“The Cemetery Club”

“The Cemetery Club” offers equal parts humor and a bit of heavy drama. Pictured from L-R: Karen Whitaker, Hannah Lowther, Ann Wilson. Photo by R. Todd Fleeman

It seems all of us in the human family share one big question: What's next?

Life is a movable feast, one course and then the next, and for a while, everything is delicious. But the best isn't saved for last--or is it? Can there still be fun and adventures for a circle of three bereaved women in their autumn years?

That's the premise of “The Cemetery Club,” the play by Ivan Menchell now on the boards at Dunwoody's Stage Door Players. The play itself is sensitive and well-written, with equal parts humor and (as in life) a bit of heavy drama in the later stages. We like these women, who know each other well and make us feel like we do, too. But what if romance beckons? Will the circle be unbroken?

The show centers around the friendship of three middle-aged, Jewish widows: Doris, Lucille and Ida. At Doris’ insistence, they meet each month and visit the cemetery together, tending their late husband’s graves. But, their journey through the grieving process is quite different for each of them.

Atlanta newcomer Hannah Lowther is Doris, a practical, no-nonsense woman who will never be the same now that her husband is gone. Doris is sensitive yet sharp and her emotions (and verbal barbs) can turn on a dime. Lowther expertly navigates Doris’ ups and downs.

Karen Whitaker is delightful as the flirtatious Lucille, very much ready to “play the field” after her husband’s demise. And Ann Wilson breathes life into sweet-natured Ida, the friend whose grief journey has taken her somewhere between Doris’ and Lucille’s.

Rounding out the cast are Frank Roberts (Sam) and Kathleen McCook (Mildred). Roberts is widower Sam, trying to rebuild his life after the loss of his wife, unsure how to move on. McCook’s Mildred is another middle-aged woman on the move, completely oblivious to the situation around here.

“The Cemetery Club” is directed by Dina Shadwell with technical assistance from Chuck Welcome (Set Design/Scenic Artist), J. D. Williams (Lighting Design), Jim Alford (Costume Design), Kathy Ellsworth (Properties Design), Rial Ellsworth (Sound Design), George Deavours (Wig Design), AJ Stevenson (Production Manager), and Meghan B. Zern (Stage Manager).

Performances continue through April 9th at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2:30 p.m. on Sundays with an additional 8 p.m. performance on Thursday, April 6th. Tickets are $30 for adults, $27 for senior adults, $22 for students, and $15 for youth under 12 years.

Tickets are available by contacting the Box Office at (770) 396-1726. Stage Door Players is located in the North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center at 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody and on the web at stagedoorplayers.net.

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