The cast of Mystery Theatre Unlimited's dinner theatre show, "Murder at the Kit Kat Klub," are, from left, Dustin Heavilin as Rocky Rhodes, Karissa Martin as Misty Small, Michael Moran as Newt Diamond, Evan Oslund as Sid Geaser. and Butch Maxwell as Johnny Rival.
Dueling lounge lizards, a love-conflicted exotic dancer, a down-and-out club owner and a strange Austrian body-builder populate Mystery Theatre Unlimited’s all-new murder mystery, “Murder at the Kit Kat Klub,” premiering at 7 p.m. Friday, April 13, at River City Restaurant in Wheeling and continuing at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 14, at Stratford Springs. Written by Bert Furioli and Butch Maxwell, the comedy features nine hilarious song parodies, audience participation and a murder mystery to solve.
In the show, the Kit Kat Klub used to be the top cat of the Poconos lounges, but in 1963, owner Sid Geaser (played by Evan Oslund) is in serious financial trouble. His permanent headliner, crooner Newt Diamond (played by Michael Moran) is past his prime, if he ever had one, and he isn’t drawing in the crowds the way he once did. Desperate to get help, Sid tries to borrow money from a successful Las Vegas singer Johnny Rival (played by Maxwell), who once performed at his club.
Meanwhile, Newt still believes he is Mr. Personality on stage, but offstage he is too painfully shy to ask a girl out. He is in love with Sid’s niece, exotic dancer Misty Storm (played by Karissa Martin), but her past includes a teenage betrothal to an awkward nerd named Claude (played by Dustin Heavilin) who disappeared years ago, but suddenly returns buff, built-up and rich. Before the night is over, the crooners square off — and somebody will be knocking them dead!
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The show also will be performed to benefit the GFWC Women’s Club of Mingo Junction at the Knights of Columbus at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, and again, at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at the First Presbyterian Church in Moundsville as a benefit for the Marshall County Historical Society.
The audience-participatory program is filled with song parodies. Several audience members will be chosen to play small parts in the show. All audience members are encouraged to gather and share clues and to question suspects. All of the characters will interact with the audience in an unscripted pre-show mingle.
The Wheeling-based ensemble has been writing and performing original comedy murder mysteries for 22 years. Performances include audience interaction and the opportunity to solve a murder mystery, along with a full dinner, and take place in a dining room, with actors moving among the tables.
For dinner and show reservations for River City Restaurant call 304-233-4555. For Stratford Springs, call 304-233-5100. For the Women’s Club show at the Knights of Columbus, located at 117 Legion Drive in Mingo Junction, call 740-282-4195. For the performance at the First Presbyterian Church at 100 Third St., Moundsville, call 304-845- 1411 [weekdays].