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  Arsenic and Old Lace at Odyssey Theatre Ensemble

Arsenic and Old Lace

Odyssey Theatre Ensemble
2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd Los Angeles

Some seniors take up golf, others enjoy painting, but only a select few devote their golden years to that most ancient of hobbies: murder. Arsenic and Old Lace introduces a pair of kindly spinsters who poison lonely old men and bury them in the basement. They're joined in their charm and eccentricity by one nephew who believes he's Teddy Roosevelt and another who's an escaped convict resembling Boris Karloff. Into this madhouse wanders another nephew, the relatively sane Mortimer, who must negotiate all this craziness while preserving his relationship with his new fiancée -- and without calling in the cops. Odyssey Theatre Ensembles beloved black comedy, which was adapted into the famed 1944 Frank Capra film starring Cary Grant, for Los Angeles audiences.

Thru - Oct 8, 2017

Price: $10-$34

Show Type: Comedy

Box Office: 310-477-2055

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  Arsenic and Old Lace Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Los Angeles Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...While superb production values elevate Elina de Santos’ staging above the standards of innumerable community theater revivals (Bruce Goodrich’s two-story Victorian interior design is a stunner), for contemporary audiences the show may more likely provoke head-scratching than nostalgic affection."
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Philip Brandes

Broadway World - Highly Recommended

"...The 1941 ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (directed by Elina de Santos) gets a dusting off from the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble providing a wonderfully expressive vehicle for the acting talents of Sheelagh Cullen and Jacque Lynn Colton as Abby and Martha Brewster, the seemingly harmless and most delightful murderers of their single unattached male boarders."
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Gil Kaan

Stage Scene LA - Highly Recommended

"...The Brewster Sisters are at it again, bumping off their elderly male lodgers in the name of human kindness, in Odyssey Theatre Ensemble’s delectably performed, gorgeously designed intimate revival of Joseph Kesselring’s 1941 Broadway hit Arsenic And Old Lace."
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Steven Stanley

Total Theater - Recommended

" Santos's firm hand keeps the actors from going too far over the top, which is why this revival of Arsenic and Old Lace works as well as it does, despite being nearly eighty years old."
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Willard Manus

Culver City News - Highly Recommended

"..."The irreverence in this play is just delicious," says director de Santos. "It's one of the funniest plays I've ever read, and it plays like crazy. Don't we all just need a good laugh these days?" And I guarantee she has achieved that goal and will keep you laughing from start to finish, proving all the reasons why both the stage play and Frank Capra's movie, starring Cary Grant as Mortimer, have lived on healthily to this day and, no doubt, will continue to do so for many years to come."
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Shari Barrett

The Los Angeles Post - Recommended

"...Joseph Kesselring’s Arsenic and Old Lace is what’s known in the theatre as a “chestnut” – the kind of play almost everyone knows, or has heard of, or has actually been in, because nearly every high school and/or college in the country has done it. There’s a reason plays such as this are done and done again – they’re well-written, with juicy parts for actors, and just enough surprises and outrageous bits that make them seem fresh."
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Dan Berkowitz

Night Tinted Glasses - Highly Recommended

"...To do a farce like this somewhat low-key makes for a fascinating choice, skillfully done. A simple example stands out. Teddy spends the first scene not strutting about in a caricature of Teddy Roosevelt, but rather hovering and acting on impulse rather like a child playing make believe. He and the rest of the cast never ape their facial expressions, don't distort themselves into caricatures of human behavior. It would be so easy to do that! Yet by not doing it dozens and dozens of little details stand out, little bits of characterization one rarely sees in a farce--but which deepens the humor, while at the same time making the laughs quieter. A really interesting set of choices, so consistent director Elina Santos deserves credit for it."
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David MacDowell

Stage Raw - Somewhat Recommended

"...The problem with this production is that a lot of energy is required from the performers, and the ensemble largely fails to deliver. Elina de Santos' direction is sluggish and inorganic. Kudos to Michael Antosy who, though cast in the small role of Officer O'Hara, provides the vigor the play so needs. All said, the actors are able. Colton and Cullen in particular are well cast as the saccharine murderesses. The performances just need to be dialed up - especially the larger-than-life character of Teddy, whose physicality is written to engulf the stage."
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Vanessa Cate

Theatre Notes - Highly Recommended

"...Odyssey Theatre Ensemble has mounted a superb production of the play satisfying in all aspects. Directed by Elina de Santos, the show is fast paced, hilarious and boasts impeccable timing. The play creates nostalgia for a time when police actually walked a beat and knew the neighborhood. Officers Klein (Darius De La Cruz), Brophy (Mat Hayes) and O'Hara (Michael Antosy) show up from time to time. And even the precinct Lieutenant (Yusef Lambert) makes an appearance to tie up loose ends."
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Paul Myrvold

Bucking Trends - Highly Recommended

"...Who'd ever think that Murder and Whimsy could go so well together? A silly, sinister-and always satisfying slice of satire, there's giggles and guffaws galore ripe for the taking courtesy of "The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble"!"
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Leo Buck

LA Excites - Highly Recommended

"...Overall, thanks to an immersive ambiance, and consummate cast members who accentuate one another's strengths, the Elina de Santos-directed "Arsenic and Old Lace," now playing at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, has just enough of the right amount of tonic ingredients, with the correct doses, to offer an intoxicating experience that will have one keeling over with blue-in-the-face laughter."
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Imaan Jalali

Ticket Holders LA - Highly Recommended

"...These two incredible veteran performers often seem to be moving or speaking as one, almost finishing each other’s sentences and nodding conspiratorially whenever the other makes a point. Colton and Cullen could honestly have been living together in the old Brewster homestead for years. Like Adair and Hull, their performances are the heart of this Arsenic and Old Lace and make it one of the premier theatrical events in a rather parched season."
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Travis Michael Holder

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