Charlotte Players kicks off November with an American theater classic, “Arsenic and Old Lace,” playing at the Langdon Playhouse in Port Charlotte Nov. 8-18. Director Ian Bisset has assembled a talented cast of local performers for this farcical black comedy he calls “the most fun you can have with Mass Murder.”
The play revolves around the Brewster family, which includes a pair of spinster sisters who have taken to murdering lonely old men out of misguided sympathy, and their three nephews – Teddy, who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt; Jonathan, on the run for murder, and Mortimer, who is … A Drama Critic!
Mortimer learns on the day of his engagement that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs (or “gallops”) in his family. He’s thrown into a panic when he realizes what’s going on and frantically tries to protect and discourage his aunts from their murderous ways while maintaining a relationship with his fiancé.
Bisset describes the play as “part farce, part horror story and part massive engineering project” when it comes to directing the ins and outs of a large cast on the Brewster living-room stage. He promises “some of the finest acting talents in Charlotte County as you’ve never seen them before.”
Written by Joseph Kesselring, the play opened on Broadway in 1941, and the New York Times said it was “so funny that none of us will ever forget it.” Many will remember the 1944 movie version starring Cary Grant and directed by Frank Capra. It ranked 30th on the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 comedies of all time.
Tickets for the Charlotte Players production are available at online or by calling 941-255-1022 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m.
ABOUT CHARLOTTE PLAYERS: Celebrating its 58th anniversary in 2018, Charlotte Players is a nonprofit organization dedicated to continuing a rich tradition of providing and promoting professional theater arts through the avenues of educational programs and entertainment productions that enrich the community in Charlotte County and Southwest Florida. For more information, visit www.charlotteplayers.org.