And a murder mystery are on the menu for the latest show at Fremont Opera House.
Area residents are invited to the show dubbed, “The Fatal Fifties,” starting at 7 p.m. Feb. 14-16 in the entertainment venue at 541 N. Broad St., in Fremont.
Tickets for the murder mystery — which includes audience participation — and the dinner theater are $20 each. Tickets are available at Sampter’s clothing store in downtown Fremont or online at fremontoperahouse.org or by calling 402-720-2332.
Lee Meyer directs the show, which she calls a throwback to the 1950s.
Attendees are invited to dress in 1950s-era attire like poodle skirts or leather jackets for a costume contest.
“We’re having a band and they’re going to play ’50s music,” Meyer said.
The band called, Lil’ Amy and the Hellcats, will play ’50s tunes. Band members include Mike and Amy Spies, Jim Campbell and Eric Johnson.
Dinner will be a flashback to the ’50s as well with audiences dining on crumbled ground beef sandwiches, chips, dill pickles, ice cream and a cookie.
Seven cast members perform in the murder mystery which involves a talk show.
Doyle Schwaninger portrays the host of a 1950s-style talk show called, “Make Way for Winkie.” Cindi Lamprecht takes on the role of Winkie, bringing in the other cast members — Don Cunningham as Daddy Beans; Nan Cunningham as Cora; Madeleine MacDonald as Mom; Janet Larsen as Sissy; and Faye Kriekemeier as the hostess.
A “murder” will take place with the audience being asked to help determine the killer’s identity. Audience members will have a chance to talk to all the cast members as their characters.
Meyer thinks audiences will enjoy the show.
“It’s so silly and so much fun,” she said. “If you want to experience something really different here in Fremont, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Meyer points out that the show provides audiences with an opportunity to stay in town as opposed to having to drive to Omaha. There’s another benefit as well.
“You’ll also be supporting the opera house, which is one of the gems of our city,” Meyer said. “By purchasing that $20 ticket, you’re going to help us with the upkeep of the opera house.”
She notes something else: “We’re supported by First State Bank, Methodist Fremont Health and the Nebraska Arts Council.”
In the more immediate future, plans are to put in signage at the opera house and outdoor lighting.
Meyer said future plans also include renovating the opera house’s top floor, a project expected to cost between $5 million and $6 million.
A variety of events — from musical programs to wedding receptions — have taken place at the opera house throughout the years. Formerly known as the Love-Larson Opera house, the building had its grand opening in 1888.
The five-story structure included a seating capacity of 1,000, the facilities’ website states.
In 1975, the opera house became the first building in Fremont to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Early the next year, the structure survived the Hotel Pathfinder explosion. While there was damage to its façade, the building remained structurally sound.
In 2011, extensive exterior work and main floor renovations were completed. The first floor was transformed, creating a space for multiple uses, from small-scale theater productions to banquets, receptions and meetings.
Meyer encourages area residents to attend the show.
“It is going to be something unique,” she said. “And it’s really going to be a lot of fun.”