by DICK KEREKES & LEISLA SANSOM
On October 31, 2012 the Alhambra Theatre may have started a tradition with a Halloween themed show, complete with all the expected trappings for this annual festive event. Yes, most of the adult audience was dressed in costumes of infinite variety and imagination. There were pumpkins, cobwebs, and other spooky adornments to be found throughout the lobby and theatre.
We were treated to an original murder mystery play entitled “The Show Must Go On.” The Alhambra brought in renowned mystery theater experts, Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows of Orlando Florida (www.sleuths.com), to produce the show. As critics, we have over the years enjoyed and reviewed several productions at their Orlando theatre.
The talented cast of five actors was headed by Michael, a flamboyant theatre director dressed in a dazzling gold suit. He was casting a new musical and selected various members of the Alhambra audience to audition, challenging them with a scenario that allowed them to demonstrate their drama queen screaming skills. As the play progressed, the theatre’s founder was murdered (well, of course, since you can’t have a murder mystery without a murder). As the story unfolded, the audience eventually got to question all the cast members to get clues as to who poisoned the despotic unlovable lady. We then wrote down who we thought done it and why.
After the murderer’s identity and motivation was revealed, the names of the 25 or so expert sleuths who had applied their best Crime Scene Investigation skills to identify the culprit were put in a hat. The winner received the grand prize of a snappy Sleuths tee shirt and a full sized magnifying glass (to solve further cases with, no doubt). If you are in Orlando, check out Sleuths and you too can be a detective.
After the very appreciative applause for the entire cast, it was on to the final event, the costume contest. The sixty or so Halloweened adults who wanted to compete came up on stage and Alhambra staffer Shannon had the audience vote by applause for their favorites in three categories. The final category, most creative, had two finalists, a husband and wife facing off with each other for the prize of tickets to a future Alhambra show. She was dressed as a jelly fish (see photo above) and her husband was dressed in a pullover sweater covered with multiple squares of gray material. Who was he? Fifty Shades of Gray and the winner in a close finish. (We think he won because all the women in the audience were so vocal).
Of course, you can’t go the Alhambra without experiencing their always interesting choice of food. The Dual Critics chose the Arugula Salad, which was loaded with goodies like poached pear, cranberries, goat cheese, fried wontons, candied walnuts and lemon vinaigrette. We passed on the vegetarian entrée, and chose the Black Angus Sirloin with crumbled blue cheese and the smoked chicken with basil tomato cream sauce. The steak was one that any steak house would have been proud to serve.
The most popular item, as far as we could tell by the number of people ordering it, was the Pumpkin Cheesecake. An absolutely prize winning desert, it is one that we hope the Alhambra will repeat on the upcoming “White Christmas” menu.
A good time was had by all, and judging from the enthusiasm of this sold out audience, you can bet that a Halloween event will be back next year and will no doubt sell out early.
Alhambra After Dark will be presenting more interesting events and shows in the future, especially on Mondays when their regular show is dark. This year, during the brief transition between “Hank and my Honky Tonk Heroes” and “Remember Me” the Alhambra presented the musical revue “Magic Moments” to full houses.
The new Alhambra Children’s Theatre has launched “The Ugly Duckling” which has also had full houses for the shows and has added additional dates due to its growing popularity..
The male half of Dual Critics went dressed as The Phantom, as in the current Alhambra production. I will have to be a bit more creative next year. See y‘all then at the Alhambra’s Halloween treat.
ALHAMBRA THEATRE & DINING – HALLOWEEN
by DICK KEREKES & LEISLA SANSOM