In the 1950’s there were hula hoops, hot rods and black leather jackets.  It was the birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll and backyard cookouts.  At Marianne Johnstone’s October murder mystery dinner, the fictitious location was Kansas City, Missouri.  Tom Dooley, the car dealership owner of ‘Honest Tom’s’, was fatally stabbed with a BBQ fork while charcoal grilling chicken at a party with his friends and family. 

There were six suspects who were expected to solve the mystery: Johnny Angel, an auto mechanic played by Mike Gill; Bobby Sox, Tom’s little sister and hula hoop champion played by Vivian McDonald; Chubby Cheddar, a Rock ‘n’ Roll musician played by Jim Chatlin; Tiara Diamond, Tom’s fiancée and Miss Kansas City played by Kathie Chatlin; Dan Dragnet, an actor and TV detective played by Steve Loring and Peggy Sue, a newspaper gossip columnist played by Kaui Loring.  Two additional characters were Ivan Sputnik, a Russian rocket scientist played by Clark Hardy and Barby Q, a smart, captivating divorcee’ played by Lorna Hardy.  

Johnstone’s parties are usually comprised of mostly all women, but at this event, she was fortunate to attract four husband and wife couples to act and dress the parts of characters. Poodle skirts, buck shoes, guitars, records, microphones, Beauty Queen crowns, banners, neck scarves, hula hoops, jewelry, detective badges, leather jackets and sunglasses were some of the props used. Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe wall hangings added to background ambiance, while 50’s music helped entertain the guests.  

Barb King was Dazzling Donna, the Radio DJ who spun 45’s with top 40 hits of 1959 and coordinated all conversations leading to the disclosure of Tom Dooley’s killer.

During act one, lemonade, root beer, fruit drinks and cream o’ soda were served along with assorted grapes.  After act two, roast chicken with BBQ sauce, little smokies, baked beans, macaroni and potato salad, cole slaw, cantaloupe and watermelon slices and salsa and chips made up the main dinner menu.  After act three and guesses had been made as to who dun’ it, two kinds of chocolate chunk pecan cookies were the dessert. 

Capable kitchen help included Joan Greenhalgh and Linda Adams, dressed in aprons with neck scarves.  Pictures were taken by Mike Gill and Vivian McDonald. 

The cast was surprised at the reveal of the murderer, which means that everyone read their scripts well and offered funny ad libs along the way. 

To join in the fun, call Johnstone at 702-345-4459 to take part in her monthly events and be sure to attend her Halloween murder mystery dinner at the Mesquite Senior Center at 102 W. Old Mill Road on Thursday, October 26, 2017 from 4 PM to 7 PM.  It is called “Murder at Curst Mansion” which takes place in 1920’s Hollywood and has a “play on names” of old famous movie stars. The large cast includes a millionaire, a gangster, a jazz singer, an aristocrat, a socialite, a journalist, a publicist, and an inspector, amidst the stars.

The guests will guess who they think committed the murder.  Hurry and get your tickets. There is limited seating and tickets are going fast. They are $10.00 each and include a full course dinner. Barb King