CADILLAC — Amongst a group of pampered beauty pageant champions, there is discord, and that leads to intrigue and murder.
This is the basic plot of United Way’s latest murder mystery fundraising performance, “Tears of a Crown,‘ which will be held from 6 to 10 p.m., Feb. 29 at the Fox Motors showroom in Cadillac.
United Way of Wexford-Missaukee Counties Executive Director Pat Goggin said the play — written once again by Ami Peltier — revolves around fictional beauty pageant guru Marcus Covington, who decides to host one last contest featuring all the winners of his previous events, including “Mizz World,‘ “Mister Dad Bod,‘ and “Miss Galaxon.‘
“It’s the pageant of all pageants,‘ Goggin said. “Where the competition is cutthroat, the answer to the interview question is never ‘world peace,’ and the talent just might be murder,‘ reads a promotional blurb about the play.
Entering their 11th year of hosting the murder mystery dinners, Goggin said the annual event is a big deal for them, although they don’t want the evening to seem like it’s merely a stuffy fundraiser.
“We’re hoping to see around 300 people and raise $15,000-$20,000,‘ Goggin said “But we want people to come because it’s fun. We try to make it a night out and something you’d want to go to even if it wasn’t a fundraiser.‘
Performing in this year’s play will be Joe Baumann, Megan Viecelli, Kelly Simons, Jay Simon, Dan Alto, Katy Huckle, Jason Elmore, Brandon Peltier and Katelyn Curtis.
Unlike past performances, Goggin said “Tears of a Crown‘ isn’t a period piece: it is set in the here and now — although attendees are encouraged to dress up as if they’re going to a pageant.
Also different this year will be who’s directing the play — Shaina Biller — who stepped up when Goggin’s wife, Sally, was out of commission due to a medical procedure.
Chef Hermann Suhs will be preparing a buffet meal with entrees that include braised beef brisket and fresh salmon with dill sauce. Suhs also will be providing a cash bar with adult beverages.
Goggin said the money raised will be allocated to 15 organizations that serve around 8,000 people in Wexford and Missaukee counties. In March, United Way will be going through their allocation process to select which organizations will receive funding.
Tickets to the dinner are $75 and registration is required before the event. To register, call (231) 775-3753 or visit https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07egsbdoha4fb4d358&oseq=&c=&ch=.