All you sci-fi guys are nerds!

"Kork (Jessica Martinez) and Spork (Jordan Truesdell) are addressed by Charles Huey (David Ribbe) in New River Stage's production of "Blazing Sabers," presented at Ceritano's.

25 guests of all ages slowly trickled in and were led to their tables in the large dining room in the back of Ceritano’s. Settling into our seats, we studied the playbill on the tables. No ordinary playbill mind you- this one listed the suspects and informed us that a murder had been committed in the next room. Moments later “The Manager”, who by the way is also a suspect, rushes in, describes the fatal event and advises us to “Pass some time, have something to eat, have something to drink, enjoy yourself, do anything……………… just DON’T LEAVE THIS ROOM!” (or words to that effect.)

The scene is set. The waitresses are unobtrusively placing plates of crisp,  fresh- mixed salad greens in front of us, so staying in this room seems like a good idea! As the plot thickens and we are introduced to characters such as Spork and Kork and a giant hairy wookie,  we are treated to a delightful sampling of what makes Ceritano’s so much more than the place where you can get GREAT pizzas. Courses include fried calamari, bruschetta, tortellini with boscaiolo sauce, lobster ravioli with alfredo sauce, meat lasagna, and more. Everything is delicious, everything is fresh, everything is made on-site. Everything is served under the watchful eye of our host, restaurant owner Nino Ceritano. Nino is delighted to bring this Murder Mystery into his restaurant and is hopeful that dinner theater will become a regular occurrence in Ceritano’s.

The basic premise of the play is that a Star Wars and a Star Trek convention have accidentally been booked in the same space at the same time and there has been a fight. Han Solo caught the worst of it and ended up dead. Blazing Sabers is directed by Cindy Stauffer, a Senior at Blacksburg High School, and produced by New River stage as a part of fund raising activities. The play features a cast of six- Monica Shelor, Claire Denny, David Ribbe, Jordan Truesdell, Jessica Martinez and Jessi Belzer. New River Stage and Ceritano’s Ristorante can be commended for bringing dinner theater to downtown Blacksburg.

Between scenes cast members mingled with the guests, never leaving character of course, trying to get us on their side and casting blame on other characters. The wookie shed a few tufts of hair as he obsessed about his dolls…em sorry..that would be…ACTION FIGURES! Cast members successfully drew the guests into the plot, Spork even tried to blame one of the children present for the murder.

“I’ve learned not to go for the obvious” one guest was heard to say as her table discussed the suspects. Guests were busy puzzling over whodunit and why once the wookie spread rumors of a door prize for the person who solved the mystery!

“Don’t anybody leave!” commanded the wookie as the cast went out to review the evidence provided by the audience. As the waitresses brought in plates of cannoli and bowls of gelato it was obvious that nobody was going anywhere!

So you missed Blazing Sabers at Ceritano’s, but don’t despair, Blazing Sabers will be re-enacted on Sunday, October 17th at Maison Beliveau, (5415 Gallion Ridge Road, Blacksburg)
Ticket sales end on Thursday, October 14 – New River Stage for ticket details and information about other shows being performed in the New River Valley.

Craving the best lasagna or a delicious gelato? Ceritano’s is open 7 days a week and is conveniently located in downtown Blacksburg. Across the street from Virginia Tech’s Alumni mall just a minutes walk from Campus, Squires Student Center, the Upper Quad, and the Lyric Theatre.

Want to know who dunit? Well you will just have to get your tickets for Blazing Sabers at Maison Beliveau!

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