Kamsack Players to stage comical mystery as dinner theatre

            For their annual Christmas dinner theatre production the Kamsack Players theatre troupe will be asking its audience if they’ve ever wondered what goes on at a small town council meeting.

            In the small town, which for this production has been re-named Ramsack, they’re looking for a murderer, said Jack Koreluik, the director of Death and Taxes, a two-act play by Pat Cook. Although a murder mystery, the play is a comedy.

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            Miss Martindale, the drama teacher, sets up the scene of the crime and soon it becomes apparent that everyone on town council had dealings of one sort or another with the victim, and it looks like every one of them has something to hide, says the play’s synopsis.

            Mayor Kathleen Lyles boldly announces that the meeting will be more like a coroner's jury than the usual round of arguments. Not only was a man murdered, but he was an employee of the IRS.

“Somehow I don't feel that bad,” Carl Johansen says, as the sheriff clamps the cuffs on him, making him the prime suspect.

Slowly it becomes apparent the entire town council had seen the man, and each of them seems to be hiding something.

Who murdered the stranger? Was it Cora Sedgewick, who was still dizzy at the time from stepping on a hoe and being thumped in the face with its handle? Or was it Eddie King, editor of the Ramsack Times newspaper, who's right on the spot to report the facts, if he could only find a pencil?

Or maybe it was the mayor herself, who was doing her laundry in the back of the town hall?

The intrigue is chock-full of small-town characters and hilarious dialogue, Koreluik said. And, as an added bonus, it is being produced as an audience participation mystery where the audience can not only see the scene of the crime but also question the suspects.

In the cast of Death and Taxes are several veterans of Players’ productions, including: Zennovia Duch, who portrays Kathleen Lyles, the mayor of Ramsack, who is a “rather stylish” woman of about 45 years of age; Adrian Hovrisko, portraying Eddie King, the pushy and brash editor of the Ramsack Times; Nikki Larson as Lydia Kleft, a “mousy” secretary at town hall; Aliki Tryphonopoulos, who crosses genders to portray Wesley Thorne, the sheriff who is “built like a one-time football player;” Ashley Hollett, who is Thorne’s deputy; James Perry, who portrays Carl Johansen, a sarcastic citizen, and Shelley Filipchuk, who is Dr. Effie Deacon, a standard, but quarrelsome country doctor.

Newcomers to a Players’ cast are: Tanya Riabko, who portrays Mattie Johansen (Carl’s wife), a no-nonsense type; Beth Dix as Cora Sedgewick, the epitome of the nosey neighbour, and Annette Purchase as Evelyn Martindale, “the drama teacher with an eye for what’s correct and an ear for when it’s not.”

The play takes place in the Ramsack high school auditorium in the present.

Death and Taxes will be staged as a dinner theatre in the OCC Hall in Kamsack on November 27 and 28 and as a matinee with coffee and dessert on November 29, when the admission will be half price.

The Kamsack Players began rehearsals in the Kamsack Library following a casting meeting on September 28. This week they moved to the Playhouse stage for twice-weekly rehearsals and they plan to move to the portable stage at the OCC Hall during the last week of November.

Admission is by advance tickets only which will soon be available at The Glass Door.