McPherson High Main Stage Theater Arts presents Arsenic and Old Lace – The McPherson Sentinel


From November 18 to 20. The MHS Theater will have performances at 7:00 p.m. at the historic McPherson Opera House. A unique projection of this live performance will be in vivid black and white (like watching a classic black and white movie) but live on stage.

Mortimer Brewster (played by Dane Partain) lives a happy life: he has a steady job at a major New York newspaper, he just got engaged to Elaine Harper (Analicia Rocha), who lives next door and is the daughter of the local minister (Landon Pelzel). Mortimer visits his sweet single aunts, Abby (Macyn Ward) and Martha (Merris Neighbors) Brewster, who raised him to announce his engagement. Mortimer warns her fiancé: “Madness runs in my family. He practically gallops. Mortimer always knew his family, although descended from Mayflower settlers, was a little crazy – his brother Teddy (Noah Gregory) thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt and his great-grandfather used to scalp Indians for pleasure.

But Mortimer’s world is turned upside down when he realizes that his dear aunts have been charitably poisoning, in their opinion, lonely old men like Mr. Gibbs (Gracie Nelson) with their special elderberry wine for years.

When Mortimer’s maniacal brother Jonathan (Pierce Hamma), who now inexplicably resembles Boris Karloff, returns with his accomplice Dr. Einstein (Xavier Billings) the night the aunts were planning to bury the new victim, Mortimer must rally to help her aunts. and protect her fiancé, while trying to keep her own sanity.

The police get involved (Jacob Hassler as Officer Brophy, Katie Dix as Officer Klein, Gage Smith as Officer O’Hara, and Vlad Williams as Lt. Rooney) as the plot unfolds. thickens.

A thundering farce, ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ premiered on Broadway in 1941 to rave reviews – the New York Times writing that it was ‘so funny none of us will ever forget it’. It was made into a film starring Cary Grant, which was released in 1944, after the play closed.

The play was apparently based on the true story of a Connecticut woman who promised boarders “lifelong care” and then poisoned them for their pensions. Kesselring originally intended to write the play as a heavy drama, but was convinced by his producers that the play would be more effective as a comedy.

Tickets are available at the door of the McPherson Opera House or by advance reservation. Tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for students, and $7 for seniors. The show can be streamed live for $10 at

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