Great! Now, that I have your attention! Whooo Haaaaaa: So, the reason the update is here and not FaceBook, well—Dude, I had a lot to say! Who was gonna read that long stat?
The Harald Blue Note Murder Mystery which showcased at the Dupp & Swat on August 22, 2015 was nothing short of Fabu—Fabulousness! Fred Forte Jr. FJP Films and Productions did the freagin thang! Guy had a five star gourmet meal catered by Chef Kev. I enjoyed everything. Of course, we had the scrumptious choice of roast beef or chicken Marsalis for dinner. Chef Kev added little veggie-ties around the fresh green beans and bell pepper for adornment. The chef seems to be a foodie lover who takes pride in his work. I say that because he could’ve easily diced everything up, and had it pre packaged. Instead, he did the professional thing and carved as well as severed the meat, along with the sides on site.
Bravo, Chef Kev and team!
Back to the murder mystery: The showcase was interactive. Fred Forte—the defense attorney was already in character from the moment we hit our seats. He addressed the crowd in this thick Yankee accent that we were there to solve a murder, and he needed help from the jury ( us) to find out who the murderer was. Freaky, right? Harald Blue Note Johnson Murder mystery is a brilliant revision of the quirky eighties movie, Clue. Instead of a mansion being the scene of the crime, Forte jazzed it up. The scenes were at different locations. Yeah, different locations meaning Forte filmed in other areas, and played the additional black and white footage from a projector. Therefore, while the guilty party stood on the stand, their slant of the story played out in front of us. Not only did we get to study each defendant, we were able to watch the scenes and gather our own perception. This was a fantastic addition to the play. The theatrical production was setup like the nineteen thirties or forties renaissance theme. That aspect was definitely swanky. All the actors dressed like cotton club protégées. We were able to get a taste of how it was back then. Heck, even back then, the club made the money.
The actors had their motives. They all had a reason to kill dear old, flip-floppen, Harold Blue Note Johnson. The club owner, Mr. Razelli would lose so much by Blue Note going off on his own with B.B King. The sidepiece thought he was going to leave his wife for her, and not to mention the other little secret that she had… The actor who played Mrs. Johnson, Blue Notes wife, did an outstanding performance. She fumed from her seat about her philandering husband and his dealings. Uggh, can you imagine? Then, there was the best friend, who was jealous of him. That’s right, jealous. Blue Note took his damn money. I mean, that would piss anyone off.
Sweet Tea, was a singer at the club. She asked to borrow money in the beginning of the show. Those piercing and chilling words when he refused her, “You changed Blue Note”, raised my brow.
Harold Blue Note Johnson was a cocky fellow who suffered from entitlement. He was entitled to the women, and he didn’t repay his debts. He said and did what he wanted without repentance. He walked with an air of overzealous confidence. When he decided to screw someone over, he always addressed the individual as “daddy-o”…
The audience deliberated and gave their belief of what happened. In the final film, there were a set of menacing eyes dancing back and forth in the shadows from behind a building. Blue Note walks out… Could those be the eyes of a killer?
Things that stood out to me:
Forte took time to study his topic before he wrote the Harold Blue Note Murder Mystery. The verbiage was deliberate; however, it fit perfectly with the timeframe as well as the courtroom jargon.
Keon Taylor—The best friend: His shiftiness in his seat and uneasiness glowed. The biting and suckling of his bottom lip as well as the narrowing of his eyes is an important factor. It is my opinion that actors can express themselves mutely.
Beasy Babie- Sweet Tea: Her nonchalant attitude was dead on. She knew she was cute.
Jay N. Cohen- Club Owner: He was mad, as crap- Loved his anger. You must be able to show emotion.
Shartiera Wilkerson- Side Lover: She had two neat cornrows on the film. Back then, women dressed nicely, but you didn’t see natural mohawks, or sew-ins. She kept it simple. Chick was a little, whinny when she asked Harold Blue Note Johnson about leaving his wife.
But , what woman isn’t pissy and whinny when receiving false hope for a relationship that will never mature.
Shelton- Demar Lewis- Harold Blue Note Johnson: I must rehash the tussle at the card table, as well as the slight squabble at the club. His scraps were believable. His facial expression, voice, and body language were in harmony. This makes for great entertainment.
Rebecca Grant- Judge: She was witty, and snappy. No judge is supposed to be happy during deliberations—especially on a murder trial. I think her scrutiny was well received and convincing.
Mrs. Johnson (Lawd, please give me her name so I can correct this): Mrs. Johnson scolded the whole time. Her venom was felt. Her tears were plausible.
Fred had a proficient team that made this sell-out event a triumph.
I look forward to seeing more from this talented bunch, whether in their own projects or with this team. Dinner theaters are tolerable. Just because writers and directors provide some sort of entertainment, that doesn’t make it good. I assure you that the Harold Blue Note Murder Mystery has surpassed every single dinner theater that I’ve attended. The end.
Job well done, Folks.