The greatest

Rockyfan2000
Understudy
joined:5/15/11
"Blithe Spirit" Previews
Posted: 3/4/14 at 04:11pm
Any news? Anyone been yet?
"It's not where you start, it's where you finish!"
luke-h***
Broadway Legend
joined:4/4/06
"Blithe Spirit" Previews
Posted: 3/5/14 at 05:19pm
I'm there this Friday.

Really looking forward to it; last time I saw this play I was wildly underwhelmed, however I have heard only great things about this production. And of course, Ms. Lansbury and Ms. Dee are sure to deliver. I will post my thoughts following Friday's performance.
THEATRE 2014: Strangers on a Train ***1/2; From Here to Eternity **; Stephen Ward *****; The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Progress Theatre, Reading) **; American Psycho ****; Putting it Together *****; West Side Story (UK Tour, Bristol) ***1/2; Bold Girls (Progress Theatre, Reading) ***; Blithe Spirit ****; The Magic Flute (RWCMD) ***; Stephen Ward *****; Secret Cinema: The Grand Budapest Hotel *****; Fiddler on the Roof (UK Tour Wimbledon) ****; The Lion King ****; Arcadia (Bristol Tobacco Factory) ****; The Weir *****; Good People ***; Other Desert Cities *****; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels ***; Urinetown *****; The Testament of Mary ***; Other Desert Cities *****; Miss Saigon ****; King Charles III *; Not About Heroes (Progress Theatre, Reading) **; In the Heights *****; London Road (Bristol Old Vic) ****; God of Carnage (Progress Theatre, Reading) **; The Hills of Tomorrow (Cardiff RepCo) ****; Mr. Burns ****; Love Labour's Lost...and Won (Reading Open Air Theatre) *****; Pacific Overtures (Union Theatre) ***1/2; Pippin *****; Hedwig and the Angry Inch *****; A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder ****; Cabaret *****; If/Then ***; Secret Cinema Presents: Dead Poets Society, A Tribute to Robin Williams *****; The Book of Mormon ***; The Crucible (Old Vic) ****1/2; The Pajama Game ****; Kate Bush: Before the Dawn *****; Anna Nicole ****; NT Live: A Streetcar Named Desire: ***; NT Live: Medea **** COMING UP: Gypsy (Chichester), Here Lies Love, Made in Dagenham, Women on the Verge of the Nervous Breakdown, City of Angels.
ukpuppetboy
Stand-by
joined:2/12/13
"Blithe Spirit" Previews
Posted: 3/5/14 at 07:01pm
Just back from the show this evening and have to say Dame Angela had the entire audience on the edge of their seats with her beautifully whimsical performance. The obligatory round of applause with her first entrance and standing ovation at the bows was heartfelt and genuine which is a rarity in London where such overt responses are generally awkwardly prompted (Chita Rivera in Kiss of the Spider Woman and Patti LuPone in Sunset spring to mind). Maybe we're all becoming a bit more American - maybe it was an audience just giddy to be seeing a theatre legend 'home' after the best part of half a century.

She seemed oddly amplified in Act 1, uniquely amongst the cast, but this was resolved after the interval and while sometimes her delivery was a little hushed the crowd were hanging on her every word and entirely engrossed with her Madame Arcati. I was particularly impressed with the amount of dialogue she has and her expert delivery of it - especially having read some whispers of an ear piece from Broadway. No such suggestion here. The occasional whiff of an ageing Eglantine Price, with the meddling of Jessica Fletcher and all in a wig SO ginger Mrs Lovett should check her dresser - this could almost have been packaged as The Best of Angela Lansbury..

The rest of the cast were equally impressive. Janie Dee oozes charisma as always, again proving herself to be equally brilliant in drama, comedy or musical roles. Somebody notify Lady Edith that her betrothed is alive and well and very at home with Cowards' 40s dialogue - a very worthy UK counterpart for Rupert Everett. As his first wife, Elvira Jemima Rooper (who I grew up watching in As If and Sinchronicity but missed in One Man Two Guv'nors) wont be the first thing I remember from the evening but always managed to be fun and every bit the match, from beyond the grave to Janie Dee's Ruth.

