Have you gone to a mystery dinner at a restaurant? I’ve been to two in the last decade. My first experience was great. The dining room had booths on all sides with tables in the center. The actors walked around the diners, clearly advancing the plot with clues about “who done it” and a bit of humor as well. The costumes were normal clothes, not overdone or cheap looking. The professional performance engaged us in a mysterious setting. I ended up winning a prize for the first person to guess the murderer.
A week ago we went to a different restaurant, expecting a similar entertaining evening, especially at the $65 per person price. The dining room was huge like a conference room with round tables seating 8 to a table. The food, advertised as all you can eat prime rib was not up to the price they charged. Everyone left their dessert uneaten since it tasted like chemical fluff.
When the actors emerged, they wore what looked like Halloween costumes instead of regular clothes. The atmosphere turned into carnival-type chaos instead of intelligent theater. Actors circulated around the room with faulty microphones that either skipped some words or blasted the voices so loud, I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. I always carry ear plugs with me. I put them in my ears within five minutes of the show. It lessened the pain of the unreal blabbing from the sound system. Certainly not a relaxing dinner with all the cacophony going on. At the end, people at each table had to be a team and name the perpetrator. I didn’t participate since I didn’t hear the story. No one at our table knew who to accuse, and their guess was incorrect. Then the actors buzzed around the tables with tip envelopes for the show. The amateur performance and the actors’ attitudes had no heart.The evening wasn’t worth half the charge or a tip.
Would I go to one again? Yes, but I’d research the restaurant’s room and sound system first. Then I’d ask about the actors’ experience and hope the mystery evening would be better than the last.