What could be more delightful than gliding down the Connecticut River on a sunny summer afternoon or evening? What if your trip included attentive staff, a delicious meal and the chance to prove yourself a budding Sherlock Holmes?
Come sign up for a Lady Katherine adventure, leaving out of Charter Oaks Landing in Hartford, Eagle Landing in Haddam, or Middletown’s Riverfront Plaza for a different experience with a theatrical twist.
You will be seated at a linen-covered table with other like-minded passengers, and given a clue to start off your investigation.
On my recent trip, the mystery that was afoot was “Deadly Inheritance” by Robert Greene, the Acme Mystery Company’s founder and executive director. A cast of talented actors, sporting British accents, were ready and willing to go from table to table dropping hints and story lines. We were encouraged to “trade” our clues with other table mates and, if we were lucky, to be assigned several lines to speak at appropriate moments in the performance. This is interactive theater at its best.
The story: Matriarch Penelope is not long for this world. First she has to hold a memorial service for her younger son Dickie, who disappeared while on his dinghy, leaving a grieving widow, Solange (Rayah Martin). In addition, Penelope has to create a new will, so her greedy relatives will know who will inherit her $13 billion estate. As executor of her fortunes, the attorney Bradley Biltmore (Anthony Urillo) has significant control.
Also in the picture is Penelope’s older son Hugh (Thomas Shutz) who has been busy losing all the money given him by investors who hoped to make millions, instead of losing them, in his new car company, Uranus. Good friends of Dickie’s, Frank and Natalie Kladd, (Terence LaCasse and Heather Auden) are also on hand to bid Dickie goodbye and hope for a mention as two of the will’s recipients.
As you enjoy a yummy meal of salad, rolls and butter, pasta, roasted potatoes, stuffed chicken and beef with mushrooms, you are encouraged to study the evidence. The bar includes free iced tea, water and coffee and a whole list of libations, from wine to cocktails, to purchase.
The second act takes on a more intense feel as emotions boil over and motives abound. All the while, you are laughing at the shenanigans of the mercenary members. Certificates are awarded for the most outrageous and the most accurate solutions to the crime.
Desserts of cookies and cherry topped cheesecake complete the experience. Who is the killer? It’s up to you to decide. The next chance to board the Lady Katherine with Acme will be Aug.17 when the Hillbillies hold a family reunion and take over the ship.
Acme also performs at the Oliver Jensen Gallery at the River Valley Junction at Essex Station in Essex (without a train or boat) as well as private parties across New England. Their repertoire includes reggae cruises, eight Christmas shows, and spoofs like The Sound of Murder (a mystery Sound of Music), Fiddler on the Loose and Death Takes a Cruise. The Lady Kate sports its own menu of offerings with themes like a Tacos and Tequila Cruise, a Whiskey and Cigar Cruise and over 15 holiday cruises for the whole family called Rudolph on the River.
Acme Mystery Company was founded in Syracuse, N.Y, and has a storehouse of 35 mystery adventures, mostly written by founder Bob Greene and the artists and actors who work for him. Terry LaCasse has been involved for 15 years as an actor, producer and artistic director.
Come play Sherlock Holmes for a delightfully different day as Acme Mystery Company drops clues like bon bons for you to gather and digest.
For tickets ($65 lunch, $85 dinner), call the Lady Katherine at 860-395-5446, ext. 2 or go online to res.ladykatecruises.com.