There is a play whose title is a promise to its audience. You are guaranteed to exit the theater laughing after “Exit Laughing,” Charlotte Players’ January offing at the Langdon Playhouse in Port Charlotte through Jan. 16.

In bridge, a person strategically plays an exit card to give up the lead, knowing the opponents will win the trick. In life, making an exit could mean many things. Exit can also be a euphemism for death, along with demise, departure, passing, resting, etc.

Playwright Paul Elliott brought all this together in “Exit Laughing,” a play about death, bridge and laughter. The story concerns Connie, Leona and Millie, three southern ladies from Birmingham whose weekly highlight for 30 years was their bridge game with the girls. After one of their foursome, Mary, dies, they decide to continue the tradition.

At their first weekly card game since Mary’s “exit,” the slightly ditzy Millie decides to “borrow” Mary’s ashes from the funeral home and bring the urn to the game. What evolves is the wildest, most exciting night of their lives, involving a police raid, a stripper and a whole new way of looking at all the fun you can have when you are truly living.

“Exit Laughing” was a winner of the AACTNewPlayFest, a national new play festival that takes place over a two-year period. At its premiere in Missouri, the play broke all records for a nonmusical in the Springfield Little Theatre’s 50-year history.

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