"Well, way down yonder in New Orleans, in the land of the dreamy scenes, there’s a Garden of Eden...you know what I mean.”

Wow. Just reading those lyrics makes you feel a special tingling sensation, doesn’t it? I mean, let’s face it — “dreamy scenes down in New Orleans”?

Don’t you feel that tingling? OK, now take the vibrating cell phone out of your pants. Do you still feel the tingling? You DON’T??

Well, that must mean you haven’t reserved your spot for the upcoming murder mystery dinner (MMD) presented by the Milledgeville Players, “The Dead Man’s Chest.”

If you have already made your reservation, then I know you are already feeling a special tingling sensation, just in anticipation of the food, fun and frolic destined to come your way in a few short weeks.

Yes, it’s a MMD set at a Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans. The governor and his lovely wife have invited the crème’ de le crème’ to a great Carnival party. And, of course, that includes the regular readers of this column.

Not only will you get to hobnob with the political royalty of the Bayou state, but you will also get to interact with important judicial figures, famous actors from the French Quarter-based “Theatre of the Vampires,” celebrated psychics and so many more.

So get out those Mardi Gras party duds, break out a few masks, doubloons and sets of beads and get ready to party hearty. Actually, coming in costume is NOT required, but we do encourage it. We love it when folks come dressed in the spirit of the evening.

So come “dressed to kill” — pun intended. After all, it IS a MMD, which means there will be knives flashing, clubs clubbing and bodies falling. Who knows? One may even fall right into your serving of red beans and rice.

It’s all taking place at the Milledgeville Country Club, which, on the evenings of Feb. 18 and 19, will be magically transformed into Bourbon Street east.

Tickets are $25 each and can be ordered online by going to www.milledgevilleplayers.org. You can even set up your table seating preferences at the web site.

If you prefer using that devious device that originated with a certain Mr. Bell, you can give a call to (478) 314-4054, the M’ville Players shrimp and grits line. Speak softly and clearly into the candlestick mouthpiece, leave a message regarding your contact exchange, and before you can say “Avast, me hardies,” Miss Mardi Gras Madame of 1899 will return your call and help guide you on your way toward Creole heaven.

Tickets are going fast. Don’t be the only one left on your block who hasn’t been given a jester hat to wear before being killed ... or a pirate rubber ducky to help navigate them down a bayou backwater.

OK, let me also give an advance plug to the upcoming First Friday event. Yeah, I know. It’s still January and we are well past its “first Friday.”

Well, that should give you a not-so-subtle hint that I speak of the first Friday in February, which, according to my Huckleberry Hound adjustable flip calendar, is Feb. 4 (I think I have it adjusted correctly for 2011 and not 1971).

Sponsored by the city of Milledgeville (we’ll let that one pass for this week), Milledgeville Main Street and Arts in the Ville, “First Friday” is expected to become a monthly event designed to bring people downtown to socialize, enjoy entertainers, artists and shop.

Semi-seriously folks, there are a LOT of good reasons to come to downtown Milledgeville. But it seems as if some people rarely ever venture below the railroad tracks on Columbia and Jefferson Streets. So “First Friday” represents a great opportunity to come and see what local restaurants, businesses and artists have to offer to this central Georgia community.

More next week.

Back to the great city of New Orleans: Not only is the upcoming MMD based in that favorite city of your humble columnist, but it has probably had more songs written about it than any other American city.

This week’s lyrical opening comes from a hit recording by the great Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon. One of the true shining lights in American rock and roll in the late ’50s and early ’60s, Freddy was (and still is) from Boston and got his nickname “Boom Boom” both because of his last name — Cannon — and his “booming” voice and beat.

Freddy’s hits include “Tallahassee Lassie,” “Palisades Park,” “Abigail Beecher” and, of course, “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans.” And I can personally testify that his records always sounded great coming out of an AM radio in a Ford Falcon — the highest testament you can give to a rock and roll song (in my opinion, of course).

“Yeah, there is heaven right here on Earth with those beautiful queens, Way down yonder in New Orleans.”

Catch you on the flip side.

Tom Toney can be reached at ttoney@unionrecorder.com.

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