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.
Beef & Boards will present a special performance of "Arsenic & Old Lace" on New Year's Eve, complete with party favors and more. Enjoy dinner and the show, followed by dancing to the Blue Bus band before ringing in the New Year with a balloon drop and champagne toast. Then enjoy Chef Odell Ward's breakfast buffet, served after midnight. All seats for this special evening are $75.
There are 37 performances of "Arsenic & Old Lace" scheduled at Beef & Boards, 9301 N. Michigan Road. Tickets range from $37.50 to $62.50 ($75 for the New Year's Eve celebration) and include Chef Odell Ward's dinner buffet, fruit and salad bar, and select beverages. Discounts are available for children and groups of 20 or more. Parking is free.
For reservations call the box office at 872-9664. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. For complete show schedule, visit the website www.beefandboards.com.