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County Seat Theater remakes 'Blithe Spirit'

Charles (played by Kendall Linn) gets a surprise visit from his late wife Elvira (played by Ruthie Breuer) in the County Seat Theater Company production of “Blithe Spirit” opening this Friday. Special to the Pine Journal

The County Seat Theater Company is celebrating 30 years of community theater, producing over 100 shows during those that time. During this anniversary, CST is remaking just a few of its favorites, including Noel Coward's comedy "Blithe Spirit," which was originally produced in 2001 under the direction of Cheryl Kramer-Milder.

This time around the show is being directed by Andy Roemhildt, who is making his directing debut at the same theater that got him started.

"I want to take the audience on a journey into the hilarious world that we find ourselves in," said Roemhildt. "When I first came into contact with 'Blithe Spirit' many years ago, I knew there was something special on those pages. I loved the use of the English language — it contained a sort of elegance that I wasn't used to reading. This gave me ideas for this production."

"Blithe Spirit" opened for an eager audience back in 1941 in the West End Theater District in London, England. It was wildly successful and made its way to the Broadway stage not long after where it received rave reviews.

Skeptical novelist Charles Condomine (played by Kendall Linn) invites self-proclaimed medium Madame Arcati (Mary Smith) to his home for a séance, hoping to gather material for a new book. When the hapless psychic accidentally summons the spirit of Condomine's late wife, Elvira (Ruthie Breuer), his home and life are quickly turned into a shambles as his wife's ghost torments both him and his new bride, Ruth (Miriam Effinger).

Elizabeth Klawitter, Joshua Effinger and Aili Hakala complete this hilarious cast of characters. "Ruthie Breuer is the only original cast member," said CST General Manager Joel Soukkala. "We are happy to have a great variety of actors, some veterans and some newbies. It is comfortable to know our regulars are always here, but it is equally exciting to welcome new actors and crew into our theater family. The combination is sure to make for a very entertaining evening."

The County Seat Theater Company will present performances of "Blithe Spirit" Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 and Oct. 4-8 at the Encore Performing Arts Center, 2035 Highway 33 South, Cloquet. Performances are at 7 p.m. except Sunday performances at 2 p.m. Tickets can be reserved by calling the box office at 218-878-0071 or going online at www.countyseattheater.com.

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