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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Angela Lansbury joins the cast of "Blithe Spirit"

The Fab Marquee News Desk.

Variety magazine reports that Angela Lansbury is joining Rupert Everett and Christine Ebersole in the Broadway revival of Blithe Spirit.

The play will be produced by the group behind August: Osage County and the current Speed-The-Plow. Blithe Spirit is scheduled to begin performance on February 26th at a Shubert Theater yet to be announced.

In her acclaimed career on stage, film and television, Lansbury is the recipient of four Tony Awards for her starring roles in Mame, Dear World, Gypsy and Sweeney Todd; three Academy Award nominations for Gaslight, The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Manchurian Candidate; and 18 Emmy Award nominations, including 12 for her series, "Murder, She Wrote".

Michael Blakemore
will be directing. In 2000 Blakemore became the only director to receive a Tony for both Best Direction of a Musical and Best Direction of a Play in the same year for his work on Copenhagen and Kiss Me Kate.

Blithe Spirit is a comedy written in 1941 and tells the story of a socialite Charles Condomine who is haunted by his late wife Elvira's ghost after he takes part in a seance. The play set box office records for a straight play on the West End that were not broken until the 1970 premiere of Boeing-Boeing.
The Broadway premiere took place on November 5, 1941 at the Morosco Theatre directed by John C. Wilson and designer by Stewart Chaney. The play transferred to the Booth Theatre on May 18, 1942 and it ran a total of 657 performances. It was revived at the Neil Simon Theatre on March 31, 1987 in a production directed by Brian Murray. In its most notable casting it featured Richard Chamberlain as Charles, Blythe Danner as Elvira, Judith Ivey as Ruth and Geraldine Page, who received a Tony nomination for Best Actress, as Madame Arcati. It ran for 104 performances.

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