‘Murder at the Mansion’ to benefit Lee Street Theatre

Published 2:37 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2014

This week, enter the world of Jay Gatsby: a jaw-dropping home, a delicious meal, intriguing guests and, of course, murder.
“Murder at the Mansion” is slated for 7 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, Oct. 29-31, at the home of Bill and Shari Graham, 2719 Crenshaw Court. Tickets for the Gatsby-themed murder-mystery dinner theatre are $150 per person.
The event serves as the major fundraiser for Lee Street Theatre. Tickets are still available each evening of the three-night event, according to Justin Dionne, the theater’s managing artistic director.
The evening will feature local actors Mary Ann McCubbin and Brian Romans, as well as actors from the Charlotte company who appeared at last year’s event. Rumor has it that Shari Graham may play a cameo role as well.
There will also be wonderful food and beverages, with a sit-down dinner catered by Chartwells. Guests may dress in period attire, or simply come dressed for an evening out, Dionne says. He also notes that all donations are tax-deductible.
The event is one of two fundraisers hosted by Lee Street each year, although this event is more theatrical in nature.
“From the minute you walk in, the actors will be performing,” Dionne says.
He gives a special shout-out to the Grahams, for hosting the event after it became clear the Fulton-Mock-Blackmer house would not be ready in time.
“We made a decision not to put any extra stress on Al Wilson, who was also the contractor for Lee Street, as well as on Glenn and Beth Dixon, who are renovating the home,” Dionne says. “Shari and Bill graciously stepped forward and opened their home for the event.”
Tables of eight will be set up in the Graham’s living room, with a view of their beautiful pool area. Dionne suggests inviting friends to come and sit together.
“It’s a great night to sit down with some cool people, have a great meal, see a show that’s happening around you, and support Lee Street Theatre,” Dionne notes.
All money raised will go to the theater’s operating fund, Dionne says. That fund provides for shows such as the enormously successful “Voices from the Margin,” as well as internships for local college students.
“It is an investment in our community,” Dionne says, “because all these things we do that people love are made possible through support of the operating fund.”
Rick McCombs attended the event last year and already has his ticket for this year.
“It was a lot of fun,” says McCombs, owner of Sidewalk Deli. “The food was great. It was just like playing a game of Clue in real-life. Shari and Bill’s home is a perfect location for the Gatsby theme.”
McCombs went to last year’s show, he says, because he was eager to see a murder-mystery dinner theater. “It far exceeded my expectations. Shari is working with Frances Taylor on a black and white theme. It’s gonna be beautiful, and I know it’s gonna be fun.”
“There’s no other event like this in our area,” Dionne says of the dinner theater. “We wanted to do something different. At Lee Street Theatre, we create experiences. This is more than just a fundraiser. This is an evening experience.”
To make your reservations for “Murder at the Mansion,” please call 704-310-5507.

Freelance writer Susan Shinn lives in Salisbury.