When participating in one of Marianne Johnstone’s murder mystery parties, one may find himself getting addicted. It is contagious and lots of fun to take on the part of an interesting character, have a delicious dinner and meet a whole array of new people.

The January play took place in New York City at a popular Italian restaurant. Pepi Roni, the owner of the eatery was shot in his back in the kitchen with his own pistol. Every character had a good reason to kill him. As they sat around the table, it was challenging for them to figure out “who dun it.”

The characters were played by the following: Momma Rosa, by Connie Barrett, his grieving widow; Marco Roni, by Louetta Edwards, his frustrated son; Angel Roni, by Cathie Spencer, his sneaky daughter; Bo Jalais, by Joan Greenhaigh, Angel’s boyfriend and winery manager; Rocco Scarfazzi, by Ruth Cox, Pepi’s twin brother; Tara Misu, by Judy Duncker, Rocco’s pregnant girlfriend; Father Alberto, by Vivian McDonald, a friend of the family; and Clair Voyant, by Kaui Loring, a psychic full of predictions.

The narrative was kept on track by Antionella Tell-A-Story played by Barb King. She intermittingly navigated the twists and turns as the characters challenged each other with questions and accusations. As drinks were served during the first act by Marianne Johnstone, Linda Adams, Heidi Stumph and Sandy Myers, introductions were made.

During the second act, as the plot thickened, the main dinner was served, which included lasagna, salad and deviled eggs. It was during the third course of dessert when the characters tried to guess the name of the killer. When the story teller exposed him, this time no one got it right. Surprise and disbelief were expressed by the guests, while they enjoyed a delicious raspberry parfait.

Johnstone loves these plays so much that she wants to do one per month, choosing different themes from her collection. She willingly supplies hats, jewelry, scarves, mustaches, etc. to supplement the costumes. No memorization is required. If you can read, you can take part. If you are interested, call her at 702-345-4459 to get on her “will-call” list.

Barb King