Murder is afoot in River City

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 23, 2004

There’s going to be a murder in Demopolis and it’s up to the residents of this town to find the culprit and bring him or her to justice when the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce and Marengo County Historical Society present Murder Mystery Dinner Theater Friday at the Demopolis Civic Center.

“This is the second mystery dinner theater we have done,” chamber representative Kelley Smith said. “We did one in the spring with a Western theme and it went over so well we thought we would do another one.”

This time the setting is a 1961 Hollywood party. According to Smith, the world’s richest man, Jerry Oilman, has invited anybody who is anybody to his birthday party, a party that is going to be the biggest party of all time.

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“Special guests include Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Bob Marley, Patsy Cline, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Judy Garland, Bruce Lee, Rita Hayworth, Groucho Marx, Lucille Ball and, of course, Demopolites attending as their favorite celebrity,” Smith explained, noting that guests are asked to dress as a celebrity, preferably one in keeping with that time frame.

“We would like people to come as celebrities from that era because it would fit with the program, but we understand people may not have the things they need to dress as someone from then, or they may just have a modern celebrity they would rather dress as – that’s fine too,” Smith said.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. and will more than likely feature an Italian-style buffet for dinner. During dinner, however, someone will be killed and it’s up to the guests at Mr. Oilman’s party to figure out whodunnit.

“There will be points where (guests) can ask questions and at the end they will be given the chance to say what they’re theory is,” she said.

Tickets for the dinner are $20 and proceeds will be split between the Chamber of Commerce and the Historical Society.

“The one we did in the spring was a fundraiser for the Chamber. Because it was so succesful we decided to do another one, but this time we are partnering with the Marengo County Historical Society so the fundraiser will benefit both organizations,” Smith said.

This mystery dinner theater promises to be even better than the last, Smith said, because of a sort of trial and error technique.

“We learned a lot last time, so we’ve kind of tweaked things this time. We’ve streamlined some of the characters and made it where it’s a little easier for the audience to participate,” she said.

In addition to the thrill of the hunt, residents will have the chance to win prizes for best their costumes.

“We will be awarding prizes for the best costumes, so if people want to go all out, that’s great,” she said.

Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce or Historical Society offices or through any of the two organizations’ board members.

For more information, call the chamber at 289-0270.