This review was done by Marshall (AKA The One True Hazard)
As a celebration of October, the Month of Two Birthdays around our household, we managed to wrangle a few seats over at the I-Drive area’s famous Sleuths Dinner Theater. I-Drive is well known for the sheer number of dinner theater concepts that have sprung up around there, and we have seen most of them. Medieval Times, Arabian Nights, and Pirates come to mind. They all run off a similar formula. Gather everyone together in a waiting area/bar/gift shop until show time, then wrangle them into the show area and give them chunks of the show while they eat their dinner.
Sleuths is the same kind of concept, but instead of a high-action stunt show in a massive amphitheater, you have a more intimate theater gathered near a small stage. The show is, as the name would suggest, a mystery for the audience to solve. There are many different shows available at Sleuths, so even if you go multiple times, you’ll get a different experience. Because of the smaller theater, and the type of show that it is, much of the performance is not only interactive with the audience, but improvised a bit.
We enjoyed the show. It was lots of fun. I don’t really want to ruin the show for you, so I won’t really get into the nitty-gritty details, but ours was a murder mystery at the Squire’s Inn in England. The characters were off the wall, and the actors really got into them. After seeing things unfold up until the murder, we received the main portion of the meal. After that, we got to question the suspects, which was lots of fun. This is where the actors could really show off their improv skills, as they would not only respond entirely in character, but could easily segue weird questions into the pre-scripted, multi-character scenes that would reveal content. Then, we got dessert, followed by accusations.
This was where the show fell a bit flat. As someone who was raised watching Poirot and other Agatha Christie mysteries on PBS, the final result was… unsatisfying. As the only piece of definite evidence as to whodunnit was left until the end to be revealed, it could literally be ANY of the suspects right up until the reveal. The suspects all have a motive, and no alibi. It feels as if they could change the ending right there with a quick whisper behind stage and nobody would be the wiser. That grinds my gears. This could have just been the Squire’s Inn story that did this, but I have no way of knowing.
So, after a full discussion of the show, lets move on to the consumables. The bar has a full assortment of drinks, and several house drinks that looked very good. There was a chocolate mint drink that was very tasty. Once you get into the show, you have unlimited soda, beer, and wine. The lasagna was much better than the food we’ve had at other dinner theaters, and Vince’s steak seemed to meet his expectations. Deserts were a bit of a let down, as the chocolate cake was dry and dense.
All in all, Sleuth’s is a fun experience, but I would only go again if I could get a discount. At the price, its food is in need of a little upgrade. The show was entertaining, and a good way to spend an evening with friends. I would like to see if all the other shows have the same lackluster ending, but take this bit of advice: think of this less as a mystery show, and more of a comedy. You’ll enjoy it better.