MJWC’s major Spring fundraiser was an original interactive murder-mystery, Death by Chocolate. There were two performances, April 15 and 16, 2011 at the Hudson Elks. Death by Chocolate was conceived and directed by Marlboro Junior Teresa Loftin Scarpato. The cast worked for months improvising the scenes and dialog until we had a cohesive play. The cast included:
- Clara M. Calderón played Lola Montell
- Mark Durrenberger played James K Tiberious
- Beth English (MJWC member) played Roxanne Flaherty
- Ariella Greenspan played Marilyn Von Eulenspiegel
- Nicole Hatlevig played Lacy Q
- JJ Lynch (MJWC member) played Stella Doreaux
- Scott Rossini played Detective Skip deClue
- Joe Scarpato played Dick Tracy
- Teresa Loftin Scarpato (MJWC member) played Max Target
- Jodi Schoolcraft (MJWC member) played Kit Katz
The play featured an amateur theater company putting on their first play, Death by Chocolate. The cast and crew included community members who lived and died by local theater. When the show’s star, Lacy Q, disappeared during the final week of rehearsals, director Max Target called in local celebrity and real estate agent extraordinaire, Marilyn Von Eulenspiegel. This upset many members of the cast, but especially Stella Doreaux who was Lacy’s understudy and expected the role in her absence. As rehearsals began with Marilyn in the lead (and not quite familiar with her lines yet), Lacy shows up out of nowhere. Mass confusion ensues. Not long after her return, she collapses on stage, dead. Someone in the cast killed her! Before the evening’s over and the detective is through with his investigation there is another murder. Marilyn is found dead in the green room. It was up to the detective and the audience to identify the killers.
It was up to the audience to ask questions, follow the clues (some of which were embedded in the program) and guess the murderer. We handed out fabulous prizes to those who guessed correctly (or close enough).
In addition to a play, there were fabulous appetizers (prepared by Harvest Cafe) and chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. Each night we had a huge spread of appetizers and chocolates for the audience to enjoy at the intermissions. While enjoying they chocolate, cast members roamed the room (in character) and answered questions.
The show was a huge success and a portion of our proceeds ($1250) was donated to the Arts Alliance – our local arts organization. The remainder went into the general treasury to be spent on projects and causes in the community (the first of which was a $750 donation to Furnishing Options).
We had so much fun with this show (not to mention the success), that we’re going to do it again next year. Keep your eye on this site for more details or sign up to be a Friend of Marlborough Juniors to get updates, including info about upcoming events.
We want to thank the Elks for donating the space which helped make this a very successful fundraiser for us.