It has been heralded as one of three jewels in Noel Coward’s literary crown. The Alhambra’s performance of “Blithe Spirit” will feature Lisa Valdini-Booth in the lead role of medium, Madame Arcati. Valdini-Booth leads the séance that brings back the ghost of Charles Condomine’s first wife, Elvira. Condomine is a successful novelist who wishes to learn about the occult for a novel he is writing. After the séance, Elvira makes continual attempts to disrupt Charles’s marriage to his second wife, Ruth, who cannot see or hear the ghost. Noel Coward’s comedy opens on May 4 at the Alhambra Theater & Dining for a four-week run.
“As wonderful as our cast is for this show,” said Alhambra Managing Partner Craig Smith, “The real star of Blithe Spirit, is Noel Coward. Noel Coward was kind of the Elvis of his era. He was a bona-fide star during a glamorous time when literary figures, play writers and artists were among the most popular of celebrities.”
Coward was among the most popular personalities of his time. Born in 1899 in a south-western suburb of London, he started as an actor and went on to be a songwriter, director, producer and founder of a movie production company (which, of course, produced Blithe Spirit in 1945). Many of his works, such as “Hay Fever,” “Private Lives,” “Design for Living,” “Present Laughter” and “Blithe Spirit,” have remained in the regular theatre repertoire. Coward’s career spanned more than four decades with success in theater, film, cabaret and music. “Blithe Spirit” was also adapted for television in the 1950s, and for radio1960s. It’s most recent Broadway and touring revival starred Angela Lansbury (Murder She Wrote) and received rave reviews around the country.
The Menu for Blithe Spirit: Executive Chef DeJuan Roy creates a new menu at the Alhambra for every show, basing his creativity on the themes he finds in the scripts. For the Blithe Spirit, Chef Roy expertly weaves in English themes to his unique menu.
First course: A choice of an appetizer of deviled eggs, candied bacon, pepper jelly and toast points; or a Napa cabbage salad with field peas, cucumber, heirloom tomato, fried wontons and Mandarin orange dressing.
Second course: Your choice of bangers and mash with sweet pea coulis, grain mustard and caper relish; or pan-seared brook trout with cauliflower grits, tomato, charred corn, thyme, Meyer lemon and brown butter; or pan-sautéed chicken breast and pappardelle pasta with creamy Provençal sauce and asparagus, or as the vegetarian dish, a seasonal vegetable flatbread with field pea hummus, goat cheese and feta.
Dessert course: A choice of Yorkshire bread pudding with whiskey sauce or English pound cake trifle.
Presented by WJCT, Fleet Landing,
Kilwins & JAX and the Beaches
DATES: May 4 – June 5, 2016
SHOW TIMES: 8 p.m. for evening shows Tuesday through Sunday. Doors open at 6 p.m., and dinner will be served until 7:30 p.m. Matinees on Saturdays are at 1:15 p.m. Doors open at 11 a.m. and the brunch starts at 11:15 a.m. Sunday Matinees are at 2 p.m. Doors open at noon and the meal starts at 12:15 p.m.
DRESS: “Gala Night” (Friday May 6, 2016) attire is “Formal/Dressy”. All other shows could be “Business Casual” or “Sunday Best”.
TICKETS: Regular tickets priced from $35 – $57. Ticket prices include: a plated dinner served to your table, an incredible show and prime parking. Group sales of 20 + are available upon request. Price does not include gratuity or orders from the bar.
**Special Mother’s Day offer valid with phone orders only!** Two Tickets to Blithe Spirit for either Saturday, May 7 or Sunday, May 8; your special Lady will receive: Double Red Rose in a Vase & a Commemorative Photo for only $129. Offer expires May 1.
LOCATION: Alhambra Theater & Dining
12000 Beach Blvd.
Jacksonville, Florida 32246