VIENNA The Vienna Historical Society will present comedic plays that vividly portray the foibles and eccentricities of small-town life for the 34th consecutive year this summer.

Performances take place in the Vienna Union Hall at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 28 and 29; and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, July 30. 

Brent Smith of Farmington will warm up the audience with old-time songs, with Ellie Andrews of Fayette accompanying on piano.

Elvi’s Tea Leaves,” written by Beverly Wight Smith, is set in 1920s Vienna. Smith plays Hannah, the hostess for a big family reunion. Her morning guest, the rather-esoteric local mystic Elvira Greenleaf, from an area of Vienna known as Egypt, ignites a firestorm of passion by what she sees in her tea leaves. Even though the reunion guests are somewhat skeptical, the prescient Elvi is right romance, dalliances, flirtations and hanky-panky infect each and every attendee. This family “reunion” ends with plenty of new unions.

Cast also includes Linda Bragdon, Judy Dunn, Steve Mallen, Dan Huettner, Clyde Dyar, Barbara Gillman, Allan Harville, Eileen Lord, Ellie Andrews, Kitty Gee and Kevin Foster. Carole O’Connell is director.

The second play of the evening, “Lakeside Whodunit,” is adapted by Cheryl Herr-Rains from a 1919 play by Walter Ben Hare, and is co-directed by Dodi Thompson and Herr-Rains.

At the Belgrade Lakes Hotel, Sadie, a newly hired sassy stenographer, finds herself surrounded by mysterious robberies. Among the varied and glamorous characters, the bellboy, Bunch, explains who’s who and what’s what: Mrs. Crawley is sure the mysterious and quirky Mr. Dow must be the crook who stole her daughter’s valuable pearl necklace, while her daughter claims he’s not; Vicky knows he can’t be because his nose is too handsome.

A professional city detective is brought in to solve the case, even as the robberies continue.

So who did it? Watch carefully for “red herrings” as true motives are revealed in this zany farce.

Cast includes Don Petersen, Chris Crocker, Steve Mallen, Nate Kane, Claire Holman, Quimby Robinson, Rocio Carey, Alice Olson, Delaney CrockerMuffy Floyd, Allison Kuhns and Jane Rogers.

Admission is $6, and refreshments will be provided by the Mill Stream Grange.


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