Fremont Opera House to present 'Arsenic and Old Lace'

2013-02-16T03:15:00Z Fremont Opera House to present 'Arsenic and Old Lace'By Brett Ellis/Fremont Tribune Fremont Tribune
February 16, 2013 3:15 am  • 

A popular classic comedy is coming to the Fremont Opera House stage.

Several community members, under the direction of Lee Meyer, will perform “Arsenic and Old Lace” Feb. 28 through March 2 at the opera house. All performances will be at 7 p.m.

“It’s actually one of the top-10 shows put on by community theaters in the country,” said Meyer, who directed last year’s production of “Moon Over Buffalo” at the opera house. “It’s a fun, fun show for the whole family and I just thought it would be a blast to do, which it is.”

Advance tickets are $15 and are available at the Fremont Tribune, Blue Bottle Coffeehouse, Coffee Bistro and L&L Gifts. They also can be reserved by sending an email to

The show’s plot focuses on the Brewster family, including elderly aunts Abby and Martha, played by Madeleine MacDonald and Diane Paseka, respectively.

Cale Bracker, Chris Bristol and Doyle Schwaninger play nephews Mortimer, Jonathan and Teddy. Other cast members include Jane Schiermeyer as Mortimer’s girlfriend and Don Cunningham as Dr. Einstein – the sidekick of evil nephew Jonathan.

“We have such a wide variety of people, so it’s really fun to work with that group,” Meyer said. “… I think everybody, even the ones who have never done this before, they really want to put on a good show and are really stepping up. I think the ones who have done it before, I think they really bring up that level.”

Funds raised during the performances will go to support the opera house.

Bristol, who plays Jonathan, also is the manager of Fremont Opera House. He believes the show will give the venue, which was renovated in 2011, another showcase event.

“One of the main thrusts behind the renovation of the building, but particularly the first floor at this stage, was to be able to offer a venue for arts and entertainment,” Bristol said. “We’re looking at a variety of demographics and a variety of different shows, from the Pathfinder Chorus to stage productions like ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ and to shows that maybe appeal to a younger audience in the future."

He said the show also fits in with Fremont Opera House’s 2013 season theme of “Forever Memorable.”

“We feel we are putting on a new style of entertainment for Fremont in a classic venue that’s obviously iconic to Fremont and to the Fremont landscape,” Bristol said. “I think ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ certainly qualifies in the ‘Forever Memorable’ category.”

Bristol said other upcoming performances at Fremont Opera House include “McGuigan and Weber, by Request” on June 1. Musicians Billy McGuigan and Jimmy Weber will take audience requests in a dueling guitars format.

Fremonter Will Mitchell once again will offer a performing arts camp this summer for young people, and Bristol is hopeful that the Irish rock band Ellis Island will perform at Fremont Opera House in August.

Bob Yanike and the Broad Street Revue also have periodic performances planned throughout the year.

“It’s a variety of shows for a variety of audiences,” Bristol said.

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