POULSBO — In many ways the North Kitsap Options program’s annual murder mystery dinner theater is a lot like a gigantic game of Clue.
Every year, the Options community gathers for its biggest fund raiser, combining a silent auction and a gourmet dinner with a lively atmosphere.
“Somebody always ends up dead,” said Paul Bryan, director of this year’s mystery, “Murder in the Klondike,” which will premiere to a full house at the Poulsbo Eagles Aerie Friday night.
The audience is then responsible for figuring out who committed the crime, with what weapon and where. Donning figurative Sherlock Holmes hats, audience members will jot their deductions on note cards and turn them in before the final act of the play.
“You get to try and figure out this mystery, but at the same time you have this incredible entertainment,” said producer Cornelia Gifford. “(The cast) is fabulous, they have incredible voices.”
This year’s show — set in a rustic Alaskan watering hole — features all the quirky mystery that one would come to expect from the annual dinner theatre, but this year’s cast has tacked on more musical numbers than those in the past.
Though they are kept under wraps until the performance, the soundtrack will be one that audience members can relate to.
“It’s kind of a cabaret combination with goofy slapstick,” Bryan said. “We’re shooting for people in the community who are looking for a good time and like to support the schools.”
All of the money raised from the dinner and silent auction will assist the NK Options budget for educational opportunities, Gifford said.
“It’s a change in venue, so we do have more space,” she said of the Eagles Aerie. “Last year, we had to turn people away at the door because we were sold out.”
Tickets are $40 per person, $35 for seniors or $280 for a reserved table of eight. Opening night, Feb. 23, has already sold out, while tickets are available for the Saturday show as well as the Sunday’s semi-matinee — 5 p.m.
“The meal is worth the ticket price,” Gifford said.
Options teacher and accomplished culinary artist Nat Smith will be cooking up a four-course dinner for the evening including a vegetarian choice of meatless chili or a rich beef stew. Junior High Options students will be helping with preparation and serving tables.
There will be a host of community and business donated goods ranging from home furnishings to free visits to area massage practitioners, spas and even a naturopathic doctor available for bid during the silent auction.
On stage, a six-member cast of Options parents will provide the entertainment for the evening, both rehearsed and impromptu.
“Nobody really professes to be a thespian,” Bryan said. “(We) are just all parents willing to make fools out of themselves for the sake of the greater good — our kids.”