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Arsenic & Old Lace

January 20-23 & 27-29, 2022

This classic farcical black comedy focuses on the Brewster family whose lineage descends from the Mayflower. However, in 1939, the family is composed of homicidal maniacs. The hero, Mortimer Brewster, is a drama critic who must deal with his crazy, murderous family and local police in Brooklyn, New York, as he debates whether to go through with his recent promise to marry the woman he loves, Elaine Harper, who lives next door and is the daughter of the local minister. His family includes two spinster aunts who have taken to murdering lonely old men by poisoning them with a glass of home-made elderberry wine laced with arsenicstrychnine, and “just a pinch” of cyanide; a brother who believes he is Theodore Roosevelt and digs locks for the Panama Canal in the cellar of the Brewster home (which then serve as graves for the aunts’ victims); and a murderous brother who has received plastic surgery performed by an alcoholic accomplice, Dr. Einstein to conceal his identity.  Over a couple of days, the situation reaches the boiling point as an innocent competition to see who can kill the most people develops between the aunts and Jonathan.

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