Secret trysts, murder, ’80s music hits and dinner . what more could you ask for? All College Theater (ACT) held two performances of its murder mystery dinner, “Murder at the Class Reunion” on Nov. 17 and 18 in the Decker main lounge. The play was written by Bill Scurato and directed by junior communication studies major Patrick Lavery.
As students from St. Sebastian on the Delaware’s Class of 1983 planned and attended their reunion, many things came to light. The Kissbutters, Stanley and Joyce, played respectively by Jeff Rupert, junior computer science major, and Sarah Stryker, freshman open options major, are planning the reunion for their high school class.
Dirty laundry was aired as the reunion got underway. It became apparent that Sissy Rester, played by Maria Montroni, junior communication studies major, and Stanley had a special history back in high school, something that her husband Randy, played by Rudy Basso, junior English major, knew nothing about.
Much to the audience’s amusement and to the characters’ horror, even Sister Gilmer, played by Susan Pedersen, junior English major, surprised everyone. The nun constantly loses her train of thought throughout the play, reverting back to “memories” and using many sexual euphemisms to allude to the fact that she herself had been Monica Lewinsky.
Things continue to heat up as Sister Gilmer presents a lifetime achievement award to Tony Cosomono. After being shafted for the award, Stanley becomes extremely jealous of Tony and explains his anger to the audience. A crowd gathers around Tony congratulating him as he accepts his award, and in a true “whodunit” fashion, the lights flicker as Stanley drops to the floor – dead.
Alumna Conchita Bonita, played by Catherine Cosentino, sophomore marketing major, makes her first appearance at this time, revealing that she is a detective. She takes over the case and finds the murder weapon, a bloodsoaked butcher’s knife.
It was during this time that an intermission was held and the audience got to enjoy a dinner catered by Mamma Flora’s. Parents, friends and students ate while they discussed who they thought committed the murder. The extras in the show stayed in character as they walked around the room, “catching up” with old classmates.
Conchita began to dig deeper into the characters’ relationships with Stanley, hoping to discover a motive for the murder. The audience even got to participate, formulating their own questions and becoming detectives themselves. While the questions ranged from thoughtful to absurd, the audience was amused at the performers’ abilities to remain true to their characters while interacting with them and adding a comedic element to the subject of murder.
After the interrogation, the audience had a chance to guess the murderer. They were also asked to come up with some creative motives for the murderer.
Director Patrick Lavery was pleased with the show’s outcome.
“I was very proud of the effort (of the cast),” he said. “When I think back on this, that is what I am going to remember. Everyone did a fantastic job, and that goes for behind the scenes as well.”