The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, July 18, 2019, Page 9, Image 9

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    THURSDAY, JULY 18, 2019 // 9
mentioning how his fish-
ing line can be used to move
objects. “Watch the actors,
but also watch the walls and
the bookshelf.”
Ghostly fog and mist and
some eerie green lights are
among the visual effects.
“There’s a ton of sound
cues, too, including Irving
Berlin on the record player,”
Tauber said.
A clairvoyant,
comedic play
The play features a
socialite-writer played by
Barry Sears who invites
a clairvoyant, Madame
Arcati, to his house to con-
duct a séance, hoping to
gather material for his next
book. Rose Power, a stal-
wart Peninsula Players
character actor, plays the
eccentric medium, a role
made famous in the 1945
movie version by Margaret
Rutherford.
But that actress wasn’t
the one Power had in mind
when she began rehearsing.
“Angela Lansbury also
played it and I originally
thought I would be ‘chan-
neling’ her but what came
out was Carol Burnett,” she
said. “But this is fun.”
The comedy happens
when the spirit of the writ-
er’s first wife, Elvira, is con-
jured up — but only he can
see or hear her. Kiki Warner
plays Elvira and Kathy War-
nert plays his second wife,
Ruth, who becomes puz-
zled by her husband’s odd
behavior.
The play is a popular
choice for theater groups,
in part, because it offers
four strong female charac-
ters. The fourth is the fam-
ily housekeeper, played by
Dixie Wood, who plays a
key role in the mayhem,
though to say more would
spoil the plot.
Also in the cast are Pat-
rick Buckley and Rachel
Lake as a couple who are
amused to be invited to the
séance.
Buckley, who appeared
in the troupe’s last three
shows, doubles as assistant
director for the first time.
“He has great ideas for
the show and really helps
me,” said Tauber, a for-
mer professional back-
stage designer who retired
from California to the Long
Beach Peninsula.
The troupe originally
planned to stage the behind-
the-scenes theater comedy
“Noises Off,” but switched
gears after too few attended
the auditions.
Tauber chose the new
script because he likes the
work of Noel Coward and
other British comedies and
had directed Sears, War-
nert, Power and Buck-
ley in “Black Comedy,” in
November.
Future shows
The Players completed
a run of the Gilbert & Sul-
livan operetta “HMS Pin-
afore” earlier this year.
Tauber said auditions
will take place in August
for radio plays, “Franken-
stein” and “Dracula,” plus
“Marionettes, Inc.” by Ray
Bradbury, to be staged in
September.
“We would like to get to
the point where we are doing
something monthly to give
people a choice and some
place to go,” he said. CW
Patrick Webb photos
ABOVE: Rose Power plays the strong-willed Madame Arcati who conducts a crucial séance and gazes into her crystal ball in
the Peninsula Players’ production of Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” LEFT: As the action in the Peninsula Players’ production
of “Blithe Spirit” becomes more complex, the family housekeeper, played by Dixie Wood, reacts with horror as she sees two
long-playing records apparently hovering in thin air, because only the audience — and one character — can see the ghost of
Elvira, played by Kiki Warner.