Grand Lake / Theatre: Matchmaker goes missing during murder mystery
February 8, 2008
What do you do when the local matchmaker goes missing, especially if it is around Valentine’s Day? The Bears Den and Paws Pub in Grand Lake helps patrons find out during its next Murder Mystery Dinner, The Case of the Missing Matchmaker.Matchmaker Darlene Hickle has turned up missing, and the fact that she rarely paid attention to what anyone around her had to say didn’t help her business reputation or her search. In fact, her success at mis-matching couples had reached its peak even before her computer database crashed and lost all her information.Of course, no one else knew of her increasing bad luck, because she didn’t tell anyone. And, with her business going nowhere she desperately dolled out random matches from names and addresses she just happened to have on a printout before she experienced the technical difficulties.Other characters are Eileen, a private eye; Benson, a cafe worker; Melinda, a nun in training; Clarence, a park-bench hobo; Suzie, a psychologist; Steve, a sport instructor; Jasmine, a music teacher; Shaun, bookstore employee; Gary, a programmer; police Officer Osborn, Dr. Perry, a specialist; Cecil, an accountant; Fulvia, a lawyer; Aubrey, a newspaper journalist; and Sadie and Hedda, TV reporters. Each and every one belonged to Hickle’s matchmaking service catalogue. Being murder mystery fans themselves, Bears Den owners Vickie and B.J. Johnson have been throwing murder mystery dinners for quite some time and put on an incredible experience for each of their murder mystery guests. For this upcoming mystery extravaganza, they’ll set up the restaurant to reflect scenes of romance and intrigue, including a little bit of Paris.Vickie has been a costume designer for 20 years, designing wardrobes for the Texas A&M, Granbury Opera House and she’s helped the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre in Grand Lake. I’ve always enjoyed making costumes and cooking. B.J. is the mastermind in the game of Clue. When we bought the Bears Den, we pulled both of our talents, she said. We thought that this would be fun … to see people laugh, dress people up, put you in character and have some good clean fun.Guests coagulate in a room just off the main restaurant area, although they are free to roam around the entire property searching for hidden clues to help them solve what takes place (and if you think it’ll just be a missing person you’re in for a surprise). As partygoers enjoy quizzing and most likely bribing each other for information, a steak and shrimp dinner comes with all the trimmings.Did Hickle receive a kiss of death or is she just hiding from the guilt of her mismatching failures? Find out next Saturday during The Case of the Missing Matchmaker. Seating is limited, with tickets available for 17 guests, and reservations are required. If more interest grows, the Johnsons consider adding a second night.The Bears Den hosts murder mystery dinners on a regular basis, usually once a month during the winter season, and can customize any plot for private parties who are interested, including groups of teens. The next Murder Mysteries are the Luck of the Irish March 15, Murder at the 4 Deuces (1920s gangster plot) April 19, and The ’50s Sock Hop May 17.