The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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October 17, 2013

Noël Coward comedy opens today at MSU

As 'Blithe Spirit' opens today at MSU, some facts about its eccentric playwright

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• Coward was knighted in 1970, though it was discovered only recently that Winston Churchill personally blocked Coward's knighthood several decades earlier, likely on account of Coward's homosexuality.

• His highly successful cabaret show in Las Vegas in 1955 prompted a series of 90-minute TV shows on CBS that cemented Coward's fame in America.

• Though Coward appeared in several films late in his career — including "Around the World in 80 Days" and "The Italian Job" — he turned down the roles of Col. Nicholson in "The Bridge Over the River Kwai" and the title role in the James Bond thriller "Dr. No."

• He died at his estate in Jamaica in 1973. Reportedly, his last words were: "Goodnight my darlings. I'll see you in the morning."

If You Go What "Blithe Spirit" Performances 7:30 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday as well as Oct. 23-26. Also, 2 p.m. matinees on Sunday, and Oct. 26 and 27. Where Andreas Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts Tickets $16, $14 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more, $11 for MSU students. Available online at MSUTheatre.com or by calling or stopping by the Theatre & Dance Box Office from 4-6 p.m., Monday-Friday. Call 507-389-6661; please mention if you require special accommodations.

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