Audience to help solve ‘Murder by Magic’ Theatrical Troupe presentation


WEST BRANCH — Those looking for a good dinner might even help solve a murder Feb. 1-2.

The Ogemaw Heights Theatrical Troupe is hosting its dinner theater, “Murder by Magic,” at the Quality Inn. The evening will feature a salad, dinner, dessert and a performance that the audience can participate in.

“The premise of the show is that the Quality Inn used to be a Vaudeville house,” said Director Toni Erickson. “A magician was performing a stunt and accidentally or intentionally sawed his wife in half. We will be trying to bring back the spirits of the ghosts in a séance. Audience members will be asked to participate.”

Erickson said some audience members will be asked to volunteer to be a part of the show, and everyone will get to help solve the murder.

“After the murder, the audience needs to figure out who committed the crime and what the motive was,” she said. “Suspects will circulate the dining room after dinner is served and the audience can ask them questions.”

Tickets for the event are $30 each, and Erickson said seating is limited to 120 for each performance. As of Jan. 24, she said she believed tickets were still available for each show, but they were going quickly, so those looking to attend should purchase their ticket sooner rather than later.

Dinner choices include apple-stuffed pork loin, mushroom-and-spinach-stuffed chicken or London broil.

This is the fifth year the Theatrical Troupe has held a dinner theater, and the third year it has been at Quality Inn.

“We basically do it to fund our program,” Erickson said.

She said the group’s musicals can be expensive to put on, especially with costumes, music royalties, and buying scripts.

“It can get very pricey,” she said. “Music royalties cost us upwards of $3,000. We basically (have the dinner theater) so regular show prices don’t have to cover the cost of production, so more people can afford to come.”

She said the money has also been used to purchase technical equipment, such as wireless microphones and lighting systems.

“So we’re upgrading things in the building with the money as well,” Erickson said.

She said she looks forward to the dinner theater every year.

“Me, personally, it’s my favorite weekend of the year,” she said. “Most people who come look forward to coming back. We have a really good repeat attendance. It’s a good way to beat the winter boredom.”

Erickson encouraged people to come out, enjoy the show and support the high school students.

“The event is a lot of fun,” she said. “People will have a very enjoyable evening. They can support a great program at the high school that services many students, and have a great show. And great food, too. We’ve been very pleased over the years with the food at the Quality Inn.”

Tickets can be purchased at the Ogemaw Heights High School office or at Edith M’s downtown.

For more information about the event, call OHHS at 989-343-2020, extension 3158, or stop into Edith M’s.


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