But the night was always going to belong to one woman. And as such it is fitting that the first thing I WILL recall of Blithe Spirit will forever be Dame Angela's pre trance dance moves. By itself well worth a Tony in anyone's book. Not bad for an 88 year old.


Updated On: 3/5/14 at 07:01 PM
Will42
Broadway Star
joined:5/27/10
The greatest
Posted: 3/6/14 at 01:02pm

Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
The greatest
Posted: 3/6/14 at 01:56pm
She looks like such a Nuanced Seance.
2014 Theatre: Billy Elliot***** Meet Me In St Louis*** American Psycho**** Tell Me On A Sunday**** Jeeves and Wooster: Perfect Nonsense* Stephen Ward**** Charlie and the Chocolate factory*** Dirty Dancing** Stephen Sondheim's Puttin It Together*** Candide*** The Lion King***** The Book of Mormon****** Les Miserable***** Stephen Ward**** The Weir**** Fortune's Fool*** Spamalot*** Superior Doughnuts**** Seven Brides For Seven Brothers**** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Finans Rainbow**** The Commitments** Boeing Boeing*** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) The A-Z of Mrs P** Billy Elliot***** Wicked** Good People***** Urinetown***** Spamalot*** The Full Monty**** Other Desert Cities*** Ghosts*** Dirty Rotten Scoundrels***** It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman*** Stephen Ward**** King Lear**** A Taste Of Honey** Blithe Spirit**** From Here To Eternity**** Spamalot*** Fiddler On The Roof** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Relative Values**** Fatal Attraction*** Matilda***** 39 Steps**** Another Country** Handbagged** Two Into One*** The Beautiful Game***** Let The Right One In**** Once**** Privacy***** Home** Best of Friends** Avenue Q*** Good People***** Betty Blue Eyes*** (Tour: Salisbury Playhouse) I Can't Sing* A View From The Bridge***** Water Babies **** (Tour: Leicester Curve) Miss Saigon***** In The Heights*** The Testament of Mary*** This May Hurt A Bit*** The Last 5 Years* (Greenwich Theatre) All My Sons*** Happy Days** Dirty Rotten Scoundrels**** Bakersfield Mist**** Ushers** The Pajama Game*** Evita*** (Tour: Orchard Theatre, Dartford)Fings Ain't What They Used To Be**** Billy Elliot***** Titus Andronicus**** 1984*** Clarence Darrow**** Miss Saigon***** A Small Family Business*** Things We Do For Love**** Hobson's Choice*** Rock of Ages*** (Tour: Churchill Theatre, Bromley) Zanna, Don't!*** The Silver Tassie** Bring Up The Bodies** Forbidden Broadway**** Carousel**** Hotel*** The Crucible**** Annie Get Your Gun*** (Churchill Theatre, Bromley) Medea*** The Importance of Being Earnest*** The Pajama Game*** Skylight**** Pacific Overtures** The Invincibles*** Julius Ceasar*** Porgy and Bess**** Dessa Rose** Great Britain**** One Man, Two Guvnors**** (Tour: Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Dogfight** My Night With Reg*** Book of Mormon***** Richard III**** See Rock City** Guys and Dolls*** Wicked* Charlie and the Chocolate Factory*** The Apple Tree*** The Jersey Boys*** Miss Saigon***** Matilda***** A Streetcar Named Desire**** The Dreamling** The Play That Went Wrong*** The Phantom of the Opera**** Fully Committed*** Bedroom Farce**** (Salisbury) Sweeney Todd**** King Charles III***
HorseTears
Broadway Legend
joined:3/25/05
The greatest
Posted: 3/8/14 at 01:59am
Sounds like Dame Angela brought her A game from the start, ukpuppetboy. Great review. Keep those reviews coming, folks in the weeks ahead. So jealous of all you UKers!!
PaigeByPaige
Stand-by
joined:10/26/05
The greatest
Posted: 3/8/14 at 05:30am
Do they sell posters?
All the best performers bring to their role something more, something different than what the author put on paper. That's what makes theatre live. That's why it persists. - Stephen Sondheim
KermitTheFrog
Chorus Member
joined:4/1/12
The greatest
Posted: 3/10/14 at 06:16pm
Really enjoyed this on Saturday. What a thrill to finally see La Lansbury on stage, something I was starting to think would never happen. Great play and brilliant cast, none of whom are diminished by Lansbury's star turn. I've written more on my blog if anyone is interested. And they do sell posters for 5.


