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'Murder' to benefit Alzheimer's Outreach Center

Cathy Morey grimaces while rehearsing the part of Kathy Collins, the personal secretary to Mr. Starkweather, in “Murder’s in the Heir” Tuesday.

Cathy Morey grimaces while rehearsing the part of Kathy Collins, the personal secretary to Mr. Starkweather, in “Murder’s in the Heir” Tuesday.

Carlton Fletcher

ALBANY — Something will be in the air as lovers celebrate Valentine’s Day this year ... and it won’t be just the aroma of perfume, roses and chocolate.

Foul play will be afoot at First United Methodist Church’s Ford Hall on Valentine’s Day and Feb. 15 as the Alzheimer’s Outreach Center presents the dinner theater production “Murder’s in the Heir.”

Sixteen local actors will entertain in an audience participation whodunnit built around the mysterious death of an eccentric billionaire. The suspects? It seems all his heirs have motive.

“This is a fun show with a twist,” Alzheimer’s Outreach Center Administrative Assistant Nancy Goode said of “Murder’s in the Heir.” “The audience gets to ‘solve’ the murder mystery. We take a vote, and the character that gets the most votes is the killer. All of our actors have a prepared ending in case they’re voted the murderer.

“These kinds of shows are very popular now, but the best thing about our dinner theater — as far as the Outreach Center is concerned — is that all of the money from the show goes to help local caregivers. All of the money stays in Albany.”

Two hundred $30 tickets are available for each night of “Murder’s in the Heir,” which will be performed at First United Methodist’s 307 Flint Ave. facility, and a number of $200 VIP Cupid Packages will be offered for a limited time. The packages are a perfect Valentine’s gift for a special someone, with two tickets to “Murder,” the accompanying gourmet meal prepared by Cafe 230, and a night’s stay at the Merry Acres Inn that comes with an elegant breakfast the next morning and a gift basket.

Vickie Knuckles, who teaches music and drama at Sherwood Christian Academy’s K3-8th-grade academy and is directing “Murder’s in the Heir,” has a mix of veteran and first-time actors to work with.

“We have all levels of experience: Some have acted in local, school and church theater projects, while some have never even been on a stage,” Knuckles said. “That adds another element of fun to the production.

“Most of us who are involved have friends with the Alzheimer’s Association or are involved with the Alzheimer’s Outreach Center in some way. It’s just a great cause, something we’re excited to be a part of.”

Curtain goes up/dinner is served each evening at 6:30 p.m. Information about the show, which is partially sponsored by Albany Community Hospice, is available by calling (229) 432-2705. Tickets are available at the Outreach Center’s 314 N. Jefferson St. offices.