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BLITHE SPIRIT!

The Theatre Arts Dept. will present Noël Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” from March 30 through April 9. Performances take place in the Adray Auditorium and is directed by HFC Theatre Instructor Judith Fletcher.

Thursday, March 30, at 8 p.m.;
Friday, March 31, at 8 p.m.;
Saturday, April 1, at 8 p.m.;
Sunday, April 2, at 2 p.m.;
Thursday, April 6, at 8 p.m.;
Friday, April 7, at 8 p.m.;
Saturday, April 8, at 8 p.m.; and
Sunday, April 9, at 2 p.m.
Directed by HFC Adjunct Theater Instructor Judith Fletcher, “Blithe Spirit” is a supernatural comedy written by renowned British playwright Coward (1899-1973). The play debuted in London’s West End in 1941, setting a long-running record for non-musical British plays with just under 2,000 performances. Later that year, it ran for 657 performances on Broadway.

Coward adapted the play into a 1945 movie of the same name, starring Oscar-winning actor Rex Harrison (best known for the 1964 classic “My Fair Lady”) in the lead role. In 1964, Hugh Martin and Timothy Gray adapted “Blithe Spirit” into a musical called “High Spirits,” which opened on Broadway. Coward directed the original run.

In “Blithe Spirit,” novelist/socialite Charles Condomine needs background material for a mystery he’s writing, so he invites Madame Arcati, a psychic medium, to his house to conduct a séance. Also present are his second wife Ruth and their friends the Bradmans. All present laugh at Arcati’s antics, thinking she’s nothing but a cheap fraud.

However, Arcati somehow manages to summon the spirit of Elvira, Charles’ first wife who died several years ago. Only Charles can perceive her. At first, Ruth doesn’t believe him, which causes a strain in their marriage. However, after he convinces Ruth that Elvira’s haunting him, she tries to exorcise Elvira with Arcati’s help, only with comedic results.

“‘Blithe Spirit’ is a perennial favorite of audiences around the globe with its witty humor and razor-sharp dialogue. Our ensemble cast of students are hard at work on the rhythms and intricacies of this classic British farce and look forward to bringing it to life on the HFC stage for the enjoyment of our audiences,” said Fletcher.

Tickets for “Blithe Spirit” cost $15. To purchase tickets, go to http://theatre.hfcc.edu. For questions or further information about “Blithe Spirit,” contact Dr. George Popovich, HFC Theatre Arts director, at 313-845-6478 or popovich@hfcc.edu.