Great food and good theater

August 15, 2006|by SARAH JOHNSTON and SARAH OFOSU

Patriot Point Theatre in Gettysburg, Pa., has launched a murder-mystery series. The first production is a Civil War-themed comedy called "Grant Us Some Leeway." And it's dinner theater. Pulse writers Sarah Ofosu and Sarah Johnston reviewed the dinner and show.

Sarah Ofosu: After an hour's drive from Hagerstown, we finally arrived in Gettysburg, Pa. The cornfields and battlefields we passed on the way into town set the mood for the evening's production, "Grant Us Some Leeway," a Civil War-themed, interactive, mystery dinner.

Sarah Johnston: In the heart of the city lies Patriot Point Theatre, the building which housed the production. We were ushered into the theater by an actor with a thick Southern twang, garbed in Civil War attire. I noticed the gift shop overflowing with Civil War-inspired souvenirs, a history buff's dream.

Sarah Ofosu: That was one of the first things I noticed, too. I thought it interesting that the music and lighting catered to the overall atmosphere. The stage, adorned by an American flag, wooden stools and crates, was simple and reminiscent of a black-box theater. Taking in my surroundings, I was surprised by how few people were in attendance.


Sarah Johnston: It worked to our advantage because it made for a more intimate environment, allowing the actors the opportunity to interact with multiple audience members, many of whom were as enthusiastic as the performers on stage.

The production reminded me of a high school play. The actors might not be destined for Broadway, but they have a true passion for performing. In fact, the actors at Patriot Point Theatre are so dedicated to their art that they go uncompensated for their work, accepting only tips.

Sarah Ofosu: You're right: This production was comparable to a high school play. But I've never been to a high school play that served a three-course dinner. I have to admit I was worried that the mismatched dinnerware was foreboding of an unsavory meal. Fortunately, we were pleasantly surprised. Although the portions were small, dinner - crab cakes - and dessert were excellent.

Sarah Johnston: This was the best meal I've had in a while. At times, the delicious crab cakes distracted from the play, a whodunit mystery that allowed the audience to guess the murderer and the motive. Clever sleuth work was rewarded with a prize. Created by Ghost Lamp Productions, the original script employed drama, suspense and comedy.

Sarah Ofosu: I was a bit bothered by the setup of the theater, as I had to keep craning my neck to follow the actors and the action. But, overall, I had an enjoyable evening.

Sarah Johnston: As did I. Anyone with a palate for good food and good entertainment will enjoy this treat.

If you go ...

WHAT: "Grant Us Some Leeway," a Civil War-themed murder mystery

WHERE: The Patriot Point Theatre, 241 Steinwehr Ave., Gettysburg, Pa.

WHEN: Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; dinner and show begin at 7 p.m.

CONTACT: Call 717-337-0080 or go to

COST: $26.50 or $29.50

MORE: Show runs Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 23. The next Civil War-themed murder mystery, "Ghost Walks are Deadly," runs from Sept. 29 through Nov. 25.

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