Western Wyoming Community College’s Performing Arts Department presents Arsenic and Old Lace on March 2, 3, 8, 9, 10 at 7:30pm with an additional public matinee on March 10 at 2:00pm.
Arsenic and Old Lace is a comical story centered around a sweet family that’s tucked away in a small neighborhood in Brooklyn, in the year 1941. The story continues to be one of the most popular plays performed in the United States - and for good reason. Joseph Kesselring’s intention was to write something that poked fun at the theatre with a ridiculous plot, a theatre-hating theatre critic, a farcical cast of characters; his work ended up being a big success.
The play revolves around the Brewster family, specifically, two old ladies who have a hobby of poisoning lonely old men with elderberry wine laced with arsenic- and the Aunt’s three nephews. One nephew thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt, the other one’s murderous tendencies have left him on the run from the law, and the third is just trying to marry the woman he loves. Out of the 12 plays written by Kesselring, this one is undoubtedly his masterpiece.
Deklyn Searle, a first year musical theatre major from Rock Springs, Wyoming, says this show is unique in comparison to past shows he has done. “I have never worked on a box set before, so it’s a different experience.” He hopes everyone comes to the show ready to laugh, “The show is a fun way to make people laugh because it isn’t trying to be funny, and it’s a way to take your mind off of your stresses for a bit.”
Marie Howell, a first year musical theatre major from West Jordan, Utah, is so excited and humbled to play Abby Brewster. She has enjoyed how close she has become with her cast mates, saying “Coming from a school with over 2000 people, I’ve never been a part of a cast with less than 30 people. I’m getting to know each person on a very personal level, and I feel connected to everyone.” Marie has found that connecting her character with real situations helps understand relationships. “I’ve been able to connect to Abby in the sense that her sister is her partner in crime and best friend. I’m holding onto the idea that the relationship between the Aunts is similar to the relationship I have with my younger sister. We are very close, just as they are.”
Associate Professor of Musical Theatre and Voice, Eric-Richard de Lora is excited to be doing a show that so many people recognize, “It’s nice to do a show that the audience knows about, and that adds to the excitement. It’s always been popular; communities really love it. In fact, I’ve seen the show about 4 or 5 times.” De Lora has always been drawn to shows with interesting family dynamics, “In my own family I had 13 brothers and sisters, and since we were large, each kid was incredibly different and unique. Every family is interesting and wonderful, and you love the people in your family, no matter what.”
The show is rated PG due to references of death, dying, murder, etc. Children under five will not be permitted to the evening performances; however, they are welcome to the public matinee. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children, students and seniors. For questions and tickets please call the Performing Arts Office at (307) 382-1721, or visit www.wwcc.tix.com
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