Whodunit in Chicago with The Murder Mystery Company
One of my absolute favorite board games growing up was Clue. I always loved putting together pieces of the puzzle in order to solve the mystery.
So, when Michigan-based The Murder Mystery Company reached out and asked if Mando and I would like to attend a murder mystery dinner in Lincoln Park, I knew hands-down the answer was a definite “yes.” I’d never been to a murder mystery dinner before, so — even though I had no idea what to expect — my inner Nancy Drew was really excited to experience it!
(Note: While tickets for me and Mando were provided free of charge, I was not compensated for this review and all opinions are mine.)
Like I said, I honestly had no idea what to expect. The dinner was held last Friday at Salvatore’s, an Italian restaurant and wedding venue in Lincoln Park. It was a masquerade theme, and while I opted to wear what I’d worn to work earlier that day, some of the attendants got super dressed up. Like — ballgown, updo, mask and full theatric costume dressed up. It was so cool to see how many people got into it!
We went in, had our photos taken and ordered drinks before entering the dinner hall and being assigned to a table. Mando and I ended up sitting with eight others — two women, and a family of six. This was our team, and we were tasked with working together to solve the mystery. We were told that “every murder — from Hamlet to Harambe — had both a motive and an opportunity.” It was our job to figure out both. Almost everybody at the event was an adult, which was good, because the show had just a bit of adult humor to it.
After we were all settled in, the mystery began. We were told that we were all at the annual meeting of “the Billionaire’s Club.” The club “president” began the meeting when he took a sip of his cocktail and — suddenly — died. Then, the mystery began.
Several audience members were asked to step into roles, and given binders explaining their character back stories. Some of the characters included “Ella Vader,” a talk show host, “Doctor Feelgood,” a plastic surgeon and “Mort Peacock,” a costume shop owner. The cast ended up being a mix of actors from the Murder Mystery Company, and in-audience actors. The fun part? None of the actors knew whether their character was the murderer! We were all clueless and trying to figure it out.
The entire investigation was led by “Detective Peter Ness” — Detective “P. Ness” for short — and the suspects both acted out roles from their binders at the front of the room and took breaks to mingle and answer questions from teams. All this happened while an Italian dinner of bread, pasta and chicken was served to each table.
We kept track of all of the characters and jotted down notes about each fictional person throughout the evening. At the end of the show, we picked a suspect to blame for the murder, and wrote down a possible motive and opportunity before waiting to find out what had happened.
My favorite part of the show was the level of improv. It wasn’t only the Murder Mystery Company staff that got into the show, but also the eventgoers-turned-actors. Some of them donned thick accents and got really vibrant with their expressions. I really, really loved how much fun everybody had with it! It made the event that much more fun overall.
My team didn’t win, but it was still so fun! I don’t want to give away the ending, so I’ll leave you on your toes. The only way to find out whodunit is to snag a ticket! A lot of the people I talked to at the dinner actually said they found their tickets on Groupon, so I would definitely suggest peeking around for tickets. This was a really, really fun date night activity for me and Mando, but there were also adult families (we sat with two parents, their adult sons, and their daughters-in-law) and large, rowdy groups of friends. I can’t think of a grouping of people that would really be out of place at the dinner.
Overall, I really enjoyed my dinner with The Murder Mystery Company, and I would hands-down probably go back for another themed event.