Fine Linen is beginning their fall season in a morbidly hilarious fashion with the classic favorite, Arsenic and Old Lace. Fans of the 1939 play may also recognize it from the film adaptation from 1944, staring Cary Grant, but even someone who hasn’t heard of the show before will find themselves enjoying Fine Linen’s latest production.

Kim Nisbett, director of the show and Vice-President of Fine Linen Theatre, introduces the show as being a farcical black comedy, with outrageous scenarios and the characters to match. As the play moves forward after getting the audience acclimated to the cast, each scene delivers on the director’s promise.

The first characters the audience meets are also the first ones to make them laugh. Belen Hamacher and Elaine Briggs play the Brewster Sisters, Abby and Martha, and their teamwork onstage brings the entire show together. Their calm demeanor and kind dispositions might seem out of place in a story with as morbid humor as this one, but instead take what is already a well-written joke and turn it into a thrill.

Their nephew Mortimer, a theatre critic, is played by Nick Schaeffler. What the aunts bring to the show with the delivery of their characters’ personalities, Nick matches with his enthusiastic physicality. Audience members will delight in his reactions to the other characters and in the way he dashes about the stage. There are moments where Nick doesn’t even need to speak to entertain the audience.

The character of Elaine Harper, Mortimer’s love interest, is played by Lauren Werkmeister. Elaine serves as a touchstone for the audience, keeping them grounded while everyone else onstage is doing what they do best, making the show a farce. Lauren’s graceful portrayal of Elaine endears her to the audience as soon as she walks in. Even in the less-than-graceful situation Elaine finds herself in during the play, Lauren never stops being in control of her character, and maker Elaine stand out in a cast of extreme personalities.

The second Brewster brother, Teddy, is one of these extreme personalities, and one that audience members will remember long after curtain call. Brendan Boggs, playing a character who thinks he is a different character, is almost forced to play two people at once, and does so exceedingly well. Teddy Brewster has a larger-than-life personality that Brendan is able to fill seemingly without trying, and audience members will be glad to see him whenever he walks onstage.

The third Brewster brother, Jonathan, comes into the play later than the rest of his family, but with enough of a dynamic entrance to more than make up for it. Jonathan is played by Paul Hamacher, who’s voice control and mannerisms completes his character and brings him to life in an intense and familiar fashion.

Across from Jonathan is Dr. Einstein, played by David Chirban, who deserves some sort of award for being able to carry a consistent German accent throughout the show. David is another actor who isn’t afraid to get physical onstage, and puts his all into his character.

They are joined by a colorful cast of characters, played by Lanin Thomasma, Craig Phillips, Nathan Pfeifer, Walter Williams, Rick Pfeifer and Jeff Williams, each bringing something unique to their characters, making them stand out to the audience.

Even aside from the acting skills of the cast, the set and costumes continue Fine Line’s tradition of beautiful design. The setting authentically feels like an well-lived-in family home, with all the small details, and the costuming is both elegant and efficient. The show caters to the audience’s eyes as well as their sense of humor.

Arsenic and Old Lace has shows remaining on Tuesday, Oct 3, Thursday, Oct 5, Friday, Oct 6, and two shows on Saturday Oct 7. Tickets are available on Fine Linen’s website,