Something to BARC at: A My Two Dogs Whodunnit

Was it the dog walker with the leash? Was it the groomer with the scissors? Was it the trainer with the poisoned dog food?

At first nobody had a clue, but they cracked the case wide open by the end of the first-ever Interactive Murder Mystery Dinner, a fundraiser hosted by My Two Dogs Inc. in Greenpoint on Sunday October 17, 2010. My Two Dogs Inc, a small groomer offering unique services such as “Nail Pawlish,” hair coloring and dog playgroups, has been serving the North Brooklyn area since April 2008.

The Fundraiser, called “Sit, Stay, Play Dead,” was in support of the Brooklyn Animal Research Coalition, otherwise known as the BARC Shelter. With full attendance of 65 guests and a silent auction ongoing throughout the meal, the event is estimated to have raised close to $5,000.

“We wanted to do a fundraiser unlike any we had ever done before,” said My Two Dogs manager, Jaime Stasiunas. She and owner Annie Angell were brainstorming over the summer for something unusual, but also larger than previous events. “We’ve worked with BARC before, they’re a wonderful organization,” said Angell, who described the relationship between My Two Dogs and BARC as being special. The two groups benefit the highly pet-populated neighborhood, Angell’s husband and co-owner of My Two Dogs, Gary Angell, said, in a way no other two groups have before.

Dinner was served in a spacious room that served as an extended stage, while the murder mystery, performed by interactive theater company By The Mummers, was enacted in between the tables, directly engaging attendees. The seven characters told the story of K.C. Kennilburton, fictional dog owner of 13 Best-in-Show winners, celebrating his career with his team: the groomer, the breeder, the trainer, and the dog walker. But when the crew began to squabble, Kennilburton left the room and minutes later was mysteriously found dead. It was up to Detective Jean-Luc Rapture and his sidekick, Kip, of course with the help of the audience, to solve the murder and find out whodunit.

During the performance, the silent auction garnered attention from the audience: Items included a rose gold and diamond cocktail ring, gift certificates for yoga classes and a book about dogs by actress and longtime animal rights advocate Bernadette Peters, as well as donations from several other local businesses.

The funds raised will go towards supporting the upcoming renovations at theBARC shelter, as well as their efforts to care for abandoned animals and help them find permanent homes.

One notable attendee, long-time North Brooklyn Assemblyman Joe Lentol, reflected on the event, saying, “they came just to support the shelter, but they got an entertaining evening.”

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