With a passionate cast and a pretty decent meal, Whodunnit delivers a good night out with their Spring feature.
Whodunnit murder mystery dinner theater returns to their regular spot in the Hyatt Regency hotel with this Spring's feature, Reflections: Murder in a Hall of Mirrors. It revolves around the trial of maniacal Otto Bales and the murder he presumably committed in his own, odd mirrored hall. A four act play which, during the breaks, characters approach the dining tables and field questions regarding the case. Prepare for a night of guilty characters, a surprisingly deep mystery, and perhaps some scrod. All offered in this imperfect yet earnest play.
The show has many strengths and weaknesses. Its most notable difficulty arises from the various onstage distractions from the plot. Microphones sit in odd areas, amplifying the shuffling of papers or the audience's glassware. Many characters adopt accents, half of which sometimes make their words hard to understand. There is also a great deal of side action, drawing attention from the show's focus.
The main strength lies in the mystery itself. Too many productions present a scenario that doesn't contain a directly solvable puzzle. Reflections offers all the clues necessary to a discerning and attentive audience, while also giving fairly good misdirection. Credit goes to writer and director A.S. Waterman for delivering such a satisfying puzzle for those that love them. Besides this, there were truly engaging performances. Craig Nolan Highley as Joel Winston sinks naturally into the role of a put upon, disinterested witness. Jane Mattingly, playing the prosecutor, gives the character a believably amount of nervousness and strength.
Ultimately, the sheer enthusiasm of the cast and the welcoming appreciation of the audience make this a fun event. Whether walking around the tables or performing their lines, the actors sincerely wish to make the evening enjoyable. Equally, the audience simply loves it. Their participation allows for a level of connection that bolsters the show. As the cast gives out awards after the final act, the whole room is brought together in a delightfully lighthearted way that makes this and other Whodunnit productions worth attending.
Performances are held every Saturday until March 31st. Tickets must be reserved and are $43.95/person. Reservations can be made by calling them at 502-426-7100 and more information can be found at their website: http://www.whodunnitky.com/
Image: Courtesy Whodunnit?