Originally premiering in 1941, Joseph Kesselring’s “Arsenic and Old Lace” has remained one of the most popular contemporary American comedic plays. It has returned to the Canyon Theatre Guild with shows running through Aug. 26.
Drama critic Mortimer Brewster’s engagement announcement is upended when he discovers a corpse in his elderly aunts’ window seat. Mortimer rushes to tell Abby and Martha before they stumble upon the body themselves, only to learn that the two old women aren’t just aware of the dead man in their parlor, they killed him.
Between his aunts’ penchant for poisoning wine, a brother who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt, and another brother using plastic surgery to hide from the police — not to mention Mortimer’s own hesitancy about marriage — it’ll be a miracle if Mortimer makes it to his wedding. “Arsenic and Old Lace” is a classic black comedy about the only thing more deadly than poison: family.
The Chicago Sun Times writes about the script: “Almost certainly the essential ingredient of the play’s success [is that] the central characters are genuinely likable company, the most appealingly sweet and well-meaning serial murderers ever written.”
Returning director for the guild, Eduardo Arteaga said in a CTG news release, “It’s a total classic reimagined that was a joy to direct. So excited for audiences to see a very talented cast and a beautiful set. Come for laughs, stay for the elderberry wine!”
Tickets are $19 for adults, $17 for seniors, and $15 for students. For showtime information and to reserve tickets, call 661-799-2702 or visit canyontheatre.org/arsenicandoldlace.