Some General Thoughts on Murder Mystery Shows
Doors open at 6 pm. The show itself starts around 7pm. The whole thing ends around 10:30 pm or so. The script “The Rehearsal Dinner Murders” is about "an out of control" Bridezilla, who is disliked by just about everybody.
Full disclosure— it’s a bit bawdy— not too terrible really... but definitely not for kids. I don’t think this is for everyone, but most folks seem to enjoy it.
We started doing these probably 20 years ago, primarily to fund our operating expenses. It was different from regular productions and the people who saw them generally enjoyed them. Then various organizations began booking us to do them for fundraising. I’ve got to say they are over the top scenarios... pretty outrageous characters, all of whom have a grudge against one particular character, who predictably gets “whacked”.
It kinda breaks down like this:
6 pm. Cocktail hour- characters interact with arriving audience in what we call “table talk.” Hors d'oeuvres are served.
7 pm- Act I - About 30-35 minutes— Characters establish motivations. Funny (hopefully.) Act I ends with the “murder”
Dinner served— ( About 60 to 90 minutes) Belvidere Manor is a buffet. I think the food is good. It takes a while to get everyone served.
About 8:30 -8:45 Act II - about an hour or so-- The detective questions the suspects. Questions are also opened up to audience members.
Dessert- (about a half hour) audience members fill out resolution forms— identifying murderer, method, motive and opportunity.
About 10:00-10:15 pm Act III ( about 20 minutes)The resolution- the detective systematically eliminates suspects and finally identifies the murderer.
All in all, good fun for most folks.