Come for the Murder, Stay for the Masquerade

This Sunday, Labyrinth Games is bring some Louisiana charm liberally mixed with a masquerade, murder, and mystery to the DC area. Kathleen Donahue, the store’s owner, is throwing the doors open to area residents and inviting everyone to join in the fun of a good old-fashioned murder mystery party. The event is this Sunday at The Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital in Southeast from 5 to 8 pm. Just make sure you have a ticket to get in!

“This will be a mix & mingle event with all attendees receiving minor character roles and clues to share with other attendees,” said Donahue. “It will be like live-action Clue! Festival carnival garb (and Mardi Gras masks) are encouraged but not required.” Several area actors will play the roles of the major characters for the evening; just because they’re major doesn’t mean they’re not exempt from being a suspect, either.

Photo courtesy of toddsmithdesign
Murder Mystery Masquerade
courtesy of toddsmithdesign

If you’ve never attended a murder mystery party before, you’re in for a blast. The evening progresses in stages with more clues unearthed as the party unfolds. It’s up to the party-goers to question the actors and other guests in order to try and figure out the identity and the motive of the murderer. At the end of the event, everyone casts their vote, with a winner randomly selected from any votes containing the correct answers. Prizes ($50 gift certificates to Labyrinth) will be given out to the “Best Detective” and “Best Actor” (from the attendees, not the professionals).

The great thing about these parties is that you get to role play as someone else for a few hours. “Some people enjoy the acting. Others really enjoy the detective aspect and the deductive reasoning portion. It is also a great way to meet new people,” said Donahue. “Having a game structure, a character, and a purpose frequently makes people feel more comfortable about mingling than in a normal cocktail party setting. This is a lot more fun than just going to a show because the attendees can actually participate. By far, the foremost aspect of these events is that they are crazy fun. During our last event at Halloween, everyone had an absolute blast.”

Included in the ticket price is access to a cash bar and some New Orleans food concoctions. The story is being written by Donahue and is guaranteed to hold a lot of DC-specific details and connections.

Her previous (and first) attempt at a murder-mystery party was during Halloween and was considered a wild success. “We had several of the attendees get so into character that people are still referring to them by their character names,” said Donahue, laughing. “The deceased had been attacked by a werewolf. One of the actors was supposed to be a Russian Doctor of Paranormal Occurrences. By the end of the evening, he was running around yelling ‘Iz vervolf!’ and pointing at the seemingly benign ‘attorney.’ It was hilarious and is still a frequent store joke today.”

Donahue was kind enough to give us the introductory text for the event to whet the appetite:

Pierre DuPre, born January 15, 1935, is from a very well-known, influential family in Louisiana. He was Governor of Louisiana from 1966 to 1972 and has served in the Senate for the last 40 years. He is a powerful Democrat, noted for his radical populist views.

Each year, Senator DuPre loves to bring a bit of Louisiana tradition to Capitol Hill by hosting a masquerade ball celebrating his own favorite Mardi Gras krewe, the Krewe of Midas. Important Louisianans as well as Washington’s elite hope to receive invitations to this event, the highlight of the Mardi Gras season in the nation’s capitol.

Recently, Senator DuPre has been leading the fight in Washington for the Gulf Coast recovery effort. His first wife, Honey DuPre, died 10 years ago in a tragic plastic surgery accident. Last year, he married a D.C. socialite, upsetting his family and surprising many of his friends. Melissa DuPre, his new wife, is well-known from her recent appearance on Real Housewives of D.C. and a very public and ugly divorce from her previous husband.

Senator DuPre divides his time between his beautiful River Road Plantation home outside of New Orleans which is called Chateau DuPre, and his home on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Unfortunately just a short time before the party, Senator DuPre is found dead by his live-in maid, Elise Lafitte, downstairs near the kitchen at the Hill Center. The police ask that everyone remain at the party until they can finish their questioning. As friends and neighbors of Senator DuPre, the party guests definitely want to uncover the truth about his demise.

Tickets are still available for $20; call Labyrinth Games & Puzzles (202-544-10595) to secure reservations. And if you go, take photos and share them in our Flickr pool!

Having lived in the DC area for ten years, Ben still loves to wander the city with his wife, shooting lots of photos and exploring all the latest exhibits and galleries. A certified hockey fanatic, he spends some time debating the Washington Capitals club with friends – but everyone knows of his three decade love affair with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A professional writer, gamer, photographer, and Lego enthusiast, Ben remains captivated by DC and doesn’t plan on leaving any time soon.

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