In three acts and seven scenes, Idler is proving that acting doesn't have to be particularly good to provide an interesting evening. Actors far less professional could play Noel Coward's spritely comedy and still make it worth the price of admission.
Blithe Spirit is almost as much of a repertory item as Arsenic and Old Lace, so nothing need be said about it. This production is no better, but certainly no worse than any amateur effort is liable to be. The scenery is unobtrusive, and although the lighting is the same for night and day, the general stage impression is a pleasant one.
Among the cast, three turned in performances that seemed really competent. Thomas Gaylos as the spirit beleaguered Charles, has the true professional rasp in his voice. His acting, with broad grimaces and unnatural inflections, is at times heavy handed, but he is consistent in his portrayal and often rises far above the mediocre.
Dani Holmgren, as the ghost of Charles' first wife, is often very good. She is prone to posture too much in an attempt to match Charles' description of her as "etherial," but this does not detract from her generally good acting.
Shiela Flahery, in the past of Madame Arcari, and ceoenric medium, is the best in the cast. She seems to suffer only from a lack of reheausal time that would adequately develop and smooth out her characterization. Nevertheless, she is on the right track, and does a fine job for idler.
If you have never seen Blithe Spirit, if you are particularly fond of Noel Coward, or if you happen to know one of the performers, the production at the Agassiz is excellent. Otherwise it is, at worst, a solid non professional performance.