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Friday, July 12, 2024

‘One Last Drink’ gets audience involved in murder mystery show

Between bites of chicken and mashed potatoes, patrons of The Rose Plantation restaurant Wednesday were treated to a murder mystery.

Members of The Something New Studio professional theater company came from Mount Dora to Fruitland Park. The cast of seven performed “One Last Drink,” which was billed as a “Murder Mystery Dinner and Speakeasy Experience.”

During the nearly two-hour presentation, the actors moved around from table to table.
They gabbed with patrons, searched for clues, spouted insults with each other and generally had a jolly good time in this original production.
Except for hot-shot singer Greta Graspme (Alyssa Hricko) who got bumped off early on. The drama was set in the Flapper Era, on the last night before Prohibition took hold. Some of the customers dressed in Flapper garb, as did all members of the cast.
“The actors love it when people in the audience dress up for the show,” Kristy Quinlan said. She and her husband – Jim Quinlan – run the theater company.

Local patrons of The Rose Plantation dressed for the Flappers Era and joined in the fun
Local patrons of The Rose Plantation dressed for the Flappers Era and joined in the fun.

Jim Quinlan was a major force in the comedy/drama plying Rutherford Q. Mason, a slick, fast-talking talent agent. Quinlan added a thick southern drawl and boisterous attitude to make the hustler agent come alive.

“This is a lot of fun for the actors and the audience,” Kristy Quinlan said. “We want the audience to be involved. They are part of the show.”
During the event, the actors went table to table in the sold-out restaurant, seeking advice and finally a verdict.

The actors from left Kylie Quinlan Natalie Renick CoCo Robicheaux Alyssa Hricko Jim Quinlin Kayla Meyer T.E. Young
The actors, from left, Kylie Quinlan, Natalie Renick, CoCo Robicheiux, Alyssa Hricko, Jim Quinlan, Kayla Meyer and T.E. Young.

T.E. Young shined as the big and bossy politician —  Alderman Eagerly. Virginia Sinclair, a devilish newspaper reporter was played with gusto by CoCo Robicheiux. She featured an English accent, loose morals and combative spirit.
Other performers included: Natalie Renick as Melba Peabody; Kayla Meyer as a hustling paperboy and Kylie Quinlan as an overzealous bodyguard.
Put them all together, and you have a wild and wooly mystery as cold and satisfying as the cheesecake dessert served up near the end of the show.

Jim Quinlan puts life in his shady character of Rutherford Q Mason
Jim Quinlan puts life in his shady character of Rutherford Q. Mason.

“We love what we do, and it shows,” Jim Quinlan said.
The next mystery show at Rose Plantation will be on July 23 and it’s called “Risky Business,” loosely based on the old Tom Cruise movie.

For information on the acting company go to https://www.somethingnewstudiofl.com/

Tony Violanti writes about music and entertainment for Villages-News.com. He was inducted into The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame as a music journalist.

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