Saint Sebastian Players’ “Arsenic and Old Lace” – Madcap Classic Community Style

(left to right) Kate O'Connor and Nancy Pollock

 

Go the a Saint Sebastian Players production at St. Bonaventure Church and first thing you realize is that this ticket taker, compared to other theaters, really means it when she wishes you a good time. 

 

(Left to right) Ed McGuire and Anthony Fiorelli. Photo: Jim Masini

 

Before the theater doors are opened you wait on one or another comfy couch or chair scattered in the Church’s basement space.  While it’s not unusual to see grey hairs disproportionately represented in any Chicago theater crowd, these theater-goers seem to include a fair number of very -locals who want to take advantage of the very reasonable $10 ticket price for seniors. 

 

(left to right) Scott Minches and Ed McGuire

 

It’s the welcoming feel of community with the big PLUS of actors seeming to be having a ball.  With a script like “Arsenic and Old Lace”--- a perfect match for this theater group—how could it be otherwise?

 

(left to right) Ed McGuire, Scott Minches and Anthony Fiorelli

 

Meet two elderly sisters  (Kate O’Connor and Nancy Pollock) whose manner exudes kindness, sweetness with more than a touch of dotty.  They live with their nephew  (Julian Colletta) who thinks he is Theodore Roosevelt and who is fond of blowing his bugle and shouting “Charge!”. 

 

(left to right) Nancy Pollock and Kate O'Connor

 

Eccentric as this may already seem, it’s their unusual hobby of luring lonely widowers and other old gents without relations to their Brooklyn parlor where they serve them elderberry wine laced with arsenic that motors the main story line. 

 


(left to right) Ed McGuire and Anthony Fiorelli

 

When their more sensible nephew Mortimer (Anthony Fiorelli) discovers what is happening he goes into a panic, pushing aside his newly minted fiancée (Caitlin Oates) who doesn’t understand what is going on.  Enter his long lost brother Jonathan (Scott Minches), whose latest plastic surgery at the hands of his accomplice Dr. Einstein (Ed McGuire) has left him with a stark resemblance to Boris Karloff playing Frankenstein’s monster.  

 

(left to right) Caitlin Oates, Anthony Fiorelli and Julian Coletta

 

It’s madcap and fun and a good time (Director:  Steven Walanka).

 

(left to right) Scott Minches, Caitlin Oates, and Ed McGuire

 

Now through November 15.

 

St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey, at Marshfield just west of Ashland.

 

For tickets call 773-404-7922 or visit the Saint Sebastian Players website.

 

Photos:  Eryn Walanka, unless otherwise indicated

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