Murder at Sunset Lodge by Eric Perkins

This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent

Time: Present day
Setting: Lobby of the Sunset Lodge resort. All of the action takes place in the lobby.
Set back in the Rocky Mountains. In the outskirts of Denver, Colorado.

Act 1 Scene 1 – “The Bang”
Act 1 Scene 2 – “The Arrival”
Act 1 Scene 3 – “The Discovery”
Act 2 Scene 1 – “The Reveal”

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Copyright: November 1998, Perfect Perk’s Publications.
202 S. Hubbard
Crookston, MN 56716
Murder at Sunset Lodge

Cast of Culprits

Greg Benjamin– He is Sunset Lodge’s assistant manager. He is dressed in a relaxed professional manner. What you would normally find in a resort. Kacki shorts and polo shirt is fine. He is a snob, plain and simple. He kisses up to the people he needs to and shuns the people he feels are beneath him. Probably best as late 20’s or early 30’s

Robert “Bobby” Walters, Jr. – He is the captain of the Denver University football team. The typical jock, not too bright, very blunt with what he says. He is in his early 20’s and can be dressed in a very relaxed manner, jeans and a shirt.

Kari Daniels – She is Bobby’s girlfriend. She should be fairly observant, intelligent. However, she is also a cheerleader for the football team. Kari can also be dressed in a relaxed manner, jeans and a shirt.

David Larson – He is a businessman that stays at the resort, regularly. He is a shady character. Dressed in an unattractive manner. Big overcoat, and suit that is out-dated. More of a drifter look. He can be old or young. Late thirties early forty’s is best.

Julie Johnson – Julie is a college student. Early twenties is best. She is the daughter of Mary Johnson. She works at the resort as a chef. Should be dressed accordingly. Julie is a big flirt. Very out-going with everybody that she meets. Your typical tease.

Mary Johnson – Mary is a middle-aged woman. She is divorced and currently seeing Richard. Mary is Julie’s mom. Mary is a volunteer worker and is currently unemployed. She is at the resort with Richard for the weekend. She loves Richard and believes that he is going to ask her to marry him. Mary can dress like a mother, long dress or skirt and blouse.

Richard Williams – He is the state senator for the state of Colorado. He is dressed in a very professional manner, sharp suit and tie. He is a typical politician. He says one thing but always thinking another. He is up at the resort for a get-a-way from the campaign trail with his new girlfriend, Mary.

Stanley the maintenance engineer – Stanley is an odd character. He has no lines, but does have reactions to all that Greg has to say. Probably pretty old guy. Just lumbers around stage. Doesn’t really do much. Kind of a comic relief for the show.

Murder at Sunset Lodge

Act I Scene 1 “The Bang”
(No dialogue during scene 1)
Greg enters from Hallway where rooms are located with clipboard in hand, checks his watch for the time, reviews clipboard and exits opposite side of the stage.
Stanley enters from the Hallway where rooms are located. Looks around lobby, peaks head into the office, he’s looking for Greg, after not finding him, exits back the way he came in.
Julie enters from Hallway that Greg exited from. She looks around the lobby and peaks her head in the office door, also looking for Greg, not finding him, she very obviously leaves a note for Greg on the Front Desk. Julie then exits the way she came in.
As Julie exits, Lighting and Thunder, lights go black, GUNSHOT, Light shattering, Julie Screams, GUNSHOT, sound of body hitting the floor.

Act I Scene 2 “The Arrivals”
(This takes place 45 minutes prior to Scene 1)

(As lights come back up GREG enters. GREG is the resort assistant manager. He is dressed in a relaxed professional manner. Kacki pants and a polo shirt.)

GREG – (As these lines are delivered GREG is straightening up the lobby.) This lobby is a mess. I’ve got to get things straightened up before Senator Williams arrives. I can’t believe that the Senator is going to spend the whole weekend here at Sunset Lodge. This is so exciting.
(Enter BOBBY and KARI from front door DSR.)

BOBBY - Hi there, my name is Bobby Walters, I believe I have a room here for the weekend.

GREG - (said with a very snobby tone) Ohhh yes, Mr. Walters we’ve been expecting you. My name is Greg, and I’m the assistant manager here at Sunset Lodge. I have your reservation right here. I trust you brought the gift certificate with you?

