Arsenic and Old Lace (October 2-11, 2014)

by Joseph Kesselring

We launch Stage Centre Productions’ 38th season with one of everybody’s favourite comedies, as funny now as it was when it was first seen in 1941. Arsenic and Old Lace centres on two charming and (apparently) innocent elderly sisters, Abby and Martha Brewster, who are famous in their Brooklyn neighbourhood for their numerous acts of charity. Unfortunately, however, their charity includes poisoning lonely old men who come to their home looking for lodging! The two sisters are assisted in their crimes by their crazy nephew who believes he is Teddy Roosevelt and who frequently blasts a bugle and yells “charge” as he bounds up the stairs. Matters get complicated when a second nephew, a theatre critic, discovers the murders. In trying to explain his aunts to his new wife, he tells her: “Insanity runs in my family…. It practically gallops.” Then there’s the third nephew who has just escaped from a prison for the criminally insane… Only last year, Broadway said that “The zany, madcap comedy… is one that still manages to captivate audiences today… The play is as funny as ever… leaves the audience rolling with laughter.”