Bell, Book and Candle
Written by John Van Druten
Directed by Darien Aiken
The BLT Theater
American Legion Hall
55 East Jordan St., Brevard
October 23, 24, 25, 30, 31 & November 1, 2009
About the Show
"Bewitched, bothered and bewildered" is a perfect way to describe Shep
Henderson as he falls head over heels in love with Gillian Holroyd when
she casts her spell over him.
When John Van Druten's play opened on Broadway, it ran for 233
performances. It starred Lili Palmer and Rex Harrison as the bewitcher
and the bewitched. The movie version starred Kim Novak, James
Stewart, Ernie Kovacs, Jack Lemmon and Elsa Lanchester. The movie
went on to win, among other awards, a Golden Globe. The popular TV
show Bewitched was also based on this play.
Gillian, who hails from a long line of Holroyd witches, is smitten with her
upstairs neighbor, book publisher Shepherd Henderson. He barely notices
her and she would like to have a fling with him. When he comes to her
apartment to use her phone and question some strange things going on in
his place, she decides to cast a spell on him and before he's able to get a
foot out the door, POOF! It's love at first sight.
With the help of brother Nicky, who's a warlock, and an aunt, Miss
Queenie, the more flighty but experienced witch of the family, Shep's
engagement to his fiancé Merle, a college rival of Gillian's, falls apart
when the two tinker with Shep's phone lines and he is cut off from his
other life. While he is as consumed with Gillian as she is with him, the "L"
word cannot escape her lips.
According to lore, witches cannot fall in love. Nothing, however, can
prevent them from having a romantic fling. And that's exactly what
Gillian does, at first glance. Shep still doesn't get it, but she loves it.
They see each other day and night. They romp, they kiss, they stroll and
visit galleries. He has a key to her place, they share common interests
and everything seems to be coming up roses. And from there we should
be able to say they lived happily ever after.
If life were that simple, the story would end here. But, in fact, this is
where the fun begins. Shep cannot get enough of Gillian. It's not difficult
to understand why he is agog with his new-found love. Gillian is sexy,
fiery, and as sleek as her black, magical cat Pyewacket, seductive and as
magically alluring as any woman could be. Shep, on the other hand, is
somewhat stuffy, doubtful and rather naïve about the ways outside his
world, head over heels in love and much more conventional than Gillian.
Both Queenie and Nicky see the changes coming over her. Queenie
thinks it's wonderful. Nicky's not happy. He's trying to get in on a book
deal with the renowned author Sidney Redlitch, who is in the process of
writing about witches, warlocks and witchcraft. Nicky wants the affair
over because it's getting in the way of a lucrative deal. But it is also
interfering with Gillian's love life, and she wants him to end the book
deal. Nicky is taking Redlitch to all of the witch haunts in the city and
naming names. This is making Gillian a bit nervous since Shep knows
nothing about her "craft" and what if word gets out?
The tug and pull of new romance vs. old ideas, witchcraft and reality,
spells and spooks, takes many twists and turns, laughter and tears (yes
tears, even though witches can't cry or they lose their powers) along the
bumpy road to a happy ending. In a real fun play, Nicky provides some
of the funniest moments. Miss Queenie is another memorable character.
Hers is the quintessential daffy but caring elder family member,
confidante and bumbler.
Don't miss this one!
Gillian Holroyd.................................Allison Pressley
Shepherd Henderson........................Dan Clancy
Nicky Holroyd..................................Jason Mendez
Miss Holroyd....................................Martha Hogenboom
Sidney Redlitch................................Doug Huth