Wacky aunts add a deadly sip of fun for West Allis Players veteran director

Published on: 9/24/2012

West Allis - The West Allis Players will kick off their 2012-13 season with the classic comedy "Arsenic and Old Lace," opening Oct. 5.

"It's a fun show," said director David Dombrowski, summarizing the play that centers on a theater critic whose elderly, eccentric aunts take it upon themselves to poison (with elderberry wine) the lonely old men who board with them.

It's especially fun for Dombrowski because he now finds himself again working with now-adult students he directed at Greenfield High School, where he did worked for 36 years prior to his retirement.

He is also again working with actors from his 11 years with the Players. In all, this is his 53rd show and the ninth with the Players, he said.

"This cast is unique in that all but one of the folks I've directed and worked with," Dombrowski said. "It's just a blast."

Appearing as the two spinster aunts will be Donna Lobacz and Ann Morrow. Handling the role of their nephew Mortimer will be Don Lobacz. Eccentric Teddy Brewster will be played by Pete Horn and scary Jonathan Brewster by Dave Jirik, who played Uncle Arvide in the Players summer production of "Guys & Dolls."

Also appearing will be Gregory Rihn, Ruth Caves, Robin Stein, John Lewandowski, Tom Scherbert, Ashlee Hosbach, Jerry Proffitt and Larry LaFontsee, plus Dombrowski himself.

"Arsenic and Old Lace" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5, 6,12 and 13 and at 2 p.m.Oct. 7 in the West Allis Central High School auditorium, 8516 W. Lincoln Ave. General admission is $15, or $13 for seniors and students.

The season will continue next spring with "Is Murder Tax-deductible?" A busy accountant is murdered during the height of tax season in this new mystery/comedy, set in 1950 and written and directed by Greenfield playwright Katherine Beeson. It will be presented at 7:30 p.m. April 12, 13, 19, 20 and 2 p.m. April 21.

In "Seussical," the Cat in the Hat serves as host for a compilation of many of Dr. Seuss' classic stories in this musical for all ages to be directed by West Allis resident Bill Kaiser. It will be presented at 7:30 p.m. July 19, 20, 26, 27 and 2 p.m. July 28.

The Players also presents a Children's Series. The hour-long shows are performed at Nathan Hale High School, 11601 W. Lincoln Ave.

The first in the series will be "The Emperor's New Clothes" to be presented at 2 p.m. Dec. 2, when two scheming weavers try to trick the king into wearing grand garments that only "wise" people can see.

"The Princess and the Pea," to be presented at 2 p.m. Jan. 20, will feature a bossy queen who tries to prove that her son's future bride is not a real princess and hides a tiny pea under her mattresses to test her.

For more information on the season, visit waplayers.org.

- Jane Ford-Stewart