Date Night Idea: Murder Mystery Dinner Show

** The Murder Mystery Co. provided complimentary tickets for this post. All opinions are my own.

Graham and don’t get to go on date nights often enough, so when The Murder Mystery Co. reached out to invite us to a dinner show, I was so excited! We had originally planned to attend a show in June, but our babysitter decided to not show up and not tell us. That’s another story, though. This time we had reliable child care so we our minds were at ease on our way to the “Till Death Do Us Part” show at Salvatore’s Ristorante in Chicago.

While parking is available via valet at the restaurant, we decided to instead use my trusted SpotHero app for parking nearby. It was an easy walk to the restaurant and we made it with plenty of time. The doors for the 7 p.m. show open 30 minutes before for VIP members and 20 minutes before for general admission.

Cast member Anita Goodman greeted us when we arrived, and I immediately suspected she would be the killer. I then proceeded to think each other person was also the killer. … When you walk into the restaurant, you are offered photos and props to use. Then you can grab a drink at the bar before heading upstairs to check in. I tried one of the $7 drink specials after taking a couple of photos.

We had VIP seats at a table near the front, and we were seated with eight other people. (VIP seats also included the photos we had taken when we arrived.) Soon after being seated by the bride of the show, Summer, we discovered that Graham would be a suspect named Skip Showers. He was hoping not to be in the limelight, but he was a great sport about the whole thing. His character was hilarious and we all had many laughs about it.

Dinner started with bread and salad before the pastas and chicken were served. Vegetarians can have the penne with marinara, while meat eaters can eat the sausage rigatoni or the chicken. It’s served in one large dish each, which means you have to pass the dishes around. It’s a bit tricky and the plates are warm, but that’s not a big deal. Don’t expect life-changing dishes, but I liked the vegetarian pasta. Ice cream was served for dessert.

The show revolves around a death at a wedding, and the entire audience must participate to make it a successful evening. If you are introvert like I am, you might have to come out of your shell a bit, as you need to ask questions of others throughout the night. A drink helped! Each table has a sheet to jot down clues, as well as faux money that you use to bride others for information. Since Graham was a suspect, he was bribed by other tables for clues, which were listed in a binder at our table. The suspects from each table were also called up in front of everyone for interrogation by the detective, all of which helped us get closer to figuring out who did it.

At the end of the show, each table has time to submit their pick for the murderer, and the correct and most specific answer wins! Certificates are handed out for best costume, best actor and best actress as well. (By the way, before the show you receive an email with suggestions on theme-appropriate attire for inspiration.) Many people went all out with their costumes, which made it more fun. I SO wished I had planned an outfit ahead of time.

Overall, I had a fantastic time! I feel like this is the type of activity during which your attitude determines your enjoyment level. Just go with it! I laughed more than I have in a while. I could see us doing this again with a group of friends, especially for a birthday. (Next time I’d like to see the other show, “Of Sound Mind and Dead Body.”)

The actors were entertaining and the crowd on Friday night was super enthusiastic. It made for a great experience.

FYI: Shows are available in Arizona, California, Colorado, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

One of our keepsake photos from the murder mystery show.

Have you ever been to a murder mystery dinner show? What did you think?