'Cemetery Club' is simple, fun show

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 Thurmond Whatley urges theater-goers not to judge an upcoming Aiken Community Playhouse production by its title.

Marcia Harris, Bob Engle, Barbara Lorio and Elaine Schmidt star in "The Cemetery Club."  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Marcia Harris, Bob Engle, Barbara Lorio and Elaine Schmidt star in "The Cemetery Club."

“It sounds depressing, but it’s primarily a comedy,” said Whatley, who is directing The Cemetery Club, which will be presented for two weekends beginning Friday, July 19, in the black box theater of the URS Center for the Performing Arts in Aiken.

The comedy focuses on three widows (played by Marcia Harris, Barbara Lorio and Elaine Schmidt) who regularly visit the cemetery where their husbands are buried and forge a friendship among themselves. When one of the women meets another man (played by Bob Engle) and a romance begins to blossom, the other members of the club feel their friendship being threatened.

While the play has its funny moments, and a few poignant ones as well, Whatley said don’t expect to see a play filled with social commentary or one that seeks to find all of the answers to life.

It’s a simple and fun show, he said.

The Cemetery Club is the second production of ACP’s summer season.

Whatley, who is the immediate past executive director of the playhouse board, said the summer season came about several years ago and has been a success. During the summer season, the usual play run of three weekends is reduced to two weekends, with one show during June, July and August. Typically, at least two shows are held in the black box theater, with one on the main stage.

“The summer season is more low-key,” he said. “We are packing three shows in, and the summer season does attract a different crowd. It’s generally well-attended.”

Seating in the black box theater is limited to about 80 people, and Whatley said anyone interested in seeing The Cemetery Club should call the box office for reservations.

The summer season will round out with Here on the Flight Path, beginning Aug. 16.

For more information, call (803) 648-1438 or visit aikencommunityplayhouse.com.

ONSTAGE

WHAT: The Cemetery Club

WHEN: 8 p.m. July 19, 20, 26, 27 and 3 p.m. July 21

WHERE: URS Center for the Performing Arts, black box theater

DETAILS: (803) 648-1438; aikencommunityplayhouse.com


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