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“Arsenic and Old Lace” on Broadway in 1943. | Wiki­media Commons

On Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m., the Tower Players will perform “Arsenic and Old Lace”, a dark comedy that promises quirky char­acters, witty dia­logue, and plenty of laughs. The play will run through Nov. 23 in Markel Audi­torium with an addi­tional matinée per­for­mance at 2 p.m. on Sat­urday. 

“I think our audi­ences are really going to enjoy it,” said Lighting Designer and Pro­duction Manager Michael Beyer, who directed the play. “It’s an old American classic but the humor is still rel­evant today.”

The story, which is set in the 1940s, revolves around drama critic Mor­timer Brewster, who falls in love with girl-next-door Elaine Harper. Over the course of the play, Mor­timer dis­covers just how strange his family really is.

When he visits his aunt’s Vic­torian home in Brooklyn, New York to tell them about his upcoming wedding, Mor­timer is shocked to dis­cover a dead body in their window seat. His homi­cidal aunts aren’t the only crazy ones in the family — one of Mortimer’s brothers believes he is Theodore Roo­sevelt, and the other undergoes plastic surgery to conceal his identity. 

Mor­timer and Elaine will be played by James Young and Arianna Gaiser, and Madeline Campbell and Rachel Stanford will play the mur­derous aunts. 

“The cast has really brought the play to life,” Beyer said. “They’re having a lot of fun putting it together.”

Despite the dark under­tones, “Arsenic and Old Lace” is a comedy through and through. 

“It’s light-hearted and silly and it still res­onates with people,” Beyer said. “There’s reli­gious humor in it, there’s social humor, and it’s about the kinds of things that we still laugh about today.”

“This is good theater,” said Pro­fessor James Brandon, Chairman of Theatre and Dance. “It’s perfect for an audience that wants to have a good time — it’s very funny.”

Brandon’s favorite line in the play is spoken by Mor­timer: “Insanity runs in my family: it prac­ti­cally gallops,” he says. 

Hal­loween may be over, but a little bit of crazy never goes out of season. Come down to the Sage Center on Nov. 20 to get yours.