East Lynne Theater Co. Presents ARSENIC AND OLD LACE
Murder! Mayhem! Madcap fun! Meet the Brewsters! The Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company presents "Arsenic and Old Lace" from July 25 through September 1, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM, at the First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500 Hughes Street, where ELTC is in residence.
The Brewster sisters live in Brooklyn, offering rooms-to-rent, while populating their cellar with The Remains of "acceptable" lodgers. The nephew who lives with them thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt, another nephew is running from the law, and the third nephew is a theater critic who is recently engaged to the "girl next door." Written by Joseph Kesselring, this 1941 Broadway comedy hit is family entertainment at its looniest!
The original production, produced by the playwrighting team of Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, ran on Broadway for 1,444 performances, and in London, 1,337 performances, making it the longest running American play in England at that time. The 1944 film, directed by Frank Capra is a comedy classic.
The sisters are played by Suzanne Dawson and Gayle Stahlhuth, both familiar to ELTC. Dawson's NY credits include "CBS Live" and "The Last Musical," and she toured nationally in "Rumors" and "Last of the Red Hot Lovers." Stahlhuth has also performed in NY and national touring productions and has produced over 100 shows for ELTC since becoming its artistic director in 1999.
Their nephews are Mortimer, played by Scott Harrison, Jonathan played by Paul Battiato, and Rob LeMaire is Teddy. Harrison was recently in ELTC's "On the Sunny Side of the Street," "Widower's House" at the Washington Stage Guild and "Fiddler on the Roof" at Arena Stage. Battiato's NY credits include "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Frankenstein," and regionally, he was in "A Man for All Seasons" and "Present Laughter." Rob LeMaire has been in ELTC productions since 2001, and for the last two years has directed shows for the company's Summer Student Workshop. Shows he's directed for the Ocean City High School Drama Guild include "Addams Family: A New Musical," "Stage Door," and "Spamalot."
Mortimer's fiancé, Elaine, is played by Jennifer Flynn, who graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, has performed in NY, and spent time in Los Angeles, where she studied with David Mamet and produced and appeared in several theater, film, and online productions. Morgan J. Nichols, making his fourth appearance at ELTC, portrays Jonathan's sidekick, Dr. Einstein. Recently he's landed roles in CBS's "Blue Bloods" and HBO's "Vinyl."
Thomas Raniszewski, who's been performing with ELTC since 2005, was in the world premiere of "Dying Like Ignacio" in NY, and "The Twentieth-Century Way" in Philadelphia. He portrays several roles including Mr. Gibbs, who is looking to rent a room from the Brewster sisters. Bob Reader, who plays Mr. Witherspoon, the head of a sanitarium, created the Butchers' Guild Theatre Company in Orange County NY, and was its producer and director from 1993-2005, while he was a professor at The College of Insurance in NYC.
Two police officers are on hand: Klein is played by Jeff Sharkey and O'Hara is Kegan Witzki. Sharkey's TV/film credits include roles in the Investigation Discovery Channel's series "True Crime," and on-stage he's performed with the Margate Players. Witzki recently received his M.A. in Classical Acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA), where he performed in "Macbeth," "The Way of the World," and other classics.
Gayle Stahlhuth is directing "Arsenic and Old Lace," and Rob LeMaire is the assistant director.
The opening night after-show party on July 25 is at Aleathea's at The Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean Street. The after-show Q&A is on August 3.
There are only a few performances left of the toe-tapping hit musical revue, "On the Sunny Side of the Street," running through July 21 only. Tickets for both shows are $35 general admission, $30 for seniors (age 65 and over), $20 for full-time students and military (active/retired/veteran), and anyone age 12 and under is free. For more information and to make a reservation, call 609-884-5898, e-mail email@example.com, or visit www.eastlynnetheater.org.