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Encyclopedia > Arsenic and Old Lace (play)

Arsenic and Old Lace is a play by American playwright Joseph Kesselring, written in 1939. It has become best-known through the film adaptation starring Cary Grant and directed by Frank Capra, filmed in 1941 but not released until 1944. Template:Unsourced A playwright, also known as a dramatist, is someone who writes dramatic literature or drama. ... Joseph Otto Kesselring (21 July 1902-5 November 1967) American writer and playwright known best for his play Arsenic and Old Lace. ... 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full year calendar). ... Arsenic and Old Lace is a film directed by Frank Capra based on a play by the same name by Joseph Kesselring. ... Archibald Alexander Leach (January 18, 1904 – November 29, 1986), better known by his screen name, Cary Grant, was an British film actor. ... This article is about the film director. ...


The play is a farcical black comedy revolving around Mortimer Brewster, a theatre-hating drama critic who must deal with his crazy, homicidal family and local police in Brooklyn, New York, as he debates whether to go through with a honeymoon with the woman he loves and has recently agreed to marry. His family includes two spinster aunts who have taken to murdering lonely old men by poisoning them with a glass of home-made elderberry wine laced with arsenic, strychnine and "just a pinch" of cyanide; a brother who believes he is Teddy Roosevelt and digs locks for the Panama Canal in the cellar of the Brewster home (which then serve as graves for the aunts' victims); and a murderous brother who has received plastic surgery performed by an alcoholic accomplice, Dr. Einstein (a character based on real-life gangland surgeon Joseph Moran) to conceal his identity and now looks like horror-film actor Boris Karloff (a self-referential joke, as the part was originally played by Karloff). The film adaptation follows the same basic plot, with a few minor changes. It is customary, after the cast takes several curtain calls, for the final one to finish with the "murder victims" (often well-known local personalities) entering from the basement and joining the cast for the final bow. A farce is a comedy written for the stage, or a film, which aims to entertain the audience by means of unlikely and extravagant - yet often possible - situations, disguise and mistaken identity, verbal humour of varying degrees of sophistication, which may include puns and sexual innuendo, and a fast-paced... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The word critic comes from the Greek κριτικός, kritikós - one who discerns, which itself arises from the Ancient Greek word κριτής, krités, meaning a person who offers reasoned judgement or analysis, value judgement, interpretation, or observation. ... Brooklyn (named for the Dutch city Breukelen) is one of the five boroughs of New York City. ... It wont be my fault if I die an Old Maid. ... General Name, Symbol, Number arsenic, As, 33 Chemical series metalloids Group, Period, Block 15, 4, p Appearance metallic gray Atomic mass 74. ... Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, Jr. ... The word lock came from Anglo-Saxon loca = a secure enclosure. Currently lock has several meanings: A lock (device) is a mechanical fastening device which may be used on a door, vehicle, safe, or other container. ... Two Panamas running the Miraflores Locks The Panama Canal (Spanish: ) is a major ship canal that traverses the Isthmus of Panama in Central America, connecting the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Oceans. ... “Facial reconstruction” redirects here. ... Joseph P. Moran (1905-1934) was a doctor known for catering to the Depression-era criminal underworld in the early 20th century. ... Boris Karloff (born William Henry Pratt) (East Dulwich, November 23, 1887 – February 2, 1969) was an English actor, who emigrated to Canada in the 1910s, best known for his roles in horror films and the creation of the Monster in 1931s Frankenstein. ... A self-reference occurs when an object refers to itself. ... Curtain Call: The Hits will be Eminems fifth major label release. ...


When Kesselring taught at Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas, he lived in a boarding house called the Goerz House, and many of the features of its living room are reflected in the Brewster sisters' living room, where the action of the play is set. The Goerz House is now the home of the college president. Bethel College is a private college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. The college is located on the edge of the Flint Hills and vast wheat fields of south central Kansas in the town of North Newton. ... North Newton is a city located in Harvey County, Kansas. ... Boarding House is a privately owned house,in which individuals or families on vaccation, holidays, deputition,transfered on temporary duties, on some particular training,short&mediun tenure visitors,working professionals & lodgers,rent one or more rooms sets for one or more nights,sometimes for extended periods of weeks, months and... I HAVE ONE!!!! A living room (or sitting room, especially in commonwealth English, also called lounge room in Australia) is a room for entertaining guests, reading, watching TV, or other activities. ... An academic administration is a branch of university or college employees responsible for the maintenance and supervision of the institution and separate from the research and teaching faculty. ...


