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Center Stage: Everyone gets to play a part in new, murder mystery dinner show

By Staff | May 23, 2018

Marsha Wagner

Shhhhh! Murder’s afoot at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. This new feature at the Palm is an audience-participation, comic-murder mystery served during dinner.

The premise is that we, the audience, have been invited to a special surprise birthday party for Calvin Winchester III (Robert Summers). All of us have been given a new identity and a description of our relationship to Calvin and his family. What is neat about the identities is that those of us that are “theater hams” – secret or not – get a chance to show off and strut our stuff.

My character was the island’s pharmacist and my lines were, “Yes I know about the missing arsenic, but that must be a clerical error.” To say I made the most of that pronouncement would be an understatement since my line got applause and a favorable comment after the show; but enough about me. Let me say my fellow audience actors gave performances worthy of Tony Awards. Bravo audience participants!

The Broadway Palm’s mystery cast are performers we all know and love: Chance Cintron, Dena Galyean, James Heffernan, Steven Michael Kennedy, Kelly Legarreta, Gary Obeldobel, Dianne Stone Fussaro and Robert Summers.

I won’t tell you very much about the interactive mystery dinner since that would give away the plot and the audience also acts as detectives able to question the suspects. The idea is to take in all the clues, so everybody gets to figure out, whodunnit. Suspects are all over the place; one might even be sitting next to you or you yourself. Hmm? The audience gets to vote, and the prestigious Dynamic Detective Award is presented to the audience member coming closest to solving the mystery of “Murder in Paradise.”

The dinner by the way was excellent chicken cordon bleu, oven-browned potatoes,crisp steamed string beans, a fine tossed salad, and a yummy pound cake with fresh fruit and whip cream on top. For those that might be vegetarians, there is a lovely poached fish on the menu – but you must ask. ‘Nuff said! I am not giving you guys any more clues, except the nights that “Murder in Paradise” plays:

– May 24-27

– May 31 to June 2

– June 7-10

Dinner and the show is $45 per person, not including alcohol or $5 gratuity.

So, my suggestion is to phone the box office at Broadway Palm at 239-278-4422 and make your reservations. When you call, remind ’em Marsha sent you.