Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Library nets over $1,350 for murder mystery performance of the 'Sour Grapes of Wrath'


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The cast of the 'Sour Grapes of Wrath' prepares to perform at the Kimball Event Center over the weekend. The two-night showing of the murder mystery was put on by the Friends of the Kimball Public Library to raise funds for the carpet fund. The fundrasier netted the library over $1,350. Pictured, from left, are: John Verser, as Norman D'Adly; Renee Carlson, as Vicki D'Adly; Chris Plantz, as Kathryn Lawless; Deb Nolting, as Dr. Chelsea Barren; Tim Nolting, as Enrique Graves; Jake McIntosh, as Michael Nightshade; and Jenn Dillinger as the narrator.

The Friends of the Kimball Library's first-ever mystery murder dinner theater was a smashing success.

The two-night fundraiser netted more than $1,350 to go to the library's carpet fund, said Kimball Public Library Director Jan Sears.

"I think it went very well. We were very pleased with the turnout and the support," Sears said.

The play in the two-night performance was the "Sour Grapes of Wrath." The murder mystery was set on the Killingsworth Farm winery in California. It was owned by Elizabeth, whose husband died six months prior to the beginning of the play.

Each of the characters had certain secrets to hide and motives for the murder of Elizabeth, which happened during the middle of the performance.

The characters included the hired hand, Enrique Graves, portrayed by Tim Nolting; her friend and librarian, Kathryn Lawless, portrayed by Chris Plantz; her neighbor, Dr. Chelsea Barren, portrayed by Deb Nolting; a real estate investor, Michael Nightshade, portrayed by Jake McIntosh; her sister, Vicki D'Adly, portrayed by Renee Carlson; and her brother-in-law, Norman D'Adly, portrayed by John Verser. Jenn DillInger also served as the narrator.

The five-act murder mystery featured a cast of seven. There was no script, but instead featured a loose set of clues for the actors to reveal during each scene. Some of the clues also contradicted themselves.

Tonia Copeland

Kimball Police Chief Darren Huff, right, "arrests" John Verser, aka Norman D'Adly, on Monday after he "confessed" to the murder of Elizabeth Killingsworth in the weekend's presentation of the 'South Grapes of Wrath' The murder mystery dinner theater was a fundraiser for the Friends of the Library.

During the scenes, the actors travelled from table to table to drop clues and were quizzed by guests who attended the performance.

"The actors did a really good job of ad-libbing and making it fun. I heard lots of giggles and laughter and positive compliments when they went out the door, compliments about doing it again next year," Sears said.

At the end of each performance, before the actual ending was revealed, each table of guests guessed who committed the "murder."

Three tables from Sunday's performance and one from Saturday's performance correctly identified Norman D'Adly as the "murderer."

In addition to serving as a fundraiser, Sears said the event also brought awareness to the library and its needs.

"I think this has brought people awareness, because they were surprised how much money we needed to raise to carpet the whole library," she said. "Several people asked about that. The Atkins grant, I had several questions about that. I think it did raise awareness."


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