‘Lovers and Other Strangers’ a throwback to a simpler time

‘Lovers and Other Strangers’ a throwback to a simpler time

Actors David Schillinger and Ashley Moore test the waters of romance in The Community Players’ comedy “Lovers and Other Strangers,” running Jan. 12-21 in the Jenks Junior High School auditorium in Pawtucket.

PAWTUCKET – Chase the winter blues away with an evening of laughs as the Community Players continues its 97th season with Joseph Bologna and Renee Taylor’s comedy “Lovers and Other Strangers.”

A hit on Broadway and later on film, “Lovers” is a series of five comic vignettes, each dealing with the ups and downs of love, sex, relationships and marriage.

This edition includes the popular sequence “Hal and Cathy,” created for the film of the same name. The other stories include “Brenda and Jerry” in a planned seduction gone wrong. “Johnny and Wilma” have been married so long that they can’t remember who starts what. With “Mike and Susan,” on the eve of their wedding, he’s getting cold feet and she must gently talk him down the aisle. In the last vignette, “Bea, Frank, Richie and Joan,” a long-married couple who have fought for more than 30 years, try to save their son’s marriage by confessing their own failures.

Each story features partners of varied ages.

This is one of three annual productions put on by the Pawtucket-based Community Players, typically including two musicals and one comedy, said Erika Koch, publicity coordinator for the group. Productions take place in the shared auditorium of the Jenks Junior High School/JMW School for the Performing and Arts across from McCoy Stadium.

Koch said she thinks “everybody’s pretty tired of the state of affairs” in the country and world, and the upcoming production offers a chance to get out, have a laugh, and “go back to a simpler time.” The 1970s setting for “Lovers” is a throwback to a “kinder, gentler time,” she said.

Koch highlighted a diverse cast of strong actors. This performance will be more of a “black box” type of production, she said, with a less elaborate set. Basically, a play about a simpler time features a set that matches.

“Lovers and Other Strangers” is co-directed by Tony Annicone, Dan Fisher and Christopher Margadonna. Performances are Friday through Sunday, Jan. 12-14 and Jan. 19-21. Fridays and Saturdays, shows are at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. in the Jenks Auditorium, 350 Division St., Pawtucket.

Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for students. Order e-tickets online at www.thecommunityplayers.net or reserve them by calling 401-726-6860.