Chamber members, board members and anyone in the community willing to help out have agreed to put on a mystery dinner theater, “Murder at the Four Deuces,” with a cast of 21 as part of this year’s chamber banquet.
Set in the 1920s, the play is loosely based on the Chicago and New York gangsters known for their rivalries, speakeasies and love lives.
Characters Don and MeMe Wannabe have planned the grand opening of their new speakeasy, the Four Deuces, a lavish joint serving booze and music in the front. The back holds the game room and upstairs is a high-class, exclusive brothel.
Chamber President and CEO Pete Storey said guests will be encouraged to get creative in participating in the event, including coming dressed in costume.
“Everyone is welcome to make costumes like they did for the sock hop last year,” Storey said. “The chamber also plans to have links to Web sites that will give them ideas for clothing to wear and maybe even a few places to purchase clothing if they need to. Even the cast won’t know who the murderer is, so everyone will need to be there to experience the whole night and help guess who the culprit is.”
The evening should begin at 5 p.m. to allow plenty of time for the murder mystery to unfold and the awards ceremony to follow.
Among the awards being announced that night are New Business of the Year, Established Business of the Year, Teacher of the Year, Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, Industry of the Year and any 2010 inductees into the Hall of Fame. The chamber will accept nominations for the Hall of Fame until Friday, Jan. 29.
Having the event at Bella Luna will lend authenticity to the plot of the play, which may contain a few lines created by the cast along with the regular script, because people will have a chance to utilize Bella Luna’s game room much like the one being depicted in the play.
“We will have the game room set up for people to play card games and the pool tables will be open that night,” Storey said. “This will be a good evening to celebrate what the chamber has done in the last year. The play should last about two and a half to three hours and we will have the awards after that.”
For those who have agreed to join the cast, a meeting has been set for next week to hand out parts and go over some of the script.
Storey has gotten about halfway through the list of people he hopes to have in the cast so far, and he has faith that most, if not all, of the people on his list will help the chamber as they have in the past.
“We have definitely gone through this play, which we found online, and had certain people in mind to play some of the characters,” Storey said. “A lot of them have helped the chamber in the past. Once we have the meeting next week, we should be able to meet regularly for rehearsals so that they can be familiar with the script and maybe even be comfortable enough with it to ad lib.”