LINDON "Who Killed Aunt Caroline" keeps audiences guessing until the end.
At the theater-in-the-round performance at Valley Center Playhouse, patrons are given a slip of paper as they enter the theater so they can guess as to "who done it?" (During Monday's performance only six people had the correct answer, which isn't known until the end.)
While clues are given throughout the second and third acts, the real motive isn't revealed until the guilty party confesses. Prizes are a candy bar or a free ticket to another Valley Playhouse play.
The Endicotts are the main characters, a kindly but poor family who had every reason to murder their wealthy though stingy, spinster aunt when she reveals a plan to cheat them out of their inheritance. Even the family members themselves suspect each other as the plot in this 1940s play thickens.
Lynn Bauman is wonderful as the miserly, disagreeable Aunt Caroline. Sadly, she has just one scene before she meets her untimely demise.
Others in the cast are Joyce Gunther as the widow Mrs. Endicott, the family matriarch; Katie Hoggar as her eldest daughter, Agnes, Rachel Green as her middle daughter, Berl (double cast with Wendi Hellewell), Sierra McDonnell as the youngest daughter, Cicely; Braden Hellewell as son Riccy, Austin McDonnell as family friend Dan Donovan, Erika Aoyama as Aunt Caroline's companion, Mike Hansen as Agnes' love interest and a newspaper reporter, Debbi Bennett as high school science teacher Louise MacLain, and Jamie Gritton as detective Clayton. Finally, Milan Cook plays Una, a terribly bad child music pupil of Mrs. Endicott.
Some of the acting is a bit wooden, but it's still fun.Written by Grant Richards, the play, though melodramatic, is good family entertainment with lots of laughs and a good dose of mystery thrown in.