Wednesday, September 11, 2013

This Week in Theatre: ARSENIC AND OLD LACE Finishes Up at Community Players

Community Players finishes up its run of Joseph Kesselring's homicidal comedy Arsenic and Old Lace this weekend, with just four performances left.

Director Tom Smith is at the helm of Players' Arsenic, with a cast that includes Carol Scott and Tricia Stiller as the sweetly murderous old ladies, Abby and Martha Brewster; Brian Artman as their (fairly) sane nephew Mortimer, the one who stumbles over bodies in the window seat; Joel Baldwin as Teddy, the nephew who thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt and keeps charging up San Juan Hill (the stairs) at inopportune moments; Nathan Botthorff as yet a third nephew, the ghastly Jonathan; Hannah Kerns as Mortimer's love interest, Elaine; Andy Carey as her dad; Thom Rakestraw as Jonathan Brewster's evil henchman; Aaron Watson as a man who makes the mistake of attempting to rent a room from Abby and Martha; and Spencer Powell, Jeremy Stiller, Alan Wilson and Jim Woodward as the police officers who come and go through the Brewster household when things start to get crazy.

Community Players has helpfully shared a behind-the-scenes video with actors and staff giving you the details on the characters and action, as well as a whole lot of performance photos from Assistant Director Joe Strupek that show off the fabulous set designed by Jeremy Stiller and Hannah Kerns, and Eddy Arteman's colorful parade of costumes.

Arsenic and Old Lace was written with such a light tone that it's difficult to believe it was based on actual events. But it was! As it happens, there was a real elderly lady named Amy Archer-Gilligan who had a penchant for poisoning her husbands and the unlucky residents of her Archer Home for Aged People. Read all about the real case here. Kudos to Kesselring for making murder funny and turning Arsenic and Old Lace into a perennial favorite at regional theatres.

For ticket information on Community Players' Arsenic and Old Lace, click here. You can also visit Community Players' Facebook page to see photos and information.

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