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Arsenic and Old Lace Premiers at La Mirada Theater This Friday



“So funny that none of us will ever forget it!” – New York Times


La Mirada, CA.~LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS & McCOY RIGBY ENTERTAINMENTare thrilled to present the third show of their 2019-2020 season, the hilariously dark comedy, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, writtenby Joseph Kesselring and directed by Casey Stangl. ARSENIC AND OLD LACE will preview on Friday, January 24, 2020 and run through Sunday, February 16, 2020 at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd in La Mirada.

Combining murder and mayhem with zany humor,  ARSENIC AND OLD LACE is an uproarious black comedy that gives “hospitality” a bad name.

Meet Abby and Martha Brewster, two spinster sisters known for their acts of charity — which lately includes poisoning lonely old men with arsenic-laced elderberry wine. When their nephew finds out about the corpses in the cellar, he’s in a frantic race to deal with his aunts, his fiancée, and two crazy brothers – one who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt and one who is a dead-ringer for Boris Karloff.

CASEY STANGL(Director) is an award-winning director working at theaters across the country and was named 2019 Director of the Year by StageScene LA.  Recent credits include Ragtimeat the Chance Theater (LA Times Critic’s Choice), Silent Skyat Arizona Theater Company and many productions at South Coast Repertory. National credits include American Conservatory Theater, The Guthrie Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Jungle Theater, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Portland Stage, Cleveland Playhouse and Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Casey is the Associate Artistic Director of Ojai Playwrights Conference and is a frequent collaborator in the creation of new plays. She has developed work at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, the Humana Festival, Berkeley Rep’s GroundFloor, PlayPenn and Pacific Playwrights Festival. Casey proudly serves on the Executive Board of SDC, the National labor union for stage directors and choreographers.

JOSEPH KESSELRING(Playwright) was an American playwright best known for Arsenic and Old Lace, a hit on Broadway from 1939 to 1944 and in other countries as well. He was born in New York City to Henry and Frances Kesselring. His father’s parents were immigrants from Germany, while his mother was an English Canadian. Kesselring spent much of his life in and around the theater. In 1922, he began teaching vocal music and directed stage productions at Bethel College, a Mennonite school in North Newton, Kansas. After two years, Kesselring left teaching and returned to the stage, working for two years with an amateur theatrical group in Niagara, New York. He began working as a freelance playwright in 1933, completing twelve original plays, of which four were produced on Broadway: There’s Wisdom in Women(1935), Arsenic and Old Lace(1939), Four Twelves are 48(1951), and Mother of that Wisdom(1963).  Arsenic and Old Lacewas his masterpiece. It ran for 1,444 performances on Broadway, 1,337 performances in London, and became a staple on the high school and dinner theater circuits. The movie version, released in 1944, directed by Frank Capra and starring Cary Grant, was also a hit.

The Cast for ARSENIC AND OLD LACE features Carol Mansell as “Abby Brewster,” Lynn Milgrim as “Martha Brewster,” Jamison Jones as “Mortimer Brewster,” James Lancaster as “Teddy Brewster,” Ty Mayberry as “Jonathan Brewster,”  Ed F. Martin as “Dr. Einstein,” Rachel Seiferth as “Elaine Harper,” Matthew Grondin as “Officer O’Hara,” Michael Thomas-Visgar as “Officer Brophy,” Mike Genovese as “Lieutenant Rooney/Mr. Gibbs,” Nick McKenna as “Officer Klein” and Time Winters as “The Rev. Dr. Harper /Mr. Witherspoon.”

The Design Team for ARSENIC AND OLD LACEis as follows: Scenic Design by John Iacovelli; Lighting Design by Karyn Lawrence; Sound Design by Josh Bessom; Costume Design by David Kay Mickelsen; Hair/Wig/Makeup Design by Katie McCoy; Properties Design is by Kevin Williams. The Casting Director is Julia Flores and the Production Stage Manager is Julie Renfro.

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE performances will be on Wednesdays & Thursdays at 7:30pm; Fridays at 8 pm; Saturdays at 2 pm & 8 pm & Sundays at 2 pm.

There will be no performance on Saturday, January 25 at 2 pm.  There will be an

ASL-interpreted performance on Saturday, February 15 at 2 pm.

Talkbacks with the cast and creative team will be on Wednesday, January 29 and Wednesday, February 12, 2020.

Tickets range from $17 – $89 (prices subject to change) and can be purchased at La Mirada Theatre’s website, www.lamiradatheatre.com or by calling the La Mirada Theatre Box Office at (562) 944-9801 or (714) 994-6310. Group discounts are available.  $15 Student Tickets are available.

Children under 3 will not be admitted into the theatre.

LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS is located at 14900 La Mirada Boulevard in La Mirada, near the intersection of Rosecrans Avenue where the 91 and 5 freeways meet.  Parking is free.


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