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‘The Cemetery Club,’ a must see

By Karri Gruner kgruner@thedailyreporter.com
Posted Jun 18, 2017 at 11:31 AM

COLDWATER— The 2017 Tibbits Summer Theatre Season opened on Thursday with a matinee showing of ‘The Cemetery Club.’ The set was designed with every detail in mind, it made me feel like I was actually in Ida’s living room.

The beginning of act one started with Ida and Lucille, two friends living in New York with very believable Jewish/New York accents. Lucille erupted onto the stage as she ran into Ida’s living room as if someone was following her. I immediately laughed out loud, along with the rest of the audience, when Lucille burst through the door, her first word being a swear word.

The flashy red head continued to have hilarious one liners throughout the entire play. A few minutes later, Doris came on set and added to the comedic dialog, she also added a touch of sensitivity while talking about her late husband.

The three ladies have been friends for years and have all lost their husbands.
Doris proceeded to tell her friends about Selma, a mutual girlfriend, that is getting married … again. Selma asked the girls to be bridesmaids, so they decided to be good sports and said yes. Ida, Lucille and Doris get together once a month to visit the cemetery where all three husbands are buried and thats where Sam comes in.

Sam, a local butcher, knows Ida and Doris but not Lucille. Sam was there visiting the grave of his wife and happened upon Ida and Lucille, the flirtatious red head instantly attached to Sam and it was pretty funny how she caught him off guard. Each character has intimate conversations with their deceased husband while at the cemetery and it is clear each relationship had a unique dynamic. The dialog between all four actors was excellent, it transitioned well and the audience, which was full of people who could relate to the actors, was enthralled with the story line. The ladies went back to Ida’s house where they talked about Selma’s wedding and their visits to the cemetery. Sam made a surprise visit to Ida’s house to drop off some chicken livers and the ladies insisted he stay, which turned into more funny small talk. Ida kicked the girls out so she could get Sam alone to talk.

After a short intermission, Ida, Lucille and Doris got ready for Selma’s wedding together and Sam was going to be their escort to the wedding. When Sam arrived, he brought someone with him … Mildred.

Mildred was an unexpected surprise, especially to Ida who had strong feelings for Sam. After the wedding, the three friends ended up back at Ida’s house, tipsy from the wine at the wedding. They danced, laughed and reminisced in the living room. Lucille lets you catch a glimpse into her troubled marriage with her deceased husband as she gives an award winning performance talking about how the two would lay in bed, not touching. I felt her pain and her anger towards her husband … and the crowd was completely silent. Then, Ida learned of Lucille and Doris intervening in her hopeful relationship with Sam, so Ida went to bed upset, so did Doris.

The next morning, Lucille and Ida woke up with awful hangovers. Sam came over and apologized to Ida and wanted to take the girls to breakfast. Ida went to wake up Doris, that’s when Sam made me cry. Doris died in her sleep, Sam comforted Ida with two simple words he repeated, ‘I’m here, I’m here.’

This hit home to several audience members. The story was full of emotion and very funny one liners. You could tell these seasoned actors enjoyed playing their characters, I definitely recommend this play to a mature audience.

The show will hit the stage again at 7:30 p.m. tonight, then again at 7:30 p.m. from the 2224 starting at 7:30 p.m. Additional showings will be held at 2 p.m. on 21.



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