by Eva Mikutowicz

Standing from left to right are Marianne Johnstone, Eva Mikutowicz, Louetta Edwards, Kathie Chatlin, Caroline Pope and Birgitta Dahlander. Sitting from left to right are Millie Cummings, Ruth Cox and Fay Blair. submitted photo

February’s mystery party took place fictionally in Hawaii.  Marianne Johnstone’s dinner guests were at her Mesquite home to solve the murder of a private eye named Chase Diamond.  Someone had poisoned his drink while he was celebrating his 33rd birthday at a sunset luau on Maui.  It became apparent that 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, muumuus, wigs, canes, camera cases, surfboard and scuba gear, etc. most of which was supplied by the hostess.  These would-be Thespians but unprofessional actors read scripts as well as ad-libbed.

Present were Nadia Seymour, a swimsuit model, aka Birgitta Dahlander; Joey Breakers, a surfer who helped Chase Diamond with surveillance, aka Kathie Chatlin; Holly Day, a wealthy socialite, aka Caroline Pope; Chief Wiki-Wiki, a tribal chief, aka Louetta Edwards; Leilani, a hula dancer, aka Millie Cummings and Les Baggs, a tourist, aka Eva Mikutowicz.  Extra characters were Rip Tide, a scuba diving instructor and Birdie Putt, a pro golfer, aka Ruth Cox.

Fay Blair played Kauai, the narrator and tour guide. She introduced the storyline, and between acts, provided updates on new information and recaps for an orderly flow through to the exposure of the killer.

During the first act, the cast enjoyed Blue Hawaii tropical fruit punch. A selection of macadamia nuts and dried fruit, including shreds of coconut, papaya, mango, pineapple and banana chips were served with the drink. After the second act, the dinner included Hawaiian pizza as well as Waldorf fruit salad with yogurt dressing. Delicious macaroon cookies with dark chocolate bottoms were served for dessert at the end of Act III.

Johnstone’s capable serving staff included Joan Greenhalgh and Linda Adams. The photographer was Stephen Pope.  Several guests attending included Roberta Bird, Lauren Deihl, Kathy Graves and Audry Durrence.

When all the accusations and discussions among the participants were complete, along with hilarious ad libs, each person was given a chance to guess whodunit.  Amazingly at these delightful events, hardly anyone guesses correctly.  As Kauai, the narrator, revealed the murderer’s name, gasps went out at the surprise ending.

Anyone can participate in these monthly mystery plays simply by calling 702-345-4459.