Big Daddy Sugarbaker has some decisions to make. Feeling his end is near, he must decide which of his loved ones will inherit his Southern estate. To make his choice, he gathers them together for one last time.
“It’s a family reunion for Big Daddy Sugarbaker, who has called his family and friends together to discuss the fact that he might be dying soon. Of course, he gets murdered,” said Director Dennis Brown. “And now we have find out who of his friends and family have done the dirty deed. A lot of fun and hilarity ensues.”
Help unravel the murder mystery when Vero Voce presents “Next of Kin,” from April 25-May 4 at Gabby’s Kitchen in St. Charles.
“People will be sitting at their tables and they’ll be taking part. A totally interactive show and pretty much improv,” Brown said. “It’s going to be very interactive for everybody. Even I don’t know what’s going to happen, and I’m directing the show.”
The hour and a half show will take place amongst the restaurants’ tables, offering an ‘in-the-round’ experience,” Brown said.
A dinner and show ticket cost $34.40, which includes gratuity and tax. The meal include soup, salad, a chicken dinner and carrot cake dessert. Show only tickets can be purchased for $10 and a two drink minimum.
“We’re trying to keep the cost down for everybody, and bring theater to the masses,” Brown said.
There are nine cast members from throughout the western suburbs, including Aurora, St. Charles, Batavia, West Chicago, Lisle and Glen Ellyn. Of course you have to include all of the people attending the show, because they are part of the cast as well, Brown said.
“They will be led through what they need to do and what they need to say and how they need to say it. And sometimes not, it will just be ‘what do you think?’” Brown said. “Of course the biggest part for the audience is to identify who the murderer is.”
The cast has been rehearsing at Vero Voce, which included setting up tables to provide a restaurant-like setting.
“And then we’re going to go down to Gabby’s and do one with an empty restaurant so we understand how to move our way through the tables,” Brown said.
The type of show, he said, makes it easy for the cast to manipulate around what is going on.
“You just have to be playing your space — know where your space is,” he said. “It’s a technique, an art, it’s something that we’re used to doing. It shouldn’t be an issue at all.”
Another skill the cast will be using is observing the audience to gauge who will be more likely to interact and take part in the show.
“I think reading the audience is one of the art forms actors learn very soon on, especially comedic actors,” Brown said.
The cast is very talented in those areas, he said.
“We’re very fortunate. Vero Voce is getting some of the best artists in the area,” Brown said. “And when we started I knew of course they were good artists, but I didn’t know just how good they could possibly be.”
Brown urges audience members to get tickets early so the theater knows how many people to expect and can seat the tables properly. Tickets can be purchased online at verovoce.com, by phone at 630-584-0139 and at the theater box office, 951 State Ave., Suite F, St. Charles.
“I think the audience is in for a really big treat,” Brown said. “We have had more fun with the read-throughs and rehearsals than I’ve ever had with any show I’ve ever done. “It’s just hilarious. Because there’s a lot of improv associated with it, with the quality of actors we put together … it’s just going to be great.”