River Valley High School Drama presents "Remains to be Seen," written by Lee Mueller and directed by Dave Harris, Friday through Sunday at the River Valley High School multipurpose room.
The interactive comedic murder-mystery show includes dessert for the audience, which will be served during intermission.
"We decided to do a dessert show for our winter play this year because it was something new, and also have an interactive type of show where the audience actually can interact with the characters. It's something we've never done before, so we thought that would be a fun thing to do," Harris said.
At a certain point in the whodunit play, Harris said, "audience members are allowed to ask questions of the 'suspects' to help them guess who did it."
"The question-and-answer portion will definitely involve some improvisation because the actors don't know what questions they're going to get," Harris said, adding that these students are members of his advanced drama class. "So they've got to answer the questions as best they can in character."
Several of the beginning drama students will be the ones serving desserts to the tables, Harris said.
"'Remains to be Seen' starts off with a body being found in a steamer trunk left on a rental truck of a U-Haul type of truck rental company," Harris said. "As the investigators get called in, they trace where this trunk has been and who has been in contact with this truck to try to piece together exactly what happened."
Harris said the investigation moves from place to place as police Officers Goodman (Michael Ramirez) and Badham (Kiran Sahota) interview the wide range of characters who have recently been in contact with the rental truck, including a lackluster nightclub singer, Edie (Tiffany Calabrese), and her protégé, Nick (Andrew Tinajero); a washed-up actress, Madame DuBoys (Natasha Lauria), who has dreams of a big comeback, and her assistant, Noelle (Simran Mahil); seedy bar owners Iggy (Saidy Iraiqat) and Trixie (Raelynn Mortensen); and several truck rental company proprietors (Logan Brooks, Shawna Flack, Tyler Hight and Bill Williams).
FBI Agents Sullen (Alejandra Cervantes) and Muledeer (Geanum Sarki) also join in the investigation. The cast includes Journey Granados, Franklin Hart and Alex Samay.
"There are lots of pop cultural references throughout the show: TV, movies, music that get thrown in there and are fun things that the audience can pick up on," Harris said.
He added that although the play is contemporary, it isn't set in a particular time. "A lot of the things that are thrown into the script are from the last 40 years or so. We have props that encompass the last few decades, but the play is very nebulous for exactly when it is set because of the references that are made. Some of the props you will see are sort of older, such as a rotary-dial phone," Harris said.
"It will be a highly entertaining evening. You can come watch a funny play and high school students having fun on stage being some interesting characters — and as an extra bonus, it's going to come with a nice dessert. Come as you are," he said.
"The play is a lot of fun, and when the students first read it, they really liked it."
CONTACT Susan Benitez at email@example.com or 749-4773
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