BOBBY – (Bobby searches pockets for gift certificate, Kari pulls it out of her pocket and hands to Bobby) Right here! (Gives gift certificate to GREG)

GREG - (said under his breath) Oh goodie! (To BOBBY) I’m so glad that you both could join us this weekend. Do tell how you won the gift certificate for a free weekend here at the beautiful Sunset lodge?

KARI - It was the grand prize giveaway at homecoming this year.

GREG - Ah yes homecoming, I remember my high school homecoming, splendid. Did you two have a good time?

KARI – (Very mocking towards GREG as she heads toward back window) It was a college homecoming. We both go to Denver University, in town. Bobby plays football.

GREG – (In a mocking tone) Let me guess, you’re the captain, and Barbie here is the head cheerleader?

KARI - Yeah, but my name is Kari.

GREG – (clears throat) Certainly, now then captain, I need you to sign here and put your vehicle information below, sir.

KARI - (looking out back window) Wow this place is gorgeous, Bobby look at this view. This must be a dream.

GREG - (said under breath) Oh how I wish it were. (To BOBBY) All finished? Great your room is right down this hallway. Please wait here while I check to make sure your room is ready. (GREG heads to hallway USR goes upstairs)

BOBBY – No problem, Greg. Is Jewels working tonight? (Greg looks questioningly) I mean, is Julie working tonight? (Kari reacts with disgust)

GREG – Yes she is. She is in the kitchen preparing dinner. (Greg exits out hallway USR upstairs)

KARI – What is it with you and Julie?

BOBBY – What do you mean, Kari? (crossing to KARI)

KARI – She’s all you seem to be able to talk about. We have been going out for four months and your ex-girlfriend is all I ever hear about.

BOBBY – We’re just friends.

KARI – Just friends? Is that what you call it? I mean you spend more time with her than you do with me. What am I supposed to think?

BOBBY – Kari come on, you know that I care about you. Julie and I are just friends, nothing more. You’re the one that I want.

KARI – (melting) I’m sorry, Bobby, but I just get jealous sometimes. I would hate to lose you.

BOBBY – You don’t have to worry about that.

(GREG enters from stairway USR )

Greg – Thank you for waiting your room is ready. If you will follow me, I will show you to it.
(Stays at top of staircase)

KARI - Is that a trail leading down to the lake? (Looking out backdoor)

GREG - Yes it is.

KARI - How long of a walk is it?

GREG – It’s about 3 to 4 miles.

KARI - Bobby, we should head down there. It would be so romantic.

BOBBY - Not in this rain. It would just be stupid. (KARI reacts, disappointedly. BOBBY realizes what he said and changes his tone.) Maybe tomorrow, if the weather is better.

KARI – Great! (To GREG) Do you know if it’s supposed to rain like this all weekend?

GREG – (Still in hallway, to BOBBY and KARI) I heard the weather forecast earlier today and they said it is supposed to clear up by morning.

KARI - Good, I would hate to be stuck inside for the whole weekend.

BOBBY – I don’t see a problem with that. (Puts his arm around KARI)

GREG – Would you like me to let Julie know that you are here?

BOBBY – Yeah.

KARI – NO. (Gives him the evil eye and shrugs his arm off of her)

BOBBY – Oh, come one Kari.

KARI – (spiteful) Maybe later.

GREG – OK, later.

BOBBY – (Looking out back window) Bitchin’ drop off man. How deep of a drop is that?

GREG - (exasperated) I’m not sure exactly, 500 feet perhaps. (Very sarcastically) Should we find out?

BOBBY - No thanks.

GREG – (said more under his breath than too somebody) Well this should be a fun weekend.

BOBBY - You bet, no rain would ever keep me away.

GREG - And we are all thankful for that! (To BOBBY and KARI) Right this way folk’s, please. (BOBBY, KARI, and GREG exit off stage through hallway USR. From offstage you can hear the door open and close.)

(Enter from DSR door, Mr. David Larson, as GREG, BOBBY and KARI exit. David is more of a shady character. Looks dirty. A classic drifter type. He wanders around lobby for a moment.)

