Jan 272013

Are you looking for some good clean fun tonight?  The Orange Players presents the final performance of the comedy “THE CEMETERY CLUB” on Feb. 2 at the High Plains Community Center on 525 Orange Center Rd. Cabaret-style seating allows you to bring your own food and beverage of choice for the evening. No set-ups are provided.The doors open at 7:15 p.m. and the show begins at 8:00 p.m. For more information or question please call Producer Marianne Miller at (203) 795-3906. Tickets are only $20 each.. CALL (203) 988-5335 today!

This comedy with much Jewish humor is about the widows Doris, Ida and Lucille, whose husbands died one after another in just a few years. The 3 friends in their 50s react quite differently on the deaths. But they make it a habit to meet every year at the graves of their husbands and talk about perspectives in their lives.

“The Cemetery Club,” is a story about love and friendship and three women who deal with death and go through the ups and downs of life together.

The story, set in Queens, N.Y. in fall, follows the lives of three longtime friends, all widows, who form a “cemetery club,” in which they visit their dead husbands’ graves together each month.

Though they are extremely close to one another, the three women have very different personalities. Doris (Mallie Massaro) is set in her ways. She visits the cemetery faithfully, and refuses to live a life that does not somehow involve her deceased husband. Lucille (Dawn Reiss-Melillo) is the complete opposite of Doris. With too much makeup and a flamboyant personality, Lucille seems to be making up for the flawed relationship she had with her husband by chasing as many men as she possibly can. Ida (T.J. Chila) balances out the threesome. She is slowly getting over the loss of her husband and wants some kind of change in her life.

After deliberating with herself, she decides she won’t go to the cemetery as often. She also starts dating Sam (Paul Templeton), a friend of hers who is a widower. Doris and Lucille, both set in their own ways, don’t Ike Ida’s new take on life. It is from this that most of the conflict arises.

The play touches on many subjects and themes, some humorous while some are heartrending. What ties everything together are the heartfelt, realistic portrayals of the characters by the actors. Each actor brings a different, but necessary, element to the story. Reiss-Melillo gives the most memorable performance in the play. Her portrayal of the loud and ostentatious Lucille is quite comical.

Massaro counters Reiss-Melillo’s flamboyance with sensible and bulll-headed behavior. She brings a more somber mood to the play.

Chila makes the character of Ida seem real. She does a splendid job of conveying personality through the tone of her voice and with her mannerisms.

Templeton as well as Barbara Stolarik – who plays a small part as Mildred, one of Sam’s dates,  add flavor to the play. Though the characters they play are essentially one dimensional, they bring to light new and different elements of human behavior and aspects of life.

All the elements of the production -from the cast, to the set, to the engaging dialogue – make “The Cemetery Club” worth seeing. Its an unusual play with an important message: life may change, but love will always remain.

A laugh a minute? Pretty darned close. This show is really funny. Call your friends, get a table and enjoy the show! You’ll be glad you did.

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