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.