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Island Players ready for 74th season

ANNA MARIA – The Island Players are getting in their last few rehearsals before they begin their 2022-23 season on Thursday, Sept. 15 with their production of James Yaffe’s Cliffhanger, which will run through Sunday, Sept. 25.

“This show is written and set in the mid-80s featuring a college professor and his wife who end up in a thriller murder mystery type of story, but it’s not your average thriller,” director Mike Lusk said. “This play is not technically a comedy, but I’m finding comedic moments; I know our audiences enjoy that. Without even changing the script, we’re just punching up those moments.”

The plot involves Professor Henry Lowenthal, who accidentally kills his boss when she ruins his retirement plans. Now Henry and his devoted wife, Polly, must find a foolproof method to dispose of the body despite frequent visits from a persistent student and a suspicious police lieutenant.

The players are Henry Lowenthal (Rick Kopp), Polly Lowenthal (Cathy Hansel-Edgerton), Edith Wilshire (Sue Belvo), Melvin McMullen (Colin Brady) and Dave DeVito (Sam DiGiammarino).

The Island Players often feature familiar faces, and Cliffhanger will be no different. Lusk directed The Savannah Sipping Society last season, and only one cast member, Sam DiGiammarino, hasn’t performed in a previous Island Players production.

This year’s lineup begins with Cliffhanger (Sept. 15-25), I Ought to be in Pictures (Nov. 3-13), The Odd Couple (Jan. 12-29, 2023), The 39 Steps (March 9-26, 2023) and How the Other Half Loves (May 4-14, 2023).

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the box office at 10009 Gulf Drive or by calling 941-778-5755. Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

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