The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 31, 2013

Schnitzel worth dying for: NUACT debuts murder-mystery

Dinner performance Saturday at Turner Hall

The Mankato Free Press

---- — NEW ULM — The New Ulm Actors Community Theatre is debuting the original murder-mystery "Who Stole My Schnitzel" Saturday at New Ulm's Turner Hall.

Written and directed by Paul Warshauer, the "Romeo and Juliet restaurant love story" revolves around two familes — the German Schleissithoffs and the Italian Ratzis — who have operated their restaurants on Minnesota Street for generations. Their once cordial relationship, however, has deteriorated into heated rivalry, even as their children attend the same culinary academy in Essig.

But when the students return home from a break in school, a star-crossed love affair sets off a chain of events that results in both families attempting to break up the union. As the play's promotional materials state, "the final straw is the theft of the aged and infamous index card containing the original schnitzel recipe! Someone will pay and a murder will occur."

The Germans are represented by Otto Schleissithoff who is played by Mark Santelman. He is the controlling German restaurant wwner of Slices’s Deli. The role of Otto's unbalanced wife, Ivana Schleissithoff, is played by Kerry Hoffman. Dagmar Schleissithoff, their daughter who is enrolled in the culinary academy, is played by Danica Scharlemann.

The Italians are represented by Paolo Ratzi, played by Tom Kaehler, who is the sensitive owner of Papa Ratzi’s. Paolo's wife and frustrated opera star, LaDonna E. Mobilé Ratzi, is played by Jodi Poehler. Their similarly culinary-minded son, Al Denté Ratzi, is played by Jonathan Warling.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are $29.95 at the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce or online at Dinner is included and features both Italian and German fare to reflect the story line. During the performance, audience members will try to solve the mystery themselves, voting for their choice of murderer at the end of the production.

The performance is co-produced by the New Ulm Business and Retail Association.

For more information, call 507-233-4300.

The Free Press