'Death of a Doornail'
Production promises mirth, mayhem and murder
reported by Kathleen Everett
The winter is lingering and the lack of sun is starting to fray us around our emotional edges…but hark, is that the call of another fun-filled Mudds Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre to the rescue? Why, yes it is!
This time the setting is a wealthy American home of the 1950s. The snobby relatives of the patriarch, Albert Doornale, are forced to brush up against his less polished friends when all are invited to dinner one stormy night. Throw in an English butler, an embittered Irish cook, and a detective that just happens to be in the vicinity, and you have all the fixings for a classic drawing-room mystery.
What is particularly endearing about this piece, “Death of a Doornail” by Lee Mueller, is how Mueller uses the audience’s familiarity with this classic mystery format to his advantage. He counts on the fact that we know these stereotypical characters and will revel in their selfishness, their sneakiness, their snobbery, stupidity and innocence. Thus, while we are not generally ‘surprised’ by these characters, we are thoroughly entertained by them.
The director, Sandra Dunlop, and the cast work this “familiar” character and plot angle to the hilt. Tony Scott’s English butler is wonderfully over the top, and Meredith Millman, as the spoilt daughter Pricilla, brilliantly portrays a deplorably snobby young woman that has, nevertheless, managed to maintain the capacity to truly love her family. Michele Eno, playing the mind-bogglingly dumb, yet endearing, new girlfriend of Albert Doornale, is a hoot in every one of her scenes. This large cast (10 in total) has done its homework; each character pops off the stage (as it were), and Mueller’s quick, clever script is delivered with a perfect sense of timing.
Yes indeed, this sweet theatrical treat, along with the Inn’s wonderful epicurean offering will surely fill your winter weary soul to the brim with good times. And, don’t let the fact that this is a classic drawing-room mystery fool you! There are plenty of twists and turns of plot in this who-done-it — enough to keep the most ardent mystery lover’s grey matter working the entire evening.
So, if you want to know who gets killed, how, and by whom, you’ll just have to get yourself down to the Carleton Heritage Inn for tickets, or call 613-257-2525 to reserve your place for either March 19 or March 20. Tickets are on sale at $45 each, which includes the show, a great dinner and taxes (gratuities are extra). The doors open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 6:30 p.m.
For More Information visit the Mississippi Mudds of Carleton