May 2, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 2

New and veterans help 'Arsenic' shine

The StageWest Community Theatre production of the classic comedy, “Arsenic and Old Lace” by Joseph Kesselring, opened last Friday at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Cheney. The action all takes place in the home of two spinsters, the Brewster sisters, in early 1940s Brooklyn. They share the family home with a nephew who believes he is Teddy Roosevelt, and all the family humors him. The audience rather quickly learns that there is another side to the sweet, charming, hospitable sisters. In fact, one of their “charities” is downright questionable.

The large cast is very capably directed by Kay Pacheco. Along with veteran StageWest actors Melinda Reid, Judy Gross, Tom Crick, Phil West, Lauren Bathurst and Donna Neubauer, five actors made their StageWest debut: Kate Knox, Gregory Knox, Emily Snow, Arthur (AJ) Burton and Jalesa Austin.

There were stellar performances from many of the actors, new and veteran. I really enjoyed the exchange of energy between the cast and the very appreciative audience Saturday night.

The play continues two more weekends, with Friday and Saturday performances at 7 p.m. and a May 5 Sunday matinee at 3 p.m. The final performance, which is May 12, Mother’s Day, begins with High Tea at 2 p.m. catered by Cheney’s The Mason Jar and is by reservation only. Reservations can be made by calling Kathleen Bell at 235-2441.

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