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Play tells tales of moving on

Brookings-Harbor Community Theater is presenting a delightfully heartwarming play about moving on in life after the death of a loved one.

The production of “The Cemetery Club” is reminiscent of the late 1980s TV series “The Golden Girls.” Both stories involve three older women dealing with relationships, each in their own way, after the loss of their husbands.

The play was written by Ivan Menchell who has also written a movie version of the story. Menchell is also screenwriter for the sitcom “The Nanny” and former Disney shows “Phil of the Future” and “Jonas.”

The local production, directed by Howard Patterson, is the funny and moving tale of three Jewish widows, all friends who make monthly group visits to the cemetery. Their common bonds bring out both the best and the worst in them.

 

Lucille (Victoria Weller), eager to cancel the “club,” is a wild party animal on the prowl for anything in pants. Doris (Gail Brotherhood) has made a shrine of her husband’s grave, where she chats with him to fill him in on what he’s missed since he’s been gone. Sweet-tempered Ida (Karen McMahon) is somewhere in the middle, ready to make tentative baby steps toward new relationships. 

When widower Sam, the “playboy butcher” arrives on the scene, the women’s friendship is severely tested. It doesn’t help that Sam apparently has a chatty girlfriend (Judie Hanson), who claims him as her prize.

Sam was played by Patterson the first weekend and he will be on stage during the Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24 and 25, performances. For the remainder of the run, beginning Sunday, Feb. 26, Joe Donahue, who has been working on the stage crew, will take over the role of Sam.

Patterson refers to this play as an ensemble piece, in that four of the five characters have lead roles. All of the actors have carried major roles and their talent shows in this production, including that of Hanson, who plays the only bit part. Brotherhood comes to the Harbor stage having previously performed in “The Cemetery Club” elsewhere.

The story is filled with witty lines and humorous action, but does contain adult innuendo, therefore it is recommended for mature audiences.

This four-act play has only two sets, the living room of Ida’s home and the cemetery. Dividers are used to change the set because the Harbor Performing Arts Center lacks a front curtain. Perhaps a benefactor could step in and solve this problem.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Feb. 24, 25, March 2 and 3, and 2 p.m. Sundays, Feb. 26 and March 4. The Harbor Performing Arts Center is at the upper end of the Brookings-Harbor Shopping Center. 

Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $7 for students. Tickets are available at Wright’s Custom Framing and Arts Supplies in Brookings and New Wave Video in Harbor. Reservations may be made by calling 541-469-4700.

 

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