The cast of Till Undead Do Us Part. Photo: WhoDunnit

Till Undead Do Us Part or (It’s A Nice Day For A Vampire Wedding!)

By A.S. Waterman
Directed by Blake Wilkerson

Entire contents are copyright © 2021 by Keith Waits. All rights reserved.

A WhoDunnit show without dinner, dessert, and cocktails? Horrors!

Actually, horrors are exactly the bill o’ fare at this festive occasion, a wedding of two vampires with their family and friends in attendance, all of whom are also undead.

This being a murder mystery, how is a murder introduced when all of the characters are already dead? Suffice to say that the superlative senses of vampires, most particularly a highly acute sense of smell, play a crucial role in the plot, and the solution to the mystery. 

Staging this classic A.S. Waterman script without food at the Absolute Studio, a costume shop and performance space specializing in the macabre located at the Mellwood Art Center, this company is trying to answer the problem of producing their material during the Delta phase of the ongoing pandemic, removing the communal breaking of bread because of the obvious, increased risk. WhoDunnit scripts are intentionally structured to accommodate a 3-course meal and facilitate audience interaction.

The company tackles the challenge by exploiting the formal trappings of a wedding to engage audience interaction. Have your picture taken with the wedding party! Join us on the dance floor! All single ladies gather for the bouquet toss! (Yes, the Beyonce song is played.) Director Blake Wilkerson works against the odds to make the early scenes with almost no narrative structure play, and at the performance I attended she pulls it off, but relying so heavily on the eager response of the audience is a real gamble, perhaps even a high-wire act, with a high-risk factor. There are a few undeniable moments of awkwardness in those first moments, but fortunately, the audience contained enough game roosters willing to take the stage with the cast.

Wilkerson teases fun out of her ensemble, with Karen Wilson (Sibyl) and Olivia Wolthoff (Brittany) showing the most authority with their characters – Wolthoff also brings the right sassy and arrogant aspects in her performance. Tim Roberts (Kyle) underplays a tad too much for performing masked but has a confident understanding of his physical onstage presence and sly way of throwing away a line. Chenoa Buster (Courtney) conjures just enough effervescence and bombshell energy as the bride, and Fallon Crowley (Clifton) is a slightly bewildered but not entirely lost groom. And with a look straight out of Amadeus, Bobby Smith (Neville) essays a daft and befuddled father of the bride.

Best of all, this is one of the most colorfully costumed WhoDunnit shows. The bride sported a form-fitting slit-skirt dress of a color that carried into Sibyl’s splendid hoop skirt gown with a bold red rose pattern, and Brittany’s rose and skull-pattern cocktail dress. 

As for the male characters, Neville’s 17th-century wig and cane were perfectly suitable – vampires often reflect the time in which they were turned – Kyle’s East European tunic and sash-belt and knee-high boots are an important connection to Transylvania and Dracula, while Clifton’s white Saturday Night Fever suit and paisley shirt economically frame him as a media-hungry celebrity.

The resolution of all things includes an intriguing subtext of child neglect and a few nice revelations aside from the identity of the murderer. If there is a certain lack of moral reckoning it can be easily chalked up to the subversive appeal of the undead, eternal-life hedonism of the vampire. That is, after all, kind of the point.

Sans bar or food, the highlight of the concessions is undoubtedly the “blood bag” cocktail, non-alcoholic to be sure, but unique all the same.

Finally, this is yet another example of local theatre companies struggling to not only survive but to remain relevant in difficult times. For the most part, they succeed, and as Delta starts to subside, one can only hope that the next time we visit WhoDunnit, it will be with the dinner party restored.

Till Undead Do Us Part or (It’s A Nice Day For A Vampire Wedding!)

September 24 & 25 and October 2 @ 7:30 p.m  

Tickets are $30 each @
Doors open 1/2 hour before showtime.
[Masks are mandatory for all guests. All performers and technicians will be masked]

WhoDunnit Murder Mystery Theater
Absolute Studio at the Mellwood Arts Center
1860 Mellwood Avenue Louisville, KY 40206

Keith Waits is a native of Louisville who works at Louisville Visual Art during the days, including being the host of LVA’s Artebella On The Radio on WXOX 97.1 FM /, but spends most of his evenings indulging his taste for theatre, music and visual arts. His work has appeared in LEO Weekly, Pure Uncut Candy, TheatreLouisville, and Louisville Mojo. He is now Managing Editor for