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Whodunit, with a historical twist

It’s a whodunit with appetizers, an airlift and audience participation.

For one night only, the dinner theater presentation of “Ghost of the Sinclair Plantation” will give guests a chance at solving a murder mystery set on a Kauai sugar plantation in 1888.

The eight-member cast will put on the show Friday, Aug. 28 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Kapaa.

The story follows plantation owner John Sinclair who travels to Mississippi to escape his grief after his wife dies. But he falls in love with the young Duboise Beulah, and brings her back to his Kauai plantation where the dashing starlet rubs some of the locals the wrong way.

When she’s hit by a train — did she fall on the tracks or was she pushed? — tensions rise and anxiety builds as the family tries to figure out if there is a killer among them.

“All five residents have a possible motive,” writer and director Nadya Wynd said of the cast of suspects.

And the kicker?

“The audience has to solve it,” Wynd said.

At the end of the show — before the suspect is revealed — audience members will write down who they think did it and hand in their card. The correct submissions will then be entered into a drawing and the winner of the drawing with receive a free helicopter tour of the island via Sunshine Helicopters.

It’s like a really nice bonus for paying attention.

“I mean what else can you ask for?” Wynd said.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., dinner is served at 7 and the show starts at 8:15. Proceeds will go toward putting on a summer musical,”Nobody’s Boy.” Wynd and co-creative director Melissa Mojo formed Tropicbird Entertainment, nonprofit dedicated to creating exceptional entertainment that is educational and engaging to people of all ages.

“It’s a combination murder mystery, ghost story and historical drama,” Wynd said, adding that the Kauai Historical Society is helping the production create a photo exhibit of Victorian Kauai plantation life in the late 1800s outside the entrance of the show as a sort of mini-museum before guests take their seats.

“It’s basically a work of historical imagination,” Wynd said of the play. “It’ll be fun, it’ll be something unique for Kauai. That’s one of the reasons we decided to do it, people weren’t doing murder mysteries, but they’re popular on the Mainland.”

General tickets cost $75 ($78.62 with service fee). Kamaaina are $65 ($68.27) and a table of 10 costs $650 ($673.74)

Info: 212-7731 or www.tropicbirdentertainment.com

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