By Jennifer Jones
It usually is not a good sign when your dinner party host turns up missing and then blood is found in his upstairs bathroom. It could mean murder.
“Death of a Doornail,” a murder mystery/comedy written by Lee Mueller, will be presented on the stage at the Dalton Little Theatre beginning this weekend.
Susan Ridley directs this whodunit with a zany cast of characters and describes the play as her “notion of film noir meets the Carol Burnette Show.”
“We visit the home of Albert Doornale,” says Ridley, “an eccentric millionaire who goes missing one dark and stormy March day ... as a result, his family and friends (including his ex-wife and current fiancé) are in the cross hairs of an unexpected investigation into the disappearance and possible murder of Uncle Albert!”
“It’s high comedy,” says Ridley, “and audience members will have an opportunity to join in questioning the cast in Act II. Further, they get to vote on their choice of the murderer and one of those ballots will be chosen for a prize at each show.”
Luckily, when Doornale turns up missing, Inspector Bukowski from “The Yard,” played by Nicholas Deslattes, happens by and is eager to take on what he hopes will be his first big case. All the guests are suspects and each may have a motive.
There is Salvator Carbone, played by Ron King, who is Doornale’s childhood friend from back East. Also, we have Abigail Doornale, played by Cherie Bailey, Doornale’s ex-wife who misses being rich. Or could Doornale’s naïve, blonde-bombshell of a fiancee, Candace Bombay, played by Nancy Broussard, possibly have a motive?
Of course, it could have been the grumpy butler Mortimer, played by Roy Groce, or the cutlery-carrying cook, Mrs. Morganford, played by Merrie Melody Hilty.
Doornale’s nerdy nephew, Edward, played by Macavan Kalafut, offers the inspector his theories on the case, while his “spoiled-rich-girl” daughter, Pricilla Doornale, played by Jinny Marie Jagoditsch, just wants the case solved so her parents can get back together.
Linda Dotson plays the narrator who only wants the show to go smoothly. Maria Rochelle and Liz Swafford play Laverne and Shirley, respectively, and Jim Kirk plays Albert Doornale.
Ridley gives her thoughts on live performance: “It’s a success if it makes you laugh, cry and think ... This show might make you cry from laughing so much — it’s pure entertainment, although you will ‘think’ if you try to solve the mystery as the plot unfolds.” She adds, “At the show’s end I hope our audiences have been entertained and have left the real world behind for a couple of hours — we all need an escape to laughter!”
“Death of a Doornail” will perform on the Dalton Little Theatre stage this Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. Performances will continue Oct. 26-27 and Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. There will be a Sunday matinee Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. For more information, contact the DLT at (706) 226-6618 or email email@example.com or visit www.daltonlittletheatre.com.