|Gary Weinstein transforms into Dr. Einstein, to the chagrin of Mortimer Brewster (David Gallido)|
In Arsenic and Old Lace, Dr. Herman Einstein is an unscrupulous plastic surgeon that helps people transform their appearance and change their identity. In the Farmington Players production, Gary Weinstein plays Dr. Einstein, and Gary truly relates to how his character enables people to become someone else on stage. As Gary says, “The prevailing thread in most of the Arsenic characters, as I see it, is that no one is who say they are. I, from time to time, take on other characters within myself to get away from reality -- I don’t always want to be who I truly am. I can relate to people wanting to change their appearance and who they are in the world and how they want other people to see them.”
It’s hard to blame Gary for wanting to get away from reality sometimes. In 2005, he lost his wife and two children instantly when a drunk driver took their lives in a tragic accident. Gary has used his experience to help local directors create documentaries entitled: Project: Forgive and Transforming Loss. As he says, “Although I will always wrestle with the grief of losing my family, I live a blessed life. My mission is to inspire people to create a powerful future built on a foundation of forgiveness.”
I have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Gary a few times, and I have never met an actor who becomes his character so completely. His preparation begins the moment he sets foot inside the Barn, and he never breaks character until the final curtain. In Dr. Einstein, Gary has found his muse, saying, “I knew I was perfect for that role.” Gary plays Einstein as “an alcoholic, German-Jewish, subservient, unlicensed plastic surgeon with a nervous disposition.” As he says, “I enjoy letting myself go in the development of the character and speaking with a pseudo-German accent. The challenge is to give myself the license to take ownership and development of the accent.”
Despite the creepiness factor in this black comedy, Gary is certain that Arsenic audiences will enjoy the “excellent cast, direction, and humorous story line, which will provide a wonderful evening at the theatre. You can’t help but love the sweet, old ladies while at the same time finding their ‘charity’ a bit gruesome.” Gary also notes that the female leads Cynthia Tupper (Aunt Abby) and Mary Ann Tweedie (Aunt Martha) “combine their experience as actors and directors and it comes through as a well developed, comedic partnership.” His own partner in crime Guy Copeland portrays Jonathan Brewster with a “seasoned characterization of the villain that makes it an absolute joy” to work with.
When he’s not working at his jewelry store (Weinstein Jewelers of Novi) or acting on stage, Gary loves to golf. He’s played golf in all 50 states (twice), and in 30 countries in the past 7 years with the goal of reaching 100 countries in 20 years. Gary most recently appeared at the Barn as Renfield in Dracula and his productions include Legally Blonde, Little Shop of Horrors, The Producers, Miracle on 34th Street, and Fiddler on the Roof.
The Farmington Players' production of Arsenic and Old Lace runs September 26 through October 18. The show is proudly sponsored by Mall, Malisow & Cooney, P.C.). Tickets can be purchased online at www.farmingtonplayers.org or by calling the box office at 248-553-2955.