'Arsenic' marks return of Crestview theatre: Review

Published: Sunday, November 18, 2012 at 01:51 PM.

“This has developed into a very bad habit,” Mortimer tells his aunties when he learns they have buried 12 victims in the basement.

Jeremy Faust was particularly well cast as evil brother Jonathan Brewster, who returns after 20 years of gangsterhood around the world. The role was originated by Boris Karloff, hence multiple references to the famed Universal Pictures monster actor. As plastic surgeon Dr. Einstein, Ronald Walker seemed to channel Peter Lorre, who made the role famous in the 1944 film, bringing the character lots of delightful menace.

Sean Peters, Sandra Peters’ husband, as the play-writing policeman Officer O’Hara, and Teagan Faust as Mortimer’s  fiancée Elaine, topped the list of favorite performers.

A few technical glitches were ably covered, including Walker quipping, “Must be a short” and banging the wall when a lighting miscue caused a flicker. 

I might also gently offer a criticism about the casting of Officer Brophy, ably played by Victoria Martin who butched up her performance of what is usually a male role. Next time, just make it a female patrolman. There’s always an element of distraction when a member of the opposite sex plays a role meant for the other.

But that little bone is minor. Overwhelmingly the evening was a delight. Filled seats in Warriors Hall indicated the community craves live theatre, even when two shows were running simultaneously, as happened last weekend. And now that we know the hall in the Whitehurst Municipal Building can accommodate theatricals, it’s time for the city to put in some theatrical lighting. It’ll only increase the value of Warriors Hall as a community resource.

And, from a purely selfish standpoint, I can’t wait to see the hall enhanced for our new community theatre troupe’s next production. If it’s anything like “Arsenic and Old Lace,” it’ll be another sell-out.

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