A lady? A merciless catastrophe of chance? It all depends on your perspective. And unfortunately, seven strangers have the distinct displeasure of being suspected in a daring (and kooky) casino heist. Who jacked a once-in-a-lifetime jackpot? Luck may not be on the side of these suspects, but we are definitely lucky to open our 30th Master Mystery Production in beautiful Mammoth Lakes, CA for the 5th anniversary of the Eastern Sierra Book Festival. And we call this production…
Of all the rotten luck! Seven is supposed to be a lucky number, but not for these seven strangers who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. A robbery has been discovered at the Lucky Strikes Casino. A woman’s jackpot of nickels was stolen from her slot machine, and these seven witnesses were the found closest to the scene of the crime. All of them say they got a glimpse of the jingling thief rushing away with the loot, but all of them have a different version of the same event. How could a thief disappear with a fortune in loose change clanging their pockets? One of this unlucky seven may know more about this casino crime than they let on, and it will be up to you, the investigating officer, to find the fatal flaw in a whole lineup of witness testimonies. Will you find the light-fingered louse and hit the jackpot on this kooky caper? Let’s hope luck is on your side.
Unlucky Seven is our first ever FREE live production, a showcase of MMP’s amazing talents over the course of a festival day in scenic Mammoth. Working with festival organizer Whistling Rabbit Press, we will have a table at the 5th anniversary of the Eastern Sierra Book Festival, hosted on Sunday, July 17, 2022 at the Mammoth Museum at Hayden Cabin, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show will perform in rotations, allowing festival attendees a chance to walk up, chat with us, listen to the suspect statements, watch for clues, and interrogate them. Each character, given merely a number to protect the guilty, will deliver a statement about what they saw and heard during the time of the robbery. Our audience will be tasked with figuring out whodunit, how, and why. We’ll collect ballots across the entire time we are performing. At 4:15 p.m., we will present the solution to Unlucky Seven just before the Author Showcase and hand out our company’s 50th Diamond Mask Award.
The show will feature a cast the spans the range of MMP experience from our earliest performers such as Hall of Fame Artists Monica Dwyer and Devanne Fredette (Devanne will count Unlucky Seven as her lucky thirteenth production with the company, the most of any performer.) to the wide range of experience of later stars such as Calvin Johnson, Janis Kunz, Leslie Blake, and Heather McGaha to our freshest faces in Libby and Allison Mitchell, who joined us in Fall 2021. This cast will give festival patrons an overall, encyclopedic look of some of the amazing performances MMP has to offer, a taste of the tremendous talent we are delighted to have a chance to foster, while giving them a funny, kooky mystery to solve and see just what makes Master Mystery Productions tick.
MEET THE WITNESSES
Witness the First — The woman who won the jackpot. She put a penny in the slot machine on a whim, and she ended up winning the big bucks. A naïve and sweet daycare provider who never dreamed that good fortune…and bad fortune would befall her on the same night.
Witness the Second — The smarmy and scuzzy casino owner who has rigged all his machines that only clear rubes can win jackpots so they get sucked into gambling away their money. He is unrepentant about his own crimes, but seethes that someone had the nerve to steal from his casino. A big proponent of his own, rather nasty form a vigilante justice.
Witness the Third — The security desk employee who usually watched the monitors to make sure nothing nefarious occurs on the floor. That is, if she hadn’t accidentally spilled coffee onto the controls and short-circuited the system. While the cameras are getting fixed, she’s been loitering a little too often on the casino floor.
Witness the Fourth — A casino regular, jaded and cynical. She’s a slot jockey who has long staked out that one machine as her own, playing until it pays. That is, until she got up to go to the restroom, and some newbie played on HER machine and won the big bucks. And that really rubs her the wrong way.
Witness the Fifth — The drinks girl at the casino that deliberately served Witness the Fourth too many drinks to incite her to use the restroom, on the casino owner’s orders. But she had a habit of lingering near the machine too often anyway. And why does she have a fake mustache in her pocket?
Witness the Sixth — A stay-at-home mom who helped the jackpot winner collect her ocean of nickels in some handy plastic cups she just happened to have on her. Except there are a few questions. Why would a mom bring her baby to a casino? And why would she leave her baby behind just to help a stranger collect her nickels?
Witness the Seventh — A precocious teenage pickpocket with no clear background and not much respect for authority. She’s only allowed to be in the casino by arrangement with the casino owner where she signals when a rube has entered. But there is no honor among thieves, and this troublemaker has her own agenda.
A new location. A new venue. A new client. And a new show. What a great way to celebrate our landmark 30th production. We’ve hit the jackpot with an amazing cast, a supportive team of festival organizers, and we hope an enthusiastic audience. Come by the Master Mystery Productions booth at the Eastern Sierra Book Festival and enjoy some free entertainment from our phenomenal players. And see if you can hit your own jackpot and solve this kooky casino caper.
We’ll see you in Mammoth this Sunday! Happy sleuthing!
–Master Mystery Productions