Murder at the Museum

Image 10A weekend at home meant more than just a routine Chippi and a crazy Easter egg hunt around the yard. It also meant a night of murder at the art museum. My family and some family friends went to the Newport Art Museum for one of their murder mystery nights, and it sure was filled with some unexpected surprises.

Located in the John N.A. Griswold House, the Newport Art Museum hosts a series of murder mystery nights occasionally on Saturdays. This week’s was “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” and the story went that a group of Newport’s elite was filming a production of Macbeth until one of their actresses was found dead. At that point, everyone (all of us that is and not just the actors) was given thirty minutes to explore the museum for clues, question the guests, and figure out whodunnit.

Image 8I’d always wanted to do one of those mystery games ever since I started reading Agatha Christie mysteries and saw episodes of Saved By the Bell, Boy Meets World (and The Office…) when the characters have to try to figure everything out. There were clues stationed throughout the rooms of the museum with the different actors spread out so that the guests could ask any questions they had. At the end of the thirty minutes, we reconvened, asked some final questions of each character, voted on who we thought was guilty, and then the murderer was revealed in a huge twist!

Although I’m joking about it, the night was pretty entertaining. It was a little disorienting at first because as people entered one of the galleries where the “show” portion of the night was, all of the actors were in character and talking and mingling with the audience, so we didn’t know if the event was starting or not. Once we got inside it was confusing because we were all handed programs for Macbeth, so we thought we were in the wrong place and that it wasn’t an interactive murder mystery night after all.

Image 9As the show began, it was also unclear what exactly was going on because they were putting on this play of them making a movie (which had a mocumentary feel), and I still didn’t know if it was going to be a play of them doing a murder mystery. However, the chaos of it contributed to the sense of confusion as we were left to figure out what happened, and in that way it was effective. Although, it did become clearer that one of the actors in the movie was going to be killed as all of the people but one left the room, giving us our suspects to examine.

Overall, it was a pretty good night. There was humor and some detective work involved, and though I didn’t really look at any of the art in the museum, the house itself was beautiful (it’s located on Bellevue Avenue, but on a different part of the street than the mansions). It’s definitely an interesting and different thing to do on a Saturday night, and I would do it again, especially as the night was topped off with a visit to the Newport Creamery. 7/10!

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