Arsenic and Old Lace: Classic Screwball Comedy Is Murderous Fun
Norris Theatre (Rolling Hills Estates, CA)
The farcical black comedy, which premiered in 1941 and has been a hit around the world ever since, tells the tale of theater critic Mortimer Brewster, who wrestles with his decision to marry his fiancee, while dealing with his wildly eccentric family — and the police. The Brewster clan includes one brother who believes he is Teddy Roosevelt at the Panama Canal; another murderous brother whose plastic surgery has left him looking like Boris Karloff in a monster movie; and a pair of spinster aunts who murder lonely men with poisoned elderberry wine and bury them in their basement. The play was adapted into the famed 1944 film directed by Frank Capra and starring Cary Grant.