BLITHE SPIRIT Opens Tonight at the Hanna Theatre, PlayhouseSquare
Great Lakes Theater (GLT), Cleveland's Classic Company, commences the second half its 2013-14 season with Noël Coward's comedy, Blithe Spirit. The production will be performed in the company's revolutionary and audience-friendly home at the Hanna Theatre, PlayhouseSquare, tonight, February 22 - March 10. 2013. Charles Fee, GLT's Producing Artistic Director, directs the production.
Great Lakes Theater's production of Blithe Spirit is sponsored by PNC. GLT is generously funded by the citizens of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. In addition, the classic theater company's 2012-13 season is presented with support from The Cleveland Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council. Media sponsors for GLT's 51st season are Cleveland Scene, The FORM Group, The Plain Dealer, WCLV 104.9 FM, WCPN 90.3 FM ideastream and WKSU 89.7 FM.
Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit is a spook-tacular comic classic. After a "spirited" séance goes decidedly wrong, the cantankerous novelist Charles Condomine suddenly finds himself face to face with the ghost of his deceased wife, Elvira...much to the chagrin of his current spouse, Ruth. Love and marriage devolve into laughter and mayhem when Ruth is accidentally killed and united with Elvira on the "other side." Together the paranormal pair of blithe spirits haunt their hapless husband with hilarious consequences.
For Great Lakes Theater, Charles Fee most recently directed a critically acclaimed production of Shakespeare'sRomeo and Juliet in 2012. Other GLT productions include The Two Gentlemen of Verona (2011), A Midsummer Night's Dream (2010), Twelfth Night (2009), The Comedy of Errors (2009), Macbeth (2008), All's Well That Ends Well (2008),Hamlet (2003), Hay Fever (2007), The Importance of Being Earnest (2004), Arms and the Man (2003) and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (2004 & 2011). Fee holds a unique position in the American theater as producing artistic director of three independently operated, professional theater companies: Great Lakes Theater in Cleveland, Ohio (since 2002), Idaho Shakespeare Festival in Boise, Idaho (since 1991) and Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival in Lake Tahoe, Nevada (since 2010). His appointments have resulted in a dynamic and groundbreaking producing model for the companies, in which 45 plays have been shared since 2002.
Great Lakes Theater's award-winning home at the Hanna Theatre features a visionary "Great Room" inspired design that integrates the artist and audience experience into a single unified environment. Hanna patronsselect from a variety of seating opportunities including traditional theater seats, club chairs, lounge/bar seats, banquette couches and private box seating. Arranged in an intimate 550-seat thrust configuration where the audience surrounds the stage, no seat is further than 12 rows from the performance.
Great Lakes Theater offers patrons a robust series of Experience Enhancement Programming that is organized by day of week. The series highlights the Hanna's unique amenities and affords access to artists.
- "Salon Thursdays" feature an engaging pre-show discussion/presentation beginning one hour before curtain with a Great Lakes Theater artist. (Offered: Feb. 28 & Mar. 7)
- "Happy Hour Fridays" afford audience members the opportunity to gather, socialize and enjoy appetizers or beverages for sale in the Hanna's bar and lounge beginning ninety minutes before the performance. (Offered: Feb. 22 & Mar. 1, 8)
- "Nightcap Night Saturdays" are designed to encourage audience members to stay after the evening performance and mingle with the GLT artistic company in the Hanna's lounge. The Hanna's bar is open ninety minutes after Nightcap Night Saturday performances." (Offered: Mar. 2, 9)
- "Ice Cream Social Sundays" offer patrons the opportunity to enjoy a London theatre tradition brought state-side. Audience members are invited to purchase a cool, personal ice cream treat before the show or at intermission. Ice cream will be offered at every performance in Blithe Spirit's run, but on "Ice Cream Social Sundays," the treat is half price. (Offered: Feb. 24 & Mar. 3, 10)
- "Director's Night" offer audiences the opportunity to take part in a lively pre-show discussion with GLT's Producing Artistic Director, Charles Fee before the Friday preview performance. (Offered: Feb. 22)
- "Playnotes Pre-Show Discussions" inform patrons with illuminating introductions to the content and history of each play in GLT's season presented by a guest scholar before Saturday matinee performances.(Offered: Mar. 2, 9)
Great Lakes Theater will continue to afford patrons extraordinary access to its artists and production process at every Hanna Theatre performance of Blithe Spirit. The Hanna always opens its doors ninety minutes before each performance allowing patrons to observe the complete pre-show preparation process of GLT's actors and technical staff. Elements traditionally hidden from audiences such as stage combat rehearsals, dance calls, prop/scenic pre-sets, technical cue rehearsals and actor warm-ups will be conducted in full view of patrons, offering GLT audiences an unprecedented glimpse into the theatrical process.
Great Lakes Theater will also renew its New Deal pricing initiative this spring - designed to increase accessibility for audiences. As part of the program, adult tickets begin at $15 and student tickets for any seat at any performance are $13 - making GLT one of the most affordable entertainment options in the region.
The Opening Night (also Press Night) performance of Blithe Spirit is scheduled for Saturday, February 23rd. A preview performance is scheduled for the preceding Friday night evening (February 22nd). Curtain times for all evening performances will remain at 7:30 p.m., with a 1:30 p.m. curtain time for Saturday matinees and a 3:00 p.m. curtain time for Sunday matinees. All GLT productions will continue to offer sign-interpreted and audio-described performances.
Single performance tickets range in price from $15-$70 (Student tickets are $13) and are available by calling (216) 241-6000, by ordering online at www.greatlakestheater.org or by visiting The PlayhouseSquare Ticket Office. Groups of ten or more receive discounts of up to 40% by calling (216) 241-5490 x302.