Vivian McDonald

Who killed Valentine D. Plaza, a world-famous hotelier? That is what eight suspects wanted to find out at Marianne Johnstone’s latest murder mystery dinner play party, “Murder in the Air.” Mr. Plaza was flying on the supersonic Concorde airplane when someone poisoned him, just as he was celebrating his achievements in his hotel business.

These plays have taken place all over the world, and this was the first time a murder happened on an airplane, flying from London, England to New York City.  The party began with information about the Concorde turbo jet-powered airplane, followed by a re-enactment of the murder scene, where Barb King played the co-pilot, Mr. Plaza, and later the narrator.  Brigitta Dahlander was the stewardess and Rick Hardy, the pilot. Ms. Johnstone played the corporation spokesperson and explained the mysterious death of Mr. Plaza after the group arrived at his Valentine Plaza Hotel’s corporate headquarters.

The participants included: Captain Jeremy Upgrade, the pilot, played by Rick Hardy; Letitia Legroom, the stewardess, played by Brigitta Dahlander; Joe Public, the bodyguard, played by Lorraine Bellaro; Maddy Square-Garden, a party organizer, played by Fay Blair; Sir Matt Finish, an interior designer, played by Connie Barrett; Delia Dictaphone, a secretary, played by Lorna Hardy; Bobby Glitz, the cabin service director, played by Kathie Chatlin; and Countess Leonora DaVinci, an artist, played by Eve Mikutowicz.

All were dressed in airline uniforms or in travel attire appropriate for the times and read from prepared scripts.

As with mystery plays, directions are given by the narrator and it is explained that throughout the ten rounds introductions are made, and discussions, clues and accusations follow, so that the murder can be solved. After the suspects told who they thought committed the murder and why, Barb King, the narrator, revealed the killer’s name, for a shocking ending.

Before the rounds, drinks were served, including champagne, followed by a spinach salad with dressing. Dinner and dessert came after the rounds.  Joan Greenhalgh and Marianne Johnstone were servers.  They offered-up a delicious meal consisting of crescents, chicken corden bleu, scalloped potatoes, zucchini strips and a raspberry swirl dessert, all on Wedgwood fine china, as was the custom on the Concorde.