The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

April 4, 2013

Musical murder mystery

— Revenge is sweet, especially when served with meringue!

The 2013 Murder Mystery at the Historic Fayette Theater is “Murder Among the Meringues,” which will be sure to entertain in this audience participation performance.

What does this sweet dessert have to do with murder, you may ask. Well, the show is about the famous singing star Gigi Sharp and her back-up singers, the Meringues. But the concert they give is cut short by murder.

The Historic Fayette Theater will present the musical murder mystery on April 12 and April 13 as a dinner theater. Tickets are $30 per person and include dinner at a fine Fayetteville restaurant. You can choose to eat at Diogi’s, Gumbo’s, or Pies and Pints. When you make your reservation, you will need to specify where you wish to dine and you will be given a $20 voucher for that restaurant. You can also purchase a ticket for the show only for $10 a person.

The story is that Gigi Sharp and The Meringues have a hit single, topping the charts, called “Sweet Sugar,” and Gigi has just learned that she has been nominated for a Grammy Award for the song. The group is touring the nation, promoting their new album.

Gigi is a fabulous singer and nobody knows it better than her. The Meringues are her back-up singers, but they would all rather stab her in the back. Wild child Rebel Cleft wants to break her contract and break out on her own. Bea Minor loves Gigi’s son, but Gigi is not about to let her precious son marry a mere back-up singer. Wanda Major loves being in The Meringues, but she would also love being the lead singer. And sweet Ivory Tickler has been keeping a secret. There are two others in Gigi’s entourage: Emma Offskey is Gigi’s assistant. Well, that is a rather glorified title and Gigi treats her shamefully. The final person traveling with The Meringues is their agent and manager, Brandy Jackson.  She may not be a back-up singer, but she has Gigi’s back, and is completely loyal to Gigi.

However, a killer lurks in their midst and one of these will be killed before the night is over. As the evening progresses, blood is shed and the murderer must be found. Clues are given and the audience will have the chance to interrogate suspects and solve the dastardly deed.

The In Cahoots Players are a troupe of exceptionally talented local actors. They all perform in plays and musicals throughout the region. Their stage presence, lively and spontaneous banter and quick retorts make for a uproarious evening of entertainment. The chief Cahoot is Karen Vuranch, who writes, directs and produces the plays through her theater company, WV Enterprises. Karen is a professional storyteller, actress and writer and performs these plays as well as historical dramas throughout West Virginia and the U.S.

The musical direction for the play is provided by Merry Hanning of Oak Hill. Her lovely voice is well known throughout the region and she has extensive stage experience. The In Cahoots also feature Sandi Shrewsbury of Beckley, Debbie Cooper of Beckley, Julie Brown of Packs Branch, Andrea Tinsley of Scott Depot, and Jen Garvin of Fayetteville. Together they create an evening of comical entertainment and beautiful music.

“Murder Among the Meringues” features the sweet sounds of the girl groups of the 1960s and ‘70s.  Fever, My Guy, And Then He Kissed Me are among the songs you will hear that night. In fact, all the murder mysteries presented by The In Cahoots Players are musical.

Other story lines include “Dream of Murder” about a telethon for narcoleptic beauticians, “A Country Music Murder” featuring songs from the Queens of Country such as Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette, “Beach Blanket Bump-Off,” a Caribbean theme, and “A Groovy Kind of Murder” with songs from the 1960s. For more information about The In Cahoots Players, contact Karen Vuranch at

The performance will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

For more information or to reserve tickets, call 304-574-4655 on Tuesday or Thursday between 6 and 8 p.m. or go to