As I’ve written about before, my dad and I like to go out and do things together. Over the years, we’ve chuckled at plays, giddy-upped on horseback, and felt the wind on our faces while exiting a plane at 13,ooo feet. We always have a good time, just the two of us. So, when Father’s Day rolled around, I knew exactly what I wanted to get him: an evening of murder and mystery. The fact that I checked off #11 on my 30-Before-30 list was just an added bonus.
Some people may think that dinner theater is corny, with a bunch of overacting and crappy food. Honestly, if you go in expecting a performance worthy of an Academy Award, yeah, you’re going to be disappointed. However, if you go in expecting to have fun and be entertained, you’re guaranteed a good time.
And that’s exactly the kind of time we had.
We made our way to the table and began chatting with a guy who was by himself, there on assignment for one of the local papers to review the evening. I quickly bonded with the fellow writer.
Shortly after the bread was passed around, there was a scream and a man staggered to the middle of the room with a knife plunged into his side. He tried to fall when the outline of a body had been marked and after a few hilarious attempts, he hit his mark.
The evening had begun.
Two detective burst into the room, one a dead ringer (no pun intended) for Oliver Platt, and got to work enlisting each of us to help solve the crime, while also being suspected of murder. Absolutely no one was to be trusted.
We were instructed to interview our fellow diners and note anything or anyone suspicious. I didn’t find any guilty looking suspects in my questioning, but I did manage to run into a former coworker who was also there enjoying the mystery.
Somewhere between the salad and man course, evidence was found and more victims were murdered. The slapstick detectives got laughs out of the audience for their antics as they poked fun at unsuspecting patrons and interrogated person after person.
The night went on and we had to submit our guesses for who was the murderer and what their motivation was to go on a killing spree. I was no closer to solving the crime at the end of the evening than I was at the beginning. I threw together a pathetic guess based on some last-minute evidence and turned it in.
The detectives reviewed all the evidence and suspects and narrowed in on the killer. Before I knew what was happening, the journalist I had befriended kicked back his chair and yelled at the detectives saying he wouldn’t be stopped and why he did what he did.
I was flabbergasted! I didn’t suspect him in the least. I even started to think he was cute and enjoyed our witty banter back and forth.
Only one person guessed the correct killer and it was my coworker. He walked away with a prize pack of Hitchcock DVDs and Dinner Detective sway.
My dad and I had a great time at the murder mystery dinner. The pace of the meal with the action was perfect. The actors were hilarious and the food was delicious. Though I think it was too hastily wrapped up and the conclusion was a little sloppy, I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Even if I do have to sit next to the killer.