William Martinez and Marsha Kramer playing their close friends, the Bradmans, arrive for dinner and what turns out to be a rather unorthodox seance.
In a show-stealing turn as Madame Arcati, the local medium who opens the gateway from the afterlife, Carol Kline was a rollicking bundle of fun.
Before the participants know what’s up, Charles’ first wife, Elvira, is back from the dead, ready to reassume her position as the lady of the house.
Michelle Duffy simply could not have been better in the role of Elvira. Gorgeous to the eye and equipped with a sultry voice, she lit up the stage.
Whether knocking her renditions of “You’d Better Love Me” and “Home Sweet Heaven” out of the park or handling Coward’s witty repartee with ease, Duffy was delightful.
Likewise, Kirsche, Bibb, Martinez and Kramer lent luscious vocals to Hugh Martin’s and Timothy Gray’s lyrics and compositions.
Lowe Taylor was a hoot as the Condimine’s frantic housemaid, Edith, sprinting about like a whirling dervish.
A knockout ensemble of four musical theater veterans (Kim Huber, Tracy Lore, Brandon Michael Perkins and Jeffrey Polk) rounded out the fun, providing narration for scene changes and executing Cheryl Baxter’s hilarious 1960s bohemian choreography with joyful abandon.
Musical director Mary Ekler pulled double duty on the grand piano upstage along with Randy Landas on string bass and Mark Converse handling the percussion.
Dressed in formal wear and occupying a stage dressed only in flowing drops of white curtain-like material with a few director’s chairs, it is stunning to note that Israel and his company pulled this off with only 25 hours of rehearsal over the course of one weekend.
Translated, that means get your tickets early for the April 19 performance of the guild’s next offering, “Irma La Douce.”
About the writer DINK O’NEAL, an actor and member of the American Theatre Critics Assn., lives in Burbank. About the writer DINK O’NEAL, an actor and member of the American Theatre Critics Assn., lives in Burbank.