(L to R) Kate Keyser (Lucille), Sylvia Boudreau (Doris) and Caryl Kotulak (Ida)
(L to R) Kate Keyser (Lucille), Gary Gemotes (Sam) and Sylvia Boudreau (Doris)
Nov 01-Nov 01, 2003
"Cemetery Club" teaches value of friends
Play is a sweet, funny take on life during old
- By Julia Selby Smith, Las Cruces Bulletin
Some relationships are so strong, nothing could possibly break them ... not even death. "The Cemetery Club," the latest play at the Black Box Theatre, is a story about love and friendship and how they endure conflict and loss through time. Though the play focuses on the dark subject of death, the story, dialogue and talented acting make the production lively and enjoyable.
The story, set in Queens, N.Y. in the autumn, follows the lives of three longtime friends who are all widows. They form a "cemetery club," in which they go together to visit their dead husbands' graves each month. Though they are extremely close to one another, the three women have very different personalities.
Doris (Sylvia Boudreau) 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 (Kate Keyser) is the complete opposite of Doris. With red-dyed hair, 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 (Caryl Kotulak) 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 (Gary Gemoets), 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. Keyser gives the most memorable performance in the play. Her portrayal of the loud and ostentatious Lucille is quite comical.
Boudreau counters Keyser's flamboyance with sensible and bulll-headed behavior. She brings a more somber mood to the play.
Kotulak 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. Gemoets as well as Kathi-Jane - who plays a small part as Mildred, one of Sam's dates, add flavor to the play. Though the characters they play are essentially onedimensional, 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.
No seating plan has been posted.