(images from the 2010 and 2011 performances by Moveable Mystery Dinners)

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An interactive holiday murder mystery in three acts. 4m, 3f, 1 pianist (optional)

SYNOPSIS:

Christmas Eve, 1953. The staff and guests of the Rosedale Hotel are snowed in. No one knows where to find the hotel’s manager, Milton Rine…until the staff members open their Christmas gifts, that is. Looks like Mr. Rine has gone all to pieces.

Was it one of the guests? An angry employee? Or was it one of the ghosts said to haunt the rooms of the Rosedale? It’s up to P.I. Michael Archer to solve the case before the killer can strike again. But the enigmatic detective has a secret or two of his own.

“Murder Under Mistletoe is an interactive dinner theater mystery with an outrageous cast of characters and a touch of black humor. Contains mild expletives.

CHARACTERS:

Michael Archer – (30s) A quirky private detective with a secret.

Nicholas Elder – (40s-50s) The concierge of the Rosedale Hotel.

Mary Lovejoy – (30s) Milton Rine’s personal secretary and former lover.

Colin Payne – (20s) An over-enthusiastic young bellhop; constantly butting heads with Jessica.

Jessica Hurt – (20s) The disgruntled head of housekeeping; constantly butting heads with Colin.

Angela Doppler – (20s) A dim-witted desk clerk.

Dwight Hayes – (30s-50s) Milton Rine’s perpetually drunken lawyer.

Alessandro Borachio – (30s-50s) The hotel’s perpetually inebriated cook.

Lieutenant Robert Tippler – (30s-50s) A tipsy police officer in a Santa suit.

Dwight, Alessandro, and Officer Tippler are all played by the same actor.


EXCERPT FROM THE SCRIPT

ACT 2

   AT RISE:

   ALESSANDRO enters and addresses the audience. JESSICA follows behind and stands off to the side.

ALESSANDRO
Signore e signori.  I hope-a you enjoy-a my cooking.  In return, I ask for a moment of-a silence for-a my good friend, Meester Hayes.
   (Lowers his head in a moment of silent reflection, then bursts into “Vesti la guibba”)
RIDI, PAGLIACCIO
SUL TUO AMORE INFRANTO! 

   (ALESSANDRO withdraws sobbing to the bar.) 

JESSICA
I’m sorry, Alessandro.  I know you two were close. 

ALESSANDRO
Everything reminds me of him.  This bottle of gin...
   (Splashes some gin in a glass, gulps it down)
This-a bourbon...
   (Pours a little, drinks it down)
And da whiskey, his fav-o-rite!
   
(He sloshes whiskey into the glass and swigs it.)
Jessica dear, have a drink witta me. 

JESSICA
No, I don’t think-- 

ALESSANDRO
Per favore, please.  I cannot abide-a to drink-a alone.
   
(ALESSANDRO pours two glasses almost to the brim and hands one to JESSICA)
To Dwight Hayes.  Maggio angeli per volare fino alla cielo(“May angels fly you to heaven.”)
   
(JESSICA brings the glass to her lips, then stops and watches as ALESSANDRO chugs his down.)
That’s-a good! 

   (ANGELA stumbles in, fanning herself) 

ANGELA
Man oh man.  It’s so hot in that kitchen.  I’ve never done so much running around in my life.  Now I know why the service staff gets to leave out those tip envelopes.
   
(Takes a chair)
I need to sit down. 

   (JESSICA hands ANGELA her overflowing glass.) 

JESSICA
Here.  Have some of this. 

ANGELA
Oh, thanks. 

   (ANGELA gratefully takes the glass and drinks.) 

ALESSANDRO
I hope-a Meester Archer-a finds whoever issa responsible for-a dis travesty.  I will roast dem alive and-a serve-a dem wit a Christmas pudding!  Right, Angela? 

   (Meanwhile, ANGELA’S eyes are bugging out and she’s fanning her mouth with her hand.) 

ANGELA
My mouth is on fire! 

   (ALESSANDRO pours her something from a pitcher.) 

ALESSANDRO
Here!  Have some-a egg-a-nog. 

   (ANGELA guzzles it down, the pain in her mouth subsiding.) 

ANGELA
Holy cow!

JESSICA
(Dryly)

Sorry, Angela.  I don’t know what I was thinking. 

ANGELA
That’s okay.  I know you didn’t mean it.  Anyway, I’d better go find Colin.  I wouldn’t want him to worry about me, what with people getting killed and all. 

JESSICA
Oh, Mr. Elder sent him down to the wine cellar. 

ANGELA
Thanks, Jessica.  You’re a real friend. 

(ANGELA exits.) 

ALESSANDRO
Do we have a wine cellar?
   (JESSICA smiles devilishly; ALESSANDRO gasps)
You wicked-a woman! 

JESSICA
She’ll figure it out eventually.....or we’ll never see her again. 

ALESSANDRO
Jessica, why does she-a bother you-a so much?  She issa nice, she issa friendly... 

JESSICA
She issa dumb!
 

ALESSANDRO
She is a little dumb.
 

JESSICA
She’s a lot dumb!  She’s the queen of North Dumbria!
 

ALESSANDRO
Is that-a what upsets you, or is it-a because she’s-a caught Meester-a Colin’s eye?
 

JESSICA
   (Self-consciously)
What makes you say that?
 

ALESSANDRO
Signorina, I am not dat drunk.


To license this play or for a copy of the full script, go ahead and shoot me a message. Be sure to include the intended performance dates, the location and seating capacity of the venue.

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