BWW Review: MURDER IN PARADISE at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre
Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre offers a lot of unique, fun theatre experiences to Southwest Florida audiences, and MURDER IN PARADISE was no different in that aspect. It was a hilarious, very interactive show, and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.
When guests arrive at MURDER IN PARADISE, they are seated by the actors, who are already in character, then given a new identity for the evening; I was "Gail Force" for the night. I appreciated the thought put into each identity given to guests, as most of us had some connection to one of the characters--plus, our names were puns, which I love. A few guests were chosen to play more key parts as well, and some had brief lines given to them to say, which resulted in even more humor and audience involvement. The MURDER IN PARADISE actors knew of our new identities very well, also; for instance, Chance Cintron saw the name given to another woman at my table and knew to say something to her about his character's connection to her guest identity. This was a nice, very smart touch, and it made me admire the work these actors put into this production even more.
I was very much impressed by how well each of the actors stayed in character throughout the entire experience. They served our entire meal to us, taking care of each guest, while still remaining immersed in the story. Guests were able to ask the actors (as their characters) questions throughout the evening, to help solve the mystery, and the actors were each brilliant with how they handled the questions; some of the questions were very difficult to answer without giving away the mystery, but they did it. Marc Collins, the Accompanist, was also spectacular in his musical timing during key points of this show.
The cast of MURDER IN PARADISE consisted of Dianne Stone Fussaro, Steven Michael Kennedy, Gary Obeldobel, Robert Summers, Kelly Legarreta, James Heffernan, Dena Galyean, and Chance Cintron. Each cast member was quite wonderful at playing their part; they all paid amazing attention to detail in mannerisms and the storyline. I thought they were all very cohesive and natural together, which is key in a production where the actors are so close to the audience.
If you have attended Broadway Palm's main theatre productions before, or if you haven't attended anything at Broadway Palm before and are interested in checking it out, this is a perfect experience to try out. It is very, very different from their main theatre productions, and it is a lot of fun. The dinner courses were timed well in between the different scenes, and it was interesting to hear how other guests at your table interpreted the clues of the show. It was definitely not an obvious murder mystery, as each character had a pretty solid motive. I wasn't able to solve the mystery of MURDER IN PARADISE myself, but maybe you will have better luck than I did! As a bonus incentive, a prize is awarded to whoever can solve the mystery.
I highly recommend checking out this very funny, very clever production. Despite it being a murder mystery, MURDER IN PARADISE had the audience laughing the entire time. It's a fantastic choice if you'd like a relaxing, mysterious afternoon or evening with a great meal and some smart entertainment. If you happened to see CLUE THE MUSICAL at Broadway Palm last year, you'll especially enjoy MURDER IN PARADISE.
MURDER IN PARADISE is playing in Broadway Palm's Royal Palm Dining Room now through June 10, so get your tickets quickly! Tickets are $45 for dinner and the show. Doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner and the show begin promptly at 6:30. MURDER IN PARADISE plays Thursdays through Saturdays, with some select Sundays. Advance reservations are required and tickets can be reserved by calling (239) 278-4422, by visiting BroadwayPalm.com, or by stopping by the box office at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers, Florida.