‘Blithe Spirit’ an uplifting show about the supernatural
BAKER CITY — Charles Condomine has a problem.
It all started out well enough — he needed fodder for his novel about a homicidal spiritualist, so he invited a local clairvoyant to dinner to make notes on her behavior during a seance.
Except Madame Arcati is good at her craft — she falls into a trance, the table trembles and Charles suddenly hears the voice of his late wife, Elvira. Then he sees her ghost, and Elvira is not interested in leaving.
Charles’ current wife, Ruth, is not amused.
This comedy is called “Blithe Spirit,” and was written by Noel Coward during World War II. Fleeing London during the Blitz, Coward wrote the play as a way for the audience to escape reality for a few hours — there is no mention of bombs or war.
‘Blithe’ means happy
“He wrote it to lift the spirits of everyone,” said Director Scot Violette. “He wanted people to see this play and get away from life for an hour or two.”
Eastern Oregon Regional Theatre will present “Blithe Spirit” at 7 p.m. Oct. 27-28 and 3 p.m. Oct. 29. Performances are in the Iron Gate Theatre, located upstairs in Basche-Sage Place, 2101 Main St., Baker City.
Tickets are $12 adults, $10 EORT members and $8 students. These can purchased online at bakerlivetheatre.com or at the door.
With its supernatural undercurrent, Violette put his magician background to work. The play features a table that jumps and spins, a door slamming on its own accord and flying objects.
Also, with the help of black lights, the ghosts in the play are a bit luminescent while wearing white on stage.
Speaking of ghosts — another ghost ends up joining Elvira, although not the one she intended with her various plots to kill Charles so he could join her in the afterlife.
And through a good chunk of the play, Charles is juggling two women in his life — one only he can hear, and the one who really wants the spirit to leave them in peace. Too many women are making his life a bit … difficult.
The cast features Paul McNeil, Tera Taylor, Jennifer Button, Elisabeth Munsell, David Salo, Sarah Crump and Samantha O’Conner. The tech crew includes Director Scot Violette, Michael Dean on lights and sound, Lynne Proudfoot for set painting and stage hands Grace Taylor and Savanah Brown.