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A Parade of Clothing Classics and a Newport Mystery Cruise

November 05, 1987|PAMELA MARIN

The spirits conjured perfect weather for the KOCE-TV (Channel 50) "Halloween Mystery Cruise."

It was cold. It was raining. And while a few of the 230 guests gathered dockside at Newport Bay huddled under umbrellas, most of the costumed intrigue buffs ignored the drizzle.

"I'm Roxy and he's Mugsy," said one smiling moll, slinging her arm around a gangster.

Roxy and Mugsy, a.k.a. Sue and Lin Lindstedt, attended Saturday's benefit for Friends of KOCE, a support group for Orange County's public television station, because "we like public television and we love mystery," Sue Lindstedt said.

The evening began at 8 p.m. on the rain-slick docks, where guests studied the scene of a crime: The outline of a body chalked on pavement; cigarette butts and bullets strewn nearby. Event chairwoman Ann Coil strolled the area in a blue pea coat and British bobby's cap, "keeping the looky-loos (uninvited guests) away," she said.

Actors dressed as Sherlock Holmes, Watson, Inspector Clouseau and Lt. Columbo mingled, took notes and eyed the dressed-up guests suspiciously.

"And what, may I ask, are you doing on the crime scene?" Watson (South Coast Repertory actor Nigel Neale) asked guest Tom O'Rourke.

O'Rourke soon repaired with the other guests to the deck of a waiting yacht. At 9 p.m., the yacht embarked on a three-hour harbor cruise with a full complement of strange events, including "man overboard" and a seance.

While the amateur gumshoes nibbled apple tortes, pumpkin pastries and banana rum cake, the murder mystery unfolded with tales of hallucinogenic cigarettes and communist plots.

The $50-per-person benefit, underwritten by Hornblower yachts of Newport Beach and created by mystery mavens Pickwick Productions, netted an estimated $10,000, according to KOCE spokeswoman Joe Caines.

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