Vintage Radio version of ARSENIC AND OLD LACE will be performed on stage at Shadowland Saturday, October 31st.
ELLENVILLE, NY, (October 26, 2015) – Continuing its annual Halloween series of onstage classic radio drama recreations, Shadowland Theatre announced their 2015 “Terror at the Mike” program, presented as a benefit performance for the not-for-profit Actors’ Equity theater.
On Saturday, October 31st at 8:00 p.m., Shadowland will present an onstage recreation of the BEST PLAYS adaptation of Joseph Kesselring’s “Arsenic and Old Lace.”
The comedy thriller tells the delightfully macabre story of two spinster sisters in Brooklyn who have been doing away with elderly visitors, only to have their murderous record challenged by their recently returned homicidal nephew. Other family members include a younger nephew who is a theater-hating critic and another nephew who thinks himself Teddy Roosevelt, to the extent that he makes bugle-blowing charges up the stately staircase and digs locks for the Panama Canal in the family cellar.
The radio version of this fearsome farce will be performed in original fashion in front of microphones with both live and transcribed music and sound effects. The evening of aural entertainment will include commercials for local area participating sponsors. The cast will include both professional and civilian performers, including several cast members from Shadowland’s 2015 main stage season. The evening of radio thrills is produced and directed by Shadowland board member and CBS Television Network executive Ray Faiola.
BEST PLAYS, inspired by the landmark series of annual compendiums edited by Burns Mantle, aired as a summer series on NBC Radio during 1952 and 1953. The program was hosted each week by John Chapman, theater critic for the New York Daily News and the scripts were adapted by Ernest Conoy.
Unlike most network anthology series, which were produced in Hollywood, BEST PLAYS originated out of New York and thus featured Broadway and east coast performers in starring and supporting roles. The 1953 radio cast of “Arsenic and Old Lace” included original Broadway cast members Jean Adair, Boris Karloff and Edgar Stehli. It aired on July 6, 1952. Also in the radio version were Donald Cook, Evelyn Varden and Wendell Holmes.
“Arsenic and Old Lace” opened on Broadway January 10, 1941, and ran for 1,444 performances. A film version, also made in 1941 by Warner Bros., was directed by Frank Capra but was contractually delayed from release
Tickets for the October 31st “Terror on the Mike” benefit performance are $15.00 and are on sale now at http://www.shadowlandtheatre.org, at the Shadowland Box Office, 157 Canal Street in Ellenville, or by phone at 845-647-5511.