GREG - (entering from hallway USR) Hello there, how may I help you? Oh Mr. Larson. We weren’t expecting you today.

DAVID - Well, this is a special visit.

GREG - Well, it’s always a pleasure to have you staying with us. Will you be staying the entire weekend as usual? (GREG walks behind front desk)

DAVID - If it all works out as planned, I’ll just be here tonight.

GREG - Terrific, I hope the weather doesn’t affect your plans.

DAVID - The rain has never stopped me before.

GREG - Well, you’re tougher than most of us. Here are keys to your room. If you need anything else, just let me know.

DAVID - Is this Room number 12?

GREG - Of course, where else would we put you?

DAVID – Very nice. (DAVID heads to hallway USR, turns back to GREG) Greg, is Julie working tonight?

GREG - Yes she is Mr. Larson.

DAVID – Very nice.

(DAVID exits out staircase USR. No door opening and closing is heard this time.)
(GREG grabs the broom and starts to sweep the lobby and straighten up)

(Telephone rings)

GREG – (sarcastically) Great. (On phone) Thank you for calling Sunset Lodge, this is Greg, how may I help you? Yes sir.... No sir, the Senator has not arrived yet.... All of the preparations have been taken care of for his arrival. Not yet...I know sir...I will sir...don’t worry about a thing. Definitely not, sir. In this rain you really shouldn’t drive. We will take care of it. Julie and I are more than capable of handling all of the details for the Senators arrival. OK, have a good evening. (Hangs up phone, bitter and sarcastic for the next lines) How long have I worked here? By now you would think the owner of the resort, Mr. Kovar, would know me better. What am I going to have to do to make him realize that I can handle things fine by myself? Probably better then if he was here getting in the way. Especially in the off-season like this when it’s slow. Well, maybe if the Senator enjoys himself, and puts in a good word for me, then the owner will realize just how competent I am. Speaking of the Senator, I really have to get this place shined up for him. I can’t believe that Senator Williams is going to be staying here tonight. (Greg continues to straighten up the lobby, then consults his clipboard) OK, things are set, lets see, the lobby is clean. I have to check to make sure that the Senator’s room is ready. Oh and I still have to put the sandwiches and punch in the library for the guests. First, let’s go see if the room is clean and ready for the Senator. Everything has got to be perfect for when he gets here. Oh, that could be anytime now, I’d better get a move on. (GREG exits USR)

(Lights flicker, and after a huge crack of thunder and lightning, after a few moments, obvious footsteps are heard. RICHARD enters from Front doors DSR and begins to move across stage. RICHARD says nothing, just surveys the lobby. When he hears GREG coming back, he walks off into hallway USL)

GREG – Well the room is ready for him, whenever he gets here. Okay, what’s next on the list. Should I check in with Julie? Eh, she hates being bothered when she’s working, and I know she wants to get out of here early tonight for a date. (references the note left on the desk) I wonder if Julie knows her ex-boyfriend, the captain of the football team, Bobby is here this weekend with his new girlfriend. That should be a fun surprise. I hope I get to be there for that! (Drifting off in thought) Oh Julie, why do you keep falling for these losers? When will you realize that I’m the one for you? No one will ever love you like I can. Why can’t you see that? What am I going to have to do to show you how much I care about you? (shakes head and comes back to reality) OK, lets take a look around the rest of the resort and see how things look. (GREG exits USL upstairs)

(DAVID enters from USR hallway, notices GREG not in lobby, and goes behind front desk, grabs flashlight, and exits out front door DSR. Once DAVID has left, RICHARD enters from hallway USL, makes sure no one is around and makes a phone call on his cell phone.)

