The Lakeside Players think Grace Episcopal Church Parish Hall is the perfect venue for their latest production, The Hallelujah Girls.

— The Lakeside Players think Grace Episcopal Church Parish Hall is the perfect venue for their latest production, The Hallelujah Girls.


Because the rollicking Southern comedy actually takes place in a church – although it's an abandoned church that's been converted to a beauty parlor/day spa.

The play will be performed on Friday and Saturday, May 31 and June 1, at 7:30 p.m. A Sunday matinee on June 2 is at 2 p.m. The church hall is located at 827 Church St., Honesdale.

The Parish House is ideal for lots of other reasons, said Tony Schwartz, Lakeside's founder along with Marylou Ambrose. Besides being a beautiful performance space in a central location, the hall is the site of Lakeside's very first production 14 years ago.

"We're excited to be back on the stage at Grace Episcopal," said Schwartz. "We performed our very first play, Sylvia, at Grace back in 1999, and also performed The Smell of the Kill there in 2003 as a special 'ladies' night out' for the Wayne County Arts Alliance."

The Lakeside Players' second regular venue is Lakeville Community Hall in Lakeville, where they also hold a free children's theater camp every July.

The Hallelujah Girls spotlights six feisty females from Eden Falls, Ga., who are the owners, employees and customers of the "Spa-Dee-Dah," a beauty parlor/day spa located in an abandoned church.

Comic tension mounts when a sexy ex-boyfriend shows up unexpectedly, a marriage proposal comes from an unlikely suitor and the spa owner's arch-rival vows she'll stop at nothing to steal the spa away. It's a side-splitting, joyful comedy that will make you laugh out loud and shout "Hallelujah!"

The play was written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten. It stars Roxan Schwartz, Kerry Brazen, Kelly Ann Walsh, Phyllis Jordan, Nancy Johnson, Marylou Ambrose, Billy Jo Herbert and Frank DeSando. Roxan Schwartz is directing.

The Lakeside Players are recipients of numerous awards from the Northeastern Pennsylvania Theatrical Alliance (NEPTA) for acting and directing. Their parent company, Tonylou Productions, presents plays for senior bus groups at Ehrhardt's Waterfront Resort, the Radisson Hotel in Scranton and other venues.

Schwartz and Ambrose have written a dozen murder mysteries and three full-length comedies, which are for sale at The murder mysteries have been performed in 46 states and six foreign countries, and the full-length comedies have premiered at Ehrhardt's over the past three years. Their play, Double Occupancy, was presented at Grace Episcopal in early May.

Tickets for The Hallelujah Girls are $12 with a $2/ticket discount for groups of 10 or more. For information or reservations, call 570-226-6207. For information on the summer theater camp in Lakeville, call 570-857-2226.