Barbara Wilson, Sandi Lockwood, Barbara Hughes, Ric Munhall, Jeff Cool, Alexandria Edouart, Mary Griffith and Erika van Calcar, left to right, make up the cast of the Readers Theatre Plus upcoming “Murder Most Fowl.” Submitted photo
A wacky musical mystery Who: Readers Theatre Plus and the Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley
What: “Murder Most Fowl” dinner theater and show, written and produced by Ric Munhall
When: 7 p.m. Fridays-Sundays, Feb. 11-13, 18-20
Where: Sequim Elks Lodge, 143 Port Williams Road
Tickets: $25 each, must be purchased at least seven days in advance at the Sequim Museum & Arts Center, 175 W. Cedar St., Sequim; Pacific Mist Books, 121 W. Washington St., Sequim; or Odyssey Books, 114 Front St., Port Angeles. Proceeds benefit the old Dungeness Schoolhouse.
by ASHLEY MILLER
for the Sequim Gazette
Readers Theatre Plus — in cooperation with the Museum & Arts Center of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley — presents “Murder Most Fowl,” a dinner theater show written and produced by Sequim playwright Ric Munhall. All of the Readers Theatre Plus proceeds will go toward fresh paint for the old Dungeness Schoolhouse.
“It’s a dinner mystery musical that takes place on a chicken farm in a small town not unlike Sequim,” Munhall said. “A family from years before returns with their son, a real estate tycoon of sorts, who has plans to change the small town.”
Then there’s a murder and everybody is a suspect.
“I just wanted to take a few good-natured jabs and provide some entertainment at the same time,” Munhall said of the production. “The opportunity to act, sing and direct for the financial benefit of local nonprofit organizations appeals to me immensely, not to mention working with some great people.”
Throughout the show, the cast will venture into the audience and ask questions. At the end, the audience gets to guess who did it. Two people who guess correctly at each performance will win a copy of a murder mystery.
Performances will be held at the Sequim Elks Lodge to accommodate the dinner portion of the show — spaghetti, salad, rolls, dessert, coffee and tea. Tickets cost $25 and require at least seven days advance purchase.
The first performance is at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11. The show continues Feb. 12-13 and Feb. 18-20.
“Dinner and a show for $25 is unheard of,” said Carol Swarbrick Dries, co-founder of Readers Theatre Plus. “Tickets are selling fast so make sure to get yours soon.”
“Murder Most Fowl” is a “wacky, funny musical mystery that promises to have you in stitches,” she continued. “We howled with laughter the first time we read the script — it’s just fantastic.”
Readers Theatre Plus has held several performances inside the schoolhouse and considers it “home” for the group.
Coming up next
Next on the horizon for Readers Theatre Plus is a one-woman show about Lillian Carter called “Lilly,” premiering Monday, March 28, at the old Dungeness Schoolhouse near Sequim and Thursday, March 31, at the Community Playhouse in Port Angeles. The show was written by Richard Broadhurst especially for Dries.
“You know who she is but you don’t know much about her,” Dries said about the character of Lillian Carter. “She was a clever, charming and intelligent woman. She was a remarkable mother. She joined the Peace Corps at 70 years old.”
“Other characters were suggested but it was like, ‘What does it matter if we know more about her?’” Dries continued. “With Lillian Carter, it matters.”
The play isn’t particularly political and takes place after Jimmy Carter’s presidency. After the two peninsula readings, Dries said she and Broadhurst plan to adjust the script and submit it to a Seattle theater for a possible reading in the city.
“This is a piece that could last me a long time,” Dries predicted. “It’s worthy.”
In April, Readers Theatre Plus will present a new play called “American Hero Quilts” to benefit the American Hero Quilts nonprofit organization, which aids soldiers returning from war.
“We are very excited about telling the story of this group in a dramatic fashion,” Dries said.
The ‘plus’ side
Fulfilling the “plus” of Readers Theatre Plus, the group will present a play that TIME magazine called “one of the best plays of 2010.”
“When the Rain Stops Falling” follows the relationship of a group of people and their families in a nonlinear way from the 1960s-2039.
“As our mission statement says, we want to present readings of seldom-produced plays and this is one that may have a limited audience,” Dries said. “It deals with some adult issues and will be presented free to the public with no benefiting organization.”
Though the new year hasn’t brought a lot of changes for Readers Theatre Plus, board members have made one very important resolution.
“Readers Theatre Plus is getting better-known but we still need to do a better job of letting people know who we are and what we offer,” Dries said. “When people see the RT+ logo, we want them to immediately think, ‘Oh! I know who they are.’”