Newnan Theatre Company Presents ARSENIC AND OLD LACE
Newnan Theatre Company opens its historic 42nd season with the classic comedy Arsenic and Old Lace, by Joseph Kesselring, on Thursday, August 15th. The show has been hailed as one of the funniest comedies ever written for the stage by many theatre historians and has been performed all over the world.
The story revolves around Abby and Martha Brewster, old maid aunts to Mortimer Brewster, a New York theatre critic and well-known cynic. What Mortimer doesn't realize, though, is that his family has plenty of skeletons in its closet, or rather, in the cellar. It seems that the sweet old aunts have been using their father's old laboratory to whip up a rather toxic brew of elderberry wine, which they use to help lonely old men "find a better place in the world." Translation - they poison the old men to help them not be so miserable. Add to this mix Mortimer's younger brother, Teddy, who thinks he is President Theodore Roosevelt, and older brother, Jonathan, a life-long criminal and murderer who has come home to hide while his latest attempt at plastic surgery has left him looking "like Boris Karloff," thanks to his drunken companion, Dr. Einstein (no, not that one...).
"I love the fact that everyone in the play seems to be okay with how things are going in the little house in Brooklyn," says director Andrew Miller. "There's a graveyard in the cellar with twelve bodies buried in it. Teddy dug the graves, thinking he was digging locks in the Panama Canal. The aunts are very proud of their poison recipe. Jonathan has escaped from the hospital for the criminally insane, bringing with him his plastic surgeon, who gives him new faces from time to time. And Mortimer is the only one in Brooklyn who seems to realize that this is not normal!"
Mary Caroline Moore, managing director for NTC, laughingly says, "Arsenic and Old Lace is so dark in its humor, you can't help but laugh. Little old ladies are poisoning old men and burying them in the cellar, complete with funeral services. Mad Jonathan relishes in his ability to cause pain to his victims, much to Dr. Einstein's dismay. And yet, Mortimer is the person everyone thinks is going a bit crazy because he wants to escape all this craziness around him."
Josh Hendricks plays the increasingly stressed Mortimer. Kelly Banks and Louisa Grant play Mortimer's aunts, Abby and Martha. Chaz Ferguson plays Teddy, who loves to blow his bugle and "charge'"upstairs because it reminds him of San Juan Hill. Ralph Myers and Alexander Cain play Jonathan and Dr. Einstein. Lauren Helena plays Elaine, Mortimer's fiancée, who is blissfully unaware of all the madness around her.
Arsenic and Old Lace, by Joseph Kesselring, opens August 15th and runs through August 25th. Shows are Thursdays through Sundays, with show times at 8 pm for the Thursday - Saturday shows, and 3 pm for the Sunday matinees. Tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased through the Newnan Theatre Company website, www.newnantheatre.org , or by calling the NTC offices at 770.683.6282.