Satirical comedy and ghostly antics come to Mesquite Theatre

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Madame Arcati (Teri Nehrenz) enters and is announced by the Condomines’ maid (Jessica Callan) while Charles (Chad Calmelat) and Violet Bradman (Miriam Samuels) greet her in the show ‘Blithe Spirit’ which opens at the Mesquite Community Theatre on Friday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. Photo by Patti Bjornson.

Madame Arcati (Teri Nehrenz) enters and is announced by the Condomines’ maid (Jessica Callan) while Charles (Chad Calmelat) and Violet Bradman (Miriam Samuels) greet her in the show ‘Blithe Spirit’ which opens at the Mesquite Community Theatre on Friday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. Photo by Patti Bjornson.

Take a trip back to London during World War II. German air strikes assault the city with an arsenal of bombs. Buildings collapse. Lives are lost. People flee to the English countryside.

A Playwright, living in England at this time, writes a play in only five days. The play might have been about war, survival or despair but it’s not.

The playwright is Noel Coward. And the play he created during England’s battle-scarred year of 1941 is Blithe Spirit, a satirical comedy about ghosts.

The basic plot is funny, wild and full of ghostly antics.

Charles Condomine (Chad Calmelat) and his wife Ruth (Shannon Hall) invite an eccentric psychic, Madame Arcati (Teri Nehrenz) to their home to perform a séance so Charles can pick up a few tricks of the trade for a new novel he’s writing. The Condomines invite their friends, Doctor and Mrs. Bradman to dinner and to join them in the séance. Dr. Bradman (Denis Feehan) is as skeptical as they come but his wife Violet (Miriam Samuels) is hoping for a true paranormal experience.

They all fully expect that Madame Arcati will be a humorous shyster. Well, she is humorous – in fact, her boisterous character will definitely charm you. However, her ability to connect with the dead is genuine.

The séance. Cast/characters L to R: Dr. Bradman (Denis Feehan), Charles Condomine (Chad Calmelat), Madame Arcati (Teri Nehrenz), Ruth Condomine (Shannon Hall) and Violet Bradman (Miriam Samuels). Photo by Patti Bjornson.

The séance. Cast/characters L to R: Dr. Bradman (Denis Feehan), Charles Condomine (Chad Calmelat), Madame Arcati (Teri Nehrenz), Ruth Condomine (Shannon Hall) and Violet Bradman (Miriam Samuels). Photo by Patti Bjornson.

After prancing about the room reciting nursery rhymes, Madame Arcati summons a ghost from Charles’ past, Elvira (Kathy Bussman) his first wife. Charles can see her but no one else can. Elvira is flirtatious and catty. She enjoys insulting Charles’ second wife.

At first Ruth thinks her husband has gone insane. Then, after watching a vase float across the room, thanks to Elvira, Ruth accepts the strange truth.

What follows is a darkly funny competition between two women, one dead, one living. They battle for the possession of their husband and in the process their poor maid, Edith (Jessica Callan) keeps finding herself in the strangest and most uncomfortable situations.

Enter again Madame Arcati, whose one desire is to help Charles out of his predicament and dematerialize his Blithe Spirits but quite frankly doesn’t have the slightest idea of how to go about it.

When people know that the play is directed by Glen Bjornson, they also know there is magic about to happen onstage. Join this talented cast as they bring plenty of laughter along with a few surprises to the Mesquite Community Theatre audience on Friday, Oct. 7 and 8 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 9 at 2 p.m. for the opening weekend of Blithe Spirit produced by the Virgin Valley Theatre Group who is “Setting the Stage in Mesquite” with this wonderful comedy.

Additional shows are Oct. 14, 15, 21 & 22 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 16 at 2 p.m. For ticket information visit the Virgin Valley Theatre Group web site at www.vvtgnv.com.

 

 

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