Humor carries ‘The Cemetery Club’ at Village Players Theatre

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  • Norb Mills is Sam and Anne Cross is Mildred in ‘The Cemetery Club.’

    The Blade/Jeremy Wadsworth

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  • Barbara Barkan, left, Jean Mills, Anne Cross, Norb Mills, and Nancy Wright star in the Village Players’ season opener, ‘The Cemetery Club.’

    The Blade/Jeremy Wadsworth

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  • Nancy Wright is Lucille in ‘The Cemetery Club.’

    The Blade/Jeremy Wadsworth

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The Cemetery Club, opening Friday at the Village Players Theatre, tells the story of three widows, one man, and the power of friendship and a sense of humor.

In this comedy/​drama by Ivan Menchell, three Jewish widows get together for tea once a month and then go to the cemetery to visit their husbands’ graves. They’ve been friends for many years and think they know each other well.

Norb Mills is Sam and Anne Cross is Mildred in ‘The Cemetery Club.’

The Blade/Jeremy Wadsworth

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There’s Doris, a judgmental woman who is still devoted to her late husband and doesn’t want to get on with her life, said Irina Zaurov, director of the Village Players production.

Lucille is the opposite of Doris; she dresses in fine clothes, goes to parties, and dates often to show she is ready to move on; her marriage was not so happy, but when she goes to the cemetery she has said, “If only we had a little more time.” And then there’s Ida. Her marriage was fine, but she’s not like Doris, dedicated to her husband’s memory, or like Lucille, ready to start dating. Ida wants to move on, but she’s not ready yet.

One day the three widows meet Sam, a butcher, at the cemetery, where he is visiting his wife’s grave. Sam and Ida start to date but Doris and Lucille squash the relationship. Then Sam meets Mildred, and the story continues in a script that is very funny and touching at the same time, said Zaurov, who has directed more than 60 shows in the Toledo area.

The Cemetery Club cast features Jean Mills as Doris, Barbara Barkan as Ida, Nancy Wright as Lucille, Norb Mills as Sam, and Anne Cross as Mildred.

“It is a five-star cast,” Zaurov said, “I am so lucky to have an amazing cast, and crew too.”

Performances of The Cemetery Club are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Village Players Theatre, 2740 Upton Ave. Additional shows are at 8 p.m. Sept. 21-23. Tickets are $18 general admission and $16 for seniors 60 and older and for students with valid ID. They are available from and 491-472-6817.

The Cemetery Club opens the Village’s 61st season, which includes an Oct. 7 performance of Pvt. Wars that reunites the original cast of the Village’s 2001 award-winning production.

It is followed by Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, a look at an extramarital affair and its revolving deception. The play runs Nov. 10-18. Annapurna, a drama by Sharr White, presented the Village Players Jan. 19-27, looks at the harsh remains of a failed relationship.

Neil Simon’s 1977 romantic comedy Chapter Two comes to the Village stage March 16-24, 2018, followed May 11-19 by the season’s closer, the comedy Cyrano, a contemporary American adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s 1897 French classic.

The plays in the Village’s 2017-2018 season “basically deal with real life today,” board president Jason Neymeiyer said.


The Cutting Edge Theatre Company and the cast of its production of Cabaret earned six awards at the Ohio Community Theatre Association’s state competition.

The awards included a Merit in Acting for Garrett Monasmith, a Merit in Musical Theatre Performance for Katelyn Lesle, Excellence in American Sign Language performance for Desiree Baird, an Outstanding in choreography for Stephanie L. Dennehy, Cutting Edge artistic director and co-founder, an Outstanding in musical theatre performance for Jeffery Foor, and an Outstanding in Musical Performance for Two Ladies Trio.

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