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Posted on Jun 19, 2019

Masquers presents classic ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’

On Friday, Masquers Theater in Soap Lake marked the opening night of its presentation of “Arsenic and Old Lace.” Some may remember the movie, which was a 1944 American dark comedy film directed by Frank Capra, starring Cary Grant. The movie was adapted from the 1939 play, which was written by Joseph Kesselring.
The play is a black comedy revolving around the Brewster family, which is descended from the Mayflower settlers but is also composed of insane homicidal maniacs.
Mortimer Brewster tries to deal with his crazy family. His two aunts, Martha (Cheri Barbre) and Abby (Rosalee Chamberlain) pass the time luring unsuspecting, lonely old men to their home and serving them elderberry wine laced with arsenic, strychnine and a tiny bit of cyanide.
Quincy’s own Isaac Winter plays Officer Klein.
“My character, Officer Klein, has been a fun character to portray. I feel as though he and his partner Brophy are the real heroes of the show. What I enjoy most about him is his lines. In my opinion he has some of the funniest lines in the show, but maybe I’m just biased,” Klein said. “The thing that I enjoy the most about acting is the people that you meet. Everyone I’ve met at the theater is great and so fun to work with.”

Beloved nephew Mortimer Brewster finds out his aunts Martha and Abby are up to some shady biochemistry. What is in that elderberry wine? From the left are: Andrew Covarrubias, Cheri Barbre and Rosalee Chamberlain.
Photo by Tammara Green/for the Post-Register

Adam Zaleski is the director of this Masquers production, and Holli Bosnar is the assistant director.
“This play is the one that made me fall in love with theater and acting,” Zaleski said. “My mom was an actress. I would go to the plays, and I sat there watching. People would laugh, and I decided that was what I wanted to do. The show holds a significant place with me.”
Zaleski points out that the elderly sisters in the play appear to be sweet, nice ladies, but appearances can be deceiving. There are many other twists and turns in the play.
“Arsenic and Old Lace” is a classic brought to life by the actors of Masquers and is showing only for two more weekends.
“Come for the comedy and stay for the story,” Zaleski said.
“Arsenic and Old Lace” opened June 14 and continues through June 30 at Masquers Theater, located at 322 Main Ave E., Soap Lake. Friday and Saturday showings start at 7:30 p.m., and there are Sunday matinées at 2 p.m. Tickets are $14 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.
For tickets, call 509-246-2611 or visit

By Tammara Green, For the Post-Register