The Cemetery Club

by  Ivan Menchell

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  1m, 4f

Three Jewish widows meet once a month for tea before going to visit their husbands' graves.

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The Cemetery Club

by  Ivan Menchell

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    1m, 4f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Romantic Comedy
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences
    • Adult
    • Senior

Additional Info

Three Jewish widows meet once a month for tea before going to visit their husbands’ graves. Ida is sweet tempered and ready to begin a new life; Lucille is a feisty embodiment of the girl who just wants to have fun; and Doris is priggish and judgmental, particularly when Sam the butcher enters the scene. He meets the widows while visiting his wife’s grave. Doris and Lucille squash the budding romance between Sam and Ida. They are guilt-stricken when this nearly breaks Ida’s heart. The Broadway production starred Eileen Heckart as Lucille. It was made into a film, starring Ellen Burstyn, Dianne Ladd, and Olympia Dukkakis.

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Reviews

"Funny, sweet tempered, moving." - The Boston Globe

"Very touching and humorous. An evening of pure pleasure that will make you glad you went to the theatre." - Washington Journal Newspapers

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Senior Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Church / Religious Groups

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Mid-Autumn, the present. The living room of Ida's house and a cemetery in Forest Hills, Queens.
  • Additional Features: Physical Comedy
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

1m, 4f
IDA
LUCILLE
DORIS
SAM
MILDRED
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
  • Parts for Senior Actors

Casting Notes

All characters are in their late fifties to early sixties.

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Authors

Ivan Menchell

Ivan Menchell's Broadway credits include Bonnie & Clyde (book), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (additional material), and The Cemetery Club.  Off-Broadway/Tours include Smiling Through (book), The Prince ...

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The Cemetery Club opened on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York City on May 12, 1990. This production was originally presented by Howard Hurst, Philip Rose, Sophie Hurst, and David Brown at the Kennedy Center for the Perfroming Arts in Washington, D.C., on March 30, 1990. It was directed by Pamela Berlin.

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