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Published: 11/6/2013 - Updated: 5 months ago

PEACH WEEKENDER

‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ revisits the Toledo Rep

BY SUE BRICKEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Gail Lynn Frederick as Martha, left, Bill Quinlan as Teddy, and Deb Shaffer as Abby star in the Toledo Repertoire Theatre’s performance of ‘Arsenic and Old Lace.’ Gail Lynn Frederick as Martha, left, Bill Quinlan as Teddy, and Deb Shaffer as Abby star in the Toledo Repertoire Theatre’s performance of ‘Arsenic and Old Lace.’
TODD MICHAELS Enlarge

Arsenic and Old Lace, a classic comedy by Joseph Kesselring that debuted on Broadway in 1941 and has become a staple of the American theater, opens Friday at the Toledo Repertoire Theatre's 10th Street stage.

Arsenic and Old Lace came out on top of a Toledo Rep audience survey, and this new production is the fourth in the Rep’s history. Previous shows were in the 1942-43 season, 1966-67 season, and 1989-90. The audience survey demographic was ages 60 and younger. “It’s a funny, well-written, physical comedy,” director Rosie Best said.

The plot involves two spinster aunts living in Brooklyn, a handful of lonely elderly men, homemade wine laced with arsenic, strychnine, and cyanide, a brother who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt, and plastic surgery performed by an alcoholic, Elizabeth Cottle, Rep board member, said in an email.

The cast features Deb Shaffer as Abby, Jim Pinkelman as Harper, Bill Quinlan as Teddy, Martin Boyer as Brophy, Youseff Baddar as Klein, Gail Lynn Frederick as Martha, Jessie Voors as Elaine, Brad Smith as Mortimer, Ronnie Tanner as Gibbs, Michael Searle as Jonathan, Brad Riker as Einstein, J.R. Jones as O'Hara, Mark McGovern as Rooney, and Paul Soska as Witherspoon.

Arsenic and Old Lace will be presented Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with a Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. Additional performances are Nov. 14, 15, and 16 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 17 at 2:30 p.m. at the Rep's 10th Street stage, 16 10th St. Tickets are $20. For information or to purchase, call 419-243-9277 or visit toledorep.org.

‘Les Miserables’

The Oregon Community Theatre’s production of the musical drama Les Miserables, which opens Friday, is the largest for the organization.

There is a cast of 65, a crew of about 20, and more than 150 costumes, most of which are handmade, director Don Dauer said in an email.

The play, based on the epic novel by Victor Hugo and set in early 19th-century France, tells the story of Jean Valjean, who was imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family. He breaks parole and is pursued by police inspector Javert, and is eventually swept up into a revolutionary period in Paris.

Les Miserables debuted on Broadway in 1987 and won eight Tony awards.

Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. in Fassett Middle School Auditorium, 3025 Starr Ave. Additional shows are Nov. 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $17 general admission, $14 for seniors and students, from the box office at 419-691-1398, or at the door. Information: oregoncommunitytheatre.org.

‘Glass Menagerie’

Bowling Green State University Firelands College Theatre in Huron begins its 46th season today with The Glass Menagerie. The legendary drama, which opened on Broadway in 1945, was written by Tennessee Williams.

The cast, directed by Grechen Lynne Wingerter, includes BGSU Firelands students and community members.

Richard Amezquita plays Tom Wingfield, Erinn Wasiniak is Amanda Wingfield, D’Sha Edge is Laura Wingfield, and Branden Fox plays Jim O’Connor.

Performances are today and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30, and Sunday at 2 in BGSU Firelands’ McBride Auditorium, Firelands Campus North Building, 1 University Dr., Huron. Tickets, $10-$4, are available from the box office, 419-433-5560, ext. 20747 from 1-5 p.m. daily. The Glass Menagerie is suitable for ages 12 and up.

Contact Sue Brickey at sbrickey@theblade.com.



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