I'm usually pretty excited when I hear about plans for a new Broadway show, but I was pretty indifferent about this one. I saw Blithe Spirit earlier this year at Trinity Rep. While it was a fine production, it left me bored at times. A little witty banter goes a long way, after all. Or perhaps, drawing-room comedies simply aren't my cup of tea.
Now, I like Christine Ebersole and I'm sure she'll be great and her participation piques my curiosity. Maybe she'll bring a spark to the play that I felt was missing in the production that I saw. But what would really put this on my list of must-see shows is that according to Variety, Angela Lansbury (and Rupert Everett) are on the producers' wish list.
No offense to Mr. Everett, but I loved Miss Lansbury's performance in Deuce, not to mention that she's my favorite Mrs. Lovett of the three I've seen on stage and screen. I'd jump at the chance to see her on Broadway again. Although, I thought she said Deuce would be her last Broadway role, so I'm not really holding out any hope.
But the larger question is - why another revival? I wish the producers had found a new play they wanted to bring to Broadway. So far, things are pretty slim: To Be or Not to Be and Dividing the Estate, which begins previews Oct. 23. I checked Playbill's list of upcoming shows, and there's Neil LaBute's Reasons to be Pretty and Michael Jacobs' Impressionism. (With Jeremy Irons!) Am I missing something?
Okay, I understand, it's hard to attract investors - and an audience - for a new play, especially a drama, especially at a time when Wall Street is imploding. Perhaps Blithe Spirit's humor, which helped raise the spirits of the British people during World War II, is just the thing Broadway needs right now.