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Saturday, Mar 28, 2015

Church offers mystery dinner theater

Hernando Today correspondent


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When P. Body turned up missing, it was only natural that a full investigation would follow into his presumed murder. And a complete team of seven detectives, led by Sherlock Holmes, solved the case through several intense investigation scenes, all played out at First Baptist Church of Garden Grove in south Brooksville.

This wasn't a typical Sunday evening at the cozy church, located at 18160 Stromberg Ave. in Garden Grove. Even a torrential summer downpour couldn't keep the audience away from another production, something that has become one of FBC of Garden Grove's signature qualities.

Angie Caskey, wife of Pastor James Caskey, concocted an elaborate script filled with drama, comedy and suspense for the church's first mystery dinner theater production, presented June 30.

The all-female cast of 16 church members the humorous yet dignified plot, set in Scotland Yard.

The play also had a spiritual message, meant to inspire the audience with the passion, creativity and poignancy of the experience.

"Only three in our cast have performed before in other presentations," Cskey said.

Caskey, whose educationalbackground includes a degree in musical theater, was the mastermind behind the production.

She has used her creativity to good use at the church several times before, finding ways to express a real passion for spirituality delivered in a creative and dramatic fashion.

The environment of this congregation, led by the Caskey team, is all about having a great time while delivering a message of hope and fulfillment in the church's spiritual goals.

The presentation took about three weeks to write and four weeks of rehearsals, said James Caskey.

Actors performed the show partially on the stage, and utilized areas of the chapel, creating a wide perspective to the audience.

Many of the the props, which were strategically placed, had been donated by Great Stuff Antiques. Others were created by parishioners for the production.

The plot was like a classic Sherlock Holmes mystery, filled with twists and turns as the audience was walked through the investigation that eventually proved no crime had actually been committed, hence the title, "No Body Died."

After the 90-minute performance inside the chapel, the audience was treated to a dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, served by the pastor himself, and prepared by church staff.

First Baptist Church of Garden Grove's reason for staging the mystery theater was no mystery; irt was to help raise money for their children's park.

The effort was a collaboration of many who helped ensure a successful evening, including the behind-the-scenes talents of those who donated time and skill.

The program stated, "Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, without Whom would be no hope, no salvation and no purpose, but with Whom all things are possible.

Even shy ladies becoming drama queens.

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