Friday, February 20, 2015

Blithe Spirit ft. Angela Lansbury

My main Valentine's Day gift this year was tickets to see Blithe Spirit. I have been drooling at the mouth for tickets to see this play since I first heard it was coming to Toronto. Angela Lansbury is one of my favorite actresses, which I believe I have mentioned here before. And to hear she was going to grace the stage in my city? The stuff dreams are made of! I felt privileged just to be in the same room with her. Best Valentine's Day gift ever!

blithe spirit angela lansbury broadway play review
Angela stars as Madame Arcati and Charles Edwards stars as Charles Condomine. I don't watch Downton Abbey (though I should try it), but you might know Charles as Michael Gregson. The other stars include Sandra Shipley, Simon Jones (actor, not the cricket player), Jemima Rooper, and Charlotte Parry. This play is written with fast wit and conversation, which is the humor that I am most attracted to. And while it has been hinted that Coward did not much like Oscar Wilde, this play in particular reminds me very much of Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest. That's not a bad thing at all, in my opinion.

I would be crazy if I did not say that Angela stole the show, but the actors around her did not crumble under her spotlight. They each held their own and did an amazing job. In another reminding, the maid Edith makes me think of Manuel from Fawlty Towers! Susan Louise O'Connor did a great job of portraying her. I would say that she and Angela were the two to get the loudest laughs from me, though I would also say there were rarely moments that I wasn't laughing or chuckling.

At 89, I am certain that Angela Lansbury kicked her leg up higher than I can during her seance dance. She moves and owns the stage no differently than she always has. If you did not know her age, you sure would not be able to guess it. It was an absolute pleasure to see her perform and I only wish that it had not been -6F outside, so that I may have met her at the stage door. It was truly an experience that I will never forget.
Photo by Joan Marcus
A quick play synopsis can be found on Wikipedia. This is playing in Toronto at the Princess of Wales Theatre until March 15. From Toronto, it will move to Washington, DC before ending. And let's all hope that it will tour again, because it is a masterpiece!


Wendy Banner said...

I adore Angela Lansbury! There is nothing better than a night at the theater seeing a show! Xx

Wendy Banner said...

What a treat for you! I cannot even imagine your excitement! I love Downton Abbey, but am very behind. You should definitely give it a whirl. It's really good!!!

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