ELMHURST – Elmhurst residents will take part in GreenMan Theatre Troupe's "Cheers to You, Kid!," a murder mystery show with multiple performances from Feb. 23 to March 4 at Angelo's Ristorante, 247 N. York St., Elmhurst.
The performances of "Cheers to You, Kid!," which is written and directed by Carolyn Thomas-Davidoff, include a family-style Italian feast and cash bar while attendees watch the performance in the restaurant's second-floor banquet room. The event helps raise money for GreenMan Theatre Troupe's programs throughout the year.
The show's setting is the Boston bar from the 1980s and 1990s TV sitcom "Cheers," with "Cheers" characters, and then through a time machine, characters appear from the World War II era, including Ilsa and Rick from "Casablanca" and two Nazis, said Elmhurst resident, actor and trial lawyer Chris Gair, who plays Rick in the show.
Gair said he auditioned for the role of Rick because he is a lifelong "Casablanca" and Humphrey Bogart fan, having watched the movie dozens of times.
"It's kind of a mixture of a parody of 'Cheers' and a talent show, and there's some really good musical numbers in it," Gair said.
Anne Thompson, an Elmhurst resident and real estate agent, is the music director for the show, which incorporates recorded tracks of "nostalgic" 1980s sitcom music and showtunes paired with live singing from the actors. She said the music comes at the beginning and end of each meal break.
"It breaks up the action really nicely and brings a little energy and some fun. ... The songs usually have some humor in them, and they're just very entertaining," Thompson said.
Mary-Carol Riehs of Elmhurst plays Mavis, a character from Great Britain who is visiting a friend in Boston before coming to the bar.
"She gets kind of caught up in all this murder and mayhem," Riehs said.
Riehs said she really enjoys getting to play a British character because she attended her first year of high school in London at Holland Park School when her father was studying at King's College London.
Joe Schram, a retired IC Catholic Prep English teacher, is the announcer for the show. In that role, he will move the action along in the performance. He said he will have a chance to ad lib if, for example, the food isn't quite ready to be served at a certain time.
"I have a lot of fun doing it. ... I appreciate that GreenMan lets me have this role," Schram said.
Schram praised Thomas-Davidoff, saying the director is "very supportive and very exacting."
"She want us to do the best we can," he said.
If you go
WHAT: "Cheers to You, Kid!" murder mystery show
WHEN: 7 p.m. Feb. 23 and 24 and March 2 and 3, 6 p.m. March 4
WHERE: Angelo's Ristorante, 247 N. York St., Elmhurst
COST: $55 (online only)