By Natalie Covher
Northwestern Summer Theatre will continue performances of “Murder Ahoy!” this week, Aug. 3-6. Written by James Daab and directed by Scott Burrell the comedic play includes the audience when determining who committed a crime against a member of the cast. The stage of A.A. Fredericks Auditorium is transformed into “Crossbones Cove” and accommodates both dining tables and the show. When the doors open at 5:30 p.m. guests are escorted to their seats by the cast and crew who are already in character.
The cast includes Sean Grady as Keelhaul Kelly, L.G. Williams as One-Eyed Jake, Jay Canova as Peg-Toed Pete, Anna Birbiglia as Marsha, Hector Penne, Jr. as Manfred/Governor and Erika Jarlock as Lilian. On top of their performances on stage the cast doubles as the wait staff. Serving the guests is written into play and each guest is given a number of “gold doubloons” to bribe the cast for additional clues on who might be the murderer. The four-course dinner is broken up over the duration of the play leaving guests with ample time to enjoy their meal. The “Ship’s Grub” included Corn Chowder, Pastalaya with Orzo Salad, Bronzed Catfish or Pork Loin Medallions, Rice Pilaf Green Beans with almonds and desert of Key Lime Pie.
After the pirates decide that the guests aren’t the average “scurvy toothed landlubbers,” but pirates in training, they are given a secret pirate word, which acts as a cue for audience participation throughout the show. A cash bar provides just the right thing to loosen up the crowd and get everyone chiming in. As the night progresses the trainees are given more and more clues as to who the murderer may be.
The pirates the actors portrayed could defiantly be described as “characters.” They each have a different accent which is executed well. The plot is classic, funny and spotted with modern humor. An unexpected pirate rap guarantees a good laugh from the crowd. Peg-Toed Pete stands out from the rest of the pirate crew. Adorned with lace, ruffles and ribbons his performance adds a special sparkle to the show pulling off jokes tinged with a raunchy vibe in a seemingly prim way.
Tickets are $30 and reservations are required. For more information or to make reservations, call (318) 357-4218. The show is appropriate for all ages.