Players sprightly with British classic comedy ‘Blithe Spirit’ | NevadaAppeal.com

Players sprightly with British classic comedy ‘Blithe Spirit’

by Sam Bauman

The Proscenium Players’ production of Noel Coward’s 1940s comedy “Blithe Spirit” came off bright and shiny as a new penny at the Brewery Arts Center Friday and continues this and next weekend. A full house at the opening had plenty to laugh at as the two “ghosts” haunted the house.

Plus there was Jonni Moon as Edith, the maid. She just about walked off with the show with over-the-top sly antics. This was high visual comedy, probably egged on by director Warren Schader.

The story is simple. A writer wants to research spiritualism for a novel and calls in the local mystic. Inadvertently, she summons the writer’s late first wife, visible only to him. The second wife is mystified, the medium is called back and then things get delightfully complex. More need not be said since it is doubtful if any mature theatergoer hasn’t seen the play in one form or another.

Sparks English teacher Phil Harriman is Charles (the writer), and he offers a strong interpretation of the role, quite upbeat from the sophisticated Rex Harrison in the film version. Wife Ruth (Cathylee James) is arch in slinky 1940s gowns. The always-dependable Patrick Hardy is the visiting friend doctor, and Darlene Person Bray is his wife. Both measure up well in the play. Eloise Koenig is the mystic, Madam Arcati, and she quite makes a good case for seances.

But Jonni Moon as the maid really moves things along with her naive hustle of a domestic. She’s also the key to the plot.

The recordings of Noel Coward during intermission and between scenes gave a touch of nostalgia

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All furnish a highly enjoyable evening, which continues the next two weekends.

As a committed fan of the martini, this writer finds the mixing and pouring of martinis here quite unorthodox. Traditionally, one removes the entire top of the shaker, adds plenty of ice, vermouth and gin, recaps it, shakes (not stirred as James Bond would have it) vigorously and removes the small cap over the strainer and pours. Here this was all sort of shorthanded and the volume from one filling awesome, but at least they had the right French vermouth.

Don’t worry about the martinis. Just drink in a funny show.

MOON FOOD

The Gi Fu Loh restaurant at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, which opened in June, is observing the Chinese tradition of a Moon Festival celebration from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday with free moon cake and tea tasting for everyone who stops by. The Chinese Moon Festival is on the 15th of the eighth lunar month. The Moon Festival is a time for family reunions. When the full moon rises, families gather to watch the full moon, eat moon cake and sing moon poems. One legend says that the goddess, Chang Er, flew to the moon, where she has lived ever since. Odd our spacemen didn’t meet her.

MUSIC NOTES

Reno Philharmonic opens Sept. 30 with cellist Alisa Weilerstein returning. Joining Weilerstein will be another returning artist, violinist Karen Gomyo. The Sunday performance is at 4 p.m., Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The duo will perform the Brahms’ Double Concerto for Cello and Violin. Also on the program is “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story,” and Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2.” Call 323-6393.

When Bonerama struts on-stage with its four-trombone front-line, you can guess it’s not quite like any rock ‘n’ roll band you’ve seen. Catch the band at the Crystal Bay Club, 14, Highway 28, in Crystal Bay at 9 p.m. Saturday. Tickets $20 in advance, $15 on the date of the show. Ages 21 and over only. See http://www.crystalbayclub.com.

OK, so maybe oompah music isn’t your idea of a rockin’ good time. Never mind, just go to the Carson City Library Foundation’s ninth annual Oktoberfest at the Pony Express Pavilion in Mills Park Saturday Oct. 6 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. A German band will entertain.

• Contact Sam Bauman at 881-1236 or Sbauman@nevadaappeal.com.