RICHARD – Hey there, are you here? Yeah, I just got in. Listen, we need to talk. Where are you? Normally I would agree with you, but…..No, listen, really we need to talk. I’d rather not say over the phone, where are you at? Because, well …. I can’t see you anymore. Listen, Julie, I’m serious, I can’t see you anymore. At least not for awhile. Until after the campaign is over. No it’s Brian, my campaign manager, he says that I need to get married. It just looks better in the voter’s eyes. Julie you don’t understand, I’m not asking you to marry me. I need to marry somebody my age. It’s purely to get votes. Listen, after I win the election, we can go back to the way things were before. I am not dumping……..
You wouldn’t dare. Don’t even talk like that Julie…..I’m serious…..accusations like that are not funny. That could ruin my campaign Julie and you know it. Stop it right now. I’m not joking with you Julie. Julie? Julie? Damn it she hung up on me. (Senator hears footsteps and voices and exits USR)

(Stanley enters from USR, no lines, just wonders around the lobby, snooping behind the front desk, reads the note that Julie left for Greg, surveys lobby, rummaging through paperwork at desk, etc etc, once he hears footsteps coming he ducks back down hallway USR)

GREG – (Enters from stairs USL) Things are ready for the Senator when he gets here. Still no sign of him. Well this gives me time to finish up my paper work. (GREG goes into office behind front desk)

Richard – (re-entering from USR) – This place is a freaking maze I can’t find her anywhere. (making another call on his cell phone) Ya, Brian its me, well not quite. Ya I did, but…well she didn’t take it well…ya I think she could be a problem. I don’t know, I’m trying to find her. Yes I’m well aware of the impact it could have on my election campaign. Okay, I will take care of her, don’t worry about it. (hangs up phone and heads off stage)

GREG – OK, first a final sweep up and the resort is ready for the Senator. (Pause) What’s this? Looks like it could be a button or a cufflink. Well I’d better hold on to it. God knows what some guests lose and come back to look for. OK, let’s see, what’s left? I had better get the punch and sandwiches in the library for the guests. (GREG exits out hallway USL)

(RICHARD enters first from hallway USR and looks around the lobby for a moment. Enter MARY Johnson from Front door DSR. RICHARD is a state senator and campaigning for governor. MARY is his newest girlfriend. MARY believes that RICHARD is going to propose to her and that is why they are up there. MARY is dressed fairly conservatively. RICHARD is in a suit and tie. The true politician.)

MARY – Hello dear. (Richard and Mary hug and kiss hello)

RICHARD – Hello, how are you?

MARY – Fine, thank you dear. Did you just get here?

RICHARD – (Richard is fairly disinterested in the conversation) Ah, yes just a moment ago.

MARY – We have perfect timing I guess, don’t we.

RICHARD – Sure do.

MARY – (Heads back to window) I can’t believe how bad it’s coming down out there. I’m surprised I could even make it up here.

RICHARD – It’s pretty bad out there.

MARY – I can’t believe that you beat me up here. What are the odds of that? Normally you are the one running late.

RICHARD – Well, my meetings ended early.

MARY – Oh Richard. This place is so beautiful!

RICHARD - (Heads to front desk, and almost tunes out MARY) It sure is.

MARY - Just look at this view. Majestic. I love the smell of the clean mountain air. It’s so refreshing.

RICHARD - (Not paying any attention to MARY) Does anybody work around here?

MARY - What a fantastic location for a resort. Right on the edge of the mountain overlooking the lake. How romantic. Richard thank you for meeting me up here. It was a great idea to get away for the weekend. Off the campaign trail. (Heads over to RICHARD)

RICHARD - (half-paying attention) Yeah, right. Hello, is anyone here? HELLO!

MARY - Richard. Just be patient. What’s your rush? This is supposed to be our weekend away from everything.

RICHARD - (Realizing) I’m sorry dear. I’m just so excited to get to our room where I can have you all to myself. Besides, I have a special surprise for you!!

MARY - Oh Richard. Stop.

RICHARD - I would if only we could get some (shouting) SERVICE. How about some SERVICE!!! Service please, hello?

(GREG enters from hallway USL)

GREG - I’m terribly sorry for my absence, how may I help you? Oh hello Ms. Johnson, are you here to see....

MARY - NO, I’m here with Richard!

GREG – Oh. (Realizing) Senator Williams. I had no idea. I’m sorry Senator, (slowly) or should I call you Governor Williams?

RICHARD - Well now, that’s for the voters to decide on son.

GREG - Oh come on, sir. You’re a shoe-in. Everybody knows that you are by far the best candidate.

RICHARD - Well I hope you remember that on Election Day.

MARY - Enough of the campaigning Richard. Remember?

RICHARD - Sorry. I do believe I made a reservation for the weekend my good man.

