Everyone longs to spend just five more minutes with a loved one who has passed on. But what if that loved one shows up just to cause havoc for you and your new love? This is exactly what happens in the Noël Coward’s comedy Blithe Spirit currently playing at Lyric Arts in Anoka.
It is late summer in 1941 and Charles and Ruth Condomine have invited their friends Dr & Mrs. Bradman to their home in Kent, England for a séance lead by Madame Arcati. Charles is working on his next book, and is using the séance as research. Prior to the séance Charles is skeptical of Madame Arcati’s abilities, but soon after he is visited by his first wife, Elvira. Naturally, she only appears to him, leaving his current wife Ruth to think he is either drunk or ill. Then, when you add in Edith their socially awkward maid you have a recipe for comedy.
For me, there were two actors who stole the show and provided the true source of comedy…Hannah Weinberg and Grif Sadow. As the socially awkward maid Edith, Hannah Weinberg gives a great comedic performance. From her insistent need to rush in and out of the room, to her hilarious table clearing scene. I’m not sure if the role of Madame Arcati is traditionally played by a guy, but the casting of Grif Sadow in this role was genius. His timing is perfect on little zingers delivered throughout the show and his séance dances are not to be missed.
Costume designer Samantha Fromm Haddow did a fantastic job with design of Elvira’s dress. The flowing grayish-purple dress was perfect to give the allusion of a ghost. Scenic Designer Mark Koski’s drawing room design transports you right to a summer home in England. The attention to detail in the design is amazing.
Blithe Spirit runs through January 25 at Lyric Arts Main Stage in Anoka. For more information on the show, visit their website.