This year, MM meant a little more to me. I've acted in it twice before, and last year I helped out behind the scenes, but this year, I was actually directing it.
Not without a great deal of help, though.
First of all, I'd have been lost if I hadn't had my co-director, Brenda, keeping me on track. She deserves heaps of praise for not losing her mind while dealing with me and my daily doses of sheer panic. She found wigs and costumes for some of our performers, doled out tons of funny lines for them to use on stage, came up with countless props and decorations to be used in the hall...That's only grazing the surface of what she did!! Did I mention she had to deal with me, the WHACK-O!?! Yeah. Her job was not easy!
We also had help from Donna & Lynn, who have been involved with the directing and behind-the-scenes work for the past 15 or 16 Murder Mysteries. Then there was Barbara, who has been responsible for tickets sales for years, and she was there for us once again this year. And last but not least, big thanks to Rolly, who takes on the task of creating absolutely amazing back-drops each and every year. He adds a special touch to the set, and the Sugar Shack Cafe looked outstanding thanks to him!!
Alright...Now...On to the show!
This year, everyone was invited back in time to the '60's, to the Sugar Shack Cafe, where popular high school cheerleader Patti - (ohhh yeah - Brenda played that part as well after our original "Patti" bowed out...Did I mention how invaluable Brenda was??) - drank a poisoned Cherry Coke and dropped dead.
Eight of her high school peers who were present at the time of her death became suspects, and after being interrogated by the QPD's singing policewoman, Mara Landers (yours truly), they spent the next few hours accusing one another and making the packed hall roar with laughter.
Our cast included: Danny 'Z', a rockstar wannabe (played by Ryan Powell); Cindy Lewis, a sexy Go-Go dancer (Joanne Marcotte); Luke Wonderman, the mullett-sporting captain of the hockey team (Kenny Fleck); Jennifer Hughes, Patti's best friend and rival cheerleader (Marie-Eve Provost); Dean Hudson, the leather-clad 'leader of the pack' (Dean Howard); Leslie Cadieux, the snobby Homecoming Queen (Tracy Hamilton); Frazer Watson, the brainy misfit (Curtis Hudson); and Lauren Sinclair, the unpopular wallflower (Kerry-Lynn O'Connell).
(The cast & I on-stage - Photo courtesy of Cheryl Dolan)After the characters tossed out multiple motives for one another throughout each scene, it was finally determined that poor Lauren, the sniffling, snorting brainiac of the bunch, was the one who slipped the poison in Patti's Cherry Coke, thus ending yet another year of murder & mayhem in Quyon!
Let me tell you this - they were unbelievable. An excellent cast. I couldn't have been more proud of them. They came up with zingers that had previously been un-rehearsed that had the crowd in stitches. They had strong characters, and this year, we had some twists that set us apart from other years: We had a group dance to kick things off, and we had some singing throughout the play that the audience really seemed to enjoy.
Overall? I'd have to call it yet another successful Murder Mystery, and I'm grateful to the Quyon Lionettes for giving Brenda & I the opportunity to run it this year. I think I can safely speak for both of us when I say that we had a ball!