New York City fans of the classic play Arsenic and Old Lace don't have to wait until its rumored return to Broadway.
Online PR News – 26-June-2015 – New York, NY – New York, NY - New York City fans of the classic play Arsenic and Old Lace don't have to wait until its rumored return to Broadway. Producers Michael Cramer and Hanna Edwards – who last year brought the expressionistic Hamlet…(Unmasked) to the theater at John De Sotelle Studio on West 43rd Street – are back this year with their own intimate production of the 1941 black comedy.
One way their production will differ from the upcoming Broadway production is the casting of a male for the role of Aunt Martha. Comedian and actor David Mohr will play the role opposite Ms. Edwards as Aunt Abby. "David came in for one of the male parts," says Dr. Cramer. "When I asked if he was willing to shave, he said he would do so for the role of Martha. So, we had him read Martha on the spot, and he played beautifully off Hanna. We [the producers plus director Craig Hutchison] weren't looking to cast a male for the role, but once it landed in our laps, we went with it."
Insanity runs in Mortimer Brewster's family: brother Teddy thinks he's Theodore Roosevelt, while brother Jonathan is an internationally-wanted criminal. Mortimer's own wedding plans get complicated when, on his engagement night, he discovers dear Aunts Abby and Martha have started an unorthodox hobby of their own.
Cast members returning from Hamlet...(Unmasked) include Bradley Sumner (Teddy), Michael Cramer (Jonathan), Malin Tybahl (Elaine) and Richard Goodrich (Officer O'Hara). Director Craig Hutchison and Stage Manager Kristin Hardwick also return. New cast members include Neil Brown (Mortimer), Anton Obeid (Dr. Einstein), John Mulcahey (Dr. Harper), Edward Smucugz (Officer Klein), Peter Previte (Officer Brophy), Kevin Heulbig (Lt. Rooney), Andrew Dorph (Mr. Witherspoon) and Neil Feigeles (Mr. Gibbs).
The producing pair - now known as Epic Fog Productions - chose the play as their second effort "because it was the furthest we could get from a Shakespearean Tragedy," says Dr. Cramer. There is a connection, however: "Poison is a common theme in both plays," says Ms. Edwards. "We liked the idea of a completely different play with a tangential connection. And we just love the play."
EPIC FOG ARSENIC & OLD LACE CONT'D
As with Hamlet...(Unmasked), Arsenic and Old Lace is mostly crowd funded using the website Hatchfund.org, a branch of the nonprofit AIM Institute. Donors were able to buy credits in the program as one of the 24 unseen victims or the two dead bodies who appear on stage; sponsor a character who appears live on stage; be committed to the same asylum as some of the characters; or be appointed ambassador to a country by President Theodore Roosevelt. "We were interested in getting our donors personally involved in the production, and naming them with unique individual credits is more fun than just listing them under donor levels," said Ms. Edwards. The production has met its early funding requirements; however the campaign remains open through June 30.
About undertaking a classic that may soon be seen on the Great White Way, Ms. Edwards was enthusiastic. "There's certainly more than enough audience to go around for this play," she said. "It's a classic. The comedy transcends the time period. Based on what I've heard [about the cast of the upcoming Broadway production], the two productions will be very different. But they're both going to be very funny."
WHEN: July 9 - 7PM; July 10,11 - 8PM; July 12 - 3PM
WHERE: Theater at John De Sotelle Studio;
300 West 43rd Street, 3rd Floor (Times Square Arts Center)
New York, NY 10036
Tickets: $20 online (plus service charge) at http://www.arsenicandoldlacenyc.com
Event information: http://www.facebook.com/arsenicandoldlacenyc
About Epic Fog Productions:
Epic Fog Productions is the producing team of Hanna Edwards and Dr. Michael Cramer. The duo's first production was Hamlet...(Unmasked) in 2014 at the theater at John De Sotelle Studio just off Times Square. The team seeks to bring enjoyment of classic and modern theatre to audiences with high production value in an intimate setting. Dr. Michael Cramer is an actor and adjunct professor of Media Communications and Public Speaking at City University of New York. Hanna Edwards is an actress and licensed real estate broker who brokers and manages properties in downtown Manhattan.