RUMFORD — The Rumford Association for the Advancement of the Performing Arts will stage another Murder Mystery Dinner Theater on Friday, May 20, and Saturday, May 21, at the Eagles Hall.

The association will stage “Eat, Drink and be Murdered!” Connie Venskus of Rumford is the director.

The production, penned by Tony Schwartz and Marylou Ambrose, takes place at an 80th birthday party, where the McFaddens and the O’Rileys have congregated to honor the family matriarch, Grandma Rose (Gail Parent). Trouble is, the two clans have hated each other for decades.

The hatred escalated when Rose, an O’Riley, married Finian McFadden and gave him the O’Riley’s whiskey recipe with its “secret” ingredient. Now the McFaddens are filthy rich and the O’Rileys are forced to work for them at the Wild Irish Rose Distillery. Those present want Grandma Rose to reveal the secret ingredient to them exclusively so they can gain control of the company when she dies.

Audience members will get to cheer and boo as the two feuding families go after each other. In addition to Grandma Rose, they’ll meet Conor (Steve Borstelmann), Rose’s ruthless son, who runs the distillery; Seamus O’Riley (Jim Robertson), Rose’s nephew who works as foreman and dreams of taking over; Father Mike O’Riley (Wayne Landry), a priest with a lot to hide; Kathleen (Debbie Moon), Conor’s wife who has secrets of her own; Hannah O’Riley (Anita Murphy), Rose’s bitter, old-maid sister; and Nurse Kelly (Sarahmarie Gervais), Rose’s mysterious caretaker.

Will Grandma Rose divulge the secret ingredient? And if so, to which family member? What are Seamus and Father Mike plotting? Why is Kathleen under Grandma’s thumb? Does Conor have even one decent bone in his body? And who is Nurse Kelly and why does Rose love her so much?

It’s a family feud that will keep audiences laughing and surprised as the mystery unfolds.

The master of ceremonies and birthday party disc jockey Janet from another Planet (Mary Hickey), will keep the audience engaged throughout the evening and explain how the voting process works at the end of the show.

The chorus will play an integral part in the production, performing a series of musical numbers midway through the show. Shirli Allen of  Norway returns as musical director.

A social hour begins at 5 p.m. with cash bar and hors d’oeuvres. A full dinner will be served beginning at 6 p.m., including bacon-wrapped pork roast, mashed potatoes, carrots and corn, tossed salad and gingerbread dessert. Cost is $30 per person and includes the full dinner, show and gratuities.

Reservations can be made by calling Anita Murphy at 207-369-0205. Callers should leave message with show date and number of tickets requested. The deadline for reservations is May 14.


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