The Golden Chain Theatre’s latest production, Noel coward’s “Blithe Spirit” has been described as “... an absolutely charming haunt.”
Director Sarah Persson agreed. “The first time I read this script I knew it was going to be a special show,” Persson said during a rehearsal break. “I love shows that combine humor, mystery and drama. Blithe Spirit encompasses all three beautifully. Noel Coward is a master playwright, he developed each character with artistry and we now have the pleasure to bring them to life.”
Persson feels fortunate to have a pool of amazing actors in the community who have roles in the play.
“You will recognize many names and faces, but you’ve never seen them on the GCT stage like you will see them in Blithe Spirit,” Persson said.
Charles Condomine, played by Matt Van De Wal, is a novelist who invites Madame Arcati, played by Helen Mierkey, over to conduct a seance for research for his latest book. Ruth, his current wife, played by Miranda Simonich, is a bit uptight and controlling.
“The dynamic between Charles, Ruth and Elvira is entertaining as they are so different.” Persson explained. “Elvira, the spirit conjured up during the seance, is played by the versatile Lyric Piccolotti and is more of a free spirit, no pun intended. A few months ago Lyric played a bad boy in Shake, and here she is playing a magnificent ghostly version of Condomine’s first wife.”
Mierkey plays Madame Acrati, a role played by Angela Lansbury on Broadway, with wit and charm. Madame Arcati is pivotal to the show as she is the medium called upon to engage with the spirit world.
“Madame Arcati is quirky and a bit off, a part Mary Helen plays charmingly,” Persson said.
According to Persson, every stage show comes with its own set of challenges, and this one is no exception.
“One of the most unique things about this particular show was the set ... we have been able to incorporate many amazing special effects in this show that none of us have ever done before,” Persson said. “The biggest challenge was figuring out how to pull them all off. From books flying off the shelves to tables tapping and shaking, we dove into uncharted waters and thanks to George Rich’s dedication and hard work we have achieved something really special. The audience will feel like they are part of the seance, which was our goal.”
Details: “Blithe Spirit”: Sept. 23, 24, 30, Oct. 1, 7, 8 at 7 p.m., Sept. 25, Oct. 2, 9 at 2 p.m.. Tickets $8 - $15. Group rates available. www.goldenchaintheatre.org , (559) 683-7112 Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m..