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‘Quality of Life’ looks at love, loss, death and grief

The latest production at Lakeside Little Theater explores the themes of love, death, unimaginable loss, and deep grief.

pg12“The Quality of Life” by Jane Anderson follows two female cousins and their husbands. One cousin, Dinah (Sally Jo Bartlett), lives with husband Bill (Ted Tessier) in Ohio. The couple is deep in their own grief when Dinah learns that her cousin Jeannette (Maureen O’Hearn) has lost her home in the Oakland California fires. In addition, Jeannette’s husband Neil (Russell Mack) is facing a terminal cancer diagnosis.

Dinah convinces Bill that they should visit Jeannette and Neil who now live in a yurt on their scorched property. We learn that the couples have divergent views on pretty much everything—religion, end-of-life choices, medical marijuana, morality.

The chemistry between the actors creates couples with real bonds, full of the love and the complexities that come with long-term marriage. The four actors get real and go to dark places in this drama. Almost every interaction is laden with difficult emotions. At times, it seems as if some of them have forgotten their lines, but perhaps these are dramatic pauses as their characters struggle to process their feelings.

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