Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Arsenic And Old Lace"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2007 by Tony Annicone

"Arsenic And Old Lace"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Mill River Players current show is the 1940's comedy "Arsenic and Old Lace". It takes place in an old Victorian house in Brooklyn. This black comedy is about two sweet spinster sisters, Abby and Martha Brewster who bump off elderly gentlemen by serving them poisoned elderberry wine, and their three nephews, Teddy who thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt, Jonathan who has killed 12 people and wants to kill one more to beat his auntie's record and Mortimer who is the only sane one in the family. (Although he is drama critic in the show so he might not be as sane as one might think.) There are many other assorted characters coming in and out of the show including four cops, a minister, his daughter who is in love with Mortimer, a drunken doctor who is really a hoodlum, a would be victim of the ladies, two corpses and the rest home owner. Director Lee Rush chooses the best people for these crazy roles, making each character different from the other, taking the audience on an enjoyable comic madcap romp all night long. She directs and blocks them perfectly.

The two wonderful actresses playing Abby and Martha are Cathy Fox and Peggy Pires. Their delivery is excellent and their mannerisms make the appear to be sisters in real life. They run the gamut of emotions from sweet to wacky, to frightened and back again. Their stalking of their final victim is hilarious because they have to continue to do their charitable work. They do an excellent job as these two spinster sisters. The drama critic nephew Mortimer is well played by Ed Cooney and his gorgeous girlfriend, Elaine is spunkily played by Danielle Cameron. The scene stealing Teddy is played by James Clements who runs up the stairs constantly thinking he is charging up San Juan Hill or runs into the basement to go to Panama to bury the yellow fever victims. He also gets to blow a bugle to scare everyone to death. The villain of this show is the third Brewster brother, Jonathan played by Chuck Petit Bon who looks like Boris Karloff and his sidekick complete with German accent, Dr Einstein is wonderfully played by Bob Goodwin. Playing the cops and various other roles are Lydia Mattera, Charlie Brett, Brian McGovern and Rene Letourneau. Special mention of the delicious dinner before the show prepared by Chuck PetitBon. With 5 different entrees available I had the stuffed Chicken with gravy, an all you eat vegetables of string beans and carrots, oven baked sweet and white potatoes with Italian seasonings, rolls and butter and chicken vegetable soup. Dessert is a delicious turnover with caramel sauce. So for a wonderful evening of dinner theatre, be sure to catch "Arsenic and Old Lace" at Mill River Players.

"Arsenic And IOld Lace" (14 September - 14 October)
MILL RIVER PLAYERS
499 High Street, CENTRAL FALLS RI
1 (401) 721-0909

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

| MARQUEE | USHER | SEATS | INTERMISSION | CURTAIN |