My cell phone has been acting up lately. It seems to know exactly how to keep me on my feet, making my life a constant whirlwind of surprises. A Gemini’s dream. “It’s a funeral…chicken, fish, or steak?” was the majority of what I could make out from our conversation. “A What?” I yelled into the receiver. “A FUNERAL… CHICKEN, FISH, OR STEAK?” he replied. “A FUNERAL?” I asked.“Yes. A FUNERAL!” he shouted.“Oh. Ok! I’ll have the steak!” I yelled back. “Great! See you there! I’ll be in the show too!” he said. The phone went silent.
I arrived at 123 Empire Street, with my pink sparkly note pad in hand, and entered the building. Motif has sent me on some pretty interesting events to cover, but this was by far the most interesting. I was immediately embraced by a wailing man at the door. He threw his arms around me and theatrically cried “I haven’t seen you in years!” I knew it was all a skit, but for a moment I jogged my memory to make sure we hadn’t met before. “Come give your condolences to Grandma!” cried the oversized 4th grader in green pajamas, as she took my hand in hers and dragged me to the woman dressed in black and crying at the top of her lungs. She threw me into her arms and I hugged her as if she had really lost a loved one, forgetting it was a part of an interactive murder mystery dinner theater- Murder On Us.
I sat down to my dinner table which was next to the coffin, and began to eat the beautiful salad that was awaiting me. The show flowed perfectly with the serving of the food. Soup. A scene with sexual undertones and hysterical bodily jokes. Steak. A scene of a catchy rap eulogy and a choreographed funeral dance. A glass of wine. Plotting out a murder scene with a character from the show. Chocolate cake. Trying to solve a riddle and figure out who the murder was. Another glass of wine. More hysterical jokes.
I’m a stickler when it comes to theater. I never like anything. But for a production that is in its 21st year and can magically weave content including The Clancy Brothers, d’ Oliveira and Morgan, swinging both ways, temporary insanity, and Charlie Sheen is just pure brilliance. “Some people would pop-poo this type of theater,” said John Thayer, producer and cast member of Murder On Us. “It is really over the top. We are intimately involved with the audience – a trust factor that you build with time. We have been acting together for the past ten years.” This is definitely apparent. The show flows seamlessly, bouncing jokes and plot with ease. “Our primary goal is for folks to have a fun night out,” John says with a smirk. “We love what we do.”
For tickets and information, go to murderonus.com. As they say, “You’ll die laughing.”
Photo Credit: Yosefa Leora