Mobsters, murderers and flappers make great fun in dinner theater |

Mobsters, murderers and flappers make great fun in dinner theater

Appeal staff writer

Murder, mayhem, music and comedy come together at “Louie’s Jazz Club,” where mobsters, flappers and jazzmen are all suspects in a killing.

Carol Hagemeyer, director, writer and co-producer with Temma Keatan Hammond, said it’s not hard to make murder funny, especially when music is added to the mix.

“I just took everything and put it together,” she said.

“Louie’s Jazz Club, billed as hottest speakeasy in all of Chicago in 1929, hosts a party where a murder takes place.

The club’s characters include a master of ceremonies, Rhett Bumbler, who has his best show yet, featuring the ever-popular Blossom Washeduped and also introducing a cutie sure to turn the head of even the toughest mobster.

The owner of Louie’s himself, Dupree Sleepsalot, is sure to make an appearance, along with several so-called business associates.

Suspects abound, from the major mobsters to the swanky singer with hopes of revisiting Hollywood again. The cigarette girl with a temper that sizzles or the Texas marshal with nothing to lose ” no one is safe from murder, but everyone will have a

chance at solving it.

Will the culprit be the henchman who is capable of murder? The blacklisted bootlegger desperate to increase her sales? Or possibly the North Side Mob Boss himself? With the recipe for murder, Louie’s Jazz Club will be certain to be serving up a night of mayhem to remember.

There’s no curtain to go up, no stage separating actors from audience and somewhere along the way somebody gets murdered.

The show is scripted, but also included improvisation and audience participation, Hagermeyer said. Theater-goers should watch for anything suspicious, interrogate the suspects and help solve the crime.

She also said it is possible more than one person is killed, what with the shady characters a Chicago jazz club attracts.

In the midst of the mystery clues will unfold during the four-course meal of potato cheese soup or house salad, crispy roasted chicken or tri-tip, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, rolls, nonalcoholic beverages and dessert.

There are clues to hunt and puzzles to solve, and Sleuth Sheets are given out with dessert.

Hagemeyer has 35 years in theater, including production and directing experience in national theater and television and is the creator of the award-winning “The Original Proud Annie’s Mystery Dinner Theatre.”

“I started writing mystery dinner theater to entertain my friends and family and it sort of took off from there,” she said.

She was a voiceover artist in Atlanta. The performance bug in high school bit Carol when she stared in “Annie Get Your Gun.” She moved to California at the age of sixteen and started getting roles in community theater and television projects.

Her interest in mystery writing led her to write her first comedy murder mystery script in 1987. This script and others were written and performed at dinner parties and private country clubs with professional actors. She eventually hired actors and staged her first award-winning Proud Annie’s Mystery Dinner Theater show in July 2005, acting as director, producer and gourmet chef for the entire event.

Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or call 881-7351.