Murder on the Mountain | A Mythic Catskills Weekend
March 1-3, 2019
An original murderous adventure steeped in the gin-spiked glamor of the 20’s.
A mystery created at Spillian with characters drawn from literature and history, inspired by the lore of 20’s icons (and gangsters!) wanders to the Catskills mountains for entertainment and, well, a bit of nefarious activity.
We’re thrilled to offer you a chance to dive into this mystery as part of our partnership with friend and filmmaker Alex Harvey as he shapes an upcoming full length independent feature film set at Spillian with this mystery at its heart. Come and be a part of a murder…and the birth of a film!
When you arrive…
You all have received your invitations for Jack Goodwin and Violet DeWitt’s famous – or infamous – birthday house party in their Catskills mansion. It’s going to be a party that was far more than (most of you) planned for… A mystery who-dunnit in high style.
As F. Scott himself said, “Never miss a party…good for the nerves–like celery.”
This year, you have been invited for the weekend up to their Catskills cottage (really a rustically luxurious estate) for an informal dinner and dancing, with good gin flowing out of the reach and eyes of the New York police. Or the Feds.
To entertain their guests, the Goodwins have secured the services of a famous Russian Gypsy medium, Madame Plavatski, for the evening on Saturday to tell fortunes to those guests who wish to see into their future and remember their past.
You may know some of the guests, you won’t know all of them. And you may not trust any of them. You may well have secrets you want to keep to yourself and there’s a darn good chance that you’re not alone.
But come, enjoy some hot jazz, get just a bit splifficated, and remember, if anything goes wrong, keep your friends close and your enemies closer…
Join us for the full weekend or for Saturday’s dinner and mystery!Register Now!
Mythic Catskills Weekends
Spillian’s Mythic Catskills Weekends are an intersection with the essence of the Catskills: the forests, the mountains, the people, the deep stories that make this place so compelling.
Each weekend celebrates a facet of this gem-like place: its food, its fish and streams, its ringing summer, its snow-spangled winters, its flowing creative life force.
Come for a weekend of grand adventure. Feast. Explore. Hear the great stories and share your own. Revel in the mythic possibility of the Catskills and find where it sings in your life – and then bring that song back home with you.
Murder on the Mountain: A Mythic Catskills Weekend | What’s Included
- 6 PM: A robust farm-to-table charcuterie, including local meats, cheeses, spring greens, house-made hummus, relishes, chutneys, tarts, and more from our neighboring farmers and food producers.
- 6:30 PM: A tasting of the extraordinary spirits of our friends at the aptly-named Prohibition Distillery led by their distiller & master taster, Robert Mack.
- 9 PM: Cash bar, and tales, real and mythic, about the history of the bootleggers and gangsters of the ’20’s in the Catskills, including the mystery of Dutch Schultz’ lost treasure, led by our wonderful guide, Spillian Fellow Will Soter of Upstate Adventure Guides.
- 9 AM: A classic Spillian Catskills breakfast featuring eggs from Spillian Farm’s ridiculous chickens.
- 10 AM: A moving meditation with Spillian co-founder Leigh Melander, going deep into images of the mountains and metaphors of rising spring.
- 11 AM to 5 PM: Explore the Catskills on your own, the back of your eyelids by the fire at Spillian, or prep for the murderous mystery. We’ll have 20’s films running in the background, board games at the ready, books, and a whole list of the very best slang from the era for you to practice, so you know your onions for the evening! And some lunch for those who’d like to settle in.
- Get gussied up in 20’s style with a hair and makeup session with the magic-fingered stylist Karen Neblung.
- Choose one of our ‘take yourself on an adventure’ itineraries:
- a trip to the Devil’s Tombstone…maybe the landing place of Dutch Shultz’ treasure
- antiquing in the area to get yourself in the historic mood
- a wander to two of the area’s nearby craft distilleries and breweries to remove any lingering doubt about whether you can jump into character that evening
- a stroll in Spillian’s woods to discover the remnants of our very own still from another era
- 5 PM: Cocktails featuring gin rickey’s Spillian style, with live music from the 20’s from singer Andy Cahill and pianist Adam Ippolito. You’ll arrive in costume and in character, and introduce yourself to your fellow guests…and the murderous games begin!
- 7 PM: Dinner and a mystery. A 1920’s-inspired feast from Spillian’s chef around the grand feasting table with a bit of murder on the side…
- 9 AM: A classic Spillian Catskills breakfast featuring eggs from Spillian Farm’s ridiculous chickens.
- 10 AM: Cooking class with Spillian’s chef Christian Van Etten. Learn to make Fleischmann’s Yeast’s own cocoa bread recipe, from their 1920 recipe book!
