ARSENIC AND OLD LACE

Critics

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Reviews: 6

Audience

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ARSENIC AND OLD LACE
Written by Joseph Kesselring
Directed by Casey Stangl

THE BODY COUNT BEGINS FRIDAY, JANUARY 24
AT LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS!

“So funny that none of us will ever forget it!” – New York Times

LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS & McCOY RIGBY ENTERTAINMENT are thrilled to present the third show of their 2019-2020 season, the hilariously dark comedy, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, written by Joseph Kesselring and directed by Casey Stangl. ARSENIC AND OLD LACE will preview on Friday, January 24, 2020 (with a press opening on Saturday, January 25 at 8pm) and run through Sunday, February 16, 2020 at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd in La Mirada.

Combining murder and mayhem with zany humor, here’s an uproarious black comedy that gives “hospitality” a bad name! Meet Abby and Martha Brewster, two spinster sisters known for their acts of charity -- which lately includes poisoning lonely old men with arsenic-laced elderberry wine. When their nephew finds out about the corpses in the cellar, he’s in a frantic race to deal with his aunts, his fiancée, and two crazy brothers – one who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt and one who is a dead-ringer for Boris Karloff! Don’t miss one of America’s most popular comedies in a spiffy new production that will slay you with laughter!
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST

CASEY STANGL (Director) is an award-winning director working at theaters across the country and was named 2019 Director of the Year by StageScene LA. Recent credits include Ragtime at the Chance Theater (LA Times Critic’s Choice), Silent Sky at Arizona Theater Company and many productions at South Coast Repertory. National credits include American Conservatory Theater, The Guthrie Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Jungle Theater, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Portland Stage, Cleveland Playhouse and Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Casey is the Associate Artistic Director of Ojai Playwrights Conference and is a frequent collaborator in the creation of new plays. She has developed work at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, the Humana Festival, Berkeley Rep’s GroundFloor, PlayPenn and Pacific Playwrights Festival. Casey proudly serves on the Executive Board of SDC, the National labor union for stage directors and choreographers.

JOSEPH KESSELRING (Playwright) was an American playwright best known for Arsenic and Old Lace, a hit on Broadway from 1939 to 1944 and in other countries as well. He was born in New York City to Henry and Frances Kesselring. His father's parents were immigrants from Germany, while his mother was an English Canadian. Kesselring spent much of his life in and around the theater. In 1922, he began teaching vocal music and directed stage productions at Bethel College, a Mennonite school in North Newton, Kansas. After two years, Kesselring left teaching and returned to the stage, working for two years with an amateur theatrical group in Niagara, New York. He began working as a freelance playwright in 1933, completing twelve original plays, of which four were produced on Broadway: There's Wisdom in Women (1935), Arsenic and Old Lace (1939), Four Twelves are 48 (1951), and Mother of that Wisdom (1963). Arsenic and Old Lace was his masterpiece. It ran for 1,444 performances on Broadway, 1,337 performances in London, and became a staple on the high school and dinner theater circuits. The movie version, released in 1944, directed by Frank Capra and starring Cary Grant, was also a hit.

The Cast for ARSENIC AND OLD LACE features Carol Mansell as “Abby Brewster,” Lynn Milgrim as “Martha Brewster,” Jamison Jones as “Mortimer Brewster,” James Lancaster as “Teddy Brewster,” Ty Mayberry as “Jonathan Brewster,”
Ed F. Martin as “Dr. Einstein,” Rachel Seiferth as “Elaine Harper,” Matthew Grondin as “Officer O’Hara,” Michael Thomas-Visgar as “Officer Brophy,” Mike Genovese as “Lieutenant Rooney/Mr. Gibbs,” Nick McKenna as “Officer Klein” and Time Winters as "The Rev. Dr. Harper /Mr. Witherspoon.”

The Design Team for ARSENIC AND OLD LACE is as follows: Scenic Design by John Iacovelli; Lighting Design by Karyn Lawrence; Sound Design by Josh Bessom; Costume Design by David Kay Mickelsen; Hair/Wig/Makeup Design by Katie McCoy; Properties Design is by Kevin Williams. The Casting Director is Julia Flores and the Production Stage Manager is Julie Renfro.

ABOUT THE SCHEDULE AND PRICING

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE will preview on Friday, January 24, 2020 (with a press opening on Saturday, January 25 at 8pm) and run through Sunday, February 16, 2020 at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd in La Mirada.

