This year’s Fall play was Joseph Kesselring’s classic, Arsenic and Old Lace. Originally written in 1939, Arsenic and Old Lace has thrived for many years both on and off Broadway. The commencement of the High School’s recent performance marked not only the continuation of an annual
Hopatcong High School’s recent rendition ran for a total of 4 performances over the course of 4 days: Thursday-Saturday at 7 pm, and a Sunday matinee at 2 pm. The show takes place in a 1940’s Brooklyn household belonging to the Brewster family.
The audience was first introduced to the sweet, elderly women of the household, Martha Brewster (Kelly Nee) and Abby Brewster (Abby Dekker), whose appearances were soon accompanied by their 2 nephews, hard-working play critic Mortimer Brewster (Matthew Smith) and delusional, yet harmless and hilarious Teddy Roosevelt impersonator (Fernando Leyva).
However, just as soon as characters were established, the play took an unexpectedly dramatic and dark turn. The Brewster women have apparently been offering elderly men shelter and serving them Elderberry Wine, a concoction which they happen to mix with arsenic and cyanide. The sisters confide in Nephew Mortimer of their alleged twelve murders shortly before a third nephew is introduced.
As the plot evolves, Gruesomely evil Jonathan Brewster (AJ Amela) is introduced along with his sidekick (Jacob Escalla). The duo have been on the run for quite a while, returning only to their childhood home in an attempt to hide their own latest murder victim.
Mortimer struggles with the stress of this situation, especially hiding this new information from his fiance Elaine (Isabel Campos). He is conflicted as to how he can protect his aunts from repercussions of the law while turning his brother Jonathan over to the law.
Arsenic and Old Lace portrays an intricate plot with many moments of humor despite its factor of murder. Character performances were spot-on and audience-engaging; however, the show couldn’t have been successful without additional staff help. Leading staff included director Mrs. Kerri Batche, costume and makeup director Ms. Megan Nardone, and musical director Mrs. Fersch.
Pointing out that each performance of the fall play had a generous audience turnout, Mr. Batche said, “After taking over leadership of the Drama Club and having one very successful show under our belt, I honestly feel blessed”.
The HHS community looks forward to the Drama Club´s spring play You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. According to Mr. Batche, this musical will mark the first major effort to include the middle school in the HHS program. “14 high school performers will be joined by 11 middle school vocalists to round out the cast of an exceptionally fun musical,” added Mr. Batche.
This year’s spring musical is slated for mid-April performance.