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USU Eastern to present comedy, ‘Blithe Spirit’


The production of Blithe Spirit will be presented in the Peterson Black Box Theatre in Price for two weekends.

    If you like Noel Coward plays, you will like USU Eastern’s production of “Blithe Spirit.” It is an improbable farce that is set to open the weekends of Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2 and Dec. 7-9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Peterson Black Box Theatre.
    The comedy was first produced in 1941 on Broadway and later in London. Currently, “Blithe Spirit” has 43 productions showing in the United States and England, proving the lasting appeal of the play, said USU Eastern Director Corey Ewan.
    It was made into a film in 1945 starring Rex Harrison of “My Fair Lady” fame and Kay Hammond who was in the original London Cast. The latest professional production was several years ago with Angela Lansbury recreating the role of Madame Arcati, both in London and New York, and finally at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.
    The story concerns the socialite and novelist Charles Condomine who invites the eccentric medium and clairvoyant, Madame Arcati, to his house to conduct a séance in hopes of gathering material for his next book.
    Condomine wants to learn more about the occult for a novel he is writing.
    The séance backfires when the ghost of his annoying and temperamental first wife, Elvira, who has been dead seven years, haunts him. She is moody, morally bankrupt and desperate to disrupt Condomine’s current marriage to his second wife.
Eventually she wants Condomine to join her in the spirit world and plans his death.
    After 71 years, the “Blithe Spirit” production is still a favorite play of theatre goers throughout the U.S. Irving Wardle of “The Times” wrote, “Stylistically, it is Coward’s masterpiece: his most complete success in imposing his own view of things on the brute facts of existence.”
    Ewan chose this show because, “I had seen past productions, some good some not so good. I wanted the chance to do a good production. The play is a challenge in that there is little action, but lots of very witty dialogue. This is what Noel Coward was known for. . . This is a perfect counterpoint to the last production in that we get to play comedy.”        The setting for the Condomine home is based on British homes of the upper class in Kent.
    Scenic designer Brent Innes is combining set pieces from several past shows to create the Condomine home. “The challenge is to find unique and fun ways to create the special effects required by the show. I think we will all be quite surprised by what we will see . . . or not see,” Innes said. There are a number of “ghostly-specific-special effects” for the show.
    The cast includes Charles Condomine played by Tate Sommerfeldt, a graduate of Cardston High School in Alberta, Canada; Cheyenne Davis, a graduate of Maple Mountain High School in Springville, plays his second wife Ruth and Brooke Gailey, a graduate of Blackfoot High School in Blackfoot, Idaho, plays his first wife Elivra. Emily Dale, a graduate of Stansbury High School in Stansbury, plays Madame Arcati who leads the séances and spells.
    Two Carbon High School graduates make up the cast including Dr. Bradman played by Josh Demie and Edith played by Scyler Smith.
Bradman’s wife is played by Bethany Peyton, a graduate of Wayne County High School in Teasdale.
Christopher Vlamakis of Helper is stage manager with Gabe Marcotte of DaVinci Academy in Ogden as the assistant stage manager.

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