WINNSBORO — Was it the grieving widow, the wannabe cooking star, the flirt or the klutz? Who turned an otherwise ordinary dinner in Winnsboro into a murder scene Friday night and again Saturday night?
That question was at the heart of the event produced by the Pine Tree Players and the Winnsboro Woman’s Club, a dinner mystery theater performance entitled “Murder Medium Rare.”
Detectives Carmen and Detective Miranda (yes, that makes them Carmen and Miranda) were on hand to investigate the case.
The Pine Tree Community Players relied upon the local’s natural curiosity and need to know this year as motivation for audience participation in Murder Medium Rare. Audience members had ample time to ask questions and share observances as the detectives worked to solve the case.
Mixing in the offbeat and humorous, this was no dark comedy, but the play had its lighthearted moments, such as when the undercover detective (dressed in drag) reached into his bra and pulled out a badge, phone and handcuffs.
A few red herring clues were blended in to make sure the audience was kept on its toes. The premise was that a famous chef was visiting Winnsboro, so local chef Roberto DiNapoli (played by Brian Garner) wanted to impress her to get into her upcoming South Carolina Recipes cookbook.
As culinary tastes were shared and egos rubbed, the two got into a spat and that turned contentious. Meanwhile the star’s husband was making a move on a flirtatious caterer and a grieving widow was parading around the room fighting back tears because her husband had passed a year before.
Though a bit quirky, the premise was effective at entertaining the crowd and keeping folks guessing until the end when they turned in slips of paper in a “Democratic” attempt to uncover the murderer.
In the end, it was the famous star’s husband, Jeffrey Quinlan who did the deed in hopes of receiving a multimillion dollar inheritance and also, in his mind, to be rid of the overbearing, difficult Marjorie Richmond.
This dinner theatre has become an annual event for the Pine Tree Players and representatives of the group were appreciative of the Winnsboro Woman’s Club for its assistance with the meal and in hosting the joint fundraiser for both groups.