Community Circle Players sold out all its shows of The Mafioso Murders held at SaddleBrooke One’s Vistas and SaddleBrooke TWO’s MV Ballroom in April 2018. CCP was built on Susan and Steve Shear’s PrimeTime Players foundation and brought dinner theatre to our community. Some residents are already thinking about becoming a part of next year’s production. SaddleBrooke’s live theatre group has some seasoned performers who have worked together for 10+ years and also eagerly welcomes newcomers.
One well-recognized face is Ron Andrea, who played Mickey D’Goon in this year’s dinner mystery and started his theater experience here in SaddleBrooke. He delighted audiences in each of the annual PrimeTime shows directed by Susan Shear and was a memorable drunk sommelier last year in CCP’s first production Eat, Drink and be Deadly!
“Dinner Theater is so much fun because it’s intimate,” Ron explained. “The audience is on top of the action and they feel like part of the play. It’s also fun for the actors. Rather than staring into blinding stage lights to a darkened audience, actors are close enough to the audience to see their individual reactions (for better or for worse). Dinner theater actors and audiences feed off each other. The more fun the audience is having, the more fun the actors have and vice-versa.”
Asked to compare the two CCP productions, Ron answered, “Both involved murders for the audience to solve and both attempted to distract the audience with misleading clues. MM was much more challenging, however, from a costuming perspective as the staff all worked very hard to find period-authentic costumes.”
Having played murderess Pinky Zinfandel in EDBD and songstress Tipsy Brewhider in MM, Connie Ward found both CCP murder mystery dinner theatre productions had audiences entertained, intrigued and involved in determining “whodunit!” When contrasting the two shows, she said, “There seemed to be a deeper connection to the characters in EDBD, whereas MM had more elaborate sets, costumes and props. The audience actually felt they were drinking and dining at Bianchi‘s in MM. Adding Italian music in the background set the tone plus adding songs audience members knew and could sing along with, brought smiles to their faces and made their experience even more special. These two plays brought a change in format that SaddleBrooke audiences embraced with open arms and hearts.”
SaddleBrooke is looking forward to what CCP will do next!