The first Broadway production of the play was at the Fulton Theater in New York City. It was produced by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse. The play was directed by Bretaigne Windust, and opened on 10 January 1941. On 25 September 1943, the play transferred to the Hudson Theater. It closed there on 17 June 1944 having played 1,444 performances. Of the 12 plays written by Kesselring, Arsenic and Old Lace is the only one to be successful. Broadway theatre[1] is often considered the highest professional form of theatre in the United States. ... Nickname: Big Apple, Gotham, NYC, City That Never Sleeps, The Concrete Jungle, The City So Nice They Named It Twice Location in the state of New York Coordinates: Country United States State New York Boroughs The Bronx Brooklyn Manhattan Queens Staten Island Settled 1676 Government  - Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Area... Howard Lindsay (March 29, 1888 - February 11, 1968) was a Broadway producer, playwright, librettist, director and actor, best known for his writing work as part of the collaboration of Lindsay and Crouse, and for his performance, with his wife Dorothy Stickney, in the long-running play Life with Father. ... Russel Crouse (February 20, 1893 - April 3, 1966) was a U.S. playwright and librettist, best known for his work in the Broadway writing partnership of Lindsay and Crouse. ... A theatre director oversees and orchestrates the mounting of a play by unifying various endeavors and aspects of production. ... January 10 is the 10th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the movie, see 1941 (film). ... September 25 is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1943 calendar). ... June 17 is the 168th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (169th in leap years), with 197 days remaining. ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ...


The opening night cast consisted of: Look up Cast in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

  • Jean Adair (Martha Brewster)
  • John Alexander (Teddy Brewster)
  • Wyrley Birch (The Rev. Dr. Harper)
  • Helen Brooks (Elaine Harper)
  • Bruce Gordon (Officer Klein)
  • Henry Herbert (Mr. Gibbs)
  • Josephine Hull (Abby Brewster)
  • Allyn Joslyn (Mortimer Brewster)
  • Boris Karloff (Jonathan Brewster)
  • William Parks (Mr. Witherspoon)
  • John Quigg (Officer Brophy)
  • Anthony Ross (Officer O'Hara)
  • Edgar Stehli (Dr. Einstein)
  • Victor Sutherland (Lieutenant Rooney)

The play is still widely performed and has been translated into many languages, including a Russian film. A revival of the play ran from June 26, 1986 to January 3, 1987 at the 46th Street Theatre in New York. Jean Adair (b. ... Josephine Hull (January 3, 1886 - March 12, 1957) was an Academy Award-winning American actress. ... Boris Karloff (born William Henry Pratt) (East Dulwich, November 23, 1887 – February 2, 1969) was an English actor, who emigrated to Canada in the 1910s, best known for his roles in horror films and the creation of the Monster in 1931s Frankenstein. ... Victor Sutherland (February 28, 1889 - August 29, 1968) was an American actor. ... June 26 is the 177th day of the year (178th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 188 days remaining. ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... January 3 is the 3rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Richard Rodgers Theatre was built by Irwin Chanin in 1925. ...


External links

  • Information on the Goerz House

  Results from FactBites:
 
Barnstormers Theatre: July 13, 2005 (740 words)
Kesselring penned Arsenic and Old Lace in 1939, yet it has survived as his most successful play due to its improbable but hysterical plot and richly drawn characters.
Arsenic and Old Lace features an ensemble cast of Barnstomers favorites who bring the eccentric Brewster family characters and their associates to life.
The play is fine for the whole family, though tiniest children may not necessarily appreciate the darkly humorous elements.
GRCC Presents Arsenic and Old Lace (149 words)
American playwright Joseph Kesselring penned “Arsenic and Old Lace” in 1939, and it ran on Broadway for four years and nearly 1,500 performances.
The play revolves around Mortimer Brewster, a newspaperman, who discovers that his maiden aunts’ hobby is killing lonely old men and burying them in the cellar.
“Arsenic and Old Lace” will be performed Fridays and Saturdays, March 2-10, on the Green River Community College campus at 12401 SE 320th Street Auburn.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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