A murder mystery with some bite

Steve Pignataro, Joyce Cleary, Jan Weston and Jim Choate

How much fun must it be to pick out who done it while you’re picking out your dessert?

The Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce and the Charlotte Players are willing to answer that very question.

The chamber is sponsoring the second Murder Mystery Dinner Theater to be held beginning at 6:30 p.m. April 4 at La Fiorentina Restaurant, 10361 Tamiami Trail in Punta Gorda. Eight actors from the Charlotte Players will put on the show while patrons have dinner. Tickets are $60.

“I wanted to expose what the Players do as far as their acting ability and the fun that they have,” said John Wright, president of the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce. “We did one in early January, and it was sold out, so we wanted to do it again. We’ll be doing more over the course of the year.”

The evening includes a four-course dinner with a performance of “The Romanian Uranium Mystery,” an appetizing script that calls for interaction between actors and audience. Wright wants everyone seated by 6:45 p.m. The show starts at 7 p.m.

“In between the courses, there will be performance,” Wright said. “The actors will play it out. You will get introduced to the characters in the first set. There are three sets they will actually perform during the evening. The second is where the plot unfolds, and the third is where the clues are dropped in.

“You can deduce who you think did the murder. By the time you get to dessert, you can decide who you thought did it and why.”

Sherrie Moody, executive director of the Charlotte Players, said her actors are looking forward to performing and expect a fun evening. The only challenge, she said, is “there’s no stage. It’s like playing in the round.”

According to its website, Charlotte Players has more than 230 members, three main programs and a blossoming project connected to television. It claims to be “one of the oldest performing arts organizations in both Charlotte County and the state of Florida.

Tickets may be purchased at the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce or by calling 941-639-3720 or email reception@puntagordachamber.com.

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