- 11 AM: Farewell feast of your culinary masterpiece
Saturday Night Dinner
From our chef Christian Van Etten, a seven course feast celebrating the cuisine of the 1920’s…
• Harlequin Salad
• Cream of Asparagus Soup
• A Duo of Duck: Leg Confit and Roasted Duck Leg & Pan Seared Duck Breast à l’Orange
• Duchess Potatoes
• Catskills Bourbon-Glazed Ham
• Snap Peas with Mint
• Gatsby’s Lemon Cake
Pricing and Registration
Murder on the Mountain For a Couple: $695
For the couple, double room occupancy. Full weekend fee includes all sessions including all meals, Prohibition Tasting, moving meditation; cooking class; and lodging at Spillian. Evening cash bar, tax, and gratuities not included. Click here to learn more about our splendid guest rooms!
Murder on the Mountain For a Single: $395
For one person, single room occupancy. Full weekend fee includes all sessions including all meals, Prohibition Tasting, moving meditation; cooking class; and lodging at Spillian. Evening cash bar, tax, and gratuities not included. Click here to learn more about our splendid guest rooms!
Murder on the Mountain Dinner & Mystery: $65
Join us on Saturday for just the dinner and mystery! Per person, Evening cash bar, tax, and gratuities not included.
Optional Primping Hair and Makeup Session with stylist Karen Neblung
For weekend guests.
Hair and Makeup: $65
We’ll set appointments for you upon your arrival for the weekend.
We’ll ask you a couple of questions on the registration form to match you with the best character for you! Once we’ve had a chance to match characters to guests, you’ll receive an invitation to Jack and Violet’s party, and a description of your character with costuming and prop suggestions. When you arrive, you’ll receive information about any secrets you might hold, might know about others, and clues about what to do and watch for during the soiree.Register Now!
About Stylist Karen Neblung
Karen’s husband, four cats and she relocated to Roxbury, NY from rural NJ in 1997. Growing up 30 minutes to NYC fueled her interest in art, music and anything a little off center, and her college years were consumed with escaping into museums and attending free performances by creators of dance, art and film in the lofts in Greenwich village. She studied Theatre and Education but spent most of her time in the dance studio. Moving through many careers in creative fields, she was seeking a new adventure, and a friend suggested Karen enter her field and become a hair stylist. She apprenticed in NJ with a European influence in techniques. Upon her arrival in the Catskills, she discovered both salon clients and destination weddings (she’s one of the hottest stylists in the region!). Karen continues her ongoing education in NYC and travels New York state styling hair and makeup. She says, “People are my fuel and opportunity to style individuals from all over the world makes life in the country rich.” Learn more here…
About Singer Andy Cahill
Andy Cahill began her career performing in the cabarets and clubs of Chicago, and when she moved to New York, she attracted a loyal following. Andy sang in many of the top nightspots in Manhattan including The Duplex, Reno Sweeney, and The Ballroom. Though she was on track to become a significant name in cabaret, Andy realized it was more important at that point, to concentrate on her family and took a “day gig.” For the next 15 years, she was a Talent Coordinator, first, for a top corporate production company, and then – her own company, Cahill Artists. Andy focused on corporate entertainment and booked great artists including Ray Charles, Lena Horne, Reba McIntyre and Barbara Cook. This experience taught Andy how to listen to great singers – and was instrumental in her development as an artist. Andy is singing again with a much more in-depth understanding of both the music and the lyrics. Her repertoire has expanded, and, because of the years in the music business along with amazing musicians who whom Andy is privileged to be working, the range of music is endless. Music is back to being the expression of joy it was at the beginning.
About Pianist Adam Ippolito
Adam Ippolito’s career as a pianist spans over 40 years. He recorded and played with John Lennon, Kool & The Gang, Chuck Berry, Cissy & Whitney Houston, James Moody and many others. In addition, Adam played for The Joffrey Ballet and Broadway shows including “Dancin’” and “Grease.” He was a member of the rock bands Elephants Memory and Pig Iron, both of which had recording contracts with Apple and Columbia Records. Adam was a member of John Lennon’s band for two years over which time he recorded many song and albums along with appearing several times in both videos and on television; and was the keyboardist for the famed One to One John Lennon, Yoko Ono concert at Madison Square Garden. The Elephants Memory album for Apple Records was produced by John Lennon. From the 70s to the 90s, Adam was a studio musician recording with John Lennon, Chuck Berry, Kool & The Gang and many other artists of different genres. Love/Zager Productions who handled The Spinners, Cissy Houston, and Ronnie Dyson along with several other great R&B artists engaged Adam as both a songwriter and a producer. In recent years, Adam has participated in the Fest for Beatles Fans and performed at The Iridium, The Cutting Room and Joe’s Pub in NYC.. Currently, he is performing in the Catskills as a sole and in collaboration with the jazz song stylist, Andy Cahill. His CD is available on iTunes, YouTube, and other digital venues.
About Prohibition Distillery
Located in the historic town of Roscoe, New York, Prohibition Distillery was inspired by the history of the United States, the peoples will, and the art of libations itself. Their flagship product, Bootlegger 21 NY Vodka, has won six international medals, including the only Gold medal at the NYISC; The Fifty Best American Vodka Competition; and Prohibition was recently named to a list of the Top 5 global craft vodkas by Travel and Leisure Magazine. Bootlegger 21 Gin has been awarded the Gold medal at the IWSC for Contemporary Gin.