Arsenic Old LaceMADISONVILLE, Ky. (2/8/19) — Local actors are ready to take the stage during Arsenic and Old Lace at the Glema Mahr Center for the Arts on Valentine’s Day.

The dinner theater event featuring the popular 1939 play is set to run for three sold-out performances 6:30 p.m. Feb. 14-16, said Toby Roberts of the Glema Center. Tickets are $25, with dinner prepared by Temptations Events and Catering.

“We’ve been doing dinner theatre in some form here for about 15 years” said Glema Director Brad Downall. “Our patrons love the event and we sell out every year.  We partner with the Madisonville Community College Lions Club, whose members volunteer as servers in return for tips as a fundraising effort.”

Arsenic and Old Lace Director PJ Woodside said the classic is a throwback to the old-style mystery plays of the early 20th century.

“This black comedy has a little bit of everything — good guys, bad guys, old ladies, dead bodies, cops, a crazy brother, a plastic surgeon, a minister, a love story, and poisoned wine,” Woodside said. “I’m working with a fabulous cast of some of the best actors from the area, and I think you’ll be thoroughly entertained by our version of it. They’ve had me laughing out loud since the very first rehearsals. I’m grateful to Brad Downall and the Glema Center giving me the opportunity to direct this little gem.”

Local actors include Alice Chaney, Felicia Stewart, Randy Hardesty, David Gilkey, Megan McGregor, Nicholas Newsam, Justin Sedlak, Michael Coon, Scott Vander Ploeg, James Gibbs, Kenneth R. Root, Randy Hardesty, Steve Hudgins, Brad Downall, plus a few surprise special guests, Roberts said.

The play, Arsenic and Old Lace, is a farcical black comedy revolving around the Brewster family, descended from the Mayflower settlers, but now composed of insane homicidal maniacs. The hero, Mortimer Brewster, is a drama critic who must deal with his crazy family and local police in Brooklyn, New York. 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 Theodore Roosevelt and digs locks for the Panama Canal in the cellar of the Brewster home (which then serve as graves for the aunts' victims; he thinks that they died of yellow fever); and a murderous brother who has received plastic surgery performed by an alcoholic accomplice, Dr. Einstein, to conceal his identity, and now looks like horror-film actor Boris Karloff (a self-referential joke, as the part was originally played on Broadway by Karloff).

For tickets, visit the Glema Center Ticket Office, 2000 College Drive in Madisonville 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, call (270) 821-2787 or visit

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