Murder mystery returns to Jean Cote

Jean Cote Local Actors Having Fun (LAHF) Troupe thrilled the audience with its annual murder mystery dinner theatre presentation of Secrets, Scandals and Superheroes on March 4 and 11. In the front row left-right, are George Tailleur as Captain Perfect, Lynn Florence as Dr. Heidi Jekyll, director Lise Poirier and Jeremie Turcotte as Military Myrna. Back row, left-right, are Marnie Lambers (sound), Stephanie Foster (sound), Charlotte Kealy (lighting and curtains), Alysia Sharpe as Brown Widow, Brenda Moore as Glitter Girl, Paul Benoit as Lighting Man, Jacquie Melnyk as Rabbit Girl and Norm Duval as Chainsaw Man.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A murder in Jean Cote was solved at a popular murder mystery dinner theatre that returned after being cancelled in 2021 and 2022 by COVID-19 restrictions.
Secrets, Scandals and Superheroes was presented by the Local Actors Having Fun (LAHF) Troupe on March 4 and 11 at the Jean Cote Community Centre.
Those in the enthusiastic crowd were on the edge of their seats in an evening of suspense and humour and a three-course meal, says Brenda Moore one of eight characters.
Moore played Glitter Girl, who confessed she pushed Dudley into the tank.
“Yes, Glitter Girl was revealed as the murderer although circumstances in the lab being what they were, nobody blamed me,” Moore says.
Other characters in the play were George Tailleur at Captain Perfect, Lynn Florence as Dr. Heidi Jekyll, Alysia Sharpe as Brown Widow, Jacquie Melnyk as Rabbit Girl, Norm Duval as Chainsaw Man and Jeremie Turcotte at Military Myrna.
Lise Poirier directed the play written by Florence.
Behind the scenes, Charlotte Kealy worked on lighting and curtains while Marnie Lambers and Stephanie Foster controlled the sound.
“We had 192 people the first night, down from our usual numbers of 220,” Moore says.
“Every comment we got was positive and from the laughter we could hear from the stage, it seemed that everyone really enjoyed it.
“We had a wonderfully responsive crowd March 4 from the laughter and applause right through to the heckler who called out when the murderer was exposed in Act 4.”
The popular event attracted people from the local region and as far away as High Prairie, Peace River, Grimshaw and Valleyview.
The play was set in Jean Cote and included various local references such as Lac Magloire, Tangent, the South Peace News, Northern Lakes College and COVID-19.
Dinner theatre guests were invited to dress up for the theme.
Rick and Bernie Sawchyn, of High Prairie, and Max and Belinda McLachlan, of High Prairie, were voted by the audience as the best dressed couples on March 4.
Helene Hausler, of McLennan was the best-dressed woman and Shane Talbot, of Girouxville was the best-dressed man.
“We determine the winners of the best-dressed prized by votes from the audience,” Moore says.
“It’s too hard for us to choose.”
Cast members and volunteers came from all over the Smoky River region.
A three-course meal was served between the four acts by graduating students of Georges. P. Vanier School in Donnelly as a fundraiser for graduation.
Becky Sasseville and Madeleine Griffin shared duties as kitchen co-ordinators both nights. Food was prepared by volunteers.
The event is the biggest fundraiser for the Jean Cote Cultural and Community Development Society that operates the community centre and outdoor skating rink.
Moore says the society is currently raising funds to build a better playground.

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