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Magic is served family-style in ‘Witches’

Witches of East End

• 9 p.m. Sunday

• Lifetime


Posted 8:36am on Sunday, Oct. 06, 2013

If anyone out there has access to a functioning time machine, please contact Rachel Boston.

The actress, who co-stars as a novice witch in Lifetime’s Witches of East End, is looking to buy.

“I would love to jump through time and explore what it would be like to live in different lands,” says Boston, who plays Ingrid, a shy librarian shocked to discover she’s actually an immortal witch with untapped powers. “We do this on the series, so time travel has certainly piqued my curiosity.

“So I’m searching for a time machine. Or maybe a portal!”

In the meantime, Boston says, playing make-believe will more than satisfy.

“I love a good story about magic, mystery, romance and adventure,” she says. “ Witches of East End has all of that, while grounding the supernatural world with the heart of a family.”

The series, which premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday, follows the Beauchamps, a family of bewitching beauties who live in the idyllic seaside town of East Haven.

The show opens with matriarch figure Joanna (played by Julia Ormond) having cast a spell on her two daughters so they won’t know about their magical gifts.

But the girls, free-spirited Freya (Jenna Dewan-Tatum, a native North Texan) and the more-reserved Ingrid, inevitably discover that they’re the next generation of witches and must step into their power to fulfill their destiny.

“Once we enter this magical realm,” Boston says, “anything is possible: time travel, spells, ghosts.”

A fourth member of the Beauchamp family is Wendy (Madchen Amick), Joanna’s mischievous sister, who frequently shifts between human and feline form (usually popping back to human, completely naked, at inconvenient moments).

Freya and Ingrid will quickly learn that having magical abilities can be fun, but also dangerous.

The Beauchamps have a formidable and ancient enemy who has plans to end the family line. That’s why Joanna was so intent on hiding the girls’ gifts.

Witches of East End is mostly a light, frothy good time — very reminiscent, in fact, of the old Alyssa Milano-Shannen Doherty series Charmed.

If you like your supernatural storytelling to linger on the darker end of the spectrum, American Horror Story: Coven (premiering at 9 p.m. Wednesday on FX) is probably more your cup of witch’s brew.

Witches of East End, based on a series of bestselling novels by Melissa de la Cruz, is all about fantasies come true.

Freya, a bartender, is a young woman whose life belongs in a romance novel. She’s engaged to marry the impeccably named Dash Gardiner, a successful doctor and millionaire philanthropist; but she also has curious stirrings for Dash’s bad-boy brother Killian.

Ingrid, meanwhile, is on the course to a major metamorphosis, from prim wallflower into a much more confident, empowered woman.

“As she enters the world of magic, her walls come down and she is forced to break out of her comfort zone and begin her new life,” Boston says of Ingrid. “There’s a poem that I found during a rehearsal that I really like. It’s called Good Timber.

“It goes like this: ‘Good timber does not grow with ease, the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees.’ So through all the tests and trials, Ingrid keeps getting stronger.”

Ultimately, the success of Witches of East End will depend on the chemistry among the four actresses playing Beauchamp witches. They’re already off to a strong start in that department.

“I feel so fortunate to work with so many strong, dynamic, empowered women,” Boston says. “Julia, Jenna and Madchen are extraordinary. You learn so much from women who have navigated beautiful lives both professionally and personally.

“I think it’s incredibly important for women to be support systems for each other on our journeys through career and life. We really have become a family, both on and off the set. I love my witchy family.”

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