Mystery Theatre Offers Free Show

Mystery Theatre Unlimited will present a hilarious musical-comedy, murder-mystery to Wheeling Park’s Amphitheatre starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 17. As a part of the City of Wheeling’s “Two Tappin’ Tuesdays, Too” summer outdoor concert series, the comedy group will present “My Big Fat Reality Wedding,” in a performance that is free, family-friendly and open to the public.

The story focuses on controversial filmmaker Michael Moron (played by Michael Moran) as he makes his desperate attempt to create another hit reality TV show. His most recent show was canceled after it lost its star to elective office.

Among the subjects of his lens is the daughter of the old-money blue-blood debutante Mary Sweeny Todd Kerry (portrayed by Kathy Baxter), who most people affectionately call “Snooty.” Also in the producer’s frame are the groom and his mother, Tammy Cash (played by Vera Barton-Maxwell). Formerly a resident of the Happy Valley Trailer Park, Cash has twice won the West Virginia Lottery and is now extraordinarily rich. Her sudden wealth juxtaposed with her down-home country roots horrify Snooty.

Also in the wedding party is maid of honor Ashley Hanna Brittany (portrayed by Meghan Ross). She is deeply angry about always being the bridesmaid and never the bride, but sees potential of fame from being on a reality TV show.

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As the show begins on the night of the wedding rehearsal, Kerry’s minister is unexpectedly unable to perform the ceremony, so Cash brings in her preacher, the unconventional Rev. Moonbeam Asparagus (played by Butch Maxwell). He espouses a religion that worships vegetables, promotes eating only meat and seeks enlightenment from chemicals.

As pressure heightens under the bright lights of the camera crew, a central character suffers a comic yet mysterious death, but not until after a lot of broad comedy and a selection of song parodies.

Several audience members will be chosen to play small parts in the show, including the bride and groom. Other audience members will offer suggestions for improvised elements of the show. All audience members are encouraged to gather and share clues and to question suspects.

For the Wheeling Park performance, Dustin Heavilin will serve as master of ceremonies and assist in facilitating volunteer audience participation.

The Wheeling-based ensemble has been writing and performing original comedy murder mysteries since 1996. The performances include audience interaction and the opportunity to solve a murder mystery.

Audience members are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs or sit on provided benches. In case of rain, the show will be presented in the skating rink area, adjacent to Wheeling Park’s White Palace.

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