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Play directory : Arsenic and Old Lace

Welcome to the Mandy Actors Plays Directory.

The information below is intended to give you a brief guide to the show and highlight some of the other Mandy Actors members who have also been involved in this show.

  • Author
    Joseph Kesselring
  • Written
    1939
  • Setting
    New York
  • Overview
    The play is a farcical black comedy revolving around Mortimer Brewster, a theatre-hating drama critic who must deal with his crazy, homicidal family and local police in Brooklyn, New York, as he debates whether to go through with his recent promise to marry the woman he loves. His family includes two spinster aunts who have taken to murdering lonely old men by poisoning them with a glass of home-made elderberry wine laced with arsenic, strychnine, and "just a pinch" of cyanide; a brother who believes he is Teddy Roosevelt and digs locks for the Panama Canal in the cellar of the Brewster home (which then serve as graves for the aunts' victims); and a murderous brother who has received plastic surgery performed by an alcoholic accomplice, Dr. Einstein (a character based on real-life gangland surgeon Joseph Moran) to conceal his identity and now looks like horror-film actor Boris Karloff (a self-referential joke, as the part was originally played by Karloff). The film adaptation follows the same basic plot, with a few minor changes. It is customary, after the cast takes several curtain calls, for the final one to finish with the "murder victims" (often well-known local personalities) entering from the basement and joining the cast for the final bow.

Members of Mandy Actors who have been involved in Arsenic and Old Lace