Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Review: ARSENIC AND OLD LACE at Taproot Theatre

Review: ARSENIC AND OLD LACE at Taproot Theatre ARSENIC AND OLD LACE at Taproot Theater is what Aunt Abby would call a "fine howdy doo." This production proves why Joseph Kesselring's play is considered a classic. The play contains not only great humor but also smarts. The talented cast has a great rapport and will take you on an adventurous ride full of surprises.

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE is the story of the eccentric Brewster family. Sisters Abby and Martha maintain the family home and are pillars of the community, known for their kind hearts and generous deeds. Their nephew Mortimer is a theater critic and dating the pastor's daughter who lives next door. Their other nephew, Teddy, thinks he's Theodore Roosevelt and his frequent bugle blowing brings the police to the house on a regular basis. When Mortimer discovers that one of his aunts' charities is more than a little illegal, they must rally together to protect the secret, no matter what crazy shenanigans or hijinks are necessary.

This tight knit cast is headed by Richard Nguyen Sloniker (Mortimer Brewster). Sloniker must portray nearly every possible human emotion in the span of two hours. He excels in the rapid-fire problem solving to protect the family while interspersing it with the great comedy of avoiding all beverages served at the Brewster house. David Drummond is a standout at Jonathan Brewster. His hulking presence and rough demeanor were more than a little intimidating. I also enjoyed Tyler Todd Kimmel (Officer O'Hara) with his nonplussed delivery and easy swagger. A tip of the hat to Stephen Grenley whose portrayal of Teddy Brewster brought a kindness and depth to what could have easily been a one-note part. The heart of the show belongs to Kim Morris and Pam Nolte (Abby and Martha Brewster, respectively). They presented a bond of understanding and mutual respect. They made the unbelievable believable, and had the audience firmly in their corner. Morris was especially enjoyable as she spoke with such sincerity and genuineness so as to make her acting completely invisible.

Taproot specializes in shows that take place within a single location. With little room to move pieces on or off, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE is a perfect choice for this theater. Scenic design by Mark Lund provided a Brewster house that was rich with detail and made great use of the limited space. Costumes by Jocelyn Fowler were simultaneously historic and timeless. The sisters' mourning dresses and hats were particularly fabulous. Director Marianne Savell managed the few needed transitions masterfully with low light and continued action. The pacing was tight while still allowing the actors time to breath into a scene. The show is simply delightful to watch and fond to remember.

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE is playing at Taproot Theatre through March 2nd. For more tickets or information, visit www.taproottheatre.org.



Village Theatre Announces Award-Winning Music Director R.J. Tancioco As Artistic Associate Photo
Village Theatre has announced R.J. Tancioco is joining the artistic staff of the theatre as an Artistic Associate. Tancioco is an award-winning, Northwest-based Music Director who has done much of his work at Village Theatre, as well as in numerous theatres throughout the Puget Sound region.

Seattle Mens Chorus Brings Hit Songs To The Stage With DISNEY PRIDE In Concert Photo
For the first time, Seattle Men's Chorus celebrates LGBTQ Pride Month with the iconic music of Disney.

Review: SENSE AND SENSIBILITY at Village Theatre Photo
Love and longing, mistakes and matches, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY pairs all the ups and down and ins and outs of love and marriage in one show. Village Theatre’s production of this Kate Hamill adaptation also pairs the traditional story with exaggerations of the humor and sarcasm. It is light and diverting as well as deep and meaningful. In short, it has a bit of everything to satisfy the tastes of all the Mariannes and Elinors out there.

Review: HISTORY OF THEATRE: ABOUT, BY, FOR, AND NEAR at ACT Theatre Photo
A new work by ACT Theatre and the Hansberry Project, HISTORY OF THEATRE: ABOUT, BY, FOR, and NEAR will take you on a journey through time and space to meet the people who forged the foundations for Blacks in theater. The show dispels myths about minstrelsy, delves into the hows and whys of black face, and covers key players of early theater in America. Unheard voices are released, forgotten stars are remembered, and a rich legacy is revealed.


From This Author - Kelly Rogers Flynt

Born and educated in the South, Kelly Rogers Flynt has happily transitioned to life in the Pacific Northwest where she enjoys more rain and fewer mosquitos. She works as a director, choreographer,&... (read more about this author)


Review: SENSE AND SENSIBILITY at Village TheatreReview: SENSE AND SENSIBILITY at Village Theatre
February 5, 2023

Love and longing, mistakes and matches, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY pairs all the ups and down and ins and outs of love and marriage in one show. Village Theatre’s production of this Kate Hamill adaptation also pairs the traditional story with exaggerations of the humor and sarcasm. It is light and diverting as well as deep and meaningful. In short, it has a bit of everything to satisfy the tastes of all the Mariannes and Elinors out there.

Review: HISTORY OF THEATRE: ABOUT, BY, FOR, AND NEAR at ACT TheatreReview: HISTORY OF THEATRE: ABOUT, BY, FOR, AND NEAR at ACT Theatre
February 3, 2023

A new work by ACT Theatre and the Hansberry Project, HISTORY OF THEATRE: ABOUT, BY, FOR, and NEAR will take you on a journey through time and space to meet the people who forged the foundations for Blacks in theater. The show dispels myths about minstrelsy, delves into the hows and whys of black face, and covers key players of early theater in America. Unheard voices are released, forgotten stars are remembered, and a rich legacy is revealed.

Review: METAMORPHOSES at Seattle Repertory TheatreReview: METAMORPHOSES at Seattle Repertory Theatre
February 2, 2023

Compelling storytelling is the focus of METAMORPHOSES at Seattle Rep. Every choice is made with intention, and every facet of the show is a work of collaboration. The gods, the humans, and the demigods are all shown to have strengths and weaknesses. With stories that reach back into the eons of the past, METAMORPHOSES leads you to laugh, to hurt, and to reflect on what it means to be human.

Review: THIS BITTER EARTH at Seattle Public TheaterReview: THIS BITTER EARTH at Seattle Public Theater
January 30, 2023

THIS BITTER EARTH is a story of troubles: a troubled time, troubles in a relationship, but mostly trouble in seeing outside of one’s own perspective. In our modern world where issues of social justice dominate the headlines, our actions and reactions are as varied as the individuals that make up our melting pot of society. At times it feels like we are all stewing in the pot rather than melting into one people, one community. THIS BITTER EARTH deals with two opposite reactions to the divisiveness of our world and how they struggle to understand each other. The show is full of tough conversations, powerful moments, quiet nudges, and just enough hope to carry us through.What did our critic think of THIS BITTER EARTH at Seattle Public Theater?

Review: A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE at Taproot TheatreReview: A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE at Taproot Theatre
January 28, 2023

A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE is ironically an important work by none other than the esteemed Oscar Wilde. A thinking man’s comedy, Wilde imbues this work with witty banter while challenging society’s norms. The clips along with a steady stream of laughs punctuated by occasions of loud guffaws and eye-popping truths. You will be charmed. You will be delighted. You will be entertained.