Comedy filled murder mystery dinner show

We had a fun and different evening for last night’s entertainment. Our son and daughter-in-law from Columbus, Ohio came over to Indianapolis and treated us to an evening at the Indy version of The Dinner Detective murder mystery dinner show.

Where the body was found!

The show was held in a decent sized conference room at the Sheraton Hotel in the Keystone Mall on the north side of Indianapolis. Our party had seven, including three of our adult grandkids. The table sat 10, so another couple was seated, and before the show started another fellow sat down. We all wondered if this fellow was in fact part of the show.

Interaction between cast and audience

All attendees had made up “aliases” for name tags. Sher was Nancy Drew. The crowd was encouraged to question as many other guests as possible, and begin to make a suspect list. Soon after we began eating the murder victim made his appearance with a mortal wound and died on the floor.  Thus the mystery commenced.

The detective hovering over the victim’s body

Two “Police Detectives” soon came out and began the investigation. They interviewed and interacted with many of the audience. There was constant funny patter, including some hilarious one liners and great improvisation. The lack of an obvious script was a bonus.

This was the “Curtain Call” for the cast

Clues were discovered, some under some of the plates on the tables, some from printed pages giving background information for the plot. The flow of the acting was pretty much constant. The two police detectives did a great job keeping the storyline on track. The plot was quite complicated and only one person got all the details correctly.

Vegetarian Farro Risotto

Chicken Marsala

The rich dessert

All of this action took place while we were enjoying the very nice multi course meal. It started with Caesar salad. Entrees offered were Chicken Marsala, Pan Seared Tilapia, and vegetarian Farro Risotto, all topped off with a decadent rich chocolate cake. There was also a full service bar that was open the entire time. The meal was good, however the table service left a lot to be desired. That was really our only disappointment of the evening.

The company logo

We had a great time being immersed in this murder mystery. The Dinner Detective has over 80 locations in cities all over the country. Check to see if there is one near you.

 

Teatro ZinZanni has a great show in Seattle’s Sodo Park

Coming Home is such a fitting title for the return of the Teatro ZinZanni’s production now being celebrated after its long awaited return to Seattle. The terrible events of 2020/21 that closed the show and the vintage 1910 circus tent had left a real void in the entertainment scene in the Pacific Northwest.

SODO Park, 3200 1st Ave S, Seattle

Now the show is back, this time in an old warehouse in SODO Park on Seattle’s south side. This is a limited edition run, now showing until February 19, 2023. The ZinZanni tradition of love, chaos and of course dinner is alive and well at this vintage venue. No tent, but a full bar is open, and the coat check room is in a huge old walk-in safe.

They make a stiff cocktail!

Curtains open, ready to be seated

Photo of menu items courtesy ZinZanni website

When you are seated, you will find the first course of your four course meal at your table. Tonight it was a wild mushroom tart with thyme-infused Madeira cream sauce. Second course was pumpkin soup with coconut and green chili sambal. The main course was your choice of meat, fish or vegetarian entrée. Chai panna cotta with a  blood orange glaze wraps up your feast for dessert. The four courses are brought to your table throughout the evening, at reasonable intervals, and not disruptive to the show.

The old warehouse becomes home to actors

The band, complete with Grand Piano

Now on with the performance! The setting here is an old warehouse of some kind. The trappings for the “Coming Home” show covered most, but not all of the old warehouse interior. Elaborate lights and sound systems were in place and provided technical support. The band was seated on an actual stage, and my did that small group of musicians put out an amazing variety of sounds.

Not enough can be said about the talented cast! Ben Wendel and Rachel Nehmer make up Duo Madrona, trapeze artist extraordinaire.  What they do is heart stopping!

Rizo is more than a superb vocalist. Her passion flows in every verse she sings, and her ability to hold a note seemingly forever will captivate you.

Vita Radionova defies the laws of physics with her contortion and hula hoop performance. As her act progresses, the number of hoops she uses increase!

Manuela Horn is the 6’2″ tall Yodeling Dominatrix. Yes, that’s what I said. Her antics keep everyone in stiches, and her interaction with one hapless audience member, well, it was interesting.

Elena Gatilova is a former World Champion of rhythmic gymnastics, and you won’t believe what she does on a suspended ring. Plus she is an excellent comedic actor.

Domitil Aillot trained at an internationally renowned Circus School in Paris. What he does with a stack of chairs from floor to ceiling will blow your mind, as will his performance on the Chinese Pole!

Michael Evolution is a world-class basketball freestyle juggler. Never heard of one? You are in for a treat! What this man does with three basketballs defies gravity!

