Review: Arsenic and Old Lace at Beef & Boards 

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click to enlarge Mortimer Brewster (David Schmittou), left, is shocked to hear his aunts Martha (Gerri Weagraff), center, and Abby (Karen Pappas) describe the cocktail they use to relieve lonely gentlemen of their lives in Beef & Boards' production of Arsenic & Old Lace.
  • Mortimer Brewster (David Schmittou), left, is shocked to hear his aunts Martha (Gerri Weagraff), center, and Abby (Karen Pappas) describe the cocktail they use to relieve lonely gentlemen of their lives in Beef & Boards' production of Arsenic & Old Lace.
A timeless script in the hands of masters of timing makes for a thrilling performance at the opening of Beef & Board's landmark 40th season.

Set in 1939 Brooklyn, Arsenic & Old Lace revolves around the cynical theatre critic Mortimer Brewster suddenly learning that his beloved aunts are homicidal.

David Schmittou, as Mortimer, is a textbook of vocal, facial and bodily expressions. Karen Pappas and Gerri Weagraff as Aunt Abby and Aunt Martha are so believably saintly you can't refuse their bountiful hospitality.

Making her B&B stage debut with credits on other Indianapolis stages, Lisa Ermel is a saucy Elaine Harper in counterpoint to Mortimer's confusion and her bombastic father, The Rev. Dr. Harper, righteously portrayed by Adam O. Crowe, who appears also as the long-suffering police Lieutenant Rooney. And J.R. Stuart directs Joseph Kesselring's farcical black comedy with meticulous finesse.

Arsenic & Old Lace opened in New York on January 10, 1941 and ran to 1,444 shows until June 17, 1944, after which the film was released, with a slightly altered storyline. It's a play that keeps coming back, too funny to forget and so engaging you want to see it again.

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About The Author

Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn

Bio:
Rita Kohn has been covering craft beer and the arts for NUVO for two decades. She’s the author of True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beer in Indiana.

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