By Robby Osborne
The stage is set. You’re at the scene of a crime, a speakeasy during the prohibition era, and the chief of police is eyeing your cocktail, but he’s got bigger fish to fry. A man has been murdered, whether it was over money, moonshine or a merely a dinner, it remains a mystery. He needs your help to solve this crime, but first; you must eat.
StageCoach Theatre Company is putting on Moonshine Murders, a PG-13 rated murder mystery dinner show at the Oatlands Historic House and Gardens in Leesburg on March 14 & 15. Tickets must be purchased prior to arrival in order to assure food and proper numbers. The doors open at 6:30 p.m., and cocktails will be available for purchase by Catoctin Creek Distillery for those old enough. It is highly encouraged to arrive properly dressed for a 1920’s night on the town.
Act 1 begins at 7 p.m., where guests will be introduced to all the unsavory characters of the evening. “There will be chances during the show where several people will be asked or volunteered to say things, ask questions or provide alibis,” said Producer Jerri Wiseman. By 7:30 p.m., you find out that one Bugsy Moronski has been murdered, which means he will miss out on the three-course-meal where dining guests and speakeasy patrons will dine together, but more importantly: you’ll be dining with a murderer.
At 8:15, the mystery resumes with the interactive Act 2. The speakeasy guests will learn possible motives for wanting Moronski out of the picture. “There will be a period in Act 2 for guests to ask questions of characters,” said Wiseman. “The performance will carry on based on the questions and answers given during that time.”
After all is said and done, the audience will decide by a show of hands who they believe the vile murderer to be. The reward for naming the murderer is right to be proud as a crucial member of the justice system, along with the ever-important bragging rights.
“StageCoach Theatre Company is in its third year. We have several years of experience with murder mysteries prior to forming the company,” said Wiseman. “[Writer/Director] Terry Smith had 10 years of experience in performing and writing murder mysteries prior to StageCoach; I spent that same time performing and producing theatre shows.” The Saturday show is almost sold out, so order your tickets soon.
Oatlands Historic House and Gardens
20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg, 20175