Arsenic and Old Lace is a delightful comedy which was a successful play and movie, opening on Broadway in January 1941 and running for 1,444 performances before closing in June, 1944. Given its large cast, it is not often done by equity theatres. However, with its large cast and funny situations and dialogue, the play is ideal for community theatre. Two elderly spinsters live in a big, old house in Brooklyn with their eccentric brother. Descended from those who arrived on The Mayflower, the Brewster family is not what it was. Just how odd they are, both the audience and their nephew Mortimer discover in the course of the play. It is not just the Panama Canal in their basement that is peculiar. You will have a delightful time finding out all about this unusual family.
The Bennington Community Theater is based on the idea of providing low cost, quality theatre that engages members of the community as audience and performers, and also giving the proceeds of the play to a worthy, local institution. The beneficiary of this production is the Bennington Free Library which is offering a lovely display in conjunction with the play. One can also buy tickets for the performances at the library.
Check out the Arsenic and Old Lace book display in the main reading room. These titles riff on some of the play’s plot points.
Two performances of Arsenic and Old Lace will be held at Oldcastle Theater to benefit the library on November 6th and 7th at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $10.
Robert Ebert was on Theatre Talk to discuss the play as well as tell us more about the Bennington Community Theater.