Kevin Kent was a cast member of the original Teatro ZinZanni show in Seattle in 1998. His improvisation skills are unmatched, and his interactions with audience members in many different scenarios will have you surprised and in stiches. Enough said…

The Teatro Zinzanni trademark

Sher and Maj as taken by the Official Photographer

We were so glad when we heard that Teatro Zinzanni was back in business in Seattle. The new location works fine, and the cast, band and crew make for a delightful entertainment event. Learn more about the cast, band, menus and other points of information at the Teatro ZinZanni’s websiteDon’t miss a chance to catch this evening of love, chaos and dinner.

The Addams Family at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre

Indy’s Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre has published a general invitation to “meet The Addams Family” during October and most of November this year. We took them up on that invitation, and thoroughly enjoyed the performance Saturday night.

(snap snap) When you’re an Addams theme song

A B&B press release sets the stage: “Few things frighten the eerie Addams clan. But Gomez Addams faces a nightmare when his daughter, Wednesday, falls in love. What’s worse, she loves a boy Gomez has never met – who is from a respectable family. To complicate matters even more, Wednesday pleads with him not to tell her mother, Morticia, and Gomez must do something he’s never dared – keep a secret from his wife. Everything changes forever for the famously frightening family when they are put to the test hosting a dinner for the “normal” boyfriend Lucas and his parents.”

The (family) Ancestors and Uncle Fester (Kurt Perry)

That said, it should be noted that all of the cast were on point with the quality of their performances. Eddie Curry and Jill Kelly Howe portray Gomez and Morticia Addams with skills that successfully define their characters. The show begins with Uncle Fester “dancing on the graves” of ghostly Ancestors, who provide dancing choreography throughout the performance.

Jeff Stockberger as Lurch

Amanda Butterbaugh as Grandma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shelbi Berry plays Wednesday Addams,  while Ray Gleaves plays her “normal” boyfriend Lucas. John Vessels and Sarah Hund play Mal and Alice Beineke, the ridiculously normal parents of Lucas. Mal and Alice have a hard time adjusting to the Addams macabre way of like, their house in a Park in New York, and just about anything Addams!

The Beinekes and Lurch

Wednesday challenges Lucas with a crossbow and apple on head

Wednesday sings while torturing Pugsley (Eli Neal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The conflicts that arise between the Addams family members, Beineke family members, and each others set the tone for the hilarious interactions seen in Act to Act to Act. Gomez and Morticia clash over his lying about the engagement of Wednesday and Lucas. Mal and Alice had tough time with their marriage. Pugsley was worried about Wednesday leaving him so no more torture.

Gomez reacts to the news of the engagement ring

The humor in this production is constant and hilarious. Some scenes border on slapstick, others are filled with subtle references to current political issues. Uncle Fester is in love with the Moon. Yes, the moon that orbits Earth. His featured Act “The Moon and Me” will have you rolling in the aisle. Lurch greets the Beineke family with the classic “You rang?” line. He later gives a mime explaining his death (yes, Lurch is neither dead or alive) involving a motorcycle and a bunny.

Portrait of Gomez and Morticia Addams

The set, lighting and special effects for The Addams Family are very impressive and set the tone of the production. Costumes reach a level of creepiness that is , frankly, creepy. Eddie Curry’s artistic direction is spot on, and coupled with the music rounds out a delightful production. You will be perfectly and hilariously creeped out when you meet The Addams Family. Reserve your seats early! The theater was sold out when we attended. This is a great Halloween season show.

To purchase tickets online, visit beefandboards.com. Tickets are also available by calling the Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre Box Office at 317.872.9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays. A discount of $6 off per ticket is available to children ages 3-15. The Addams Family is rated PG-13 for some language, innuendo, and dark references.

Stockberger and Curry together in Beef and Boards “The Addams Family”

This is our Review of The Addams Family posted after we enjoyed the show!

Sher and I have been enjoying Beef & Boards shows for years now. Among our favorite performers are Jeff Stockberger and Eddie Curry. These two talented actors and directors always bring a spark to whatever production they are part of. And they really shine when they are on stage together. (Remember The Odd Couple performance a while back?) Their timing is perfect and they put you in mind of classic comedy duos like Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis or Abbott and Costello.

The Addams Family cast

Jeff Stockberger as Lurch

This October we’re excited to see that Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre is presenting the spooky-ooky macabre musical comedy The Addams Family  starring Stockberger and Curry, among other B&B veterans of the stage. The show opens tonight, October 6th. We’re going to the show Saturday night.

To purchase tickets online, visit beefandboards.com.  A discount of $6 off per ticket is available to children ages 3-15. Also check out VIP memberships for next year’s 50th Anniversary Season. There are some great ticket deals available for some awesome shows.

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre presents “The Addams Family”

Back in 2015 Beef & Boards presented a production of The Addams Family. We missed that production but to our delight we will have a chance soon to see the same Tony Award nominated macabre musical comedy. Traditionally referred to as a show that is “creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky and altogether ooky” the 2022 cast is packed with B&B favorites as well as many of our favorite cast members.

