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FDA launches a super Mystery Dinner Theatre

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Posted: Thursday, July 5, 2012 10:59 pm | Updated: 2:30 pm, Wed Jan 30, 2013.

FAIRBANKS - Costumes are one of the irrefutable things that define a superhero. Where is Superman without his cape? Batman without his horned mask and utility belt? Boogie Woogie Rocket Man without his silver-spangled unitard?

Who?

Boogie Woogie Rocket Man is one of six superheroes starring in the Fairbanks Drama Association’s 10th annual Mystery Dinner Theatre. This year’s production, “The Superheroes Mystery — A Musical” is set for July 14 on the Riverfront Theatre lawn.

Starring in it are six local guest celebrity actors (the superheroes), who are paired up with six veteran FDA cast members (the sidekicks.)

Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins is Boogie Woogie Rocket Man. Hopkins indeed will be sporting a shiny silver costume that wouldn’t look out of place in a 1970s roller disco, he ruefully acknowledged.

“Rollerblades would work well with the costume,” he said. “That means I could become a blur.”

It’s the third or fourth time Hopkins has participated in the dinner theater.

“It’s a lot of fun with the other members, the cast of thousands that just ends up being a few on stage,” he said. “It’s for a good purpose.”

Judy Warwick (complete with bright pink tutu and tiara) is cast as Bubbles, the Universal Force; Althea St. Martin is Ida, Queen Goldfingers; Bart LeBon is The Green Dragon; Lynda Sather is Wowza Wonder Woman; and Bernie Karl is Mighty Tomcat Man.

The sidekicks are Kevin Zayas as Golden Eye; Morgan Eisenmayer as Tailwhipper; John Kohler as Louie-Louie; Theresa Bauer as Rockette; Darren Gallager as Sloopy; and Kalesha Pearson as Mighty Kitten. Heath Robertson has a cameo as Cell Phone Man.

“It’s just really schticky comedy,” said director Peggy Ferguson, who also wrote the play. “It’s over-the-top, silly and goofy.”

The costumes are also over-the-top, intentionally so.

“Every superhero wears a bodysuit,” Ferguson said. “They’re terrible costumes, they’re outrageously funny they’re so terrible.”

The play’s soundtrack features a number of original songs by Kohler, as well as some well-known pop and rock songs. A live band will play the music during the show.

“We have real talent, singing and acting talent in our six veteran actors,” Ferguson said.

Zayas, who is participating for the second year, said the play is a really good time.

“We have fun with the celebrities who come in,” he said. “They’re usually great sports and they usually surprise us with how good they are on stage.”

Karl, in particular, may end up being the loudest performer, Hopkins said.

“His improvisational skills are unbelievable,” Ferguson said. “He takes you right to the edge of total derailment. It’s the scariest thing you’ve ever seen in an actor. He’s terrific.”

While the performance is strictly fun, the dinner theater is also Fairbanks Drama Association’s major fundraiser. A silent auction with more than 250 items is part of the evening, as well as an outcry auction for two tickets good for any Alaska Airlines destination. The funds go toward the nonprofit’s upcoming 50th season program as well as operational expenses such as city taxes, Ferguson said. A portion of the $75 ticket price is tax-deductible.

The dinner is catered by the Carlson Center and guests can choose from three meals: roasted chicken gran mere; homestyle pot roast; and mushroom and spinach lasagna.

Only 225 tickets will be sold and the reservation deadline is 5 p.m. July 10.

Contact staff writer Julie Stricker at 459-7532.

IF YOU GO

What: FDA’s “Superheroes Mystery — A Musical”

When: 6 p.m. cocktails, dinner 7:15 p.m., show 8:15 p.m. July 14

Where: Big tent at Riverfront Theatre

Tickets: $75, reservation deadline of July 10

Info: www.fairbanksdrama.org; 456-PLAY to make reservations

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