The Conway Dinner Theater is presenting a marvelous rendition of Joseph Kesselring’s dark comedy “Arsenic and Old Lace.” The play made its debut in 1941 with spinster aunts Abby and Martha presiding over the Brewster family home. Nephew Teddy also lives there, and his brother Mortimer makes frequent visits.
On the eve of announcing his engagement to the girl next door, Mortimer makes the shocking discovery about the direction his aunts’ “charities” have taken. He receives an unexpected visit by his murderous brother, Jonathan, and alcoholic accomplice, Dr. Einstein. Mortimer’s attempts to deal with his homicidal family members, some Brooklyn police officers and a couple of surprise corpses, have delighted audiences since the play’s debut 73 years ago.
This summer comedy is directed by Kimberly Norris of Wooster. She has been active in past performances of seven of the dinner/theater productions since 2006. This will be her first time as director. She asked, “Where in the world can you take a dinner date for only $27.50 each and see a real live play too? Our local talent rivals some of the best productions in the area.” Stage manager is Lisha Nation of Conway.
Auditions for this play were held a few months ago and people from 30 miles away vied for the few spots.
Conway Dinner Theater exists to give opportunity to FAA students, community residents and local trained professional musicians and actors to be involved in theater.
Past performances have included award winning plays, Broadway musicals, operas and melodramas. Their summer selections have always been light-hearted or comedies.
The actors are from Conway, Greenbrier, Guy, Russellville and Maumelle. Nancy Allen and Rosalyn Moix play the lead roles as Abby and Martha Brewster. Sarah Jane Rawlinson plays Elaine Harper. Doug Luman and Frank Norris play brothers Mortimer and Jonathan Brewster. Jim Guinee plays the hilarious alcoholic Dr. Einstein. Travis Lindsey plays Teddy Brewster. Police officers are played by Bill Meehan, Tanner Meyer, Trey Smith and Matthew Norris.
Devin Sims is the Rev. Dr. Harper and Mr. Witherspoon. Rick Garner plays Mr. Gibbs and Lt. Rooney.
Dinner/theater nights are July 18, 25-26 and Aug. 2 for $27.50. The theater is also offering two dates that are show-only, July 19 and Aug. 1, for $14.50.
Tickets regularly sell out — visit www.faulkneracademyofarts.org or call 501-339-7401 for a delightful evening of entertainment.
Conway Dinner Theater is located at 2201 Washington Ave., in Conway.
The theater side entrance is on Hutto Street.