Woodward, Keefe and Walken to Read Arsenic and Old Lace at Westport July 14

News   Woodward, Keefe and Walken to Read Arsenic and Old Lace at Westport July 14
Westport Country Playhouse artistic directors Joanne Woodward and Anne Keefe will star in a reading of Joseph Kesselring's comedy Arsenic and Old Lace July 14.

Presented as part of Westport's Funny Mondays series, Woodward and Keefe will portray the murderous Brewster sisters who spike their wine with arsenic. Also set for the reading is Academy Award winner Christopher Walken, who will play the sisters' nephew on the lam, Jonathan Brewster.

Completing the cast for the 7 PM reading are Noble Shropshire as Dr. Einstein, Mark Shanahan as Mortimer Brewster, Jen Waldman as Elaine Harper, Doug Stender as Teddy Brewster and Tim Donoghue as Officer O'Hara.

John Tillinger directs the classic, which "focuses on two sweet, elderly sisters who are known for their many acts of charity in their Brooklyn neighborhood. However, their charity includes serving poisoned elderberry wine to lonely old men who come to their home seeking lodging. The two ladies are assisted in their crimes by their mentally challenged nephew who thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt, blasting a bugle and yelling 'charge' as he bounds up the stairs. The plot thickens when a second nephew, a theater critic, discovers the dead bodies and a third nephew arrives after an escape from a mental institution," press notes state.

Woodward earned an Oscar for her performance in the film "The Three Faces of Eve" and was nominated for her work in "Mr. & Mrs. Bridge," "Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams" and 'Rachel, Rachel." Her screen credits also include "Philadelphia," "Age of Innocence," "Breathing Lessons" and the film of The Glass Menagerie. Her extensive stage credits include the Broadway productions of The Lovers, Baby Want a Kiss and Candida, as well as The Glass Menagerie, Love Letters and the 1994 Long Wharf Theatre staging of Arsenic and Old Lace, also under the direction of John Tillinger.

In addition to her duties at Westport, Keefe has served as assistant director for the Long Wharf staging of Our Town with Hal Holbrook. As a stage manager, Keefe's credits include The Changing Room (with John Lithgow), The National Health (with Rita Moreno), Spokesong (with John Lithgow and Joe Maher), Watch on the Rhine (with George Hearn), American Buffalo (with Al Pacino), Death and the Maiden (with Glenn Close, Richard Dreyfuss, and Gene Hackman, directed by Mike Nichols), Hamlet (with Ralph Fiennes) and Night Must Fall (with Matthew Broderick). Walken's Broadway appearances include James Joyce's The Dead, Hurlyburly, Sweet Bird of Youth, The Lion in Winter, Enemies and The Rose Tattoo. Walken earned an Academy Award for "The Deer Hunter" and was nominated for "Catch Me If You Can." His film credits also include "Sleepy Hollow," "Hairspray," "Pulp Fiction," "Batman Returns" and "Annie Hall."

Tickets are available by calling (203) 227-4177 or by visiting www.westportplayhouse.org.

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