Arsenic and Old Lace

Killing runs in the family in Arsenic and Old Lace, presented today by the Houston Community College theater department. In the play, suave theater critic Mortimer has just discovered his two old-lady aunts have been happily murdering bachelor boarders and burying them in the basement for years. Add to that the fact that his criminally insane half-brother has dropped by for a very unwelcome visit, dragging along a dead body of his own to add to the batch in the basement; cops are traipsing in and out of the house; and his fiancé is getting suspicious of all the goings-on, and poor Mortimer is having a really bad day.

Written in 1939 by Joseph Kesselring, Arsenic is a theater classic. "It's a comedy about women who kill people, and they're outdone by another family member who kills people, too. It's absurd," says director Edward Muth. "To capture that comic absurdity, we've gone really broad, almost slapstick, almost campy." Think of The Addams Family, but with dead bodies lying around. And if that isn't enough to get you in the theater doors, Muth wants to make sure you know, "We're one of the cheapest tickets in town." 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Through July 25. Theatre One, HCC Central Campus, 3517 Austin. For information, call 713-718-6570 or visit $5 to $8.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: July 16. Continues through July 25, 2009

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