Setting the Table for Murder

Live theater at Trolley Car Cafe this August 21 & 22nd: Local author (along with Philadelphia Theatre Company) presents a modern murder mystery set in a diner in the 1970’s. BYOB, with 3-course buffet featuring favorites from Trolley Car’s new dinner menu. 

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East Falls resident Kathy Anderson was having brunch at Trolley Car Café when she had an idea. She was writing a new murder mystery play, set in a diner in 1972, with co-writer and director Bill Felty, of Philadelphia Theatre Workshop. Why not propose performing the play as pop-up live theatre right here on the Trolley Car Café outside patio?

The timing was great, because the restaurant, famed for its wonderful breakfast and lunches, was launching a new dinner service.

EastFallsLocal new evening menu Stephen Deeny

“I’ve become a huge fan of Trolley Car Café since we moved here three years ago,” said Anderson, “and I thought this might be a fantastic collaboration and a way to celebrate a new dinner destination in East Falls.”

She proposed the idea to owner Ken Weinstein, a developer who is well known for his restaurant chain’s community service. With his enthusiastic approval, Trolley Car Café will be the site for the launch of Philadelphia Theatre Workshop’s play, TURNPIKE, for dinner and performances on Sunday, August 21 and Monday, August 22.

Dinner begins at 6:00 p.m., followed by the play which runs 90 minutes. Tickets include a three-course buffet dinner plus the play performance and are now on sale on the Trolley Car Café website.   Just $35 a ticket — BYOB.

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What’s the play about?

TURNPIKE. 1972. A diner in a remote travel plaza. A psychic teenage boy. A massive fog. While locals and travelers are trapped there, secrets from the past lead to murder. The others try to figure out WHOdunit as well as WHYdunit. Because one of them could be next.

At times both funny and frightening, the play is suitable for ages 13 and up. A classic murder mystery, that builds tension & suspense as long-hidden truths emerge.

“We’re excited to work with outstanding actors on this new play,” said Anderson, who lives near Queen Lane and Vaux. The play has been in development for several years but this is its first time before an audience. Cast members include Megan Elizabeth, Jarad Benn, Steve Carpenter, Matt Donzella, Chris Latzke, Amy Acchione Myers, and Janine White.

Anderson is not just a playwright but also a fiction writer, author of Bull and Other Stories (Autumn House Press, 2016), a short story collection which won the 2015 Autumn House Press Fiction Prize.

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Three of her plays have received world premieres with Philadelphia Theatre Workshop (PTW) since 2007. A member of the Dramatists Guild, her plays have been produced and staged in major US cities and in Ireland. Most recently, NEXT DOOR GAY-BORS, a comedy co-written with Bill Felty, was featured in Chicago’s Rhinoceros Theatre Festival in 2015.

Bill Felty founded PTW in 2003, which has since produced dozens of readings, workshops, full productions and world premieres (many of which he directed). He has written a musical and has also directed for theatres in Philadelphia, New York, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.

“East Falls is an awesome neighborhood,” said Anderson. “With this play launch, we hope to be part of the growing arts and culture scene here.”

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SUPPORT LOCAL THEATRE — and come see an original production by an award-winning writer living and working in East Falls. Follow Kathy on Twitter and Facebook, and definitely check out her wry, poignant, and terrifically funny fiction online.

Dinner and a Show at Trolley Car Cafe
Sunday & Monday 6 PM – 9 PM ish
AUGUST 21 & 22
(show runs approx 90 minutes)
$35 per ticket includes full buffet dinner, outstanding show, plus tax and gratuity, BYOB

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Trolley Car Cafe
New dinner hours featuring Schuylkill views in their tented, twinkle-lit patio, by the restaurant’s own organic herb garden. Also, sublime brunch & lunch specials during regular hours. BYOB. 
3269 South Ferry Road
Open Everyday 7am – 3pm;
BYBO Weds – Sat 5pm – 9pm


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