As far back as I can remember, birthdays in my family were celebrated with the traditional family dinner and gift exchange. For someone like me who loves untying the bow and unwrapping the perfectly wrapped box, this tradition never gets old. But for someone like my brother who would trade material things for memories, this tradition can be a bit disappointing.
That’s why this year, I decided to make my brother’s birthday celebration a little more interesting. So, where do you take a boy who loves solving puzzles, comedy skits, and most of all – delicious food? For me, the answer was simple: A murder mystery dinner theater.
I’ll start by saying that I am the least likely person to get on stage, and the word improv evokes immediate horror in me. But, I knew this gift was something my little brother would be thrilled with, so I purchased the tickets, and crossed my fingers that I would be part of the audience and not on the stage.
Since the venue happened to be smack dab in the center of Times Square, we had the opportunity to play tourist beforehand and take photos with the wax figures, Ripley’s side show freaks, and a blonde bombshell that goes by the name of the Naked Cowboy - perhaps you've heard of him?
When we finally got to the venue, I had no idea what to expect. Thanks to all my years of playing clue and watching murder mystery movies, I went in expecting an evening of suspense and mystery – but this was so much more than just a big game of clue.
The theme was a murder in the Italian Mob, and the actors played their role perfectly both on the stage and off. Even the waiters seemed to be having a blast as they topped our plates off with a tasty pasta dish while singing their own version of “That’s Amore".
Between the fabulous acting and the White Russians I enjoyed, the night consisted of loads of laughs and lots of eating. And as I looked over to see my brother enjoying himself just as much as I did (well, a little bit less – he isn’t 21 just yet), I knew my gift would be his most memorable one. Even though the show was a little less mystery and lot more comedy, the experience was more than I could have hoped for.
Even though we didn’t quite guess who the murderer was, it was a unanimous decision to dump the dining room dinner celebration and find new and exciting ways to celebrate each year.
You can even gather your friends and host your own murder mystery right at home. No special occasion needed - just get your Sherlock Holmes coat and pipe out of the closet, and get sleuthing!