more from the archives
October 16, 2015
Okay, so this is why I save everything, and go through everything piece-by-piece rather than throw away entire boxes. I’m one of those people who saves Playbills:
As you can see, this was for Arsenic and Old Lace at the Morris Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore. Ticket says November 1987. (A quick google tells me the Mechanic Theater was demolished just last year. This has made me unexpectedly melancholy.)
But what’s really cool about this, and getting to see this particular production, is the cast:
Just in case you can’t quite read that, it’s Jean Stapleton and Marion Ross as the sisters. Jean Stapleton, aka Edith Bunker on All in the Family, and Marion Ross, aka Mrs. Cunningham on Happy Days. Is that inspired casting or what? As I remember it (which is somewhat well — I vividly remember going to this, but Arsenic and Old Lace is one of those plays that’s so familiar it’s hard to remember how much of the actual performance I’m playing back in my mind, and how much I’m remembering the play rather than the performance.) Stapleton and Ross played it pretty much like Mrs. Bunker and Mrs. Cunningham are dotty old sisters who moved in together and start casually murdering lonely old men, and it was deeply, wonderfully hilarious. I wonder if this is on film somewhere? To the googles! Aha, here’s a tiny little clip of it. Just a taste. But here’s a full review.
I’m so pleased to be reminded of this bit of theater adventure.
BONUS THEATER REVIEW: HAMLET
In another bit of theater adventure: I went to see the live movie broadcast of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet last night, thanks to the generosity and foresight of friends. I have to confess: the performance was a little slow to find its feet, and a little uneven after. Cumberbatch played Hamlet like he plays everything: flamboyantly moody. I didn’t understand what was up with Hipster Horatio — he didn’t match anything else in the play.
And all I could think when the second half came up and the stage was absolutely covered in whatever that dirt analog was (I’m guessing some kind of foam): that poor, poor stage manager.