Like the Coward play on which it is based, the musical deals in whimsical and light-hearted fashion with Charles Condomine, an English writer whose affections are claimed by both his level-headed second wife, Ruth, and his first wife, Elvira--a ghost called up in a séance by the eccentric medium, Madame Arcati. Farcical complications ensue, especially as the spectral Elvira is visible to Charles, but not to Ruth.
The bubbly, jazz-tinged score includes the following principal songs: "Was She Prettier Than I?" (Ruth); "The Bicycle Song" (Madame Arcati and company); "You'd Better Love Me" (Elvira); "Where Is the Man (Girl) I Married?" (Ruth and Charles); "Go Into Your Trance" (Madame Arcati and company); "Forever and a Day" (Charles and Elvira); "Something Tells Me" (Elvira); "I Know Your Heart" (Charles and Elvira); "Faster Than Sound" (Elvira and company); "If I Gave You" (Charles and Ruth); "Talking To You" (Madame Arcati--singing to her Ouija board); "Home Sweet Heaven" (Elvira); "Something Is Coming To Tea" (Madame Arcati and company); "What in the World Did You Want?" (Charles, Ruth, and Elvira).
The musical was a notable success for veteran comedienne Lillie, who was perfectly in her element as the dotty Madame Arcati. (Coward had written Blithe Spirit with Lillie in mind, but circumstances had prevented her from performing it until the musical version came along.) The show's success was somewhat overshadowed, however, by the fact that the original productions of Hello, Dolly, Funny Girl, and Fiddler on the Roof all opened during the same very busy Broadway year.