Audience to re-live the ‘Roarin’ 20s’

If you have ever wanted to go back in time to the “Roaring 20s,” then Emidio’s Garden Restaurant is the place to be next month when Fort Frances Little Theatre sets the stage there for its interactive murder mystery.
“A Taste for Murder–A Deadly Birthday Party” begins Thursday, Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m., with five more performances slated Nov. 6-7 and Nov. 12-14 (reserved seating only).
The play revolves around the 40th birthday party of Emidio Giovanni (played by Lew Kempf). His wife, Debbie, is Maria Constiago, Giovanni’s business partner and ex-wife.
Rounding out the cast are Adia Huss-Solomon as jazz singer Jessica Simone, Brianna Boldero as Giovanni’s current wife, Ginger, and Dan Merritt, whose part will remain under wraps for now, said Mark Elliott, who plays the role of U.S. government inspector Nestor Elliott.
Elliott also wrote the play, and expects its unique atmosphere will propel everyone 70 years back in the past to an era of gangsters, jazz, and prohibition.
He’s also encouraging audience members to take the experience even further by dressing in the glamour and elegance of the time period.
“The play is set in 1927 in a west-side Chicago speakeasy at a private, elite party,” Elliott explained Monday. “And when the audience walks into the joint, it will be like stepping into a scene from that era.
“The characters will be in their roles the whole time you’re in the building–you will be able to live in the drama,” he added, noting the audience will be considered as invited guests to the birthday party.
Elliott, who developed the script in late August after being approached about the idea by Kempf, said the play’s interactive medium would give the actors few barriers–allowing them to mix, mingle, and ad lib with members of the audience.
“There will be no stage to separate the audience from the actors but that doesn’t mean we’re out to embarrass you,” he smiled. “It allows for a small intimate setting–theatre that’s right in front of you no matter where you are in the room.”
But even though the script includes a murder scene and its subsequent investigation, Elliott was quick to point out the play wouldn’t be complete without a slice of humour.
“Anything I do has to have a fleck of comedy in it,” he mused. “It’s gonna be fun.”
Tickets for the dinner theatre cost $25 each and are available at Emidio’s.