By Debbie Dakin
Licking Drama Club presented the hilarious Larceny and Old Lace on Friday and Saturday nights in the Licking Junior High gymnasium. The play was written by Van Vandagriff.
The story is about the Peabody family, two sweet, but not quite so innocent spinster sisters that have a secret. Also in the home is their dear nephew Harold, whom they took in as a child because he was an orphan. Harold is a kind young man that is an accountant and about to marry the lovely Gloria. To round out the household is Uncle Charlie. But Uncle Charlie thinks he is a pirate.
Gertie and Millie are the spinster sisters and they like to spend time gambling. They also have discovered they are good at robbing casinos. In fact they have robbed 13! Good old Uncle Charlie then buries their “treasure” in the basement.
Harold is oblivious to his aunts’ activity until he stumbles on the loot of their last heist. But Harold, who was told by the police that there has been a bank robbery, jumps to the conclusion that Uncle Charlie has robbed the bank and the money is from that.
When Harold tells his aunts his fears, they laugh. Then they inform Harold where the money really came from and about the other robberies they have pulled off. Poor Harold is shocked and flustered. He tries to think of how he can fix the mess and decides to have crazy Uncle Charlie committed and place the blame on him.
In the meantime they learn that Harold’s not-so-nice cousin Mordred has broken out of prison. Mordred and his sidekick Lester are the ones who robbed the bank and after their escapade Mordred decides they should hide out at his spinster aunts’ home.
This laugh out loud comedy kept the audience highly entertained. The wicked Mordred forces poor Gloria to the basement and then konks her on the head. He and Lester discover the buried “treasure” in the basement where Uncle Charlie has hidden the aunts’ money from earlier heists. Judge Taylor helps Harold get Uncle Charlie declared insane. Officer Larson keeps coming to see Harold hoping for investment advice and keeps telling him not to tell Officer McNealy he was there. Dr. Pretorius spends some time with Uncle Charlie and declares him crazy. Dr. Shortanoar and Nurse Widget come to pick up Uncle Charlie and Uncle Charlie learns he has met his match in Widget and can’t intimidate her. Officers Klick and Klack of the FBI are suspicious and come in the nick of time, along with Police Officer McNealy and arrest Mordred. Mordred tries to tell them all of the money was not his but no one believes him. He gets carted of to jail; Dr. Shortanoar and Nurse Widget cart of Uncle Charley to the mental institution; Harold and Gloria leave to get married; and Lester sneaks away.
It was a wonderful production and hats off to the very talented students who brought the characters to life, Special recognition to Felicia Ellis and Jo Ann Lewis who give much more than just their time, they manage to bring out the best in each and every cast member.
The cast and crew included: Harold – Chase Farris, Crazy Uncle Charlie – Gregory Record, Aunt Gertie – Ashley Harrison, Aunt Millie – Michelle Esquivel, Officer McNealy – Tim Ranft, Gloria – Emily Scherrer, Officer Kilck – Betty Jo Roberts, Officer Klack – Brandi Mace, Officer Larson – Victor Ford, Judge Taylor – Charlie Pursifull, Lester – Kevin Kaufman, Mordred – Zechariah Ford, taxi driver – Kaylee Gale, Dr. Pretorious – Kyson Quick, Nurse Widget – Sam Wagner, Dr. Shortanoar- Jiovanni Buell Gomez. The stars also worked as crew along with Stephanie Homeyer, Skye Marler, Kioko Lamear, Mykenna Sullins, Tom Parks, Nathan Chappell, Lilly Fleming, Haley Burrus, Cody Barnham, Emily Scherrer, Haley Burrus, and Lillian Willard.
Thanks to you all for giving us such an enjoyable and funny evening’s entertainment. You all were great!