Friday, April 2, 2010

Play detective at "I'm Getting Murdered in the Morning," fundraiser for Haiti relief

Guests can practice their detective skills at “I’m Getting Murdered in the Morning,” a murder mystery dinner theater to raise money for Haiti relief efforts Thursday and Friday, April 22 and 23. Performances will be at 6 p.m. at AmericInn Hotel & Conference Center on Stadium Road in Mankato, Minn. Proceeds will be donated through Kids Against Hunger.

Brenda and Edward’s wedding reception starts a little shaky when they arrive late because of a flat tire, but they soon discover they have bigger problems: a woman drops dead on the dance floor from a gun shot during the garter toss.

Columnist Mary Berger immediately begins questioning people and taking notes, doing anything possible to get to the bottom of the case, while Parker, a former police detective who works in “damage control” for Brenda’s father, tries to distract Berger and convince the wedding party the murder should not “put a damper on the rest of the evening.”

"I'm Getting Murdered in the Morning" is written by Lee Mueller and directed by Minnesota State University, Mankato's Benjamin Wagner, a junior who is double majoring in saxophone performance and theater.

Wagner loves murder mysteries because audience members get to interact with the cast directly and each has the chance to be a specific character who contributes to the story. Because of the large amount of audience participation, “it literally is a new show every night,” Wagner said.

Guests will receive a three-course dinner, including salad, seasoned boneless chicken and sherbet for dessert. Vegetarian and kids’ meals are available by request only.

Theatre Arts major Emma Ottoson plays Brenda, the whiny bride who has been married three times before and got “bored” each time. Ottoson has appeared in various Minnesota State Mankato productions including “Miss Saigon” and “On the Razzle.” Theatre Arts majors Robb Krueger and Travis Berg, play Harold Montague, father of the bride, and Parker.

Other cast members include Amanda Vonbergen (Psychology), who plays maid of honor Bunny, and Tom Bennett (Theatre Arts and Mathematics), who plays Edward.

"It will be an evening of laughter and mystery, mayhem and great food," Wagner said of the fundraiser. He is excited to see the cast members think on their feet and get the audience involved.

Tickets are $20 and must be purchased in advance by visiting the AmericInn Hotel & Conference Center front desk or the customer service desk at Hy-Vee on Riverfront Drive. Tickets will be available through Monday, April 19.

The murder mystery is presented by the Minnesota State Mankato Public Relations Student Society of America and the Mankato Young Performing Artist Association. It is sponsored by AmercInn Hotel & Conference Center, B. Stark & Co., Kids Against Hunger and Hy-Vee.

Those who want more information may e-mail or call Emily Richardson at 651-261-1752.

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