By Barb King
September’s mystery party took place fictionally in Hawaii. Marianne Johnstone’s dinner play guests were at her Mesquite home to solve the murder of a private eye from Maui named Chase Diamond. Someone poisoned his drink when he was celebrating his 33rd birthday at a sunset luau. Needless to say, he had quite a few enemies.
The suspected characters present were dressed as typical Maui residents and vacationers. They used props such as leis, sunglasses, shorts, T-shirts, canes, wigs, cameras, scuba gear, etc., mostly supplied by the hostess. These unprofessional actors mostly read scripts.
Present were: Nadia Seymour, a swimsuit model, aka Annie Shoell; Joey Breakers, a surfer who helped Chase with surveillance, aka Connie Barrett; Holly Day, a wealthy socialite, aka Liz Etie; Chief Wiki-Wiki, a tribal chief, aka Fay Blair; Leilani, a hula dancer, aka Lorraine Bellaro and Les Baggs, a tourist, aka Gail Ashdown. Extra characters were Birdie Putt, a pro golfer, aka Janice Martinez and Rip Tide, a scuba diving instructor, aka Ruth Cox.
Barb King played Kauai, the narrator and tour guide. She introduced the storyline, and between the acts, made updates and re-caps for an orderly flow through to the exposure of the killer.
During the first act, Blue Hawaii tropical fruit punch was served, along with selections of macadamia nuts and dried fruit, including shreds of coconut, papaya, mango, pineapple and banana chips. After the second act, the dinner included Hawaiian pizza with pineapples and ham, meat balls with colorful peppers, veggie and chicken egg rolls and Waldorf fruit salad. Sweet and sour, sweet chili and pineapple/coconut sauces accompanied the delicious food. After act three, pina colada drinks and macaroons, brownies and macadamia nut cookies were served as dessert.
Johnstone’s capable kitchen staff included Linda Adams and Joan Greenhalgh. Photographers were Mike Gill and Vivian McDonald. Guests attending were Kay and Linda England.
When all of the accusations and conversations between the participants were complete, along with hilarious ad libs, each was given a chance to guess who-dun-it. Amazingly at these delightful events, hardly anyone gets it right. As Kauai gave the murderer’s name, gasps went out at the surprise ending.
The Mesquite Senior Center at 102 W. Old Mill Road will be hosting Johnstone’s special Halloween murder mystery dinner called “Murder at Curst Mansion” on Thursday, October 26, 2017 from 4 to 7 PM. There is limited seating, so hurry and get tickets before they run out. The fee is $10.00 per person.
Anyone can participate in the monthly mystery plays by calling 702-345-4459.