By Dawn Krebs
ST. LUCIE COUNTY - For those who love back-to-the-basics rock and roll, the latest live murder mystery dinner theater show taking place at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center on Sept. 26 is sure to entertain.
The local production company Clapping Monkey will present "Death at the Rock Show."
The mystery takes place during Pleasant City's battle of the bands, set in 1965. The British invasion group The Towers and American competitor Lovechild & the Rock Force, are set to compete against each other, but then one member from each band are discovered murdered.
"Stage manager" Rex Renshod will need the audience's help in catching the killer. The cast is made up of actors who are all suspects in the murders. As the mystery progresses, the audience helps solve it by being able to question the suspects themselves.
"Clues and details will be shown throughout the evening," said Charles Watson, owner of the Clapping Monkey Productions. "The audience is part of the show."
This mystery is one of many new ones the production company has recently created to entertain St. Lucie County residents.
"We have a writer, so all of our mysteries and scripts are original," said Mr. Watson. "The response from the community has been great. This is the busiest we've ever been."
Another interesting note about the show is this is the first murder mystery the group will perform without a "detective" to help solve the case.
"We're changing the format a little to keep it interesting," Mr. Watson said. "All the characters will ask each other questions, and the audience will have a chance, as well."
The cast rehearses every day, including show days. The show itself is expected to take approximately two and a half to three hours.
The "dinner" part of the dinner theater is a dinner buffet with beverages.
During dinner, actors weave through the dining area and visit each table of 10.
For this performance, diners are encouraged to dress in rock-and-roll-from-1965-themed costumes. A prize will be awarded for best costume, and at the end of the show, the audience sleuths who correctly identify the murderer will be part of a trivia showdown to determine the winner of a prize package.
To keep it interesting, the cast does not know who the murderer is until that evening, only the director knows.
The production company performs mystery dinner shows at the civic center once a month, but also performs an improvisational show there, as well.
"We get together in a less-formal atmosphere and do a lot of skits, sketches and stand-up comedy based on the audience input," Mr. Watson said. "It's a lot of fun and always different. We're very excited to be able to do this."
There will be additional performances, complete with different endings and different killers unveiled, on Oct. 24 and Nov. 14.
In addition, the group performs for private parties and fundraisers all over the Treasure Coast.
The Port St. Lucie Civic Center is located at 9221 S.E. Civic Center Place in Port St. Lucie. Tickets are $40 per person and must be purchased in advance. No tickets will be sold at the door. To order tickets, call the civic center at (772) 807-4488.
For more information on Clapping Monkey Productions, call Mr. Watson at (772) 204-4183 or go online to www.clappingmonkeyproductions.com.