Review: Blithe Spirit
VeraCharles3
Featured Actor
joined:8/4/10
The greatest
Posted: 3/19/14 at 07:28am
KermitTheFrog - thank you for the great review. Sounds a great production, I love the idea of the curtain coming down after each scene!

So glad you enjoyed it and that none of the cast disapointed.

I am seeing it on Tuesday 25 March - can't wait

Thanks again and will be checking out your blog in future.

Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
The greatest
Posted: 3/19/14 at 07:42am
2014 Theatre: Billy Elliot***** Meet Me In St Louis*** American Psycho**** Tell Me On A Sunday**** Jeeves and Wooster: Perfect Nonsense* Stephen Ward**** Charlie and the Chocolate factory*** Dirty Dancing** Stephen Sondheim's Puttin It Together*** Candide*** The Lion King***** The Book of Mormon****** Les Miserable***** Stephen Ward**** The Weir**** Fortune's Fool*** Spamalot*** Superior Doughnuts**** Seven Brides For Seven Brothers**** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Finans Rainbow**** The Commitments** Boeing Boeing*** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) The A-Z of Mrs P** Billy Elliot***** Wicked** Good People***** Urinetown***** Spamalot*** The Full Monty**** Other Desert Cities*** Ghosts*** Dirty Rotten Scoundrels***** It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman*** Stephen Ward**** King Lear**** A Taste Of Honey** Blithe Spirit**** From Here To Eternity**** Spamalot*** Fiddler On The Roof** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Relative Values**** Fatal Attraction*** Matilda***** 39 Steps**** Another Country** Handbagged** Two Into One*** The Beautiful Game***** Let The Right One In**** Once**** Privacy***** Home** Best of Friends** Avenue Q*** Good People***** Betty Blue Eyes*** (Tour: Salisbury Playhouse) I Can't Sing* A View From The Bridge***** Water Babies **** (Tour: Leicester Curve) Miss Saigon***** In The Heights*** The Testament of Mary*** This May Hurt A Bit*** The Last 5 Years* (Greenwich Theatre) All My Sons*** Happy Days** Dirty Rotten Scoundrels**** Bakersfield Mist**** Ushers** The Pajama Game*** Evita*** (Tour: Orchard Theatre, Dartford)Fings Ain't What They Used To Be**** Billy Elliot***** Titus Andronicus**** 1984*** Clarence Darrow**** Miss Saigon***** A Small Family Business*** Things We Do For Love**** Hobson's Choice*** Rock of Ages*** (Tour: Churchill Theatre, Bromley) Zanna, Don't!*** The Silver Tassie** Bring Up The Bodies** Forbidden Broadway**** Carousel**** Hotel*** The Crucible**** Annie Get Your Gun*** (Churchill Theatre, Bromley) Medea*** The Importance of Being Earnest*** The Pajama Game*** Skylight**** Pacific Overtures** The Invincibles*** Julius Ceasar*** Porgy and Bess**** Dessa Rose** Great Britain**** One Man, Two Guvnors**** (Tour: Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Dogfight** My Night With Reg*** Book of Mormon***** Richard III**** See Rock City** Guys and Dolls*** Wicked* Charlie and the Chocolate Factory*** The Apple Tree*** The Jersey Boys*** Miss Saigon***** Matilda***** A Streetcar Named Desire**** The Dreamling** The Play That Went Wrong*** The Phantom of the Opera**** Fully Committed*** Bedroom Farce**** (Salisbury) Sweeney Todd**** King Charles III***
VeraCharles3
Featured Actor
joined:8/4/10
The greatest
Posted: 3/19/14 at 10:06am
Thanks for the links Phantom

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