Arsenic and Old Lace

'Aunt Abby' and 'Aunt Martha' (Jody Hatcher and Joanne Maio) are a sweet pair of spinster murderers. 'Arsenic and Old Lace' opens Friday, January 10 in Cocoa Beach and will run through January 26.

BREVARD COUNTY — Trouble brews when a successful newspaperman visits home to announce his engagement, only to discover that insanity runs in the family, and a cover up is needed to prevent the police from locking up his two spinster aunts.

“Arsenic and Old Lace” will premiere this weekend at Surfside Playhouse in Cocoa Beach, and will continue to run through Sunday, Jan. 26. Tickets are available for adults at $25; seniors, military and students at $22; and children 12 years and younger at $10.

Friday and Saturday performances are scheduled for 8 p.m., with a special Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. added for Jan. 25, and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

“‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ will be very popular with theatergoers,” said Bryan Bergeron, artistic director of Surfside Playhouse. “It has a few chills and spills but everything is wrapped up in a nice and cozy blanket of laughter. What better way to bring in the new year?”

Edward Johnson has been cast in the lead role of “Mortimer Brewster” the newspaperman, while Jody Hatcher plays spinster aunt “Abby Brewster” and Joanne Maio plays the other spinster aunt named “Martha Brewster”.

The two lonely aunts find entertainment in passing the days away by murdering old men with homemade elderberry wine laced with arsenic.

Meanwhile, Mortimer also discovers on a visit home that his brother “Teddy Brewster” (played by Chris Tsocanos) believes himself to be Teddy Roosevelt, and brother “Jonathan Brewster” (played by John Torres) has a strong resemblance to Boris Karloff, an English actor known for his role as “Frankenstein’s monster”.

“It would be hard to single out a single character to focus on but I’d say the lion share of attention goes to our two spinster sisters, Martha and Abby,” Mr. Bergeron said. “Their sweetness and kindness will sweep you off your feet, especially if you drink their elderberry wine.”

Surfside Playhouse has been offering up dramas, comedies, musicals and more since 1963. As a not-for-profit community theater, Surfside Playhouse continues to present a full schedule of shows each season.

“I’d say that our Sixty for Sixty campaign demonstrates the main thrust of our organizational agenda,” Mr. Bergeron said. “As stewards of a 60-year-old facility, we have dedicated ourselves to refurbishing our beloved playhouse.

"Sixty for Sixty stands for sixty thousand dollars to be raised in our 60th year," Mr. Bergeron continued. "We’ve done so much already but there’s plenty to still work on. Our patrons have been wonderful to us. We are very grateful and look forward to their continued support.”

Surfside Playhouse is located at 301 Ramp Road, Cocoa Beach.

For more information, call (321) 783-3127 or visit

Associate Managing Editor

I have been a Viera resident for 15 years and a writer my whole life. I love to travel when the opportunity presents itself, as well as try new things.

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