THICKER THAN WATER
We all know how crazy families can be, but Arsenic and Old Lace, being staged this month by Repertory Philippines, takes it up a notch (and more). An American dark comedy written by playwright Joseph Kesselring in 1939, it revolves around the Brewsters, a family descended from the first English Puritan settlers, who have since spiraled into a clan of insane homicidal maniacs. Considered the best and most successful of Kesselring’s 12 original plays, it played on Broadway from 1941 to 1944, closing after more than 1,400 performances.
In Arsenic and Old Lace, Mortimer Brewster is a newly engaged drama critic at a local publication. His seemingly ordinary life turns upside down when he visits his family in Brooklyn and learns all about the skeletons that should have stayed in the closet. He meets his two spinster aunts who lace their homemade wine with arsenic to murder lonely old men, his brother who thinks he is Theodore Roosevelt, and another brother who had his face changed to resemble a horror-film actor. How will Emily, Mortimer’s fiancée, react to all the Brewster family’s quirks?
Directed by Jamie Wilson, this REP production features Joy Virata, Jay Valencia Glorioso, Jeremy Domingo, Nelsito Gomez, Sheikh Abraham, Barbara Jance, Robbie Guevara, Gabe Mercado, Steven Conde, Dingdong Rosales, and Luis Marcelo. April 6 to 29. Onstage Theater, Greenbelt 1, Paseo de Roxas Street, Makati City; tickets available through Ticketworld, 891.9999, ticketworld.com.ph; repertoryphilippines.ph. C.D.C.