Irish family feud premise for murder mystery

Dinner theater benefits art park in Wittenberg

Lois Anderson Special to the Leader

Crossroads Community Theatre will perform “Eat, Drink, and Be Murdered (An Irish Family Feud)” by Tony Schwartz and Marylou Ambrose at the WOWSPACE for its annual murder mystery dinner theater this year.

Host Paul Pehlke will welcome audience members to attend the 80th birthday celebration of Rose O’Riley McFadden and to become a member of either the McFadden or O’Riley families, two clans who have hated each other for years. This hatred escalated when Rose O’Riley married Finian McFadden and gave him the O’Riley’s secret whiskey recipe. Now the McFaddens are filthy rich and the O’Rileys are forced to work for them at the distillery.

Audience members will get to cheer and boo as the two feuding families go after each other. Besides Rose (Lois Anderson), patrons will meet Conor (Mike Gilbertson), Rose’s ruthless son, who runs the distillery; Rose’s nephews Seamus O’Riley (Dan Young), who works as foreman and dreams of taking over and Father Mike O’Riley (Dale Hartleben), a priest with a lot to hide; Kathleen (Melissa Anderson), Conor’s wife, has secrets of her own; Hannah O’Riley (Nancy Pehlke), Rose’s bitter, old-maid sister; and Nurse Kelly (Dawn Meverden), Rose’s mysterious caretaker.

Rose has a secret whiskey ingredient. Will she share this with a family member? If so, which one? What indeed are Seamus and Father Mike plotting? Why does Kathleen do anything Rose tells her to?

Someone will meet an untimely death, and it’s up to the audience to solve the crime.

The party will be held at the WOWSPACE, 114 Vinal St., Wittenberg, on Feb. 23-24 and March 2-3. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Enjoy a cash bar and the opportunity to mingle with the cast as they drop hints about themselves and the show. Dinner is at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the dinner and show are $40 and must be purchased in advance at the Wittenberg Enterprise and Birnamwood News office at 600 S. Webb St., Wittenberg, or by calling 715-253-3525. The Main Event Banquet and Catering in Cecil will be serving baked cod or Cornish game hen. Food selection needs to be made at the time of ticket purchase. Tickets are non-refundable.

This is a fundraiser for the Walls of Wittenberg organization. Proceeds from the dinner theater help fund the summer Second Tuesday Concert Series in the WOW Art Park. This year, The Allen Brothers will perform on June 12, Quarry Road on July 10 and The Drovers on Aug. 14.