Saturday night was the annual Quyon Lionettes Murder Mystery, and I must say, we managed to pull off another one without a hitch!
This year, I was working behind the scenes, as I had my first taste of directing one of these productions. To be honest, I think it's much easier to play one of the parts - all you have to do is learn your lines and show up for practices. The women who are organizing everything - Mona, Donna, Lynn, and Barbara - have the responsibilities of choosing roles, preparing the sets for painting (by the ever-creative Rolly, who deserves his own shout-out for all his hard work), getting costumes, dealing with an oft-stubborn and unpredictable cast, preparing tickets, programs, placemats, and so many other little tidbits. It definitely makes the acting part look much easier!!
In any case, this year we were all aboard the Pontiac Princess cruise ship when Captain Emery (played by Rolly Bernier) went missing after a late-night scuffle on the upper deck. (And no, I had nothing to do with his name. That was what he was actually called in the original script. Although, someone did suggest that we should've changed his name to Captain Gerber. After the past few games, I'm not sure either one of them should be called Captain!!) The investigative team of Carla & Lawrence Woo (Donna Kennedy and Glen Leach) were fortunately on-board and they appeared on deck to solve the crime. Their suspects included: Tim Sawyer (Robbie Fraser), the first mate of the Pontiac Princess; Rita Fendley (Cecile Dumont), the overly-enthusiastic, energetic cruise director; J.D. Nash (Kenny Fleck), a big, loud & boisterous Texas oil tycoon on vacation; Mary-Lou Nash (Dawn Dolan), J.D's wife, and a Southern-Belle-to-the-max; Falcon Marlowe (Troy Young), an Austin Powers wannabe who was wishing he was back in England; KiKi Corbett (Jo-Anne Harrison) and KoKo Corbett (Carmen Trudeau), identical twins, but KiKi was shy & quiet, while KoKo was the life of the party; and Stephan Carusoe (Troy Cote), a freelance photograph blinding the other passengers with his flash.
As usual, the investigators did their interrogation, then left the suspects to point fingers at one another for the next 2 hours or so, with dinner being served between scenes. The most tension I experienced was at the start, when the murder happened - I had to make sure all the lights in the building were shut off. After that, I got to sit back and relax and watch the show, which was once again highly entertaining - lots of laughs (and some that were entirely unexpected - I did say they can be unpredictable, and they were!!), and they didn't get too carried away (as some have said my cast did last year).
By the end of the evening, the Kung-Fu detectives revealed that Tim Sawyer, the first mate, had hit Captain Emery over the head with a flashlight and tossed him overboard, and I can't really even remember the reasons why, other than he was in love with Rita and didn't like that the captain was trying to keep them apart. Something along those lines.
The cast did a wonderful job - the Troys mastered the daunting task of learning two accents each (one British & Russian, the other French & Russian) - quite impressive!; Kenny & Dawn pulled off their relationship despite the age difference; Jo-Anne & Carmen were a hoot as the French twins; Robbie played the goofball murderer to a T; and Cec never let the party stop on-board our cruise ship!!
All in all, the Murder Mystery could once again be considered a resounding success. I have only heard good things from the audience members lucky enough to be in attendance for what can easily be called the hottest ticket in town. I enjoyed my glimpse from "behind the scenes", and while I'd certainly like to be in the cast again sometime down the road, I'm glad the Lionettes, especially Mona, Donna, Lynn, and Barb, have allowed me to take part in this way, and I hope I was at least some small help to them. It truly gave me an appreciation for all that they do to keep this thing going year after year.
And now it's curtains until next year!!