Friday, October 14, 2022

Moon Theatre Co. brings murder mystery dinner theater to Berthoud Colorado

 If you like murder mysteries and can remember Wayside Inn’s infamous chicken dinner, Moon Theatre Co.’s “An Audition For a Murder” is your ticket to theater and history.

“It’s going to be high energy. It’s going to be interactive. It’s going to be funny. It’s going to be a great meal,” said Pam Strahan, treasurer of Moon Theatre Co. in Berthoud.

Moon Theatre Co. will perform a murder mystery dinner theater, “An Audition For a Murder: A Murder Mystery Comedy Play,” at two Berthoud venues Oct. 21-29 at Berthoud Activity Hall and New Freedom Church.

“There’s not much to do in Berthoud around Halloween. It’s an annual Halloween thing for people to do,” said Kathleen Gruman, board member.

Plus, it’s historical with the caterer recreating Wayside Inn’s fried chicken dinner with green beans, mashed potatoes, salad and pie for dessert. The restaurant closed in 2007.

“There’s lots of memories about that restaurant here in town,” Strahan said.

Moon Theatre Co.’s performance of “An Audition For a Murder,” by playwright Lee Mueller, is the first dinner theater for Moon Theatre Co. since the pandemic—the group performs a dinner theater every year, most often murder mysteries. This time, there will be an ensemble of 12 actors with Angie Robbins, an actress from Los Angeles now living in Berthoud, as the director.

“It’s fast-paced, comedic and interactive,” Strahan said.

The storyline focuses on a theatre group holding additions for a murder mystery called “Death of A Disco Dancer.” The typical actors show up to audition at Moon Theatre Co., but the director and assistant director have a problem with the “script,” which actually isn’t finished, plus there aren’t enough copies. The playwright arrives in the nick of time with a few more copies and additional finished pages, but then one of the actors mysteriously dies. The inspector serving as technical advisor for the play ensues in an investigation, which may inspire the playwright to actually finish the play.

“The set is real minimal. It’s a stage with chairs where they come to audition,” Strahan said.

As the inspector does his “work,” he will break the fourth wall to talk to the audience and ask about clues to the murder.

“The audience actually gives their input who they think did it. They get to participate,” Gruman said.

Mueller includes places in the script that allow for the interjection of local flavor, so Moon Theatre Co. filled them in with Berthoud mentions.

“We try to highlight Berthoud in the production,” Gruman said. “We mention places, people and areas around town.”

Moon Theatre Co.’s actors and stage hands are at all levels of expertise from those who are new to theater to having years of experience.

Photo by Lesley Jones – Moon Theatre Co. actors will be performing a murder mystery dinner theater, “An Audition For a Murder,” Oct. 21-29, as a way to help celebrate the Halloween season.

“Kudos to us. We are really good at taking in first-time performers or people wanting to learn the theatre arts,” Strahan said.

Moon Theatre Co. casts against typical types, drawing from community theaters in the area, bringing in actors from Cheyenne to Denver. The company performs dinner theaters, plays, comedies, musicals and reader’s theaters, selecting scripts written by local and national playwrights, Broadway and off-Broadway shows, and other original work.

“When you go to the rehearsals, it’s fun to watch the actors grow in their roles, to see them create the drama and comedy,” said Lesley Jones, board secretary.

The performance of “An Audition For a Murder” will be historical with the caterer recreating Wayside Inn’s fried chicken dinner with green beans, mashed potatoes, salad and pie for dessert.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Street Ends No Outlet - a collection of short stories by playwright Lee Mueller

As some of my followers may know, from time to time I will step outside of the theatrical world of murder mystery comedy and write something slightly normal. A year ago I published a collection of short stories about a kid growing up during the late 1960s - early 1970s called Idle Essence Tales Of Marvin which became quite popular. I was thrilled to learn the public would accept a collection of stories from someone known for mystery plays. 
I had a story that was not complete at the time I released Idle Essence, so I decided to see how the first book would do, and maybe I would publish a follow-up. To my amazement, the first book did well. I had some inquiries if there would be more stories about the character of Marvin who was featured in Idle Essence.  Yes, yes there would be.  The follow-up is called Street Ends No Outlet .  It contains a few more short stories and one novella (that is a very long short story) that follows the character of Marvin at different periods of his life. It is available in all e-reader formats as well as paperback from Amazon.  Below is a preview


Monday, August 08, 2022

Annual Dinner Theatre Murder Mystery Production | Pitman Reception Center, Wentzville, MO | August 26, 2022

Annual Dinner Theatre Murder Mystery Production of "Dead Air" by Lee Mueller | Pitman Reception Center, Wentzville, MO | August 26, 2022: Annual Dinner Theatre Murder Mystery Production happening at Pitman Reception Center, 1545 A Wentzville Parkway,Wentzville,MO,United States, Wentzville, United States on Fri Aug 26 2022 at 06:15 pm to 10:00 pm

Friday, June 10, 2022

Keeping the Creativity Flowing by Keeping the Mind Open

A few stories for you to open up your little gray cells to all that is possible out there. First is the story of Keith Jarrett and the Koln Concert - how he was able to overcome some large problems to make everything work and create his best-selling live album when he wasn't sure he could get through the concert. Next, learn how keeping an open mind can help you grow as a creative person and heck - even as a decent human on this planet Earth.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Review: "I'm Getting Murdered in the Morning" by ACT at The College Of New Jersey

From an article in The Signal by Lindsey Borda

 Students at the College of New Jersey enjoyed a night of drama, mystery, and fun at All College Theatre's (ACT) fifth annual Interactive Murder Mystery Dinner, titled "I'm Getting Murdered in the Morning." The show was presented in the Cromwell Main Lounge on Friday and Saturday evenings.

