After a hiatus of several seasons, the Community Players have bounced back with a reprise of their popular 2006 offering “Never Too Late.” The original cast and crew are largely intact for this spirited comedy, and able newcomers have stepped in where needed. Running for another weekend at the Marsh River Theater, the play tells of a middle-aged couple who are suddenly expecting.

Expecting? A baby?!? You get the idea. From some of their pointed exchanges, one might wonder how Harry and Edith Lambert have stayed together all these years, but yes, we learn early on that a baby is coming. Just how big an upheaval will this event bring about? Audiences have gleefully pondered the prospect for decades. Sumner Arthur Long’s play opened on Broadway in 1962 and ran for 1,007 performances. It became a movie in 1965.

The successful owner of a lumberyard, Harry Lambert rhapsodizes about the “serious fun” of his work. His dutiful wife Edith daydreams of not-so-serious fun, at least a respite from cooking and cleaning and other household duties. Harry, who spares no expense for bathroom fixtures, can afford a maid, but he doesn’t want to sacrifice his privacy. Of course, his privacy has already been stretched nearly to the breaking point in accommodating his independent-minded daughter Kate and her easy-going husband Charlie. Kate and Charlie intend to get their own place and start a family when they can afford it. But that won’t happen on the piddling salary Charlie makes at Harry’s lumberyard.

Ray Quimby portrays — with apparent glee — the sharp-tongued Harry as a homeboy curmudgeon. One wishes Harry could spare a laugh, but he hardly seems capable. Mother-to-be Edith Lambert is played by Ray’s real-life wife Nancy Quimby, who brings to mind a smiley-faced Energizer Bunny as she pads back and forth, in and out, up and down between Edith’s myriad chores and errands.

Edith and Harry’s grown daughter Kate was “never actually domesticated” and is thought to be “spoiled.” It isn’t clear just how Kate has been using her days, but with a little sibling suddenly on the way she is pressed into service as the family’s new Chief Cook and Bottle-Washer. Don’t forget the floors, bathroom and laundry. Carla Ellis has great fun with her part, although her righteous exasperation may be a tad more unrelenting than required.

When we first meet him, Kate’s hubby Charlie seems a whining slacker. He expects his mother-in-law Edith to do his laundry and run his errands. At work in Harry’s lumberyard, he feels disrespected and underutilized, which just isn’t right because (ahem) he went to college. Dale Hustus ably steers this goofball ugly duckling to his happy emergence as Mr. Right After All.

Paul Muir plays Dr. Kimbrough, the Lambert family friend and pet dinosaur — a general practitioner who makes house calls. Judy Brossmer appears as his wife Grace, Edith’s close friend and confidante who lends a steadying hand. Laurie Berube plays the town’s Mayor Crane, a woman who can be as chilling as she is charming.

Albert L’Etoile takes one turn as Mr. Foley, the contractor brought in to make ready a nursery; and another as the officious police captain summoned to restore the peace. Paul Muir doubles as another officer and his better half Audrey Muir makes her company debut as a police intern. Overall, director Elizabeth Fafard has admirably orchestrated this revival production. One is struck by how comfortable the actors seem in their roles.

“Never Too Late” is community theater in the finest tradition. You expect a few loose ends — like misfired punch lines, uneven sound effects or a part of the set décor hanging upside down — but altogether it makes for a nice package. Never mind if the gags are old and obvious; they still work, judging by the audience’s response on May 28’s opening night. Most important, the cast and crew seem to be having a fine old time with their bloopers and bloomers, come what may. That’s the whole point.

No one has a better time than Harry and his son-in-law Charlie when trading zingers and especially once they have drowned their sorrows. The play sends mixed signals about drinking — supposedly “neither of them drinks” — but their drunken antics serve to propel the story and allow the actors to play the fools they seem deep down to want to be.

For some people the bickering that predominates in the dialogue may prove wearing; it certainly is not this reviewer’s favorite mode of discourse. In practical terms, though, if there were no arguing, there would be no play. Sadly, bickering does connote a certain realism. Family squabbles are as old as the hills. Ask Punch and Judy.

The politics of the play are sure to rub everybody at least partly the wrong way – this despite the fact that with her stylish spectacles and sparkly smile, Nancy Quimby is a surefire look-alike for Alaska’s half-term governor. Some women may chafe at Edith’s self-relegated place in the kitchen and laundry room. Bed, bath and beauty parlor. The hallmark of the early sixties, after all, was the two-car garage, not the two-income family.

In terms of sex, the play is a trip down memory lane. In 1962, Playboy was just hitting its stride, but free love and the sexual revolution were still down the road. Harry recoils at seeing that the book on pregnancy Grace gives Edith is illustrated. He’s reluctant to discuss sex at all in front of Kate and Charlie. Also quaint is that Charlie resists Kate’s sexual interest, complaining that she asks “constantly.” And jokes inspired by the bathroom commode — a key plot element — give literal meaning to potty humor.

Truly grating is the play’s depiction of local politics. The mayor rules like a feudal lord, denying someone a job because his cousin clipped a rose and rerouting a four-lane highway by personal grudge. Harry himself is a party; he complains that the “small fortune” he spent on lunches and Christmas presents should guarantee him the highway.

“Right you are,” says the Mayor, “we can’t have too many good roads.” Harry can rest easy when the road comes his way. For the two ladies in his life, cleaning women are the answer.

“Never Too Late” will be performed again 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 4 and 5, at the Marsh River Theater, Monroe Highway/Route 139. Tickets are $9, $8 for groups of eight or more, and $7 for students and senior citizens. To reserve tickets and for more information, call 722-4110.

Belfast resident William Nelson has had a long and motley career.