Migration Hall 1Brianne MacLaren-Ross

The cast of Arsenic and Old Lace on the set at Migration Hall

The curtain has fallen on Migration Hall’s deliciously twisted production of Arsenic and Old Lace, but the memory of this madcap romp lingers like a fine poisoned wine. Under Norm Ross’s deft direction, Joseph Kesselring’s classic dark comedy unfolded as a deliriously entertaining blend of macabre humor and farcical thrills.

While the show’s run has concluded, one can still vividly picture the exquisite Brewster home set, transporting audiences to 1940s Brooklyn. The gorgeous design immersed viewers in the zany, murderous world about to unfold before them. Kudos to the creative team for their meticulous craftsmanship.


At the center of the mayhem were the iconic Brewster sisters, the phenomenal Mary Grace Weir and Allison Still as Abby and Martha. These two spun a web of sweet-laced treachery, their grandmotherly demeanors masking deadly secrets. Weir and Still were an absolute riot, nailing the peculiar charm and sinister tendencies of the murderous duo.

The entire ensemble shone, with standout performances from Luke Boughner as the frazzled Mortimer and David Garlick’s uproarious turn as the delusional Teddy Brewster. Boughner’s frenetic energy and impeccable timing kept audiences howling, while Garlick’s boisterous antics as the wannabe Teddy Roosevelt were a constant delight.

Terris Buchanan cut an intimidating figure as the murderous Jonathan Brewster, injecting the right amount of menace. His chemistry with Alex Alejandria’s hapless Dr. Einstein provided hilarious and unsettling banter in equal measure. Paige Frankfurth brought charm as Elaine Harper, the love interest caught in the madness.

The supporting cast was equally stellar, with Carmen Stefan deftly handling the dual roles of Rev. Harper and Mr. Witherspoon. Al Timmons as Mr. Gibb, Grant Jonsson as Officer O’Hara, Joanna Vermeulen as Lt. Rooney, Jennifer Santin as Officer Klein, and Corey Roberston as the Announcer all left their marks on this zany world.

What made this production truly transcendent was its seamless genre-blending. One moment, you were doubled over with laughter at the absurdities; the next, you were on the edge of your seat, wondering who would fall victim to the sisters’ poisoned elderberry wine.

The pacing was brisk, with nary a lull. Even the most minor characters left an indelible mark, adding to the madcap revelry. The bumbling officers played by Jonsson and Vermeulen were a particular highlight.

Ultimately, Migration Hall’s Arsenic and Old Lace was a delightful treat that showcased the enduring appeal of Kesselring’s work. Though the curtain has closed, the show’s zany delights will linger in the minds of all who witnessed this murderous merriment. And now that the Brewster sisters have departed, it might just be safe to indulge in a glass of elderberry wine once again – provided it’s poison-free, of course!

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