Evil's afoot at the Brick Hotel, and it's up to the audience to point a finger at the culprit in the original whodunit/dinner play "The Halloween After Party: A Murder Mystery at The Brick," presented by Delaware Comedy Theatre at the Brick Hotel in Georgetown this Saturday.
As it turns out, this past Halloween was a bust. All the ghouls, monsters and otherworldly creatures were finally supposed to take over the world on Halloween 2013. But somebody screwed it up.
Now the motley crew has congregated to the Haunted Hotel for a serious debriefing (or tongue-lashing) from their fearless leader, Vlad von Dracula. Between the vampire's bickering ex-wives, the jealous wizard Blutark, a randy werewolf and a host of other crazy characters, Dracula obviously has his hands full.
But things worsen when Dracula's shrewish third wife, Vampilena Ghoulie, suddenly dies over a bowl of pickled bat wings.
Now it's up to the ghost detective Hemlock Bones to help the audience solve this despicable crime.
Although Halloween is over, "A Murder Mystery at The Brick" helps to banish the idea that the holiday can't be celebrated out of season.
"This all-new interactive mystery-extravaganza is sure to keep the spirit of Halloween alive, even if it's November," said DTC co-founder David Warick, of Rehoboth, cast as Dracula. "The Brick has pulled out all the stops in creating a devilishly delicious menu for the big night."
The menu includes stuffed pork loin with spinach and mushrooms, seared salmon, herb roasted red skin potatoes, sautéed green beans and "Death by Peanut Butter" cheesecake.
Something really unique about "A Murder Mystery at The Brick" is the fact that the show is unscripted. With the exception of the clues that have been set in place, the audience will see the performers improvising throughout the entire show.
"We're not really sure what's going to happen," said Amy Warick, co-founder of DTC, who hasn't decided which one of Dracula's wives she'll be playing. "We know what story points we want to hit. And through comic invention, we'll sort of explore different territories and go with the flow."
Since Amy and her husband, David, have done a number of improvisational murder mysteries in DTC, she says she isn't perturbed about performing in a scriptless show. To help her get through improvised shows like this, Amy says it's important for her to keep an open mind about whatever direction her colleagues will lead her in.
"You just build on the next person's idea, instead of saying 'no, that's a bad idea,' she said. "We just kind of work together."
Page 2 of 2 - It'll be fun to see the cast collaborate with John Williams, who can inhabit characters as Hemlock Bones, the ghost detective. Hemlock will use his ability of possession to determine when a murder suspect is telling a lie.
Seeing this play out on stage will be a treat, especially since Williams doesn't know exactly how he'll perform the possessions.
"We haven't worked out all the details yet," said Williams, of Lewes.
The guessing game
As an incentive to help the audience solve the "Mystery at The Brick," three prizes will be awarded to the first people who identify who the murderer is, and how the murder was conducted. The third and final prize will be awarded to whoever has the silliest explanation of how the murder went down.
Solving clues will be a challenge, but patrons shouldn't feel like it's impossible.
"We make it fair," said Warick, who teaches drama at Sussex Central High School. "If you're listening and watching, you can have a good chance of making a good guess."
IF YOU GO
WHAT "The Halloween After Party: A Murder Mystery at The Brick"
WHEN 6 p.m., Saturday
WHERE Brick Hotel, 18 The Circle, Georgetown
INFO Visit thebrickhotel.com or call 855-5500