PHOTO BY LINDA GJESVOLD

BLITHE SPIRIT

CLASSIC COMEDY SHINES AT PCPH

A REVIEW BY LARKIN

A ghost or two.  A series of seances.  And a dry wit that turns into hilarious comedy at the end.

Blithe Spirit, the Noel Coward play which has turned into a minor classic, is directed by Jack Randall Earles, a Putnam County Playhouse veteran.  Earles takes a seven-person cast and melds it into

a competent acting ensemble


 The play itself is the story of Charles Condomine (played by Tim Good), who once a widower has since remarried to Ruth (played by Bethany Bax).  They bring a medium, Madame Arcati (played by Linda Ostermeier) to dinner to conduct a séance and to get notes for a book Charles is writing.

PHOTO BY LINDA GJESVOLD


Their friends, Dr. George and Violet Bradman (played by Don Wilson and Jamie Barrand) attend the dinner, too.  George is a skeptic and tries to spoof Madame Arcati.  His wife, on the other hand, believes everything Madame Arcati says.


PHOTO BY LINDA GJESVOLD


 The result is Charles' first wife, Elvira (played by Good's wife, Caroline) comes back from the dead.  At first, only Charles can see her, which confuses and befuddles everyone else, until near the end. That's when the maid, Edith (played by Liz Woods), sees Elvira, too.  The end, which I won't reveal, is silly beyond belief.


PHOTO BY LINDA GJESVOLD


Tim Good manages to make this pivotal character both pompous and  pathetically immature and helpless. 

 Caroline Good and Bax seemed to be believable mates and competitors for Charles' affections.  Caroline seems to be the kinder of the two at first but she shows her true colors later on.  Bax is more realistic overall, but the two of them do an excellent job.

Ostermeier was absolutely delightful as the hard-working medium.  Her shifts from the eccentric to the sincere hit the note right on the head.

PHOTO BY LINDA GJESVOLD

 Barrand has a fine comedic quality and takes her role about was far as the script allowed.  I thought she could be funnier if she had been allowed to drink more, but that is the author's fault, not hers.

 Wilson performed his role as required, but his accent was a little off at times.

PHOTO BY LINDA GJESVOLD

Woods did her role in a  cockney accent, and she was very funny.

 Earles spare black, white and gray set was well done, he also deserves a lot of credit for the tech effects.  They were believable and well done.

The assistant director was Sandi Rossok, who has done several jobs as assistant director before.  She deserves to direct sometime soon.


   Eleanor Mills Howard is the stage manager.  The lights were designed by Tim Good, and Earles designed the sound, which was complicated.  Earles also designed the set and props.

Caroline Good designed the costumes and was assisted by Linda Gjesvold, Rossok and Shelly McFadden. 

 The chief at set construction as Brad Sandy.  He was assisted by Rossok, Melissa and Jim Green, Joe Woods, Wilson and Earles.

The light board operator was Joe Woods and the sound operator was Jim Green.
 Gjesvold painted the set.  The mosaic mask (which will be sold after the show, was made by Connie Simmonds.