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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Arsenic...for laughs

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mr. Gibbs (Mark Taylor) is entertained by Martha and Abby Brewster (Mickey McLean and Jeanie Phillips), who have a nasty habit of poisoning their guests.
(T-G Photo by Sadie Fowler) [Order this photo]
The comedy "Arsenic and Old Lace," by Joseph Kesselring, will be presented by the Bedford Players as a dinner theater Friday, Saturday, and Dec. 9 and 10 at the Fly Arts Center on South Main Street. Dinner is at 6 p.m. with the play beginning at 7.

Many people are familiar with the play from the movie adaptation, which starred Cary Grant.

Wild and fun

Teddy Brewster (Neal Gordon) thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt, and frequently charges up what he perceives to be San Juan Hill.
(T-G Photo by Sadie Fowler)
It's a screwball comedy about Mortimer Brewster (Times-Gazette pressman Martin Jones), a drama critic who has been critical of the institution of marriage but now finds himself madly in love with Elaine (Ashley Brinkley) and considering tying the knot.

But he has second thoughts when he discoveres that his maiden aunts Abby and Martha (Jeanie Phillips and Mickey McLean) have a secret. They've been poisoning sad, lonely people, in what they consider mercy killings!

Mortimer already knows that his brother Teddy (Neal Gordon) is a little strange. Teddy is convinced that he's Teddy Roosevelt. Mortimer begins to wonder if madness runs in the family, and questions his plans for the future.

The plot thickens further when another brother, the murderous criminal Jonathan (Chris Potts), shows up.

'Horrific' moment

The role of Jonathan was played by horror legend Boris Karloff in the original Broadway production; Karloff, in fact, was still under contract for the play at the time the movie was being shot, and so his part had to be played by Raymond Massey in the movie version. The original play includes a winking reference to the character of Jonathan looking like Karloff as the result of botched plastic surgery.

Other cast members include Mark Majors, Cort Huffman, Joe Rada, Cliff Nelson, Shay Jouquin, Ryan Clanton, B.J. Saylor and Mark Taylor.

Food, too

The menu for the dinner will be poppy seed chicken with gravy, butter garlic new potatoes, and green beans with bacon, along with desserts, coffee, tea, water and wine served by request.

Tickets are $27 and $25 and may be reserved by calling (931) 703-7613.