We're not really superstitious. Anyone of intelligence understands a rabbit's foot won't bring you good luck. Nor will a four-leaf clover or an upturned horseshoe. Who could believe in that junk? We know the real ways to ensure good luck--we won't pick up a coin that's facedown or open an umbrella in the house. We always knock on wood to prevent jinxing ourselves. And more than once have we provided the something old, something new, something borrowed or something blue to an unprepared bride. Because, duh, that's just good sense. We've walked under dozens of ladders, broken 84 years' worth of mirrors and stepped on many a crack with no ill effects. But, for the same reason we don't play with Ouija boards or say "Bloody Mary" in front of a mirror, we also don't invite shady psychics to dinner at our English country home.
Charles Condomine, lead character of Noel Coward's comedy Blithe Spirit, should take heed of our superstit--uh, common wisdom. Condomine, a successful novelist, invites Madame Arcati, a medium, to dinner with intent of researching (or possibly exposing the charlatanry of) psychic practitioners for his next book. Despite his skepticism, Madame Arcati is able to summon the spirit of Condomine's first wife, Elvira, but quite unable to return the mischievous ghost to the spirit realm. It doesn't help matters that Condomine's second wife, Ruth, can't see the ghost, or that Elvira is bent on having Charles join her in death. Of course, English hilarity ensues. Or at least Richardson Theatre Centre's version of English hilarity will ensue, featuring Doug Fowler, Rachael Lindley, Meredith Morton and Rachael Schnitzius. Coward's play and RTC's production promise startling plot twists and farcical incidents that may end with more than one "blithe spirit."