Theatre Canmore serves up murder this Valentine’s Day

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A bullet will tragically break the heart of one unlucky character this Valentine’s Day.

Theatre Canmore is presenting the one-night-only, 18+ show A Dicey Night in Sin City, dinner theatre murder mystery, which will leave prints all over Canmore Legion on Wednesday (Feb. 14).

A general invitation has been sent out to attend Italian gangster Frankie ‘Mucho’ Di Nero’s (Gerry McAuley) big bash in Las Vegas, Alta., starting at 6 p.m. at the Canmore Palace Casino (Canmore Legion) on the most romantic day of the year.

Red hearts and lovey-dovey eyes won’t last too long, though, in the comedy that offers surprises, musical aspects, shifty characters and a three-course meal.

Along with the local guys and dolls, a crafty collection of the shady gangster’s employees will be in attendance, including dazzling showgirls (Pia Ferrari and Amanda Ganter), a musically inclined Elvis Presley impersonator (Kim Cheel), and a side-eyed detective (Jyn San Miguel).

Little does the don know he has wronged each untrustworthy character and they all have a bone to pick.

Then there’s Brandy (Jessica Summers), Di Nero’s fur-wearing girlfriend who has every diamond a girl could want – except for one on her left hand.

The boss’s flame is under the impression the party is for her and she might burn wildly upon finding out otherwise.

“In the middle of everything going on, there is a murder,” said McAuley. “Someone is killed and everyone is a suspect.”

Summers thought of the initial concept for the Valentine’s dinner theatre, which the actors involved helped rewrite and incorporate local aspects to shape the deadly little production to what it’s become.

“All of the characters are well-written with backgrounds and details, so everyone (in the audience) knows who they are and their relationship with every character,” Summers said.

A lot of the dinner theatre show will be improvised, so when the audience takes their seats at 6:30 p.m., the actors will schmooze the crowd and let them in on why they’ve decided to attend the big bossman’s shindig.

“What’s scripted is the basic outline of the plot,” Summers said. “Other than hitting a few plot points that carry the night through, everything is improvised and it gives us a lot of freedom to be able to create the characters based around our own strengths to allow for some flexibility.”

McAuley acted in one previous dinner theatre where, funny enough, he was shot and killed. For A Dicey Night in Sin City, being able to play an Italian mafioso fit well for the actor.

“I like doing these little character parts and I like gangster movies, so the thought of ad-libbing an Italian gangster kind of appealed to me,” he said. “It’s not a set character, you can ham it up and for an actor that’s, oh, wow, it’s a golden opportunity.”

The cast of six thespians is local, except for a blue-suede shoe wearing Airdrie import.

“I’m not the Elvis, don’t let this costume fool you,” joked Cheel.

Along with the evening’s deadly mystery, there will be a three-course meal from the kitchen of Pinky’s Diner at the Legion.

The night starts with shrimp and green apple salad, with cider vinaigrette. For the main there is grilled lemon chicken feuillete with parmesan cream sauce and Provençal-style seasonal vegetables. At about 9 p.m. the mystery will reach its climax over deep chocolate torte with Créme Anglaise and raspberry coulis.

Pinky’s Diner is able to accommodate dietary restrictions or allergies, just email at least 48 hours ahead with a request to info@theatrecanmore.com.

Should guests feel like it, they are also encouraged to dress up in Las Vegas-inspired attire such as fedoras, shiny jewels, colourful boas and heels.

For any disgruntled Mister or Miss coming to the show, the actors are hoping it’s a romantically inclined audience and they’re not getting any ideas.

“Hopefully, it’s just a murder and not a massacre,” McAuley joked.

Tickets to the dinner theatre are $50 and can be found online at www.theatrecanmore.com or at the Legion.

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Rocky Mountain Outlook