This year's Murder Mystery Dinner was written by Lee Mueller. The action follows the reception of newlyweds Edward Crock and Brenda Anne Marie. Their wedding reception is interrupted by the murder of an uninvited guest, and the characters and audience members must work together to uncover the identity of the murderer.

The Murder Mystery Dinner is an unusual type of drama because the characters are allowed to interact with the audience. The audience can play a role in the action by guessing the murderer's identity.

"It really breaks down the wall between the actors and the audience," Susan Pedersen, a sophomore English major who played the DJ, said. "Instead of pretending no one is watching us, the Murder Mystery players thrive on audience participation and feedback."

Amanda Ganza, a sophomore biology major and the inebriated mother of the bride, shares in Perdersen's outlook.

"The entire production has such a welcoming atmosphere and it makes the audience feel like they are a part of the show," Ganza said. "A lot of the students come to see their friends and try to get them to break character, and it is fun to be able to ask the actors questions and venture a guess as to who committed the murder."

Another aspect to the Murder Mystery Dinner is that every character is important, from the biggest roles to a member of the ensemble. This is due to the fact that every cast member interacts with the audience and everyone in the play is a suspect in the murder investigation.

"Playing my character is a lot of fun," cast member Lemor Bar-or, junior elementary education/sociology major, said. "Although it is not a principal role, it is somewhat integral to the plotline and it also gives the audience one more reason to question their response as to who is the murderer."
The Murder Mystery Dinner, which featured catering by Mama Flora's, proved to be a memorable experience.

Senior finance major Mike Scotto attended a performance and said the cast members are not alone in their viewpoint that this type of show is unique at the College.

"Sometimes I feel like there aren't a lot of activities," he said. "This type of performance really breaks the mold and gives students something different to do."

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

"I'm Getting Murdered In The Morning" at Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre


Fargo/Moorhead Community Theatre (FMCT) will present the Murder Mystery Comedy Play  "I'm Getting Murdered In The Morning" by Lee Mueller on April 9th at Stiklestad Lodge in Fort Ransom SD. On April 22 & 23 at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead MN and April 29th at Bonanzaville in West Fargo ND. 

What is this play about? Well, imagine you are attending a Wedding reception and During the garter toss a mysterious man falls dead on the dance floor. He appears to be shot. But how? From Where? And oh yeah... Why?

 Luckily the bride's father -the wealthy Harold Montague -invited Damage control expert Mr. Parker to the event. Parker tries "spinning" the murder as "nothing to worry about" but Society columnist Mary Berger insists "something be done". Something like - hold the presses because this could be the "Society Scandal" of the year.

Not only was a man shot during the garter toss but it seems the mysterious Dead Man has ties to both the Groom and Bride's family. Secrets that both sides do not wish to reveal. Nonetheless, with some persuasion of Mr. Parker, the reception continues as planned and the Murder Mystery takes a back seat. For a while.

Friday, February 25, 2022

"Talk About A Murder" at Carlisle Visitors Center, Lagrange OH

 The Friends of the Metro Parks of Lorain County will present its annual Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, “Talk About a Murder” by Lee Mueller on Fridays and Saturdays, April 29 and 30, and May 6, 7, 13, and 14. There will also be a Sunday matinee on May 15.

Performances will be at the Carlisle Visitors Center, 12882 Diagonal Road, Carlisle Township.

Tickets are $30 each or $58 for couples. Group rates for 10 or more are available on request.

Tickets will go on sale on March 15. Order by calling (216) 544-3865.

Free Preview Of Kindle Version

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

"An Audition For A Murder" at Fort Scott High School

Fort Scott Kansas - The FSHS Thespians perform “An Audition for a Murder,” a comedy murder mystery by Lee Mueller, at 7 p.m. on Feb. 18 and 19 in the FSHS Auditorium. 

 The production features a community theatre troupe holding auditions for a Murder Mystery called “Death of A Disco Dancer.” All of the typical actors show up to audition, but as they get underway, there’s a bit of a problem with the “script,” it isn’t finished. The playwright arrives in the nick of time with a few more finished pages just as one of the actors mysteriously dies. As luck would have it, an inspector arrives to give advice on the play. 
Perhaps the investigation into this “mysterious death” will inspire the playwright and help him finish the play. After all, there is a read-through on Monday! The production involves a cast of 14 including seniors Christina King and Zaria Byrd; juniors Israel Carreno and Luke Majors; sophomores Casey Gomez, Regen Wells, Jaedyn Lewis, Jericho Jones, and Lizzy Moore; and freshmen Emma Guns, Mykael Lewis, Kaiden Clary, Piper Weeks, and Madison (River) Smith. The play is directed by Thespian sponsor Angie Bin.
“This show is a fun way for our students to interact with the audience and really give our community an immersive theatre experience,” Bin said. “We have had such an enjoyable time rehearsing and I am especially proud of our freshmen making their stage debut in this production.”
Reserved seating tickets are available for $5 from fortscotthighschool.ludus.com or at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

A Collection Of Short Stories -How It All Started

Sometimes people who talk about being "Creative" need to actually do something Creative. So, I did. I wrote a book. How did I go about the process? I will tell you the story. Not the short story but the story about the short stories. Yes, that. From the Podcast "And So The Mind Reels" with your host Lee Mueller