BWW Reviews: Slidell Little Theatre's ARSENIC AND OLD LACE
Slidell Little Theatre's Production of dark comedy ARSENIC AND OLD LACE was a show that I had been looking forward to since I learned of their season schedule. It's rare that I attend shows that are not musicals, but when I read the synopsis, I knew I couldn't miss this one.
In this story, drama critic Mortimer Brewster must juggle a career that he isn't fond of with a pending marriage proposal to his love Elaine all while attempting to deal with his completely insane family. Mortimer has two aunts, Abby and Martha, who take it upon themselves to poison lonely men and bury them in their cellar. He also has two brothers, Teddy and Jonathan, who seem to have some identity issues among other things.
My absolute favorite character was Dr. Einstein, Jonathan's sidekick, played by Robert Jahncke. The quick one-liners topped off by a German accent had me in a fit of giggles. I also rather enjoy physical comedy à la Jim Carrey, and Jahncke had this down to a tee. At one point the stage was dark and he fell into the window seat, and struggled with a dummy posing as a dead body. We all know what it's like to walk through a dark house having to feel your way across the room, and that scene made for a funny dose of reality (except for the dead body part... hopefully).
Once again, Slidell Little Theatre blew me away with their amazing set. I've seen quite a bit of regional theatre on the Northshore, but never a set as elaborate as this one. With impeccable attention to detail, set designer Michelle Demontluzin created a nice Brooklyn home for the characters that was so warm and welcoming (if you ignore the fact that they were welcoming murderers and their victims). The set included a huge staircase and platform creating a two level house interior, more pictures and books on the walls and shelves than I could count, vibrant wall colors and patterned curtains, five different doorways, and a window with a window seat that opened. I definitely wouldn't mind living in a house like that!