February 17th, 2019

The Cemetery Club

By G.E. Shuman

Once again, it was my extreme pleasure, last Saturday evening, to attend, with my wife, the current production by Lost Nation Theater in Montpelier. It was a beautiful summer evening, and a perfect one in which to stroll down Main Street, up the steps of City Hall, and to find our way to our seats at “One of the best regional theaters in America.”-NYC Drama League. The play we saw was “The Cemetery Club,” and I must urge you to simply go see it while you can.

“The Cemetery Club” is an Ivan Menchell masterpiece, especially as directed by LNT’s own Tara Lee Downs. It is a tale of three elderly, Queens, NY ladies of Jewish heritage, who visit the graveside of each of their husbands, together, every month. This Lost Nation play is flawlessly acted by Emme Erdossy, Marsha Gillette, Jude Milstein, Robert Nuner, and Maura O’Brien, complete with expertly delivered dialects, mannerisms, and personalities. Jude Milstein’s polished portrayal of the brash and flamboyant Lucille is brilliantly countered by Maura Obrien’s wonderfully conservative and constrained Doris; their hilarious bickering all the while tempered by Emme Erdossy’s tender-hearted Ida. Robert Nuner again shows his tremendous acting versatility, as Sam, the Italian butcher shop owner. Once entangled in the antics of the three old friends, Nuner’s lovable character will never be the same. The cast is rounded out, and the storyline enhanced, by the sudden entrance of the very attractive Mildred, as played by Marsha Gillette.

Issuing a tissue warning at this time would seem appropriate. When you do attend “The Cemetery Club,” be prepared for a smorgasbord of tears, from those of sympathetic sorrow to hilarious laughter, as the ladies experience everything from ribald rivalry and regret, to late-life love… lost and found. Hang onto your seat and experience an expertly crafted and acted emotional roller coaster ride, complete with every peak and valley, dip, and veering turn you could imagine.

“The Cemetery Club,” a heart-warming, yet outrageous, ‘dramedy’, will be enriching audiences at Lost Nation Theater, City Hall Arts Center, 39 Main Street in Montpelier, Thursday – Sunday, until July 28th. Tickets can be purchased online at lostnationtheater.org or at the door. Don’t miss it!

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