You enter the theatre via a short hall that goes directly down a flight on stairs (the theatre is not wheelchair accessible). There you meet the host and get your table assignment. You put on a name tag (so the actors can identify people) and head down a second flight of stairs to the dining room/theatre.
The room is gorgeous, dark carpeting, split level flooring, gilded mirrors along one wall, green and orange tinged lanterns hanging from the ceiling. There's a lot to admire while you wait to be served.
The dinner menu is small if comprehensive. For a set fee of $25 (sans drinks) you get an appetizer (choice of soup or salad), an entree (vegetarian pasta, chicken, ribs or fish) and desert. Be warned, while the food is delicious (especially the duo chocolate mousse my husband had for desert) the portions are on the small side.
The actors begin mingling at tables around the time desert is served, or 8:00, whichever comes first. They're great at eliciting responses from the guests, and set the stage for the mystery. In this case the mystery was Dr. Jekyll, There's Nowhere to Hyde. The setting was a criminology symposium, run by Marie Curie and attended by Alexander Graham Bell, Dr. Henry Jeckyll, Ivy Leege (Jekyll's assisstant), Prof. Jan Jansky and Dr. Sigmund Freud. They each had an opening pitch to explain who they were and why they were at the meeting. It helps if you're willing to ask questions and play along with them. They all had great senses of humour, necessary for this type of acting.
When they've set up their first batch of
victims 'volunteers' (people who have birthdays, anniversaries, etc., who have actually been volunteered by whoever made the reservation), the show actually starts. Marie Curie welcomes you to the symposium and introduces the other attendees. Periodically an actor will call on an audience member to stand or respond. For example, one gentlemen was handed a hat and told to put it on. He was then introduced as Sherlock Holmes. Around 8:30 the murder victim is discovered.
This is when things get interesting. The actors uncover secrets about each other while playing up their individual quirks. Mr. Bell had a can on a string that acted as the first telephone, to which he added facebook and texting! There are 2 intermissions during which the 'clues' end and you have the chance to talk to the actors, asking questions or just playing around. Finally, the guests get to guess who done it, and those that guess correctly have the chance to win prizes.
It was a fun evening and I'd definitely do it again. The shows change periodically, and they also do harbour cruises, brunches and this winter a Caribbean cruise (where there will be 3 murder mysteries).