve Traxler will produce the revival of Blithe Spirit, which will feature sets by Peter J. Davison, costumes by Martin Pakledinaz and lighting by Brian MacDevitt.