As guests of the Murder Mystery Dinner, Godfather of the Bride, began to arrive at the UVU ballroom Wednesday night, they were greeted with sounds from another time. Big Band music drifted into the foyer and complemented the guests decked out in 1920s attire.
Fedora hats slanted on many of the men’s brows, and black boas draped the arms of women sporting fringe dresses and kid gloves. Guests shuffling into the dimly lit ballroom were welcomed by actors already in full character.
The performers explained in their Chicagoan accents how delighted they were that their guests could make it to the wedding reception of Bunny Beckenstein, a stripper, and her groom, Fingers Vinerelli, the No. 2 man to Chicago’s leading crime boss.
After the guests were seated, the success of the fundraiser became obvious. There wasn’t an empty seat in the room. The performers intermittently serenaded with songs from the time, such as “Fever” and “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” as they followed along a rather simple murder plot.
Highlights of the night came from the characters’ witty humor and impressive devotion to interacting with the audience. Several of the male guests received special attention from the character Trixie Maraschino, who never hesitated an opportunity to sit on their laps as she meandered between the tables.
As the murder plot came to an end with Fingers Vinerelli stumbling into seated guests with a knife lodged in his chest, the guests were allowed to question the characters and then submit their guesses about who killed him. The killer turned out to be Bunny’s mother, who wanted Fingers’ life-insurance plan.
Brock Smith, who is majoring in biology, won the grand prize of a fleece blanket. “I really liked it. It was fun, entertaining . and had really good actors,” Smith said.
The woman who orchestrated the entire fundraiser, Kaydee Brown, is the Fine Arts chair for UVU’s student government. She explained that the night was to raise funds for the Fine Arts Building the school anticipates building. She estimated the event had raised about $2,000 dollars, after donating the night’s full proceedings.
“The school needs to raise $30,000 or $40,000 dollars on their own before the (U.S.) government can step in (to contribute the rest),” said Brown. With a fundraiser as successful as this one, UVU should be well on its way to achieving its goal.