Arsenic and Old Lace: A Must See

Lasell’s production of ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ will premiere on April 7th, and will run on the 8th and 10th as well. The play was written by Joseph Kesserling in 1939, and directed by Bretaigne Windust, in 1941. This farcical black comedy centers upon the Brewster family, whose lineage traces back to the Mayflower. The family is chock full of maniacs, particularly of the homicidal variety. Mortimer Brewster, the protagonist, is a drama critic, who single handedly keeps the peace between his family and the Brooklyn police department. He spends the duration of the show conflicted as to whether he should marry the girl that he loves, or break his promise to her.


The pinnacle characters of the show are Mortimer’s two spinster aunts, who spend their time poisoning lonely old men. His brother, who believes himself to be Theodore Roosevelt, digs up the cellar basement, or ‘Panama Canal’, to reveal the victims. ‘Dr. Einstein’, who is based on ‘real life gangland surgeon’, Joseph Moran, performs plastic surgery on Mortimer’s other brother, to hide his true identity.


If the compelling plot is not reason enough to attend the show, the cast and crew certainly are. Director Kristi Wivagg says that “I chose this play because it’s clever, funny, slapstick with a hilarious, zany cast.” Maria Lang will star as Abby Brewster, alongside Rebecca Llanes, who states that the show is “just as fun as a musical, and has the funniest, quirkiest, characters you will ever meet.” Mortimer will be played by Hamilton Harris, and his Elaine Harper, by Liz Chapman. Liz describes Arsenic and Old Lace as having “some very unique features that aren’t seen as often in other older shows. It still keeps that comedic aspect that draws in younger audiences.” Stage Manager Danielle Hogan says that it is “One of the most fun shows I’ve been a part of. It’s very funny, dark, and politically incorrect in all the right ways.” The cast also includes Spencer Kosier, Tom Casey, Kevin Kearley, Molly Parrot, Corey Gray, Samantha Mcdonald, and Sarah Gelineau.

The show will be held in Yamawake, free of admission on, the 7th and 8th at 8 p.m., and the 10th at 6 p.m. The cast and crew encourage anyone who is interested to attend.