Trull's the standout. Wearing a pair of Bogdanovich horn-rims that give him a bookishly handsome flair, Trull flings himself into the role of Mortimer. He's a fine physical comedian, taking the shortest route across the room by stepping up and over a chair, or wedging his thin frame in a doorframe, defying gravity with both feet off the floor.

Alford puts nice polish on Teddy, who too often is played as a lumpy lunatic. Nihal Joshi, Paul Taylor and Steve Powell light up satellite roles. Siegworth, the youngest member of DTC's resident acting company, is still honing her comedy rhythms, but she's coming along. Five-time Tony winning costumer William Ivey Long has created stunning stage wear in this show for all but Siegworth, whom he dresses in ill-fitting period suits that make her look like a dour secretary in an old William Wyler weepy.

As for the marquee stars, they meet all expectations—they're both on the cusp of being inducted into the "Broadway legends" club, after all—and they exceed some. Feldshuh is much twinklier as Aunt Abby than she comes across on those many episodes of Law & Order she's guest-starred in. Snapping her white dishrag at her co-stars in Arsenic, she's a wild-eyed little pixie. Every time she emerges from the kitchen in this play, she's nibbling something—a grape, a piece of cheese, part of the scenery. Delightful.

Drink in the laughs generated by Abbey Siegworth, Tovah Feldshuh, Lee Trull and Betty Buckley in Dallas Theater Center's Arsenic and Old Lace.
Brandon Thibodeaux
Drink in the laughs generated by Abbey Siegworth, Tovah Feldshuh, Lee Trull and Betty Buckley in Dallas Theater Center's Arsenic and Old Lace.

Buckley, with fewer lines and less physical business as Aunt Martha, looks appropriately dazed, as if her character is just a leetle bit tipsy from some of the poison-free elderberry vino. Wearing a gray wig styled in electric-socket frizz, Buckley maintains an expression that lets us know Aunt Martha's a tetch off plumb, but pleasantly so. And she generously tolerates Feldshuh's upstaging and out-mugging her for the better part of two and a half hours.

In a five-week run of this show, the prop master better see that none of those wine bottles gets spiked with anything that could put a quick end to that sort of behavior.

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