In Play Reviews

In a haunted theatre in 1935, three characters gather with a renowned Russian medium to have a little chat with the long dead theatre imprasario David Belasco. His angry spirit has wandered the place for years. If they could just reason with him, say, and find out what the problem is, he might go away quietly and the theatre could be reopened. This is C.S. Whitcomb‘s comedy/farce The Ghost of David Belasco, celebrating its world premiere at Lakewood Theatre Company.

Kelsey Glasser, Margo Schembre, and Tom Walton in The Ghost of David Belasco. Triumph Photography.

The loud-of-voice medium Madam Blutovsky (Margo Schembre) attempts to summon Belasco’s ghost for Gussie (Lisa Knox), Steven (Tom Walton), and Abigail (Kelsey Glasser). But somehow, things go horribly awry. Sure, Belasco (Todd Hermanson) is there rattling around somewhere, but an unexpected ghost, that of Steven’s father (Mark Schwahn) bursts onto the scene with something to say as well. Lights flash, things bang and sizzle and crash. And then there is a murder. Or is it a murder? Is it a man or is it a woman? Is there a body, or is that a pile of discarded sheets? The authorities (Matthew Sunderland and Melissa Standley) are summoned, and Reggie (Lucy Pascal) runs onto the stage to announce that the theatre’s emergency doors have been fused shut by lightening. It is then that the audience realizes this is a play within a play taking place during a storm in Portland, Oregon!

Margo Schembre, Kelsey Glasser, and Tom Walton in The Ghost of David Belasco, a comedy/farce by C.S. Whitcomb at Lakewood Theatre Company. Triumph Photography.

As the drama and silliness build, the audience will struggle to keep track of what is really going on. Directed by Stephanie Mulligan, the script and a strong and lively cast keep one guessing. Nothing is as it first appears. When ghosts must be appeased, all bets are off.

The Ghost of David Belasco’s creative team includes Steve Knox, producer; Shanon Keehn, stage manager; Rob Vaughn, set design; Rachel Kinsman Steck, lighting design; Paige A. Hanna, costume design; Marcus Storey, sound design; Kendra Comerford, production manager; Caren Graham, dialect coach; and Micah Steury, props.

The play runs through February 12 at Lakewood Theatre in Lake Oswego, and is part of the theatre’s 70th season. Tickets are available here.



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