High Spirits - Lost Treasures Collection musical on Lakewood's Side Door Stage Oct. 18 & 19, 2013

Click here to Purchase Tickets Oct. 18 & 19, 2013 at 7:00 PM & Sat. Oct 19, 2013 at 2:00 PM Directed by Ron Daum. Ticket Prices: $20/all seats.

HighSpirits_web2.jpgThe Lost Treasures Collection, a series of rarely performed musical gems presented in concert/cabaret version on Lakewood Theatre Company's Side Door stage, presents the first offering in its fourth season, the musical High Spirits.

Light food fare, beer, wine and other beverages will be available for purchase before and during the show.

The production, with stage direction by Ron Daum and musical direction by Darcy White, will be performed for three performances on two dates only, Friday, Oct. 18 and Saturday, Oct. 19, at 7:00 PM and one Satuday matinee, Oct. 19 at 2:00 PM. The show is presented script-in-hand, with minimal staging. No sets, no props (free from the usual trappings of a fully staged production). This year's theme focuses on strong women. Our series sponsor for all three shows: Choose Local Media, Kristin Coleman

High Spirits

Book, Lyrics, and Music by Hugh Martin and Timothy Gray
Based on the play Blithe Spirit by Noël Coward

The Story: Writer Charles Condomine (Leif Norby) hosts a séance conducted by medium Madame Arcati (Maggie Chapin) in the hope that he'll learn her tricks so he can use the information in his new novel.  His assumption that she is a fake is proven wrong when she falls into a trance and unwittingly conjures the spirit of his late wife Elvira (Evynne Hollens), although he alone can see her. His present wife Ruth (Pam Mahon) believes that Charles is joking until Elvira moves into the Condomine household much to the frustration of Edith (Jocelyn Seid) the house maid. Others in the cast include Joseph J. Klei as Dr. Bradman and Marcee Shriver Long as Mrs. Bradman.

Ticket prices are $20 for all seats. The whole series of three musicals is available for a subscription package of $55. Contact the Lakewood Theatre Box Office at (503) 635-3901 or Click here to Purchase Single Tickets securely online.

Lakewood Theatre Company's Side Door Stage is an intimate 90-seat cabaret-style venue with general admission seating in the Community Meeting Room at Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street in Lake Oswego. Light food fare, beer, wine and other beverages are available to purchase before and during the show. In 2013 Lakewood's Lost Treasure Collection series received a PAMTA "Outstanding Contribution to Theatre" award.

History of the Play:
Martin and Gray adhered closely to Coward's original text, although they expanded the medium's character to make it the star role. The playwright was delighted with their adaptation, then entitled Faster Than Sound, and agreed to direct it himself. Coward later wrote in his diary - "quite brilliant. The music is melodic and delightful, the lyrics really witty, and they have done a complete book outline, keeping to my original play and yet making it effective as a musical. I really am not only relieved but delighted." Coward promptly gave his approval and plans were underway for a production to be directed by Bob Fosse and starring Gwen Verdon as Elvira, Keith Mitchell as Charles, Celeste Holm as Ruth, and Kay Thompson as Madame Arcati.

Although none of the original casting worked out, Coward was happy enough with the replacement choices that he agreed to direct the show himself. Unfortunately, the try-out period was a notoriously troubled one. Beatrice Lillie, at 70 a legendary star in New York and London, had begun exhibiting signs of what was most likely Alzheimer's disease. Her inability to retain direction and remember her lines led to serious health problems for Coward, and Gower Champion - hot off Hello, Dolly! - was brought in (uncredited) to guide the show to New York. In spite of the problems, Lillie and company managed to deliver a smash, and a long run was predicted. 

The show opened at the Alvin Theatre on April 7, 1964 with a cast of Edward Woodward as Charles, Tammy Grimes as Elvira, Louise Troy as Ruth, and Beatrice Lillie as Madame Arcati. Christopher Walken, billed as "Ronnie Walken" was in the chorus. Scenic and costumes design were by Robert Fletcher, lighting design was by Jules Fisher, and Tammy Grimes costume was by Valentina.

Perhaps because of high-powered competition (1964 was the year of Hello, Dolly!, Funny Girl, and Fiddler on the Roof) High Spirits closed after a year's run of 375 performances. The production was nominated for eight Tony Awards but did not win. A London production starring Cicely Courtneidge as Acarti was not successful, and there has to date been no major New York or London revival.


Ticket Information

Lakewood's 90-seat Side Door Stage theatre is located in the Community Meeting Room at Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street in Lake Oswego. Tickets are $20 and are available through the Lakewood Theatre Box Office at (503) 635-3901.

Light food fare, beer, wine and other beverages will be available for purchase before and during the show.

Click here to Purchase Tickets  | Oct. 18 & 19, 2013 at 7:00 PM, & Sat. Oct 19 at 2:00 PM. 

Share this page:

  Ron Daum - Lakewood Theatre Company

  Ron Daum, Director

 Darcy White - music director for High Spirits at Lakewood Theatre Company

  Darcy White, Music Director

Leif Norby- Lakewood Theatre Compaany

Leif Norby as Charles

Pam Mahon in High Spirits- Lakewood Theatre Compaany

Pam Mahon as Ruth

 Evynne Hollens in High Spirits at Lakewood Theatre Company, Oct 18-19, 2013

Evynne Hollens as Elvira

Maggie Chapin in Lakewood Theatre Company's production of High Spirits

Maggie Chapin as Madame Arcati