Arsenic and Old Lace is on stage at Center Stage Community Theatre (CSCT) in Lebanon. Many may remember the story from the classic 1944 Cary Grant film of the same name. The story follows the Brewster family through one confusing night of mayhem.
Mortimer Brewster has just decided to marry his sweetheart, Elaine Harper, when he discovers his sweet elderly aunts, Abby and Martha, have been committing murders is their doily dotted home.
In addition to that shock Mortimer's evil brother Jonathon has returned home after years abroad to further disrupt the Brewsters' lives. Mortimer's other brother, Teddy, adds to the madness as he charges through the house convinced he is Teddy Roosevelt and is overseeing the construction of the Panama Canal.
Mortimer sums up the crazy atmosphere of the Brewsters' home with one hilarious quip, "Insanity runs in my family, in fact it practically gallops."
While Teddy chats with nonexistent dignitaries and Jonathon plots everyone's demise, Mortimer tries to keep his new finacee out of the mix and find a solution to his many quandaries. Mortimer is played by Dave Eckard and Beth Neilson plays Elaine Harper. Both Eckard and Neilson are returning to CSCT after their performances in the theater's last show, 'The Boys Next Door.' The pair work well together and serve as sane buoys in a sea of deranged relatives.
Kae Campbell and Sally Dunlap star as a couple of those crazies, Abby and Martha Brewster respectively. The duo are sugar and spice and everything nice, plus a dollop of arsenic and a pinch of strychnine for good measure. At their home feel free to enjoy a home cooked meal, just don't ask for anything to drink.
The set works perfectly for the show, allowing actors to head upstairs, to the basement or to climb in through windows, despite the size of the stage.
The Center Stage Community Theatre is a testament to the importance of live theater in every community. We're lucky to have a dedicated theater troupe in Lebanon. I encourage everyone to enjoy each new show they offer if you get a chance.
Performances: "Arsenic and Old Lace" closed June 17, 2007.