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By Joseph Kesselring, directed by Cathy Field 

December 4-6 & 11-13

The Varsity Center for the Arts, 418 S. Illinois Avenue in Carbondale

The Stage Company in Association with the Southern Illinoisan Presents Arsenic and Old Lace


Abby and Martha Brewster are a pair of charming spinster sisters who have a unique problem as landladies; while they seem to have a plethora of prospective boarders, the turnover rate seems rather high as none of their tenants appear to stick around for very long...nor do they ever leave.  When delightfully cold clashes with unwitting innocence, anything can happen in the cellar of this pair of sweet old darlings.

This farcically dark, fun-infused frenzy, introduces a steady array of fascinating characters in comically quick procession.  The aunts' devoted nephew, drama critic Mortimer Brewster, represents "normalcy" in this otherwise homicidal family; he runs interference with the local police, while wavering on his pending vows with Elaine Harper, the woman he loves.  Enter psychopathic nephew, Jonathan Brewster, who conceals his identify through repeated, plastic surgery performed by the intoxicated Dr. Einstein, whose appearance closely resembles horror-film actor Boris Karloff, a self-referential joke, given the role was originally performed on Broadway by Karloff.  Rounding out the nephews is Teddy Brewster who believes he is Teddy Roosevelt.  Add to this twisted bunch, an assortment of police officers and inquiring roomers, and you've got the makings of homicidal hilarity sure to please the most comically-impaired.


"The most riotously hilarious comedy of the season." — Herald Tribune


"You wouldn’t believe homicidal mania could be so funny." — New York Sun


"(The play was) so funny that none of us will ever