Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Troy Civic Theatre presents Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring

What fun!  All of us in the audience found plenty to laugh about even though there were bodies buried in the Panama Canal.  But dead bodies are to be expected when the play is a Dark Comedy.

In the first act, Reverend Harper (Joan Smoke) comes to the Brewster house for tea with the Brewster sisters and helps set the scene for what follows.

Later, the sweet, helpful and kind  Brewster sisters, Aunt Abby (Teressa Knoch) and Aunt Martha (Jackie Chamberlin), welcome Mr. Gibbs (Chuck Fox ) to their home.

But everything in the  house is a bit strange.  Before long, nephew Mortimer Brewster, comes to visit, and decides the situation in the  house cannot go on.  His fiancee, Elaine Harper, the minister's daughter, doesn't understand at all.

Mortimer (Robert Hyer) with Elaine (Kari Carter) consider their options.

When Dr. Einstein (Jennifer Kaufman ) and Jonathan Brewster (Doug Lowe)arrive,  the plot thickens.

Teddy Brewster (Alan Dunavent) puzzles Dr. Einstein (Jennifer Kaufman).

Over and over the police officers show up and eventually help solve the knotty problems of the Brewsters.  Officer Brophy is played by Kathy Bryant, Officer Klein by Jessica Suba and Officer O'Hara by Josh Lurie.  Lieutenant Rooney is played by Beth Shrake.

Derek Dunavent is directing this play.  Producer is Sonja Hyer, Stage manager is Niccole SueAnn Wallace, and Assistant to the stage director is Georgann Enright.

There are many other volunteers who help make this play possible.  Community theater members bring pleasure to many people through their volunteer work.  Thank you all.

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In 1941, the country was still feeling the effects of The Great Depression and  Hitler was beginning his drive through Europe.  People wanted to laugh and forget all their troubles for a few minutes.  Arsenic and Old Lace provided that opportunity.

This play opened for the first time on January 10, 1941 at the Fulton Theatre (later named Helen Hayes Theatre).  According to the opening night review in the New York Times, the play was "so funny that none of us will ever forget it."  Over seventy years later, audiences are still laughing and remembering this play long after they have seen it.

If you need a laugh and an escape from reality, you still have an opportunity to see this play.  It will be presented again October 9 and October 10 at the Troy Civic Theatre,  Call 339-7700 for information.  

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