Onboard entertainment includes mystery, comedy, and musical theater.

Many of the Liberty Limited excursions feature live entertainment in an improvisational style. As created by Otter Productions, passengers enjoy the ride as well as the murder mysteries, musicals and comedies. An improvisational theater company founded more than ten years ago by creative director Herb Otter, in the last eight years the company has made performing on trains a specialty, and has entertained passengers on several railroads beside the Liberty Limited. The staff of the Northern Central Railway is pleased to be able to work with Otter Productions, who receives consistently highly-favorable reviews from the passengers.

The plot thickens shortly after the train departs, actors make their way through the cars interacting with themselves and fellow passengers establishing their characters and reasons for being on the train. We should note that these suspects might have appeared prior to the train's departure, easily creating suspicion. The performers keep moving through the train establishing motives and conflicts finally reaching a point where somebody has to die. An officer of the law makes his or her appearance from among those already on board.

Suspicion is placed on the more obvious characters, and suspense builds as the investigator collects evidence and gets help from the passengers. The mystery brought to life using the techniques of interactive comedy theater. Alfred Hitchcock once said that there was nothing wrong with comedy as long as it was between ladies and gentlemen. We say that the ladies and gentlemen should be laughing and having a lot of fun.

Musical theater, whether based on known shows such as White Christmas or Guys and Dolls, or original works developed for performance on the train, are interactive as well. The characters interact with themselves and fellow passengers, and then stop to sing an old familiar tune related to the current action. As with the murder mysteries, being interactive and improvisational guarantees no two shows of one production to be identical.

Whether or not someone sings, or for that matter someone dies, a scene that depends on improvisation of the moment and the encouraged audience participation, can result in some surprising and hilarious memories.

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Revised 4/9/99, by Tom Coughlin coughlin@classicrail.com