Performances are Wednesdays & Thursdays at 7:30pm; Fridays at 8 pm;
Saturdays at 2 pm & 8 pm & Sundays at 2 pm.

There will be no performance on Saturday, January 25 at 2 pm. There will be an
ASL-interpreted performance on Saturday, February 15 at 2 pm.

Talkbacks with the cast and creative team will be on Wednesday, January 29 and Wednesday, February 12, 2020.

Tickets range from $17 - $89 (prices subject to change) and can be purchased at La Mirada Theatre’s website, www.lamiradatheatre.com or by calling the La Mirada Theatre Box Office at (562) 944-9801 or (714) 994-6310. Group discounts are available. $15 Student Tickets are available.

Children under 3 will not be admitted into the theatre.
LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS is located at 14900 La Mirada Boulevard in La Mirada, near the intersection of Rosecrans Avenue where the 91 and 5 freeways meet. Parking is free.

Reviews

Avatar

Though the third act’s screwball contrivances ensure an accidentally happy ending, it’s only because Arsenic relies so much more on plot than character. What character development there is is accomplished by playing each stereotype’s single note with a large helping of authenticity while never shying away from a slow burn or double-take. And this cast soars at that... HIGHLY RECOMMEND

sweet - Tony Frankel - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE is a fun play which will charm and entertain. Don’t look for depth in this light, laugh-inducing, hilarious production. This is a play to enjoy, and the audience clearly loved it.

sweet - Elaine Mura - Splash Magazines - ...read full review


Avatar

It is very funny, and it will surely make you laugh out loud. Carol Mansell and Lynn Milgrim, as Amy and Martha Brewster respectively, are fantastic.

sweet - Dena Burroughs - The Fume of Sighs - ...read full review


Avatar

Though there are some time period references that might elude younger audiences (Roosevelt's charging up San Juan Hill,  Karloff's reference, or a swipe at long-time actress Judith Anderson), the play is remarkably charming ninety-plus years later. It has the requisite uh-oh factor when murder is about the happen, and the precision timing delivered by director Stangl keeps the action moving briskly along. The ensemble makes the show a fine addition to the La Mirada season.

sweet - Melinda Schupmann - ShowMag - ...read full review


Avatar

Director Casey Stangl has cast such fine actors so impeccably, and provided so many delightful comedic touches, we’re left admiring the work of all involved.

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Like last season’s Murder On The Orient, Arsenic And Old Lace is so all-around splendid, you can’t help wishing La Mirada/McCoy Rigby would do more than just one straight play per year. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a more murderously mirthful Golden Era treat.

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


Avatar

Though the third act’s screwball contrivances ensure an accidentally happy ending, it’s only because Arsenic relies so much more on plot than character. What character development there is is accomplished by playing each stereotype’s single note with a large helping of authenticity while never shying away from a slow burn or double-take. And this cast soars at that... HIGHLY RECOMMEND

sweet - Tony Frankel - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE is a fun play which will charm and entertain. Don’t look for depth in this light, laugh-inducing, hilarious production. This is a play to enjoy, and the audience clearly loved it.

sweet - Elaine Mura - Splash Magazines - ...read full review


Avatar

It is very funny, and it will surely make you laugh out loud. Carol Mansell and Lynn Milgrim, as Amy and Martha Brewster respectively, are fantastic.

sweet - Dena Burroughs - The Fume of Sighs - ...read full review


Avatar

Though there are some time period references that might elude younger audiences (Roosevelt's charging up San Juan Hill,  Karloff's reference, or a swipe at long-time actress Judith Anderson), the play is remarkably charming ninety-plus years later. It has the requisite uh-oh factor when murder is about the happen, and the precision timing delivered by director Stangl keeps the action moving briskly along. The ensemble makes the show a fine addition to the La Mirada season.

sweet - Melinda Schupmann - ShowMag - ...read full review


Avatar

Director Casey Stangl has cast such fine actors so impeccably, and provided so many delightful comedic touches, we’re left admiring the work of all involved.

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Like last season’s Murder On The Orient, Arsenic And Old Lace is so all-around splendid, you can’t help wishing La Mirada/McCoy Rigby would do more than just one straight play per year. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a more murderously mirthful Golden Era treat.

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review