by Tori Hamby

When three deeply flawed husbands accidentally lock themselves in a meat freezer, their dissatisfied wives must face the decision to save them or escape their marital woes forever without consequence.

The Warehouse Performing Arts Center will stage a production of “The Smell of the Kill,” a dark comedy by playwright Michelle Lowe, which had a 2002 run on Broadway. Anne Lambert, Joanna Gerdy and Julie Janorschke Gawle co-direct and star in the production as the three aggrieved wives who must chose whether to save their husbands or their personal happiness.

“It’s an interesting show in that you see the three women through the entire show, but you only hear the men’s voices offstage,” said Lambert, who most recently took part in Central Piedmont Community College’s Summer Theater production of “Noises Off.”

The three actresses, who have been friends for about a decade, play Molly, Nicky and Debra. The characters’ husbands are, as Lambert describes them, “pretty despicable.” Nicky’s husband is facing an indictment for embezzlement, while Molly’s husband has taken to stalking her and Debra’s husband has asked his wife to move out of the house so he can shack up with his mistress.

Janorschke Gawle, who plays Molly, a character who “comes across as being naïve and innocent, but has secrets to hide,” said she has enjoyed exploring the “what ifs” that the play presents.

“These women are put in a position where they have to look at their lives and make decisions about what their future is going to hold for them,” Janorschke Gawle said. “It was interesting to take ourselves into that ‘what if’ kind of space. What if we were this miserable? Could I really be at a point in my life where this felt like the only option?”

Lambert said the show – like the estrogen-fueled blockbuster film “Bridesmaids” and the hit TV show “Sex and the City” – cues on female-friendly humor to resonate with its audience. Women looking for a “fun girls’ night out” activity will enjoy the production, she said.

“It’s like when ‘Bridesmaids’ and ‘Sex and the City’ came out, people were shocked that there were these authentic voices for what women want to see on stage or on the movie screen,” Lambert said.

In addition to Lambert, Janorschke Gawle and Gerdy, David Boraks and Phil Robertson voice the characters of Jay, Marty and Danny from offstage. Casey McCann serves as stage manager, Ryan Maloney as scenic and lighting designer and Lisa Altieri as scenic elements and props designer.

Want to go?

The play runs Sept. 20-Oct. 6 with shows on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and one scheduled Sunday matinee performance Sept. 30 at 2:30 p.m. at Warehouse PAC, 9216 Westmoreland Road, Cornelius.

Tickets cost $20 with a $5 discount for seniors, students or groups, payable by cash or check only. Call the Warehouse PAC box office at 704-619-0429 or email for tickets.