Directed by Dan Prueher
Arsenic and Old Lace: Plot and Characters
A family of eccentrics is at a turning point with one brother getting engaged, one brother possibly getting committed to Happydale Sanitarium and another brother hiding out from the law. It is discovered that the elderly aunts have taken upon themselves to relieve lonely old men of their sad lives with poisonous elderberry wine. It’s a mad scramble to keep this news from the cops, not get killed by the evil brother and get married even though the genes aren’t good with this family of crazy people.
Martha and Abby: Sisters, 70’s/80’s, live together in old Brooklyn house left by wealthy crackpot father, sweet, well-intentioned, see nothing wrong with their poisoning.
Mortimer: 30ish, Martha and Abby’s nephew, cynical theater critic, dashing, in love with girl-next-door Elaine, at the center of all activity trying to protect Teddy, Elaine and his aunts, lots of physical comedy in the show
Elaine: 30ish, girl-next-door, not shy, father is minister, in love with Mortimer but waiting not so patiently for a proposal, snappy smart dialogue, happy but confused.
Teddy: Mortimer’s brother imagines himself to be Teddy Roosevelt, blows bugle at night, buries “yellow fever victim” in Panama Canal (basement), moustache needed.
Jonathan: Mortimer’s and Teddy’s brother, sadistic criminal and prison escapee hiding out in the family home, has had plastic surgery to hide identity, currently looks like Boris Karloff so tall and angular will help, may have make=up through much of the show to indicate plastic surgery.
Dr. Einstein: Weasely plastic surgeon travelling with Jonathan, German accent.
Officer O’Hara: Irish-accented cop trying to get Mortimer to read his screenplay. M/F
Mr. Witherspoon: Superintendent of Happydale at the house to talk about Teddy. M/F
Dr. Harper: Elaine’s father.
Klein, Brophy and Rooney: Wise ass New York cops, may have an Irish accent, they know the family well and handle all the eccentricities in stride, M/F
Gibbs: Lonely, potential boarder with no relatives.