The Crook County Foundation will sponsor The Mafioso Murder at Bowman Museum

The Calzones are coming to town, and we're not talking about pizza turnovers.

On Sunday, Feb. 9, the Roaring Twenties era returns to the Bowman Museum, reintroducing prohibition, the Calzone mafia family, and bootlegging, gambling, and a dangerous pizza delivery racketeering operation.

Sponsored by the Crook County Foundation's Arts & Culture Committee Winter Series, the event, "The Mafioso Murder," is a theater presentation of Bend's Buckboard Mysteries Theater.

"This type of entertainment hasn't been available in Prineville since the closing of the Crooked River Dinner Train in 2008," said Lisa Morgan, event coordinator and foundation board member. "We are hoping this event builds momentum for an ongoing winter mini-series, offering a wide variety of entertainment."

Kristi Steber, executive director of the foundation, said that this is the first time the organization has presented this type of theater.

"Usually we hold concerts," she said, "But, Jim Roth, of Club Pioneer, suggested this idea about a year ago, and we decided to go with it."

Morgan added that the winter series is a way to offer residents something to look forward to after the holiday season has wrapped up.

"We want to give people something to enjoy in town that they might otherwise have to travel elsewhere to see," she added.

The show is billed as a participation theater experience "where someone, uh ... meets their demise," and members of the audience will get to take part in the production.

"In this show there are four local actors and 15 audience roles," explained Buckboard's Steve Meyer. "Members of the audience will be given props and lines to recite in this interactive program, and everyone will have the opportunity to vote on 'whodunit.'"

Steber noted that one of those roles is of the main character, the Godfather, adding that "the lucky assignment will go to Gary Goodman, the foundation's chair."

"Gary has the personality to pull it off," added Morgan, "And, he won't be a bit shy about it, either."

Roth's restaurant is catering the event, and he is planning to serve full prime rib and chicken dinners, accompanied by a no-host bar.

"We will provide potatoes and vegetables with the beef course," explained Roth, a former foundation board member. "The chicken will be a panko breaded recipe, deglazed with whiskey."

Roth recalls seeing the Buckboard theater company on the former dinner train.

"I've thought about hosting this theater for some time," he said. "I've always thought it would be a fun thing around here. I'm looking forward to the event."

According to Steber, the foundation's mission is to continue bringing this type of affordable entertainment to Prineville.

"The price of $35 includes dinner and the performance and just about covers our costs," she said. "But, we will pass the hat."

Steber encourages those wanting to attend to get their tickets early.

"Tickets are limited, as we are only selling 60," she explained, asking people to contact the foundation at 541-419-8846 for ticket information.

Attendees are encouraged to dress in their best Roaring Twenties costumes and, of course, to pay close attention to the Calzones. They just might witness the Mafioso Murder.

The Mafioso Murder Mystery Dinner takes place on Sunday, Feb. 9 from 4 to 7 p.m., at the Bowman Museum.

To purchase tickets, call the Crook County Foundation at 541-419-8846.

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