Christian Family Theater Contributed Image / In keeping with the Western theme of "Mystery at Crooked Snake Junction," the cast photo was made to resemble a tintype.

Christian Family Theater will open the family-friendly Western, "Mystery at Crooked Snake Junction," on Friday, Jan. 24, for three performances this weekend.

This production is a mystery dinner theater. Shows are scheduled on Friday-Saturday, Jan. 24-25, at 7 p.m. with a dessert theater on Sunday, Jan. 26, at 3 p.m.

The tale is set in 1853 as the California gold rush has begun to wind down. Gold isn't easy to find, but family man Tobias Fletcher has brought his wife and daughter to the little town of Crooked Snake and has struck it rich.

Now he must do everything to protect his mine from nosey neighbors, the townspeople and would-be prospectors. Only Fletcher and his trusty map know his mine's true location.

But then his daughter, Virginia, goes missing. A ransom note is sent demanding his map with the location of the mine. Will he give it up? Small-town sheriff Jasper Lawson must get to the bottom of this kidnapping with the help of his deputy and his inquisitive daughter.

If you go

* What: “Mystery at Crooked Snake Junction”

* Where: Brainerd United Methodist Church fellowship hall, 4315 Brainerd Road

* When: 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Jan. 24-25; 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26

* Admission: $25 Friday-Saturday; $22 Sunday

* For more information:

"One of the things I love about our dinner theater is that we have children and adults in the same show. You can't readily find a mystery that isn't a murder and rarely do they involve children as part of the cast," says director Dale Dye.

"One of the favorite parts of the evening is when the audience gets the opportunity to interact with the characters in the show as they come by their tables for questioning. I think it's the highlight of the show every year," he adds.

The cast of 10 adults and 13 children includes Charlie Stoll as Tobias Fletcher, Kayvon Meehan as Sheriff Lawson, Brenden Franklin as Deputy Holliday, Tim Eversole as Prospector Willie Wylie, Sara Gard as Maybelle Starr, Tom Porterfield as Mayor Buck Sterling, Salida Brooks as Frances Fletcher, Aimee Masschhoff as Dr. Kwinn, Kristin Leslie as Lizetta Baxter, Hailey Breitmann as Kathleen Russell and Stacey Breitmann as Mrs. Dumont.

The dinner menu includes barbecue brisket, corn on the cob, slaw, baked beans, roll and peach cobbler. A large chef's salad is also available.

Tickets are $25 for Friday and Saturday nights; $22 for Sunday's dessert matinee. No tickets will be sold at the door. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

For tickets:



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