- Things to Do
Murder! Mayhem! Madcap fun! This side-splitting comedybroke all East Lynne Theater Company's box office records in 2018, and returns by popular demand! "It's hard to imagine a more diverting piece of summer fun than Gayle Stahlhuth's revival of "Arsenic and Old Lace" at ELTC. It crackles flawlessly," wrote Terry Teachout in his review for "The Wall Street Journal" last summer. The 1941 comedy by Joseph Kesselring is about two sisters who populate their cellar with "acceptable" lodgers. One of their nephews thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt, another is running away from the law, and the third is a theater critic who just wants to get married.
The original production, produced by the famous playwrighting team of Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, ran on Broadway for 1,444 performances, from January 10, 1941 – June 17, 1944. It opened in London in 1942 and ran for 1,337 performances, making it the longest running American play in England at that time. Meanwhile, the world was at war from September 1939 – September 1945. "Arsenic" was also successful in Chile, Argentina, Sweden and Czechoslovakia. The 1944 film, directed by Frank Capra, has become a comedy classic.