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'Arsenic and Old Lace' hits Ellsworth High School stage Thursday

”Arsenic and Old Lace,” the hilarious farce made famous by the Cary Grant film, will be presented at Ellsworth High School this Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The Brewsters are a simple Brooklyn family who are committed to doing good for others and worshipping at the local church. In their late 70s, these nice little old ladies would never hurt anyone, or would they? The answer to this question is a hilarious farce of mistaken identities, bodies in a basement and questionable hobbies.

Brieanna Davis and Marie Johnson (both seniors) play the Brewster sisters, who have a secret hobby their visiting nephew Mortimer (Caleb Truax, senior) finds out about. Their hobby is they like to poison lonely old men. Now, Mortimer has to deal with his aunt’s hobby by pinning it on his uncle Teddy (Kenny Stowe, senior), who mistakenly believes he is President Teddy Roosevelt.

At the same time, Mortimer’s evil brother Jonathan and his sidekick Dr. Einstein (junior Jonah Conway and senior Jacob Fuchs) arrive at the home with a dead body of their own and Mortimer has a new problem to deal with.

Additionally, Mortimer has just proposed to the local reverend’s daughter (Kali Schaar, senior) and just about every member of the Brooklyn police has stopped by (seniors Dennis Schutz, Dan Giese and Temirlan Yergaziyev and junior Brady Yanish). The rest of the cast is rounded out by Rev. Harper (senior Brandon VanderMarliere), Mr. Gibbs, a lonely old man (junior Ethan Hayes), and Mr. Witherspoon, the superintendent of the local mental institution (junior Jarek Fischer).

The play is directed by Ms. Shelly Moore with stage management by junior Mallory Gardas, and freshmen Caleb Conway and Kesslyn McKahan, with costume design by Ethan Hayes. Additional assistance is provided by Katelyn Kannel (understudy), Molly Woletz, Austin Wilcox, Heather Wilcox, Cole Hayes and Jazamyn Young.

“It’s great to work on a play that is such a classic. It’s really fun and Caleb Truax has fully captured the spirit of Cary Grant,” said Moore.

Caleb Truax said, “This show is a great stretch for me because it’s such a physical comedy and we don’t do a lot of that at the high school. We have a great cast and we get along like a family. I also am really impressed with all of the people who have never been in a play before like Vandy, Tim and Dennis.”

The ridiculous comedic farce promises antics, hilarity and a whole lot of laughter. For more information, visit