PARIS — In its second foray into murder mystery/dinner theater, The Oxford Hills Music and Performing Arts Association will transform the South Paris Congregational Church dining room into the legendary Café Noir.

Located in Tobago Cay on the forgotten islet of Mustique, the bistro caters to the lowest of the low and is the setting for the murder of Andre Gavreau, the club’s owner. Suspects are plenty – all denizens of the sleazy bistro, and everyone has a motive.
“Whodunit?” is the question posed in “Murder at Café Noir,” a murder mystery written by David Landau and presented by arrangement with Samuel French Co. Presented in five scenes interspersed with a four-course dinner, the characters visit tables between scenes to kibitz and badger the diners, usually proclaiming their innocence and accusing other players of the crime.

Andre, the first victim, is a member of a radical French Group (until ”politics gave way to smuggling”) who wears a white Armani suit. And then there are two more.

Madame Toureau is the femme fatal, a woman who has seen it all, multiple times. Just one of six women who say they are Andre’s wife, Madame Toureau runs Café Noir, where ”no one cares what you’ve done or who you are” and ”anything and everything is for sale.”

Among those with a motive for bumping off Andre are the voodoo priestess Maria LaRue and the runaway Sheila Wonderly, a minister’s wanton daughter. Mr. Just Plain Rick, who was ”weaned on reruns of Bogart and Mitchum movies,” is hired to find her.

The characters will hand out their business cards, among them Simon Gutterman, Legal Counsel for Questionable Activities, 1-800-SHY-STER; and Floydd Thursby, proprietor of Thursby’s Gun-O-Rama, who hawks untraceable M16s and grenades.

Shows will be at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 28-29. A tropical summer evening menu includes cold carrot soup, fresh fruit salad, gourmet chicken salad or vegetable quiche served with peas, a roll, chocolate mousse, cold lemonade and fresh brewed coffee. Tickets, $25, are available at Books N Things on Main Street in Norway.

Diners are invited to dress in black and white, if they choose, in keeping with the noir theme of the night.


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