Can you solve the mystery?

Doug Graven, left, Mark Sturtevant and Carol Chaney all portray characters in the first Dallas Downtown Association murder mystery in October. The event will return next year just in time for Halloween.

Photo by Jolene Guzman
Doug Graven, left, Mark Sturtevant and Carol Chaney all portray characters in the first Dallas Downtown Association murder mystery in October. The event will return next year just in time for Halloween.



DALLAS — A murderer hides among Dallas’ colorful cast of characters.

Is it Finn Burgundy? Maybe Pram Peach or Wolfe Indigo? Perhaps it is Mayor White.

It’s a mystery

What: Dallas Murder Mystery.

When: Saturday. Registration is 10 a.m. to noon. The event begins at 12:30.

Where: Registration is at Pressed Coffee & Wine Bar, 788 Main St.

Think you have it solved? “Sleuth-solver” entry forms due by 4 p.m. The reveal will be at Pressed.

Tickets: $10. Available at several downtown businesses.

You get to play detective on Saturday during the Dallas Downtown Murder Mystery, as characters reveal clues and possible motives. At the beginning of the event, you are given clues, and a map of downtown to guide you to each suspect to gather more evidence.

Be careful who you trust, though, because they all have secrets.

“There’s a dark underbelly in this town,” said Burgundy, the director of the local theater troupe, Moon Shadow Playhouse.

He would know. Others in town say he might be part of it, with the taking of bribes for parts in his productions and the not-so-secret drinking problem.

“I don’t drink. Not at all. Maybe one — or four,” Burgundy said. “If you had to put up with all the characters I put up with, you’d drink, too.”

Then again, he demands a lot of his actors and crew, so they may spread rumors out of revenge.

Or to hide their own guilt.

Pram Peach, Moon Shadow Playhouse’s costume designer, has dreams of designing clothes for movie stars.

“My goal is to make it to Hollywood and have my things shown on the red carpet,” Peach said. “I’ve been sending my stuff to stars, but I haven’t gotten anything back from them yet. I’m just kind of frustrated and waiting to see if you can get something to go to the red carpet with.”

But the lead actress in Burgundy’s latest production, “The Mystical Flea,” is a thorn in her side.

Peach has been driven to drink — though some say she picked up the habit long ago — by prima donna Ashton Jade.

“She’s been griping about my costume design, that it’s shoddy. It’s not shoddy. It’s very fabulous. She just does not wear it well,” Peach said. “I’m just upset with her.”

What would a small town — or a murder mystery — be without nosy people? Dallas has its fair share of snoopy citizens and their ill-gotten knowledge may turn them into victims — or perpetrators.

Peyton Pewter, the owner of Nerd Squadron, has the nasty habit of spying on his customers. Being the only tech expert in town, he knows a lot about the citizens of Dallas — maybe too much.

“Actually, it’s a lot fun,” Pewter said. “I know virtually everything. I know about the mayor.”

Speaking of the mayor, Saturday’s mystery begins with a speech delivered by Mayor Riley White – also the subject of rumor around town.

“She might be connected to the mob,” Burgundy said.

The further you get into the clues and the backstory of all 18 of the characters, the more tangled the web gets, said Eddie Nelson, of the Dallas Downtown Association, the host of Saturday’s who-done-it.

Nelson said the cast, including Doug Graven (Finn Burgundy), Carol Chaney (Pram Peach) and Mark Sturtevant (Peyton Pewter), have taken playing their characters seriously.

“The business owners in downtown have just been wonderful. They have got this. They live this I think,” Nelson said. “I’m starting to call them by their characters’ names.”

Nelson said the organization would like to make the murder mystery an annual event.

Added to the clue gathering Saturday is a poker run, for those who wish to participate. Players get cards at each stop and the player with the best hand at the end wins.

If you want to get to know the suspects before Saturday, Pressed Coffee & Wine Bar, 788 Main St., hosts a cocktail party Friday at 7 p.m. All suspects will be in attendance — and may offer a few clues. Or you can check out the event’s Facebook page to see short videos about each character.

“Get a group of people and come play, come and meet us, see if you like us, or not,” Chaney said. “I think it’s a good thing to involve the town. I think it will grow, if they do it and everybody likes it.”



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