Ted (Perry Mill) and Camille (Nicole Orr) get into a tussle during a scene of Central Alberta Theatre's performance of Deadly Murder. Deadly Murder is a dinner theatre which will open on January 15 at the Quality Inn. Tickets can be purchased for the event at the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Mystery keeps the audience guessing

When a wealthy older woman invites a social-climbing young waiter back to her Manhattan loft for a fling, the result is Deadly Murder. But the question is who gets killed in this mystery/thriller by U.S. playwright David Foley?

When a wealthy older woman invites a social-climbing young waiter back to her Manhattan loft for a fling, the result is Deadly Murder.

But the question is who gets killed in this mystery/thriller by U.S. playwright David Foley?

There are plenty of twists, turns and double-crosses in this Central Alberta Theatre dinner theatre production, which opens on Thursday, Jan. 15, at the Quality Inn North Hill in Red Deer.

In the tradition of Sleuth and Deathtrap, this 2008 Edgar Award-nominated Deadly Murder will keep audience members guessing as to who is the potential killer and who is the victim. “It’s a cat-and-mouse game,” said director Sherry Ainscough. “Nothing is as it seems.”

The three-character mystery centres on Camille Dargus, a successful New York jewelry designer with a weakness for handsome young men. “She likes pretty things, and young men are pretty,” said Ainscough.

One night, Camille picks up a 20-something waiter who looks good in a tuxedo at one of her dull society functions and brings him back to her apartment.

Although her intention is to treat this younger man as a “disposable” one-night-stand, Ainscough added there’s more to Billy than meets the eye.

The play opens with the waiter, clad only in a towel, wandering around Camille’s luxurious SoHo digs, examining some of her elegant and expensive things. “He’s charming — and he wants to be rich and famous,” observed Ainscough.

Whatever motives draw Camille and Billy together, things soon turn ugly and the designer has to summon her security guard, Ted, to get the waiter out of her apartment.

And so begins this puzzler of a story that eventually involves a mysterious jewel, role reversals, lots of physical grappling ­and eventually a murder.

As the plot of Deadly Murder follows its crooked course, the audience will learn that each of the characters has a hidden past, said Ainscough.

“Everybody has a story and sometimes they are not who they present themselves to be.”

Viewers will also see the relevance of a truism Billy likes to repeat: “His philosophy is: for every action, there is a reaction. In other words, if this happens, then that can happen,” said Ainscough.

She believes viewers will enjoy this smartly written play, which offers “something different” than the comedy and farces CAT has staged of late. Deadly Murder, which opened off-Broadway under the title If/Then, is certainly huge fun for the cast and crew, she added.

After producing dozens of CAT plays, Ainscough finally “took the plunge” to direct, lured by Foley’s atmospheric, potboiler of a script.

While this is her first effort, she’s falling back on her years of theatrical experience and advice from her husband, CAT actor/director Keith Ainscough.

“I’ve been a backseat director and a theatre and movie buff … and this has been a great experience,” she said.

Nicole Orr (Camille), Jason Steele (Billy) and Perry Mills (Ted) have considerable combined theatrical exposure. Ainscough praised the cast, as well as her crew, which includes two indispensable high school student stage managers, and set designer and consultant Stuart Reid and Bob Alspach.

The action-packed play also requires the expertise of fight coach Chase Cownden, a recent graduate of Red Deer College’s theatre program.

“There’s a lot of physical activity,” said Ainscough, “and we need some choreography to make sure that (the actors) do what has to be done safely.”

The show runs to Feb. 7. Dinner is at 6 p.m., with the play at 7:30. (Sunday brunch is at 12:30 p.m., show at 2.) Tickets are $65 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer COVID-19 cases now at 20

Alberta government confirmed 64 new COVID-19 cases in the province Tuesday. That… Continue reading

A message from the Advocate publisher

In good times and bad, The Red Deer Advocate has been here… Continue reading

Staff at the Central Alberta Humane Society are ‘bracing for more pet dumpings’

Lay-offs and pandemic measures could take a toll on pets

List grows of central Alberta municipalities laying off staff because of pandemic

Lacombe announced it was laying off one-third of staff

Red Deer men whose trailer home destroyed by tragic fire moving on

Trailer home residents asking for a little help from volunteers to clean up the trailer site

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

Their babies are almost here but this ‘magical’ time is tainted by COVID-19

Their babies are almost here but this ‘magical’ time is tainted by COVID-19

A message from Waskasoo Medical Clinic

A Message From Waskasoo Medical Clinic Waskasoo Medical Clinic (including our walk-in… Continue reading

TC Energy enlists Alberta to help finish US$8-billion Keystone XL project

TC Energy enlists Alberta to help finish US$8-billion Keystone XL project

RBC expects home sales to dive 30%, prices to decline because of outbreak

RBC expects home sales to dive 30%, prices to decline because of outbreak

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Sylvan Lake’s Flags of Remembrance ceremonies cancelled due to pandemic

The flags will fly along the lake and Highway 11 under the name “Flags of Unity”, Sept. 12-Nov. 12

Most Read