Help solve the mystery

Dinner theater opens Feb. 9-10 at River Hills Community Church

jmarks@lakewyliepilot.comJanuary 29, 2013 

— There’s a crime in the Diamond Cafe. An assortment of characters can’t figure it out on their own. Enter the audience.

“New York Dreams” by Nancy Bond puts guests in a fancy New York City hotel, where a villain commits a crime that dinner guests have to help figure out Feb. 9-10. The comedy is the second dinner theater at River Hills Community Church and benefits the church youth program, Amplify.

Jeanie Dubrouillet helped organize a similar event last year. The church was in transition, having seen two associate pastors and its senior pastor leave just months prior. Remaining members wanted something to rally around, picking an event that helped students but was open to most any age.

“It’s really for everybody,” Dubrouillet said.

Last year’s show sold out and raised more than $4,000 for youth missions. This year a second performance was added. Experienced actors will perform, while the close to 70 middle- and high-schoolers will serve as wait staff.

A trip to Honduras will be a major destination for the funds, though there are other youth events, too.

“About half of those are students from outside the church,” Dubrouillet said. “We see this as an opportunity to reach out to those kids.”

Cyndie Smith will direct “New York Dreams.” Last year the cast was largely first-timers, while this year many were former performers at a dinner theater company in the area. If the audience enjoys the show as much as the cast has putting it together, Smith expects to bring down the house.

“If nobody else,” she said, “the cast is having a ball.”

Tickets are $20 which includes child care and a meal. Show times are 5:30-8:30 p.m. Feb. 9 and 12:30-3:30 p.m. Feb. 10. Last year some people were turned away once the single show sold out, prompting the matinee to begin shortly after the conclusion of church services on the Sunday. Smith figured some guests may prefer a daytime show, too.

“People have to eat lunch someplace,” she said.

Tickets are available at the church. Office hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon Friday. Day-of tickets won’t be sold. For more information, visit rhcconline.org.

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