"Arsenic and Old Lace" is not only a classic from the 1940s but a witty, dark comedy. Joseph Kesselring wrote the script in 1939. The film starring Cary Grant and Priscilla Lane opened in theaters in 1944. This timeless classic has been a favorite for high school theaters, as well as community and professional venues.
With the ongoing conflicts of weather, MHS theater students have produced their show in five weeks' time. The Dakota Wesleyan Theatre Department, with Daniel L. Miller, has also helped produce an elaborate set for a dark, brooding environment.
The story centers around a family in Brooklyn, New York whose family history has dark, menacing roots. Two elderly sisters, Abby and Martha Brewster, maintain a residence which takes in lodgers-with a curious twist. Tossed into the mix are the three nephews, Jonathon, Mortimer and Teddy. One is a sociopath, another believes himself to be Teddy Roosevelt and the third, a dramatic critic. Twists and turns, puns and double meanings lead this story to a deeper, darker, yet humorous conclusion.
MHS Theater Director Melissa A. Vatter-Miller chose this script as it is not only a classic, but it has great characters, storyline and is studied by her theater classes at MHS.
The production's final performance will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Mitchell School District Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available at the door and cost $5 for adults and $3 for students. Seating is general admission.