A comedic murder mystery will take the stage Saturday at the Cape Coral Italian American Club.
The Sand Flea Players will perform "The Death of Dr. Pepper," written by Eileen Moushey, at 8 p.m. The play is about famed plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Pepper, who has risen to the top in all areas of his life but has one weakness - women, and he is most fond of actresses, according to director Anne Palmer.
Pepper soon meets the Rose sisters, who are in the chorus of a touring company of "Gypsy." After courting all three women, he marries one. However, the sisters have a plan to enjoy Pepper's fortune, minus him. What they did not count on was cousin Peter Pepper and the infamous Lt. Percy Blunt.
"It's an improv comedy," Palmer said. "It's fun. People like it."
The cast includes Jim Yarnes as Lt. Blunt, Bill Allenfort as Peter Uriah Pepper, Barbara Becchino as Violet Rose, Cindi Heimberg as Lily Rose, Rebecca Caren as Petunia Rose and Joe Neelson as Pepper.
The cast has been rehearsing twice a week since September.
"I know these actors," Palmer said. "I know them and what they can do."
"The Death of Dr. Pepper" involves audience participation to solve the mystery, similar to "Seance," which the troupe performed in July. She noted that the new play allows for more improvisation.
"You can improv more - improvisation with that one is fun," she said.
Palmer added that the themes of the two plays are different.
"Although, there's always the murder," she said.
Prior to the performance, the Cape Coral Italian American Club will open for cocktails at 5 p.m.
Audience members will have an opportunity to interact with the characters over drinks.
Cocktails will be followed by a dinner buffet at 6 p.m. Executive chef Kristopher Bailey, who formerly worked at The Edison, is employed by the venue full-time and prepares all of the menus and meals.
The mingling of characters and audience will continue into dinner, then lead into the play.
The evening will have a masquerade ball theme, so attendees are encouraged to wear costumes.
"It is something fun, the costumes," Palmer said. "For the people, there will be a ball - music and things like that - and for the actors, they will act also in a masquerade."
Prizes will be award to the audience for best costume, as well as for best detective.
Tickets cost $35 per person. Advance reservations are required.
Seating for the play is first come, first-served.
Palmer noted that she welcomes input from the public on what performances they want to see.
"It's very important to me for them to be happy and come and see the plays," she said.
The next performance is anticipated to be a well-received French comedy, called "Le prnom."
"It is well well known in Europe," Palmer said. "It's very very funny."
To make a reservation for "The Death of Dr. Pepper," call (239) 542-6515.
For more information, visit online at: www.ccitalianamericanclub.com.
The Cape Coral Italian American Club is at 4725 Vincennes Blvd.