‘Murder in the Key of D’ promises fun mystery NYE at CG Hotel

The cast of "Murder in the Key of D."

The cast of "Murder in the Key of D."

If you are looking to spend your New Year’s Eve searching for clues and bribing the authorities for more information to solve the latest musical murder-mystery whodunit, then the Columbia Gorge Hotel has you covered.

The Valentino Lounge will be transformed into a black-tie jazz club where an award winning songwriter is about to receive an award for their efforts, but the evening will be marred by murder, and it’s up to you to find the killer.

If you go

Overnight package:

$399 couple

$299 single

Locals package (dinner show only):

$299 couple

$199 single

Reservations required

(800) 345-1921

At least seven actors from Portland’s entertainment company Wild Bills will be on hand to lead the evening entitled “Murder in the Key of D,” and interact with the guests on a quest to solve the murder.

“Guests can be as interactive in the process as they want to be. Some people develop their own characters during the event, and our actors can work off of that, creating an even better show,” said company owner Rick Walker.

Actors from the Wild Bills group are well known working actors in the Northwest, and have been featured on TV programs like Grimm, Leverage, and Portlandia, Walker said.

The hotel recently added a “locals” package option for the evening, the price of which includes just the dinner and show. Overnight accommodation packages are available, too.

“People really like to get dressed up for these kinds of events, and especially for New Year’s Eve. But they should know it’s not a requirement to be in a tuxedo,” said Kyleigh Mayner, event coordinator.

The evening starts at 6 p.m. with music from sultry jazz singer Jamie Nasario, followed by a five-course dinner at 7 p.m.


Jamie Nasario

The murder mystery fun starts soon after, and you’ll need to interact with the cast to find all the clues. To help things along, each guest will get $500 of “bribe money” to help get all the inside information. You’ll have to wade through all the potential suspects and analyze their motives. But beware, there will be red herrings everywhere, to throw you off the trail.

“If you solve the case, you’ll be awarded an honorary detective certificate, suitable for framing,” Walker said.

Don’t worry about the murder mystery taking up your whole evening, though. Jamie Nasario returns to the stage to continue the evening with dancing at 10 p.m., leading up to the customary champagne toast at midnight.

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Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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