Dinner theater will raise money for library friends

Murder and mayhem in Mount Pleasant?

Seems unlikely, but that's in store for the audience at a special event sponsored by the Friends of the Mount Pleasant Library. The group is planning an evening of dinner theater as a fundraiser for the library.

The play is "Murder Me Always" by Lee Mueller, a comedy about a group of amateur actors putting on a murder mystery when an actual murder occurs. It's up to the audience to find the killer.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that I am a member of the Friends of the Library.

The cast is made up of local "celebrities," according to Kim Sholly, president of the Friends of the Library, which is producing the play.

Sholly says the cast has taken on this huge commitment of time with the same goals in mind: to put on a great event for the community, raise funds for the library and not make complete fools of themselves.

Actually, the cast, which includes Sholly, has had a lot of fun rehearsing.

"Murder Me Always" is directed by Mount Pleasant Middle School drama teacher Marnie Stoker, who also plays Wanda Hawthorne, one of the suspects.

She's joined by fellow teacher John Palko as the gruff detective in charge of tracking down clues, and former principal Sam Treadaway as a bumbling actor who can never quite get his lines right.

Linda Palko, a teacher at C.C. Griffith Middle School, plays Trixie.

The cast also includes Shannon Storm as Muffy, the spoiled rich girl, and Ryan Shaver as her male counterpoint.

Local businessmen Todd Smyly of the Yadkin Valley Steakhouse and Trent McCoy of McCoy Feed & Supply also are part of the cast. Smyly plays a spaced-out actor who is not the sharpest tool in the shed, and McCoy is the pompous Fritz, who may not be exactly what he seems.

The library is also represented in the cast. Along with Sholly, library manager Laurel Reisen has a part. .

"Murder Me Always" will be performed at 6 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church. Tickets are $15 for adults - $5 for children younger than 12 - and include dinner, dessert and, of course, the play.

Tickets can be purchased at the church or the Mount Pleasant library but will be available only until Sept. 12.

Sholly said the Friends of the Library hopes the dinner theater will be a fun evening for the Mount Pleasant community and an opportunity to see friends and neighbors step outside their comfort zones and support a good cause.