By Barb King
Mesquite’s very own mystery dinner play hostess, Marianne Johnstone, presented her fiesta party in March at the Mesquite Senior Center. This event took place on the patio of the Hasta La Vista Cantino in Adios, Mexico. The staff at the center did a great job of decorating the tables, walls and entire dining room in local Mexican ambiance.
The participants were all gathered along with their enthusiastic dinner guests to help solve the mystery of the stabbing death of wealthy Senora Margarita, who had been transforming the sleepy little town into a first class tourist resort. Someone hated her for doing that. The killer was among the crowd watching fireworks the night of the fatal murder.
Barb King, assistant to the cast and public relations for the cantina, and Marianne Johnstone introduced the characters to everyone and set up the order of the events of the evening. Each character entered dressed in local attire and was greeted with applause.
They were: Warren Peace, writer, aka newcomer Valerie Thompson; Desert Flower, an Indian maiden, aka Caroline Pope; Don Juan Diablo, a wealthy landowner, aka Clark Hardy; Senorita Bonita, Margarita’s sister, aka Brigitta Dahlander; Windy Skies, a hot air balloonist, aka Kathie Chatlin; Senora Lorena, narrator and owner of the cantina, aka Lorna Hardy; Rusty Pick, prospector, aka Ruth Cox; and Sergeant Honesto Seguro, police officer, aka Connie Barrett.
While the servers distributed drinks and salsa and chips to the tables, discussions and accusations took place between the suspects. Senora Lorena kept the conversations going, and added recaps and updates between the acts of the play.
Three courses of dinner were served by the very able senior center staff, made up of Supervisor Griseyda Belacazar, Krissy Thornton, Leora Hillius, Conchita Felix, Laura Rivas and volunteers, Tim and LaDawn Wilson.
The generous-sized main meal consisted of a salad, smothered shredded beef and cheese burritos, rice and beans.
Photographers for the event were Mike Gill and Vivian McDonald.
Not until guesses were made as to who killed the Senora, was the culprit’s name revealed by the narrator. As with these murder mysteries, many people had trouble guessing correctly, which made for lots of fun and laughter. Only one person had the correct name, which shows that these non-professional actors did a good job.
An attractive, delicious dessert of churros was served to culminate the exciting ending of this popular event.
These parties are such fun and Johnstone welcomes calls from newcomers who would like join in. Call her to get on her “will-call” list at 702-345-4459. You won’t regret it.