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Show sends audience back in time to help solve murder

Lion’s Share Theatre stages “Murder at the Bing” today.
Lion’s Share Theatre stages “Murder at the Bing” today.

Before it was the Bing Crosby Theater, that old building on the corner of Sprague Avenue and Lincoln Street had a number of other names – the Met, the State, the Audian. But back when the theater first opened in 1915, it was called the Clemmer Theatre, which is the setting of tonight’s audience-participation event “Murder at the Bing.”

Well, it’s still technically the Bing, but this interactive period mystery is set in 1926, when the Clemmer was a popular movie palace showing the films of such matinee idols as Rudolph Valentino and Buster Keaton, with live musical acts (including the theater’s future namesake) performing in between features.

Presented by Lion’s Share Theatre, “Murder at the Bing” is a closed-room mystery a la Agatha Christie combined with a regional historical tour. A murder has been committed inside the Clemmer on the night of a big vaudeville performance, and it’s up to the audience to figure out the identity of the killer – the usual suspects include the theater’s owner, the nosy gossip columnist, a magician and a bookkeeper – while taking a tour of the historic building.

To really immerse yourself in the experience, don some ’20s-era garb and piece together the clues. Audiences are limited to 100 members per show. Call the box office at (509) 227-7638.

Nathan Weinbender

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