It’s the perfect match — food and theater. It’s dinner theater. Not that I’ve had fancy dinner theater experience. I’m sure there’s probably a four-star dinner theater in New York City or maybe even Atlanta. My dinner theater experience has been more diner theater experience.
When our kids were in high school the church youth group did a production called Phil’s Diner maybe. It was musical dinner theater using musical in a loose sense. The food choices were hotdog or a hamburger; so you see, it wasn’t fine dining. But the production was fun complete with 1950s-style dancing and lots of puns in the humor.
I understand you can order dinner theater kits to do at home. While I haven’t done it, it sounds like a fun evening of entertainment. Of course, someone would have to cook the food; so that one so that’s a drawback. One site I looked at offered dinner made to order along with the script for the evening’s entertainment. Often it’s a mystery play set in your choice of location — train, mountain cabin, country inn, cranberry cove. My guess is the mysteries are fairly formulaic, but that’s not necessarily the same as bad. Many best seller authors use a formula for their mysteries and/or romance novels.
If like me you are wondering, what can we do locally? I am bored out of my mind after a year of pandemic, lockdowns, restrictions, etc. As it happens you can experience a mystery dinner theater right here in Haralson County. When I did an internet search of what to do locally, the results included besides the upcoming Dogwood Festival in Tallapoosa this weekend, a mystery dinner theater.
“A Recipe for Murder” will be performed at the several locations in April. Supernatural Productions out of Villa Rica will be staging the play. The Facebook page states the cast and crew are busy in rehearsals. In years past, this production company staged the train robberies and the haunted tours in October at the Pine Mountain Gold Museum in Villa Rica. Sorry, I should have stated SPOILER ALERT before that last sentence.
Tickets can be secured online through the Eventbrite site for any of the locations. Prices vary by location. The price covers the meal, a drink (probably iced tea or soda, as there will be a cash bar) and gratuity. Locations for the play include Plates in Carrollton, Uncorked in Villa Rica and the Castle at Wildwood Gardens in Waco. At this time it appears the dinner at Hawkiis Farm will be cancelled.
In a conversation with the owner of Supernatural Productions, Corissa Gaulin, I learned that the cast of six will be engaged with the audience throughout the evening. It’s not simply an on stage production. The audience will have an opportunity to interact with the cast and in solving the mystery. A trivia game is planned and there will be prizes at the end. Gaulin alluded to the play as a Paula Deen-type cook who is in a stew.
You might ask, Is she getting kickbacks on this deal? And the answer is no. But I’ve been giving this some thought. I am not promoting Supernatural Productions or any of the venues offering the show. But this is an interesting blending of cultural arts and local businesses, trying some new forms to keep business local. For local acting talent there are not many opportunities for expression and experience. This is one more way to showcase talent. For the very many local event venues sprouting up like weeds in the countryside, this is another business stream.
I wish the cast and crew and the businesses success in this new venture.
Mary Reid is a Haralson County resident who dreams of writing a memoir of her family’s time in Africa.