A night of secrets: Mystery dinner sponsored by Dickinson Public Schools FoundationThe Lust Boat is preparing to set sail for a night of secrets, scandals and seafaring scoundrels. Passengers are needed to participate in the seventh annual murder mystery titled “Murder on the Lust Boat” by Tony Schwartz and Marylou Ambrose. The ship sets sail for the Caribbean Feb. 10 through Feb. 12 at the Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge in Dickinson.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
The Lust Boat is preparing to set sail for a night of secrets, scandals and seafaring scoundrels.
Passengers are needed to participate in the seventh annual murder mystery titled “Murder on the Lust Boat” by Tony Schwartz and Marylou Ambrose. The ship sets sail for the Caribbean Feb. 10 through Feb. 12 at the Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge in Dickinson.
The show is a spoof of the TV program, “The Love Boat” that aired from 1977 to 1986, Director Josh Nichols said.
“The cruise ship is a little bit misdirected,” Nichols said. “The captain is zany and not very knowledgeable. The ship owner is coined the “Sea Witch” by the crew. The duo of entertainers, Tony and Tina, bounce from one venue to another before getting kicked out. Betsy, the cruise’s event coordinator, plans naughty activities such as oil wrestling.”
And then there’s a murder. As passengers of the ship, the audience has the opportunity to solve the murder.
“It’s very interactive, with an opportunity to win prizes,” Nichols said.
The cast includes:
r Troy Kuntz as Tony Terrafirma, a lounge singer.
r Rachel Killen as Tina Terrafirma, a lounge singer and Tony’s wife.
r Margaret Barnhart as Fiona Helmsworth, the owner of the Lust Boat.
r Pat Barnhardt as Ham Helmsworth, Fiona’s hen-pecked husband.
r Ernest Shipe as Capt. Ivah Dinghy, the ship’s captain.
r Betsy Devero as Monique Lewdinsky, the perky activities director.
r Jackie Hope as Caprice Rutledge, a guest on the ship.
r Del Quigley as Caprice’s frustrated husband.
r Derek Shipe as Rico, a man of few words.
Quigley speaks of his character as a husband who is trying to rekindle his marriage.
“He wants a second honeymoon and is just plain looking for romance,” he said.
Ernest Shipe described his character as a ship captain who is trying to salvage the little left of his dignity and his position.
Derek Shipe described his character as the man of mystery.
“Everybody has a different feeling about him — nobody really knows who I am until the end,” he added.
“Everybody calls me a witch, but Fiona doesn’t think she’s a witch,” Margaret Barnhart said of her character. “She wants everything shipshape, but shipshape means exactly the way she would run things and there’s no latitude for discrepancies.”
The dinner theater is sponsored by the Dickinson Public Schools Foundation and the Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge and Conference Center.
“We are very excited to have the mystery dinner theater at the Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge,” said Ramada sales director Jessie Versen. “It’s a great way to give back to the community and to get involved in local events.”
The menu includes popovers with honey butter, Jamaican garden salad, Caribbean chicken crostouda on a bed of rice with broccolini, keylime cheesecake with chutney and flavored coffee.
While it’s optional, the audience members are invited to dress as passenger guests, Foundation Director Karen Heidt said.
“A lot of people like to get more involved in the theme and look forward to dressing up — it adds to the whole experience,” she said.
The cruise director is sponsoring a “best costume” award, she added.
Proceeds from the fundraiser help the Foundation fund its grant program to enrich education in the Dickinson Public Schools, Heidt said.
The Foundation is reviewing grant proposals, with $20,000 available for distribution this year.
Tickets are $40 per person, which includes the gourmet meal. Tickets go on sale Friday in the Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge atrium. The box office is open from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday. The box office also opens from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday if tickets are still available.
“Tickets are limited, so we’ve added an additional performance this year,” Heidt said. “We want to fill every seat.”
With the purchase of a ticket before Jan. 29, your name goes into a drawing for a free stay the night of the performance, courtesy of Ramada and a limo ride, courtesy of Dan Porter Motors.
For ticket information call 701-483-5600 or 701-590-0495.