June 08, 2022
Walnut Street Theatre will wrap up its 213th season with Noël Coward’s fiendishly funny comedy, “BLITHE SPIRIT.” Directed by Walnut Producing Artistic Director Bernard Havard, the production is running now through July 3 on the Walnut’s Mainstage. Tickets are on sale now.
In this hilarious production, novelist Charles Condomine and his second wife, Ruth, invite the eccentric medium, Madame Arcati, to perform a séance. But Charles’ spiritual skepticism vanishes when the ghost of his deceased first wife, Elvira, accidentally materializes—but only to him. Elvira’s still in love and wants Charles back, and is not about to let a little thing like death stand in her way! From the delightfully wicked mind of Noël Coward comes BLITHE SPIRIT, where love and marriage devolve into laughter and mayhem – and ‘Till Death Do Us Part’ no longer applies.
English playwright Noël Coward, known for his biting wit and distinct sense of style, wrote BLITHE SPIRIT in 1941. At the time, Coward was visiting Wales as his office in London had been destroyed in the Second World War. On this trip, he developed his idea for a playful comedy about ghosts and timeless romantic relationships. The play premiered in the West End that year, where it was met with critical acclaim for its mixture of farce and dark humor. The Walnut’s production features an all-star cast of Philadelphia actors, with a pair of married actors playing an onstage couple in this clever story of romantic and supernatural mishaps.
Walnut Producing Artistic Director Bernard Havard will bring Coward’s classic to the stage as director. Havard’s Walnut directorial credits include A Woman of No Importance, The Humans, God of Carnage, ART, Someone to Watch Over Me, Skylight, and Driving Miss Daisy. He has spent his life in theatre as an actor, stage manager, director, managing director and producer. Recognized as one of America's leading theatre producers, he has proudly served America’s Oldest Theatre for over 39 years. Under his leadership, the Walnut became a not-for-profit, self-producing theatre and has gained international recognition as one of America's premier regional theatres.
Scott Langdon and Susan Riley Stevens return to the Walnut to play Dr. and Mrs. Bradman. Audiences will remember Langdon’s work at the Walnut in productions such as I Love a Piano, The Music Man, Love Story: The Musical, The Wizard of Oz, and many more. His work in regional theatre has seen him in shows like Spamalot, Oliver, and 1776. Stevens was last seen on Walnut’s Independence Studio 3 in Meteor Shower, and her work at the Walnut also includes The Curious Incident..., Noises Off, Fallen Angels, God of Carnage, and A Streetcar Named Desire. She has performed at other theatres across the country, including Actors Theatre of Louisville, Dallas Theatre Center, and Portland Stage Company.
Scenic Designer Roman Tatarowicz (A Woman of No Importance, Meteor Shower, The Curious Incident...) returns to the Walnut to bring audiences into Charles Condomine’s lavish living room. Creating the stylish outfits of 1940’s England is Costume Designer Mary Folino (The Little Mermaid, Beehive, Shrek The Musical). Wig Designers Will Vicari and Krystal Balleza (The Little Mermaid, Shrek) join Folino to complete the looks for the characters. They are joined by Lighting Designer Shon Causer (The Adventure of the Speckled Band, and A Woman of No Importance) and award- winning Sound Designer Christopher Colucci (The Adventure of the Speckled Band, A Woman of No Importance, and A Comedy of Tenors).