b How it Works | The Gourmet Detective The Gourmet Detective - Murder Mystery Dinner Show Theater in Orange County & Riverside, California
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SoCal's Longest Running Interactive Theater Company

How it Works

Guilty as charged.

It all begins the moment you step into the restaurant -- The characters run the joint, and you, unsuspecting, become part of the scene, as you become witness, sleuth and potentially accomplice to the crime. The story itself is played out in scenes as you sit back and enjoy a visual feast of authentic costuming, sets and live period music. Between each scene of the mystery the same cast of characters serve you dinner… one course at a time. This is your chance to ask them questions, assume your own character and try and solve the mystery.

How it All Began

We began producing interactive, murder mystery dinner shows in 1990. In late 1989 we attended a few “audience participation” mysteries and were horrified by the Don Rickles approach to improvisation. We preferred a higher end experience, one that put the audience on a pedestal rather than on trial. So, we went searching for a team of directors, improvisation experts and performers to pull the whole thing together. The first performance was November 2nd, 1990 and it worked. Audiences of all types loved the mix of audience friendly participation, music, comedy and drama.

Why it’s Unique

We’ve been professionals in the food and murder business since 1990 so we’ve stood the test of time, but the thing that separates us from the rest of the Murder Mystery Genre is the quality of the patron’s overall experience. Our focus has always been on creating a positive audience experience; it’s mission critical in an interactive environment to make the audience feel they can get involved, take risks, and look good doing it. This way they become more engaged and ‘play’ with the performers. Once the audience is engaged the real fun begins.

Compared with other Murder Mysteries

It’s the audience member’s job to solve the mystery and the characters are at their disposal that much is standard fare; however, this production combines professionally scripted comical and musical performances, authentic costuming, live music underscoring the performance all within a full service restaurant creating a unique formula for audiences. Most dinner shows within the genre are improv troupes working from skeleton scripts. That’s a fun setting as well, but really not the production value that we strive to deliver.

Our Audience, or Who Should Attend

We appeal to an incredible range of people… from theater buffs to people looking for something different to experience. We are a very popular “date night’ as well as a perfect place for celebrating birthdays and anniversaries. And, of course we’re a big hit with companies celebrating holiday parties, hosting corporate events, sales meetings, or conferences.