Mystery dinner to benefit Boys & Girls Club
April Hoyle Shauf
The Don Gibson Theatre will be rocking to the tunes of the 1950s on the night of Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. But the guests at this sock hop prom will have to take a break from the celebrating to solve a murder mystery before the night is done.
In case you've not already guessed, it is time once again for the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland County (BGCCC) twice yearly murder mystery fundraiser. "A Dance with Death" is produced by the Murder Mystery Company (MMC), and all proceeds will go to fund the BGCCC's summer camps.
"The best part about these events is the audience participation and the laughter," says organizer and BGCCC board member Susan Allen. "The whole evening is just so much fun, with everyone dressing up and trying to guess who the guilty person is."
Allen says this will be about the 15th such murder mystery the BGCCC has held. MMC provides four actors to play key roles in the mystery and to lead the other participants through the story.
"I don't even know who they will be until I show up that evening," she says.
The MMC actors then enlist one person per table to also play a key "role" in the evening's drama. Each character reads and acts out a prescribed script, and audience members get a chance to mingle among the "suspects" throughout the dinner and afterwards. Finally, at the end of the evening, each table votes to select the who, why, and how of how they think the "murder" took place.
"It is always fun to see who gets it right and who gets it completely wrong," says Allen.
Allen has been in charge of organizing all of the BGCCC mystery events through the years. Due in part to this work and her overall dedication to the organization, she was nominated, and subsequently won, the Boys and Girls Club of North Carolina board member of the year award for 2019.
"I have been a board member for 26 years, and I was surprised and very honored to win this award," says Allen. Co-board member Ric Francis also won the state organization award for new board member of the year for 2019.
"We have such a great local club here in Cleveland County," says Allen. "Our club is so supportive of our kids and offers them a safe place to be and a way for them to build a strong future."
Doors open for the Nov. 16 production at 6 p.m., and the meal and mystery begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person and may be purchased at the BGCCC, (412 W. Sumter St., Shelby), at the Don Gibson Theatre, or by contacting Susan Allen by calling or texting 704-564-7532.