MORRISONVILLE - It's dinner with a side of murder.
Cocktails will host a murder mystery dinner show this Sunday, Jan. 24, to benefit Hospice of the North Country.
Bill Clukey, entertainment director for the River Street establishment, said he's excited to bring a show that he's already hosted across the state.
"I actually wrote this about three years ago on napkins when I was coming back on a plane from Vegas," said Clukey. "I saw a couple shows while I was there and thought, "Hey, I could do better than these."
And, from there, Clukey's brainchild, "The Dumbest Link," was born. The story, said Clukey, centers on a drama behind the scenes of a game show which spoofs the once popular television quiz show, "The Weakest Link."
"There's an argument and then the lights go out," said Clukey. "There's thunder and lightning and a gunshot. When the lights come back on, someone is dead.
Detectives swarm the scene and begin asking questions, said Clukey, including of audience members.
"We try to get the audience involved by watching for clues, listening for clues," said Clukey. "But, just when they think they've got it figured out, there's a twist."
Clukey feels he has what will be a hit production, and though he wrote it and directs it, the main reason it will be that way is the cast, he said.
"We've got a cast of local talent from 10 years old to 60 years old. We've been doing a lot of rehearsals for the past six weeks and they've been great," said Clukey, who added he also considers the audience part of the ensemble.
The main thing Clukey said he's focusing on now is promotion of this Sunday's show. Since the event will benefit Hospice, an organization which assists people with end-of-life care, Clukey said both he and Cocktails owner Vanessa Staples are hoping for a good turnout.
"Vanessa's donating the food and we're donating the profits from the ticket sales to Hospice," said Clukey. "We'd like to raise a nice amount for them. Especially because the money stays local."
Amanda M. Bow, director of development for Hospice of the North Country, said the organization was pleased to learn Staples and Clukey chose them to receive the donation.
"We are so grateful that local organizations and members of our community host events on our behalf," said Bow. "We have amazing support from this community. This support benefits our agency immensely and ultimately benefits our patients and their loved ones."
This Sunday's event will begin with doors opening at 4 p.m. and the show to start at 5 p.m. The show is expected to last two-and-a-half hours, with several mini-intermissions. Dinner is served at the leisure of audience members.
Seating is limited to 300 people, said Clukey, with 70-100 people already committed to the event.
Tickets are being sold in advance for $20 per person and may be obtained by calling 561-7322.