The Brewster family members are quite the characters and Lakewood High School students portray them well in their production of “Arsenic and Old Lace,” which was presented Friday evening, March 28 and Saturday afternoon, March 29.
The comedy, murder mystery by Joseph Kesselring is set in the 1940s and features Teddy Brewster, played by Nikolay Borisov, who believes he is Teddy Roosevelt.
The sane one in the bunch, drama critic Mortimer Brewster is played well by Kolby Hatch. He is the intelligent nephew of two eccentric aunts, played by Morgan Stewart and J.J. Osti, who have a mission that worries Mortimer.
His brother Teddy is busy digging the Panama Canal in the family’s basement. Borisov gets the fun part, charging up the stairs blowing a trumpet, whenever he goes up to his room, and helping his aunts with their mission, as needed.
Things get really complicated when a long-lost third nephew, the “detestable” Jonathan Brewster, played by Kevin Forsell, shows up at the door with his “exotic” friend, Dr. Einstein, played by Mark Fernandez.
The elderly aunts are well-respected by the community for their support of many causes, so when they are suspected of suspicious behavior, none of the cops in the play will believe a word of it. Jordan Gilbert brought the house down, when she entered the stage as Lt. Rooney, with a boisterous, “What the hell is going on here?” She doesn’t believe a word of it, when someone suggests there are 12, or maybe even 13, bodies buried in the basement.
The police are regular visitors to the household as the neighbor’s often complain about Teddy’s rambunctious blowing of his trumpet.
Mortimer’s fiance, Elaine Harper, played by Rachelle Dondrea, faces the challenge of understanding this unique band of Brewsters, but she, too, can’t understand Mortimer’s hesitation about marrying her.
“I am afraid I can’t marry you,” Mortimer tells her, because he believes all Brewsters are nuts and if he had children, they would likely be nuts, too.
In the end, everything works out fine as Mortimer learns that he is not a Brewster by blood; the aunts are put away with Teddy; and the detestable nephew is thrown into jail.
Directed by a temporary fill-in, Ronda Russell, the Lakewood drama students worked with a new director for this play as the regular drama teacher is out this year on maternity leave.
“These are a great bunch of kids and it has been a very rewarding experience,” Russell announced at the final presentation of the comedy murder mystery, a Saturday matinee.
The actors honored their director and her family with flowers for all the hard work.
Contact Sarah Arney
at 360-435-5757 or
Cast and Crew
Morgan Stewart — Abby Brewster
J.J. Osti — Martha Brewster
Kolby Hatch — Mortimer Brewster
Nikolay Borisov — Teddy Brewster
Kevin Forsell — Jonathan Brewster
Rachelle Dondrea — Elaine Harper
— Dr. Herman Einstein
— Dr. Reverand Harper
Karen Christiansen — Officer Klein
Mason Brisben — Officer Brophy
Woody McAllister — Officer O’Hara
Mitchell Peterson — Mr. Gibbs
Jordan Gilbert — Lt. Rooney
Carson Matthew — Mr. Witherspoon
Olivia Russell — Mr. Spenalzo
Meg Sather — Mr. Hoskins
Mitch Gogert — Mr. Midgely
Arnold Rosario, Kara Bailey,
Brandon, and Charlene Cheesman
are the Dead Men
Assistant director — Meg Sather
Lighting and set design —
Ronda and John Russell
Costumes — Ronda Russell
Make-up — Ilea Sather and
Sound — Robert Christiansen
Lights — Sam Kiefer