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Messiah presents ‘perilous’ dinner theatre

Cast members rehearse for Messiah Lutheran Church's production of "Peril in the Paddock," the 2015 Dinner Theatre. Show time is Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. (CONTRIBUTED)
Cast members rehearse for Messiah Lutheran Church’s production of “Peril in the Paddock,” the 2015 Dinner Theatre. Show time is Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Questionable characters will carouse around during “Peril in the Paddock,” the 2015 Dinner Theatre at Messiah Lutheran Church, 7740 U.S. 72 W.

“I scouted for (a melodrama) that uses a small cast and is, of course, unobjectionable,” director/producer Terry Frakes said.

Written by M.K. O’Roark of Mike’s Melodrama Service, “Peril in the Paddock” is set in the late 1800s and portrays the once-proud stables of Woodburn Farms, Ky., now fallen on hard times. After her father dies, Patricia Woodburn desperately tries to stay financially afloat. But the villainous ‘Nasty’ Ned Nantura has discovered gold beneath the farmland.

“Will our stalwart hero, Lance Charger, be in time to save the day?” Frakes said.

In lead roles, Meredith Kilby is heroine Patricia Woodburn and Joe Stuart as Nasty Ned. “Greg Kilby (Lance Charger) is a hero in every sense … well, in some senses anyway,” Frakes said.

Other cast members are Jean Stuart (saloon girl Cyanna Stunnington); Claire Strand (bossy matriarch-wannabe Martha Tendercare); Sparkman High School student Michelle Strand (Martha’s daughter Suzie Tendercare); Larry Frakes (trustworthy ranch hand Rusty Hinge); and Taylor and Dana Burton (once-champion racehorse Thunderbolt).

The staff includes Paul Zutter and Stephen Strand, lighting and sound; John Shriver, sound editing; Director of Music Ministries Lois Graff, dining manager; Bob Gustafson, tickets; and Larry and Christine Ryan with Messiah’s high-schoolers, show/dinner assistants and babysitters.

“The menu is a down-home barbecue buffet. Greg Kilby and Lois Graff are planning the meal, including pulled pork, beef hot dogs, calico beans, fresh vegetables, watermelon, brownies, cake and more,” Meredith Kilby said.

Most cast members volunteered with set design/construction.

Proceeds will support Messiah’s music and youth ministries. “Messiah’s senior youth are embarking on a year-long study of Martin Luther, culminating in a two-week tour of secular and religious sites in Germany” next summer, Kilby said.

Show time is Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. at the church.

Tickets are $15 for adults or $5 for twelve-year-olds and younger. Family packages with on-site childcare and eight-person table discounts are available. To reserve tickets, visit mlutheran.org.

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