A popular theme with Merida bloggers this week is the Mystery Dinner Theater that many of us attended. But in my opinion, enough good things cannot be said, so here’s my review…
As far as anyone knows, this production was Merida’s first English language mystery theater dinner event. In my 36 years living here, I haven’t heard of an earlier one. The oldest mystery production that I can remember going to was back in 1976 when Eric Renato’s amateur theater group presented Agatha Christie’s “The Mouse Trap”… but no dinner was served and the play was in Spanish.
Last night, “Murder in Merida: Love Kills” was sold out (as were the other three performances) Hennessey’s Irish Pub owners Sean & Colum and the wait staff did a marvelous job of keeping everyone and fed and watered… Once we met the actors, the murder occurred… and we the audience (between courses) had to help the good Inspector figure out who-dunnit…
I won’t tell you who did-it, but I can tell you what didn’t happen… One other person had the same theory as me: a fellow named Richard figured there was no murder but rather a complicated ruse had been foisted upon us. Alas he and I were proved wrong by the intrepid Jim Kehoe who correctly deduced the clues, and presented us with the murderer.
The evening was so charming… when the Merida Players give another performance, be sure to get your tickets right away… they’ll sell out like pancakes!
At the end of the evening, the play’s director: Jill Benson, announced that the proceeds from all ticket sales would be donated to two charities in Merida: AMANC AC, an association that supports children with cancer and their families – and – Evolución AC, an animal protection group. Jill brought tears to our eyes when she told us that the bulk of the money will be used to support a young boy and his family from Cozumel. This brave little guy is coming to Merida for a bone marrow transplant.
Now for the credits: The three part interactive play was skillfully written and directed by Jill Benson. The 7 member cast all acted up a storm: Gary DeRose was sleazy and sensational as Inspector Gustavo… Jan Morgan gave an “inspired” performance as Molly the writer… Chris Zimmerman convincingly played the role of Bobby, a slow-witted ball player… Chantel Battie had ALL the male attention for her interpretation of Vienna, a hot actress… Nancy Hoag did a masterful job of playing Phoebe, a dedicated scientist… Nancy Walters outdid herself with her portrayal of Beauty, the psychic owner of the dump… er-er-er, I mean hotel… and… uh-uh-uh, it’s hard to give a label or description to Mark Durgee’s – Max / Maxine.
Behind the scenes, Cher Bibler – Assistant Director… Katie Brewer – Production Manager… and Alex Nichols – the Marketing Manager contributed mightily to the play’s success. And of course, no good work can ever be a hit without generous sponsors: Hennessy’s Irish Bar, Ed’s Breads and Imprenta Puerto. Individuals also contributed their time and talent: Samuel Barrera, Steve Benson, Theresa Diaz, Janice Frasier, Melody McNarland, Maureen Newman, Alex Nichols, Julie Stewart and Paul Zeigler.
With so many dedicated volunteers, it’s hard to remember everyone… so if I did miss you – or misspelled your name, please accept my apologies… You all did a great job!