SCOTTSDALE — This was a chance for aspiring Native American actors and actresses to learn from the professionals.
Twenty students from Hopi High School had hearty laughs and intrigue at the “Murder at Magic Manor” dinner theater in Scottsdale March 31.
“Murder at Magic Manor” was a mix of comedy, magic and m ystery. It was also interactive theater as the performers involved the audience at every opportunity.
The students were part of either the Hopi High School drama class or Protecting You/Protecting Me.
PYPM is a drug and alcohol abuse prevention class where the high school students mentor younger students at the elementary schools.
The dinner theater held 100 people so the Hopi High students comprised one-fifth of the audience.
Last year, the Hopi High drama club performed a dinner theater and they plan to do that again this year so they wanted to see how the professionals do it.
The Mostly Magnificent Steve greeted the students as they entered the theater and he performed magic throughout the night. He had three assistants and when one of them was murdered the mystery was who did it.
Members of the audience who figured out who the murderer was received a prize.
The other four members of the performance were Marsha, Trick-Zee, Inge and Wanda Castaspella.
Several Hopi High students participated in the show. Terra Morgan was hypnotized and did an impersonation of Elvis singing “Blue Suede Shoes.”
Mostly Magnificent Steve told her it was the worst performance in the universe of an Elvis impersonator.
This caused fellow student Rachel Pahona to yell out to Magnificent Steve: “Your the worst magician I’ve ever seen.”
This in turn motivated Mostly Magnificent Steve to call Pahona up on stage only to tell her to stand in the corner.
Dave Lalo had his moment on stage as he danced with the overly abundant Trick-Zee.
Malia Siweumptewa had the honor of helping announce the name of the murderer at the end of the show.
Bus driver Lyman Myron wasn’t in the show, but was constantly sought out by Trick-Zee.
Hopi High School Drama teacher Beth Giebus said the students enjoyed the show, learned from the show and she hopes to take them back next year.
(Stan Bindell, former Observer editor, is journalism and radio teacher at Hopi High School.)