Jane Simonsen and Heidi Hamer in “Exit Laughing" at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre -- April 11 through 21.

Thursday, April 11, through Sunday, April 21

Richmond Hill Barn Theatre, 600 Robinson Drive, Geneseo IL

Delivering what Talkin' Broadway describes as "laugh-out-loud moments and a wonderful life lesson about not letting life pass you by," the Paul Elliott comedy Exit Laughing opens the 2024 theatre season at Geneseo's Richmond Hill Barn Theatre, its April 11 through 21 run sure to deliver what Stage Whispers hailed for its "great script, great timing" and "great fun."

When the biggest highlight in your life for the past 30 years has been your weekly bridge night out with the "girls," what do you do when one of your foursome inconveniently dies? If you're Exit Laughing's Connie, Leona, and Millie, three southern ladies from Birmingham, Alabama, you do the most daring thing you've ever done: You "borrow" the ashes from the funeral home for one last card game. What results is the wildest, most exciting night of the ladies' lives that winds up involving a police raid, a stripper, and a whole new way of looking at all the fun you can have when you're truly living. A winner of the AACTNewPlayFest, Exit Laughing, during its premiere, broke all records for a nonmusical in Springfield Little Theatre's 50-year history.

Directing Exit Laughing for the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre is venue veteran and stage favorite Mike Skiles, whose previous directorial efforts for Geneseo have included Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some), Escanaba in da Moonlight, and both Drinking Habits and its sequel Drinking Habits 2: Caught in the Act. Mike's daughter Dana Skiles serves as the production's technical designer and board operator, while Elizabeth Shaffer acts as the comedy's stage manager. Best pals Connie, Leona, and Millie, meanwhile, are respectively portrayed by Suzanne Rakestraw, Heidi Hamer, and Jane Simonsen, with the role of Rachel played by Elizabeth Melville and Officer Grayson by David Shaffer.

Exit Laughing runs at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre from April 11 through 21, with performances Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Admission is $12, and more information and tickets are available by calling (309)944-2244 and visiting RHPlayers.com.

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