While Cat Stevens intones "Don't Be Shy" on a phonograph, a conservatively dressed twentysomething writes a brief note, pins it to his jacket, lights two candles—and then hangs himself, confidently stepping off a chair into oblivion. No doubt film buffs have already recognized the opening to the cult classic Harold and Maude, a dark but still winsome comedy about a mild-mannered young man who has this thing about suicides and funerals, and about the eccentric seventysomething who ultimately proves his match.
That's enough in itself to prompt an advisory to those now expecting some Goth spectacle: The 1971 film predates that movement by about a decade and is coming from a different place. Ghost and Spice Productions kicks off its 11th—and final—season tonight at Common Ground with Ishai Buchbinder and Joan Darling in the title roles of a love story ... with a difference. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursdays–Saturdays through Oct. 13, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Oct. 7. —Byron Woods