Based on the cartoon characters created by Charles Addams that later inspired a television series in the 1960s and several films, The Addams Family opened on Broadway in 2010. The Beef & Boards production stars Eddie Curry, who reprises his role from our 2015 production as Gomez Addams, and Jill Kelly Howe (Million Dollar
Quartet, Ring of Fire, Lend Me A Tenor) as Morticia. Shelbi Berry (Honky Tonk Angels, Hello, Dolly!, Phantom) plays the role of Wednesday Addams, while Ray Gleaves (Escape to Margaritaville, Kinky Boots, Newsies) plays her boyfriend, Lucas. Also returning to reprise their 2015 roles are Jeff Stockberger as Lurch, Amanda Butterbaugh as Grandma, and John Vessels and Sarah Hund as Mal and Alice Beineke, Lucas’
parents. Eli Neal and Kurt Perry makes their Beef & Boards debuts in the role of Pugsley and Uncle Fester, respectively.

 

The Addams Family opens on October 6th and runs through November 20th. Pick your dates, reserve your favorite table and get tickets at the B&B’s website. Tickets are also available by calling the Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre Box Office at 317.872.9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays. Tickets include the dinner buffet , and don’t forget parking is always free.

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre celebrates 50 years of entertainment excellence.

The year was 1973. Those three massive eye catching  Pyramids had just been constructed on the then far northwest side of Indianapolis. A new music and theater venue named Beef & Boards had just opened. It offered a delicious meal prior to the entertainment show of the evening. Thus began a wildly successful run that continues today, 50 years later.

Come celebrate with the Stark family

Fort Wayne native Douglas E. Stark patronized the opening show, Tom Jones, and was mesmerized by the venue. His dream came true in 1980 when Stark bought Beef & Boards with a business partner, Bob Zehr. Stark recently observed “At the time it offered the most stability that I could have as an actor and director to fulfill my artistic need-and at the same time provide the stability that’s necessary for raising a family.” That family is now, with Douglas, operating Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre.

The 2023 season will celebrate 50 years of excellence in the theater business. The lineup of shows is quite frankly remarkable. It opens with the classic board game mystery Clue, one of three debuts this season. Wonderful musicals, clever comedies and theater classics make for a must see season.

The Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre 50th Anniversary season lineup

Clue                                                               Dec. 28, 2022 – Feb. 5, 2023 (Beef & Boards Debut)
Footloose                                                   Feb. 9 – March 26
An American in Paris                           March 31 – May 15 (Beef & Boards Debut)
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast      May 18 – July 9
Sophisticated Ladies                           July 13 – Aug. 20
Grumpy Old Men The Musical      Aug. 24 – Oct. 1 (Beef & Boards Debut)
Joseph -Dreamcoat                             Oct. 5 – Nov. 19
White Christmas                                   Nov. 24 – Dec. 31

The show that brought more people through its doors than any other: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat from Oct. 5 through Nov. 19, 2023.

The year long celebration of 50 years at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre will be an event that you should become a part of. Each and every show has appeal to all and provides an immense variety of entertainment options. Do not miss any of these fabulous performances. Bring your desire for a filling dinner and hunger for professional entertainment. You won’t be disappointed. All the information you need is at the Beef & Boards website.

Honky Tonk Angels is at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre

Take three different women from three different backgrounds, each with, however, a love of music and a desire to better themselves, and you have the makings of a rousing romp through the annals of classic Country Music. Three veterans of Beef and Boards’  shows bring incredible singing talent to the stage in the form of the new singing group The Honky Tonk Angels.

Darlene (Shelbi Berry), left, plays guitar and sings “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” with Sue Ellen (Kaylee Verble), center, and Angela (Bridgette Ludlow)

Angela Bodine, played by Bridgette Ludlow, hails from Texas. Darlene Purvis, played by Shelbi Berry, leaves the poverty of Mississippi for her dreams of stardom. And finally we meet Sue Ellen Smith Barney Fife, played by Kaylee Verble. She’s a former secretary who has a jerk of a boss. When these gals get together hold onto your Stetson ’cause here comes a toe tapping good time!

On stage before the show. The band will be behind the horseshoe partition, which also serves as stage center actor’s entrance/exit

Get ready, as Honky Tonk Angels includes more than 30 classic country tunes from such artists as Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, and Tanya Tucker.. Among these favorites are  “I Will Always Love You,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Stand By Your Man,” “These Boots Are Made for Walking,” “Delta Dawn,” “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad,” and “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.” If you like classic country, you will love the Honky Tonk Angels. We certainly enjoyed the show!

Angela (Bridgette Ludlow) sings “Harper Valley PTA”

To purchase tickets online go to the Beef and Boards website. Tickets are also available by calling the Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre Box Office at 317.872.9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays. Honky Tonk Angels will play through Aug. 14th.