Review of Tony Kushner's The Illusion, an adaptation of a play by Pierre Corneille, L'illusion comique, currently at the Court Theatre, Chicago. In it, a lawyer looks for his abandoned son, assisted by a magician. Here's more.
The New York Times's Ben Brantley really likes a new production of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, which stars Angela Lansbury, Christine Ebersole, and Rupert Everett, now at the Shubert Theater. The play features the hilarity that ensues when Charles Condomine (Everett), a novelist, is more than upset when his (dead) first wife Elvira (Ebersole) returns as a ghost. He asks Madame Arcati (Lansbury) whom he has been consulting for information for a new novel to get rid of her, since after all, Madame summoned her up during a seance in the first place. I have to admit that I've always liked this play more than some of Mr. Coward's others, including Private Lives, which seems to get a regular revival. I suppose I like the "in" jokes better in this work. The play premiered in 1941, during the period in which Spiritualism was somewhat under fire--Spiritualist Helen Duncan was prosecuted for witchcraft in 1944. It was filmed in 1945 with Rex Harrison in the role of Condomine and the wonderful Margaret Rutherford as Madame Arcati.