SANDY — Everybody loves a good mystery, especially when they have a chance to get in on the action and help crack the case. Throw in some music, dancing and Italian food and you are good to go. Hunt Mysteries delivers it all with their latest show, “Godfather of the Bride.”
Set in mafia-run Chicago, the mystery dinner takes place at the speakeasy of Chicago’s No. 1, Don Donatello Giovani, (a room above Spaghetti Mama’s in Jordan Commons).
When guests arrive at the wedding reception of Fingers Vinerelli, Chicago’s No. 2 man, and Bunny Beckenstein, a platinum dancer, they are in for a unique experience.
Far from the quiet role of a mere observer, you play a pertinent part in this performance. Right off the bat, you are thrown into the theater world. Before entering the ‘reception’ you must first obtain a password from Harry “The Lip” Smackerelli. After a trip through the wedding line and a quick order from the menu, the show begins.
Just like a real reception, the couple takes a moment to eat, mingle with the crowd and provide a bit of entertainment. There was singing, dancing and the traditional throwing of the bouquet. As part of the festivities, Fingers taught an Italian dance and invited audience members to dance along.
As cast members mingle they reveal more of their past and hint at their dark secrets. Near the end of the evening, the unthinkable happens and you are invited to help solve the mystery. This is not a casual night out, the murder mystery requires constant attention to pick up all the details for further investigation. You actually get a chance to grill the cast to weed out the murderer.
While the show was fun and fresh, it was also a bit confusing. This may have something to do with the fact that I have never seen “The Godfather” and therefore missed some of the parodies.
Instead of a traditional theater auditorium setting, the realistic setting of a wedding reception added to the ambience. There were moments when I honestly felt I was at a wedding reception, celebrating as a guest with the bride and groom.
With a mix of characters from different backgrounds, there were a wide variety of accents. Unfortunately the accents were a bit disappointing and somewhat sporadic. It seemed the cast was worried more about the way they said things than what was being said and as a result the performance fell flat. A little more practice and tweaking of the accents would prove a more authentic performance.
From where I was sitting the music was also a bit too loud. At times it was difficult to follow what was happening, as Italian music rang in my ears.
One of the highlights of the evening, besides dancing with the groom, was chatting with my new friends at our table. We got a chance to get to know each other while we threw around our suspicions.
While there were a few kinks in the performance, it was nothing a little tweaking couldn’t fix.
If you are looking to jazz things up and break away from the monotonous dinner-and-a-movie outing, this is the play for you. Just make sure you come prepared to “play” along.