Friday, June 19, 2009

Blithe Spirits

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times
Vivacious summoner: Angela Lansbury, seated, with, from left, Jayne Atkinson, Christine Ebersole and Rupert Everett in Noël Coward’s “Blithe Spirit."

I'm really excited! I just booked tickets for the four of us to see Blithe Spirit starring Angela Lansbury.

On Broadway.

I have loved her forever, since I was a girl, watching Bedknobs and Broomsticks. As a young woman, I enjoyed Murder, She Wrote very much. My late father-in-law loved to point out that the people of Cabot Cove, the town where Lansbury's character Jessica Fletcher lived, had a higher murder rate than Detroit, Chicago, NYC and LA combined. I loved her anyway.

I've seen her very first movie, Gaslight and own a copy of the 1948 classic State of the Union, in which she tempts Spencer Tracy's industrialist/presidential candidate character to temporarily stray from Katherine Hepburn's faithful wife character.

If I had to choose one role of hers which is most beloved to me, it would be this one:

Isn't she marvelous? Her acting and singing moves me so much; it's genuine and loving. I think her mothering in real life has been a whole lot more like Mrs. Potts rather than the scary Mrs. Iselin in The Manchurian Candidate. When her son and daughter were starting to get into drugs in the early '70's, she moved the family to County Cork, Ireland, separating them from that culture. I don't know if that would work these days, but it did then.

By all accounts, she had a wonderful marriage; it began in 1949 and lasted until her husband died in 2003. She's quoted as saying

I've had an incredible relationship with my husband, with my family. I know they've had problems of their own, but we have never wavered in our closeness as a family. I've had a hell of a life.

Those sentiments sound like things my own mother says, and I hope I can say the same some day. Meanwhile, I'm tickled pink at this opportunity to see her. She's 83, so it's hard to say how much longer she'll be performing. But if you read the review, it sounds like she has the energy of a 33 year old, and I believe it. I remember watching Mick Jagger strut on stage a few years ago when he was in Tacoma. At 59, he bounced around like a 19 year old. I'm not joking. Check out this reviewer's account.

I might not have booked these tickets if it weren't for the suggestion of CockleCove, a contributor to TripAdvisor. That is truly an awesome site. People are incredibly generous with ideas and answers for travelers. CockleCove encouraged me to include the play's closing performance in my itinerary. Others chimed in, including many who've recently enjoyed the play and Lansbury. Originally, I'd just planned to get discount day of tickets for whatever was available while we were there. But this is a unique, wonderful opportunity.

I can't wait!


kyooty said...

Oh I really liek her too! and she pops up ever once in a while in the most surprising places. I think she even showed up on The Simpsons! :)

Michele Renee said...

I have to chime in about Trip Advisor. I used it fully to plan our recent trip to CO and SD. I was told about things I would bever know about, found great bike trails, etc., etc., and used the recommendations for places to stay. And my own town is so big that I even use it for advice. Excited for you about the play!

Kathryn Magendie said...

I have never been to New York or a Broadway show ! Oh, I will one day.

I like the way she says "I've had a hell of a life..." *smiling...*

Have fun!!!

Bee said...

I love your infectious enthusiasm about things, FF. You are a blithe spirit, yourself.

Annie said...

Lucky you! Thanks for this wonderful post about Angela Lansbury. I'm also a long-time fan. She is truly remarkable.

I know you will have an interesting evening at the theater.

Becky said...

Ooh, I am so jelly-ous. She has such an interesting career, and that will be a fabulous trip.

I have relied on Tripadvisor many times. Once you filter out the people who are probably never happy, it is a great resource. I just used it to pick places to go for a little island getaway. Those people know a ton!

Anonymous said...

That looks amazing!!
I would love to watch it!

momiji said...

Sooooooo lucky you are! Can't even describe how I envy you! (in a good way of course) - I've always loved Angela Lansbury, I think she is a very special woman, person, actress. Everything is special about her.
I love Murder She Wrote by the way :-) Your father's remarque about the crime rate in Cabot Cove made me laugh - so true! But then, there is something Poirot-ish about it, for where Poirot went murder happened :-)