Laurie Birmingham has done it yet again. Below is a quote from a review of Blithe Spirit, by Noel Coward which opened this past Saturday February 23, 2013:
“Birmingham — who made her Great Lakes debut as Nurse in “Romeo and Juliet,” infusing the small part with a vitality it rarely receives — gives a performance that argues she was born to play Arcati, one of the great comic roles of the theater.
As embodied by Birmingham, Arcati is a batty whirlwind in brown velvet. Whether attempting to sense ectoplasmic energy through her wrists, munching on cucumber sandwiches or chatting with Daphne, her adenoidal control who died in 1884, you can’t keep your eyes off her. Her improvised hula dance to prepare to communicate with the other side is not to be missed.
When her machinations produce Charles’ ethereal ex, the play moves even faster, thanks to some inventive, kinetic blocking by producing artistic director Charles Fee — Elvira spooking Ruth, who can’t see her, by moving vases and other knickknacks about is especially rich — and the terrific comic timing of his cast.”
I can easily say that if you are anywhere near the Cleveland Ohio area, you should get your butt in a seat for this show. I can also say that the comic timing of Laurie Birmingham raises the timing and fun for cast and audience alike. Like a great leader does, she has a way of raising everyone’s game.
Laurie is truly one of the few greatest story tellers the universe has ever produced. If it weren’t true, I would be embarrassed to be so absolutely gaga over her work. I’m not embarrassed. I am giving you a chance to see a remarkably generous actress help you to find more freedom and generosity for yourself.
The show will be restaged for the Idaho Shakespearean Festival for a run in June 2013.