“Arsenic and Old Lace,” written by Joseph Ketterling, debuted on Broadway in January, 1941 – 11 months before the United States entered World War II. Americans embraced this play immediately as it provided comic relief and humorous distraction from the daunting coming war. Its success was not limited to this country, however. By 1942, it also opened in London where theatre goers welcomed the distraction during their post-blitz era.
When you read a summary of this play, two old women who lure lonely men into their home in hopes of sneaking poison into their wine, it may not seem like the humorous distraction that so many people welcomed. However, once you meet the characters and all of their quirkiness, it becomes clear why this play gave so many people a respite in the midst of so many horrors. If nothing else, we hope that you will enjoy your time with us tonight and that you will have a good laugh.