Since 2008, the Dhahran Theatre Group and the SAEA have collaborated on eight dinner theatres, entertained and fed over 5,000 guests… and murdered 36 actors.
On June 1 & 2, and 8 & 9, 2017, the DTG and SAEA return to the stage for the dinner theatre production of Country Cruisin’. Directed by Paul Carr, Country Cruisin’ takes place just before the start of a vacation on Country Cruise Line where the guests are selecting the lucky lady to be Queen of the Cruise.
To be Queen of the Cruise, five females must compete in three contests, and the lady with the most guest votes wins. The prize is a million dollars and free cruises for life, so the competition and voting by the guests will be intense.
Kicking off the action is Cruise Director Logan Masters, played by JR Karbowski, a fast, smooth-talking, charming ladies’ man. He is assisted by a talented but shy sound tech, Hank, played by Lachlan Peter. People like to pick on Hank, misreading his shyness for weakness, but little do they know…
Early in the action, the show breaks for a three course dinner, followed by Logan Masters and Hank picking the five Queen of the Cruise contestants.
The first lucky lady, played by Nicole Boschman, is Betsy Ross Williams, who coincidently is very beautiful, has a strong Southern accent and is very dumb. Contestant number two is the wealthy and supercilious Paula Price, played by Ariel Li Detlefsen. Arriving late to the event are Myrtle Ethel Holingdorf and her unusual daughter Edna Myrtle Holingdorf. Trish Maru plays Myrtle, who is a pushy stage mother believing her daughter, played by Anna Reischman, has a chance to be Queen of the Cruise. Somehow Myrtle gets Edna to be contestant three. Tree-hugging, Flower Petal Finley, played by Arwa Buchieri, is selected as the fourth contender, and Ms. Toby, played by Nina Sabin, and who enters oddly from a different door somehow has the fifth and final winning number.
All of these contestants will do anything to win. They each pick a different man from the audience to help her win each of the three contests. In the mayhem, murder is in the air. To help solve the crime is The Sheriff, a most unusual romantic, played by Shihab Alireza, who speaks strange words that only a guest, Bob, played by Ahmad Shono, can interpret. For sure, every actor is both a potential victim and possible killer.
Carr says the ending of the play is the most unexpected of the seven dinner theatre productions he’s directed. The play also has the most audience interaction, but he reminds guests that actors are very careful not to embarrass guests. “If guests see somebody made to feel uncomfortable, they will withdraw and not enjoy the show,” commented Carr.
The SAEA has a long-standing tradition of bringing different groups and people together through a variety events to support the many cultural and entertainment interests of our community. Some of these events, such as the DTG Dinner Theatre become annual favorites.
Tickets are SR140 each and can be purchased by SAEA members and dependents (age 16 and older) from the SAEA Office 1424 King’s Road, Dhahran, during the normal ticket-selling hours of 3-5 PM (phone number: 872-0117).
Article by Paul Carr, director of Country Cruisin’.