“Ghost-Writer,” now in its West Coast premiere at International City Theatre, starts off sluggishly, with an extended expositional monologue that, while poetical, seems a somewhat logy way to commence.
Ignore that static prelude. Playwright Michael Hollinger, who has penned such well-regarded works as “Opus” and “Incorruptible,” soon has us in the grip of his assured creative hand.
The play was inspired by an anecdote about Henry James' secretary, who claimed she continued channeling the master's words after his death.
“Ghost-Writer” begins after the demise of Franklin Woolsey (Leland Crooke), an eminent American author whose longtime secretary, Myra Babbage (Paige Lindsey White), has garnered headlines with her insistence that she is in direct communication with her dead employer and is completing Woolsey's unfinished final masterwork posthumously. That doesn't sit well with Woolsey's widow, Vivian (Cheryl David), who has harbored jealous thoughts about her husband's amanuensis for years.