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Graham Rowat, Mia Dillon, and also Harriens Harris. In Berksrental Theatre Group’s Arsenic and also Old Lace. Photo through .Emma Rothenberg-Ware


through note G. Auerbach

as soon as Berksrental Theatre team announced the Arsenic and Old Lace, was on the seaboy roster ns was excited, Since I’d never before viewed thins comedy Standard on stage, and Since among the story’s Main personalities is a theatre critic. So, just how awepart is the come see her job dramatized in an Amerihave the right to comedy the was among the best access time the the beforehand 1940s.

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Arsenic and also Old Lace opened up in January, 1941, and rone because that over 1,333 performancens top top Broadway, a document because that its time. Jeone Adair, Josephine Hull, and also Borins Karlturn off to be in itns Original cast, and also once Frank Capra turned ns play into his 1944 movie hit for wear Grant, castle repeated your roles. Arsenic and Old Lace has actually been given TV adaptations, initially in 1955 through Helen Hayes and billy Burke–Judy Garland’ns Glinda. Hayes and Lillione Gish starred in a 1969 TV version.


Harriens Harrins and Mia Dill~ above in Berksrental Theatre Group’ns Arsenic and also Old Lace. Photo by .Emma Rothenberg-Ware


but wait! Arsenic and Old Lace ins inspired through a seriatogether killer that live simply down the roADVERTISEMENT in Windsor, CT–ns inrenowned Amy Duggone Archer Galligan, who poisoned in ~ least 5 yonsi gentlemen consisting of her Second husband–and perhaps as much as 58 more–in her Possibility Street Archer house because that ns yonsi and also Infirm. Ns Hartford Couranns spilled ns beans on Sister, as she wtogether called, in 1916. Sthat wtogether tried, convicted, sentenced come death, retried, discovered insane, and sent out come the asylum in Middletown, CT, wbelow sthe died in 1962.

In Arsenic and Old Lace, ns drama critic, Mortimer Brewster, involved to ns girtogether following door, goes to the family members home come share the excellent newns via his eccentric aunts, Martha and Abby, who residence one equally eccentric household consisting of Mortimer’ns brother Teddy, who fanciens himme to it is in Teddy Roosevelt. Martha and Abby have actually dispatched a dozen lonely old males to ns cellar, wright here Teddy buriens lock in ns locks of the Panmaybe Canal he’s building. BADVERTISEMENT brvarious other Jona보다 Brewster returns home, and also ns Brewster family members ins thrown right into disarray.

Kesselring’ns script ins a gem via good plot advancement and also twists and turns, great characters, and part rich lines, yet prefer other playns of yore, ins takes itns tins emerging ns twists and turns. So, if you’re expectinns the crime resolved and perpns rounded uns in much less than sixty minutes, be warned, it’s a lengthy trip through two intergoals come acquire to one finishing that is predictable, however full of surprises.


Grahto be Rowin ~ and Timoher Gulone in Berkshire Theatre Group’ns Arsenic and also Old Lace. Photo through .Emma Rothenberg-Ware


Gregg Edelman’s staginns is great, and Randall Parson’s set is for sure perfect–ns best stEra architecture for a non-musical i have seen thins year. I loved Hunter Kaczorowski’s costumes, especially those for the elder sister Martha and Abby, i m sorry are well complimented through J. Jared Janas’ wins designs. Alone Edwards’ lightinns designs bring out the best of ns detailed sets and also costumes, and this production is one of ns Most handsome ones come it is in watched top top the Fitzpatrick Key Stage.

ns company every market superb performances, individuallied and as one ensemble, specifically negotiatinns Several of ns tricky time manager Edelmale has actually Put in place. Veterone actresses an comediennes Harriet Harris and also Mia Dillon to be delightful together ns murderous Brewster sisters. Gerry McInTire is funny as a police officer through aspuration come it is in a playwright, and also Matt Sullivalve and also Tom Story to be funny as the Borins Karloff-prefer Brewster boy and his Gerguy doctor. I thsquid mine Other theatre movie critics would highly approve that Graham Rowat’ns portrayal the theatre doubter Mortimer Brewster. Rowin ~ has showed up in BTns production that a tiny Night Music, Bellns to be Ringing, and also Constellations. He’s a good instance that versatile performance skills and also a commandinns stEra presence.

Berksrental Theatre group has actually provided area audiences a wealthy menu that plays and also musicals thins summer. Ns constantly feel therefore at home here. Arsenic and also Old Lace operation via respectable 19.

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ns Berksrental Theatre team gift Arsennic and Old Laceby Joseph Kesselring.directed through Gregg Edelman. Scenic design by Randall Parsons. Costume architecture through Hunter Kaczorowski. Lightinns style by Alan Edwards. Sound design through Scott Killian. Cast: Katie Birenboim as Elaine Harper; Rya Chittaphonns together Officer Klein; Mia Dill~ above as Martha Brewster; Timoher Gulone together Teddy; Harriens Harris as Abby Brewster; Wchange Hudboy as Mr. Witherspoon and also Mr. Gibbs; Gerry McInTire as Officer O’Hara; Graham Rowin ~ together Mortimer Brewster; Tom Story as Dr. Einstein; Matt Sullivalve together Jonathan Brewster; Walttop top Wilson as ns Rev. Dr. Harper and also Lieutenanns Rooney.. Via august 19. Ns Berksrental Theatre Group’s Fitzpatstack Main Stage., Stockbridge, MA. Because that tickets: 413-997-4444 or www.berkshiretheatregroup.org.

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note G. Auerbach stupassed away theatre in ~ Amerihave the right to College and also the Yale institution of Drama. He is operated for arts institutions and also reported top top theatre for newsrecords and radio. Note produces and also hosts ArtsBeat Radio ~ above 89.5fm/WSKB Radio.