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Mystery unfolds in 'Dead Double Trouble'


by: PHOTO BY ERIKA SANDBERG - Terry Lybecker, front, as David Bowie, and Brad Bolchunos, as Andy Warhol, will rock out at the upcoming performance of 'Dead Double Trouble.'Danger and intrigue will swirl through the air during “Dead Double Trouble,” the latest murder-mystery dinner theater offering from the New Century Players on April 20 — and the audience will be responsible for much of the drama.

“So much of what the play is about has to do with the audience that comes to see it. The audience becomes part of the show, and what the audience says and does helps the actors,” said Donna Sellman-Pilorget, NCP custom show coordinator.

Much of the play is improvised by the actors, so the two performances will be different.

“I’ve worked hard to assemble a group of amazingly talented improv actors who are exceptional at creating a character and living in that character for hours at a time. They will sit at your table and make you laugh until your sides ache, using just their own wit,” Sellman-Pilorget said.

She and her group of actors have been doing custom murder-mystery shows for more than four years, for various organizations and corporations.

“We’ve been doing it for other nonprofits to raise money, so we decided to do it for New Century as a fundraiser,” Sellman-Pilorget said.

Celeb impersonators

The plot of the play revolves around a group of celebrity impersonators who have agreed to do a fundraiser for New Century Players.

“But the impressive impersonators don’t show up, so emergency substitutes are called in. There will be a little bit of entertainment, a little bit of dialogue and a mystery will slowly be revealed as the audience members question the performers,” Sellman-Pilorget said.

In the course of the show, Erika Sandberg will perform as Adele; Sara Benner will sing a Dolly Parton song; and Sellman-Pilorget, as Lucille Ball, will present a comic skit.

Other impersonators include Terry Lybecker as David Bowie, Brad Bolchunos as Andy Warhol and Ray Armstrong as Al Pacino.

NCP Artistic Director Kelley Marchant and Arlene Daugherty, the group’s secretary, will play themselves, and Elisabeth Goebel, managing director, will sing with the band, the Second Wind All-Stars.

Historic setting

Two showings of “Dead Double Trouble” will take place at the historic Ainsworth House and Gardens in Oregon City. Sellman-Pilorget advises audience members to arrive early and stroll through the gardens before the show begins.

Chef du Jour Catering will provide the food, and there will be a no-host bar with beer, wine and inexpensive cocktails.

What will audiences like best?

“The chance to be a part of the show, the camaraderie of solving a mystery with the actors, and the food, which will be stellar,” Sellman-Pilorget said.

New Century Players encourages people to support the group by purchasing 2013-14 season tickets. The lineup of plays will be announced at the event.

Sellman-Pilorget said: “This is our 10th year and, like any theater group, we are struggling. We’ve done a wide variety of shows, from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ to ‘The Laramie Project’ to ‘Hairspray,’ and we want to continue doing a good job providing Clackamas County residents with entertainment close to home.”

Fast Facts

New Century Players presents “Dead Double Trouble,” an interactive, murder-mystery dinner theater and fundraiser.

When: Saturday, April 20; the first sitting is at 4:30 p.m., the second at 7:30 p.m.

Venue: Ainsworth House and Gardens, 19130 Lot Whitcomb Drive, Oregon City

Tickets: $45 for dinner and show; $80 per couple. They are available online at newcenturyplayers.org.

For more information, call 503-367-2620.

Chef du Jour Catering will provide the dinner. A Northwest salad with wine-poached pears, crumbled blue cheese and nuts, dressed with hazelnut balsamic vinaigrette will make up the first course. Dinner buffet choices are beef brisket, braised with tomatoes, carrots and mushrooms in white wine, or pasta primavera with fresh garden vegetables, with optional grilled chicken. Side dishes include roasted-garlic mashed potatoes, a sautéed vegetable medley and rolls and butter. Diva-licious cupcakes and Death-By-Chocolate brownies will be served for dessert.