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December 19, 2012

Beef & Boards' new season opens with killer comedy

INDIANAPOLIS — Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre opens its 2013 season a few days early with the famous killer comedy, "Arsenic & Old Lace." The farce kicks off the theatre's year-long 40th anniversary celebration, and is on stage Dec. 28 through Feb. 3.

Brewster sisters Martha and Abby are charming and innocent ladies who have taken it upon themselves to help lonely men. With a little arsenic, strychnine, and just a pinch of cyanide in a glass of homemade elderberry wine, their guests are unburdened of their unhappy lives. Quietly the bodies of these socially and religiously "acceptable" roomers begin to populate their cellar, with the unwitting assistance of their loony brother Teddy, who thinks he is Theodore Roosevelt digging locks for the Panama Canal.

Their charity continues smoothly until being discovered by their nephew, Mortimer. A theatre critic who is preparing to marry, Mortimer is shocked to learn the truth - and he only becomes more frantic when his maniacal uncle Jonathan makes a surprise visit.

Made popular by the 1941 Frank Capra film starring Cary Grant, "Arsenic & Old Lace" is the classic comedy that proves things are not always what they seem.

David Schmittou, last seen at Beef & Boards as Cornelius Hackl in "Hello, Dolly!," returns in the role of Mortimer. Karen Pappas, popular with Beef & Boards audiences from her portrayal of the hilarious Mavis in the "Church Basement Ladies" series, plays Abby Brewster, while newcomer Gerri Weagraff plays her sister, Martha. Several more Beef & Boards favorites round out the cast with Douglas E. Stark in the role of loony Teddy Brewster, Jeff Stockberger as the sinister Jonathan Brewster, and Eddie Curry as Jonathan's sidekick, Dr. Einstein. Another newcomer, Lisa Ermel, plays the role of Mortimer's fiancee, Elaine Harper.

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