BRIGHTON - The Island Pond Chamber of Commerce proved the third time was a charm with their latest dinner theater fundraiser.
The “free-wheelin’ murder mystery” written and directed by Susan-Lynn Johns took place the last weekend in January at the American Legion. “Murder with a Country Twang” was presented during dinner on Saturday, Jan. 28, to a packed house. On on Sunday, Jan. 29, guests had a choice of desserts to choose from during an afternoon show.
During each show, several door prizes were presented and Director Johns was presented with a gift from the cast.
This was the second custom made script that theater veteran Johns had penned specifically for the Island Pond Chamber; the playwright/director has worked with many of the cast before and knows what the local audiences like to see. By all accounts, the musical-comedy-food event was another huge success.
Newlywed Chef Melinda (Gervais) Lamoureux lead the kitchen crew and cooked up a great country dinner.
The meal consisted of cornbread, pulled pork sandwich, and coleslaw, with cheese and cracker appetizers and carrot cake for dessert. Servers and kitchen helpers included Jeanne Gervais, Carol Leclerc, Justin Hannington, Paula Coates, Stephanie Nagle, Sue Pederson, Betty Storm and Susan Vera. Box office manager Holly Bonville greeted guests and took photos, video, and assisted Stephanie Nagle with general organization of the event.
The talented cast consisted of many locals who are no stranger to the stage. Judith Castonguay played Augusta Wind, who ended up being the murder victim, and Charles Schneider was the villain Duane Pype. Katherine Cleary, the music director at Brighton Elementary School, played Anita Guy opposite Rev. Randy Guy, who was played by Daniel Hollander. Lisa Foster McCrae was Kay O. Pektate, while her husband Brian McCrae played the bumbling local law enforcement officer Raoul Breaker.
Michele and Tom Streeter from Barton played Winsome Cash and Royal Payne, with Joan Watson playing Millie Meter. Muriel O’Gorman wore red and white stripes with a blue wig, true to her spirited choir leader character Mrs. Bertha Venation.
Local Postmaster James Cross played Billy Bob ‘Brainbucket’ Gunn, while Christine Sykes took the stage as Ginger Vitus. Katherine DelaBreure Maxwell sang in character as Tanya Hyde.
All the players did their best to affect a deep, south Texan accent, and the flag of the Lone Star state, as well as several bottles of Lone Star Beer, decorated the stage.
This weekend, Feb. 17-19, the Island Pond Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the annual winter carnival. For a full list of events from Osborne Family Maple’s sugar on snow tasting to the very popular cardboard sled race, sponsored by Gervais Ace Hardware, find more information at the Island Pond Chamber of Commerce online at www.islandpondchamber.org  and on Facebook at Island Pond Chamber of Commerce.