When he was a child, Noel Coward's mother took him to a succession of mediums and psychics, an experience he used to create one of his most enduring stage comedies.
"Blithe Spirit" — which Coward reportedly took five days to create — is celebrating its 70th anniversary, and it's still entertaining audiences worldwide.
This weekend, and Sept. 23 to 25, it's raising the spirits at the Costa Mesa Playhouse in an attractive and enjoyable production.
Director David A. Blair's enthusiastic cast captures the flavor of the play's 1940s-era characters, although a bit of tightening still is required to repair some uncomfortable gaps due more to tempo than interpretation.
The comedy centers on an English novelist whose first wife died seven years before, and who's now quite content with his second. A visit by a psychic medium, however, conjures up the spirit of the mischievous dead spouse — which only he can see or communicate with.