High Spirits as Rupert Becomes Ghostly Toast of Broadway

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Byline: TOM TEODORCZUK In New York

CROWNING one of the most unpredictable careers in showbusiness, Rupert Everett woke up this morning a Broadway star.

Making his debut on the Great White Way, the 49-year-old actor, best known for his film roles in My Best Friend's Wedding and Another Country, received rave reviews for his performance as urbane novelist Charles Condomine in a revival of Noel Coward's 1941 ghostly comedy Blithe Spirit.

The audience at last night's opening at Manhattan's Shubert Theatre included Allegra Versace, Diane Lane and Sir Peter Shaffer. Everett appears alongside Angela Lansbury, 83, who plays psychic Madame Arcati, and Christine Ebersole as his first wife Elvira, who torments him from beyond the grave.

The rapturous critical reception accorded to Everett places him in contention for success at the Tony Awards in June.

The New York Times observed: "Mr Everett does shallow splendidly, and even finds a few teasing currents of depth in the dapperer-than-thou Charles... Mr

Everett presents [him] with candid clarity, while never breaking the brittle, bantering rhythms of Cowardspeak." The Associated Press deemed Everett "a worthy successor to Rex Harrison, who starred in the 1945 film version".

David Rooney, in showbusiness bible Variety, said: "Rupert Everett certainly looks the part, swanning around ... as if he were born in a tux, led by his almost comically chiseled chin." Newsday's Linda Winer praised his "dashing, debonair flair and preening emotional distance". In the New York Daily News Joe Dziemianowicz gave the play three stars, but said: "Everett calls on an innate urbane polish for his role, which mostly requires him to be the straight man who mixes martinis. …