GREG - Of course, sir. I just need you to sign here for me, sir. (Pause) So what’s the weather like outside?


GREG - (embellished laughing) Of course.

MARY - It’s pouring rain outside, Greg. I barely even made it up here. Richard how was the road for you?

RICHARD - That gravel road is getting pretty bad. Not to mention the bridge over the creek, water had already started to come over it.

GREG – You two didn’t come up here together?

MARY – We just met up here. Richard was in meetings all morning and so we decided it would just be easier to meet up here instead.

GREG – I see, well, I do apologize for the condition of the road. We always have these problems when it rains. I wish the resort would just pave the road and do something about the bridge.

MARY - I think the dirt road adds a certain something to the resort. It makes you feel more rustic. Let’s you know you’re getting away from things.

RICHARD - But it’s tough to feel rustic if the bridge is washed out, and you can’t even get here.

MARY - Very true.

RICHARD - Well, I don’t care if it rains all weekend and we are stranded here for weeks. I’d rather stay inside. (Puts his arms around MARY)

MARY - Oh Richard stop. (Giggling very playfully)

GREG - Well I’m certainly glad that the two of you could make it up here.

MARY - Me too, now I just want to get to the room and get out of these wet clothes, and into a hot shower.

RICHARD - That’s funny, because all I want to do is get you out of those wet clothes and into a hot shower.

MARY - Oh Richard, stop.

GREG – Ah, right this way folks, please. (GREG, RICHARD and MARY exit USR. From off-stage you hear the door open and close. GREG then reappears from hallway USR)

GREG - Well, that’s the last of the arrivals. Another slow night at Sunset Lodge. I hate this time of the year when business slows down. It’s always like this. Dead. Oh well, the senator is all tucked away in his room. I wonder what’s up with him and Julie’s mom. That was definately a surprise to see them together. (GREG heads toward the French door USC) Damn this weather. I suppose if this rain keeps up I will have to entertain them tonight as well. Children, can’t do anything for themselves. Especially the pre-schooler's, Ken and Barbie, (Mocking) he’s the captain of the football team and uh-uh I’m like the head cheerleader. Just what I needed tonight. (STANLEY the maintenance engineer enters) Stanley, I didn’t know you were still here. (STANLEY says nothing, just nods.) Did you see the Senator? He just checked in. (STANLEY shakes his head.) You know, Stanley, this could be a big weekend for us at Sunset Lodge. (STANLEY reacts surprised and questioningly) Sure, it would look good to the Senator if we put on a good show. If he really enjoyed himself, thanks to us, it could mean big things for this place...(turning out to audience) and for me! (Sits in chair in lobby and begins thinking out loud) Stanley, how can we impress the senator? (STANLEY shrugs his shoulder’s) Let’s see, think...think. OK, well for one thing, we need to make sure that nothing goes wrong, everything has to be perfect this weekend. (STANLEY nods his head) Let’s see the lobby looks better than it ever has. I will call them in the room to find out how things are going. And I put the sandwiches and punch out in the library. Julie should be finished with dinner by now. I’ll double check with her after a bit. I know she really hates it when people bother her when’s she’s in the kitchen. Temperamental chefs. (STANLEY reacts like he knows what GREG is talking about.) Next, activities, if the rain keeps up we’ll stay indoors, no problem there are plenty of indoor activities. And of course, the well-timed ass kissing, I should be a hit. No problem. (Looks at watch) Shoot, the resort meeting is in 15 minutes. I’d better call everybody. (STANLEY listens to the following conversation. GREG picks up phone) Hello Mr. Walters, this is Greg for the resort, how is everything for you so far? Great. I’m calling to inform you that we will be having a resort meeting in 15 minutes down here in the lobby for all the guests. Yes fine....see you then. (Hangs up. Line is said very mockingly) I’m soooo looking forward to it. Well, lets see if Mr. Larson is in his room. (Pause) No answer. Oh well, he’s been here enough, he’ll probably just show up. (to Stanley) You know Stanley, there really isn’t anything else for you to do, why don’t you take the rest of the night off. (Stanley exits USL, GREG notices STANLEY leaving) I don’t know about that guy. Oh well, now let’s call the Senator...

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