Kansas City Thrills for the Mystery Buff

If you love to play the game Clue with your family, you’ll love an evening of interactive mystery theater, courtesy of one of Kansas City’s murder mystery troupes.

Mystery Train of Kansas City

Just the facts: Interactive mystery dinner theater performed at local restaurants. Guests enjoy a full meal and live performance. $64/ticket. Appropriate for teens or adults. 816.813.9654, www.KCMysteryTrain.com. This fall’s shows include:

  • Murder at the Royal  thru Oct. 26: It’s 1976, and the competition is fierce at the American Royal.  Whether it’s the smokin’ hot barbecue or the rough and ready rodeo, there’s a lot going on … which may be the perfect cover for a murder! Bonus: Read our Review of Murder at the Royal.
  • Dead Air Nov. 5-Jan. 4, 2014: The cast of a famous Kansas City radio show is taking their program down the tracks to a rally for the war effort in 1943.  Everyone is keeping up a good front, but rumors have it that someone is about to be written out of the story—permanently.

Clues: The fun begins as you arrive and are greeted by the conductor who explains the evening's schedule. It’s the conductor’s job to ensure "the train is on time," and this host provides each guest with money for the trip. The "bribe bucks" you are given may be used at your leisure throughout the show in an attempt to extract information from the suspects.
As you're seated, you'll be asked your name and given a name tag. Feel free to choose an alias for the night—you can become anything or anyone you want. Adding to the interaction, random audience members are selected to participate in the mystery by playing key roles in the story.

The meal is served between each of the four acts, with appetizers, salad, a main dish and dessert. During these interludes, audience interaction is encouraged, and you're able to compare notes with other guests at your table to try to determine the solution to the mystery. They also provide the audience with one clue at the end of each act to help you unravel the puzzle.

Before the night comes to a close, everyone turns in their answers to the crime, and the solutions are sorted to see whether a member of the audience has accurately solved the murder. The master detective, who correctly figures out the motive, method and murderer for the evening, is honored at the end of the show with a reward.

Tip: Read our Review of Mystery Train Shows.

The Murder Mystery Co.

Just the facts: Performances at the Tiffany Ballroom, 903 Harrison St., Kansas City, MO. $60/ticket includes three-course meal and show. http://www.Grimprov.com

  • The Best Laid Plans thru Oct. 19: A new 1930s-themed murder mystery dinner. You are a guest of Sir Peace, a millionaire who has promised riches to the sleuth who solves the case. Peace will die, his killer will be a guest and his heir will be the sleuth who solves the mystery. However, if he survives or the murderer escapes unapprehended, all leave penniless.

Clues: The Murder Mystery Co. performs public shows and private shows for all ages (read the show rating in advance for recommended ages). The fully interactive experience includes encouraging guests to dress for the show! For a 1930s mystery, pinstripe suits, fedoras, bowties and vests, floor length dresses and elbow length gloves are in order. The interactive show is full of humor, comedy and suspense—and rewards for the sleuth who solves the crime!

Murder Mystery Players of Kansas City

Just the facts: The Murder Mystery Players come to you for private parties. www.MysteryPlayers.com
Clues: The Murder Mystery Players have been “killing guests with laughter” for more than 20 years. Kansas Citians enjoy local references in the humor and over-the-top acting in this light-hearted performance. The actors dine with the guests, so come prepared to interrogate suspects and compare notes as you try to solve the crime. The winning sleuth receives a prize and everyone leaves laughing.

Mysteries at Holyfield Winery:

Just the facts: Mystery Dinner Theater at Holyfield Winery, for adults 21 and over only. 913.724.WINE, www.HolyfieldWinery.com

  • Death at Duck Dynasty Oct. 25 & 26, 7:00. $40/ea. (dinner included).

Clues: This is a perfect evening for couples or friends looking for a unique night out. Arrive early to sample Holyfield wines, then enjoy a full catered buffet and live interactive murder mystery performance. Actors from Upstage Productions of St. Louis, with the help of randomly selected audience members, play parts as the mystery unravels. Tip: keep an eye out for clues, because the winning sleuth takes home a sparkling prize, courtesy of Holyfield.

Tip: Read our Review of Holyfield Winery Mystery Shows.

Upstairs TeaRoom Dinner Theater:

Just the facts: UpStairs TeaRoom at the Main Street Galleria, 501 Main St., Weston, MO. $25/ticket. 816.640.2825, http://WestonMO.com

  • Ghosts’ Tales of Weston Oct. 19, 25 & 26 at 7:00. Dinner and three sessions of stories of Weston's past and present haunts.

Clues: Known for delicious food, the Upstairs Tea Room in Weston entertains audiences as local actors perform simple and fun-filled mysteries during a three-course meal. The intimate setting in historic Weston is beautiful in the fall. Allow time to walk at Weston Bend State Park or explore Main Street Weston before the show.
*Indicates Top Pick

Mystery buffs looking for more local fun will enjoy:

Mysteryscape Bookstore:

Just the facts: 7309 W. 80th St., Overland Park, KS, 913.649.0000, www.Mysteryscape.com.
Clues: The locally owned and operated store is a favorite for fans of suspense, intrigue and thrillers. With an extensive collection of new and used crime fiction for all ages and interests, this local shop in historic Overland Park is quickly making its way into the hearts of local bibliophiles. Featuring author events and book clubs, the shop is a must stop for mystery lovers.

Mr. E Hotel & Crime Lab at Science City:

Just the facts: Family friendly exhibits within Science City at Union Station. 816.460.2020, www.UnionStation.org.
Clues: The Mr. E Hotel exhibit features interactive optical illusions and the illusions of M. C. Escher. In the Crime Lab, learn how to use forensic evidence in a criminal investigation to solve crimes. These are just two favorite exhibits at Science City Union Station, a favorite day trip for the entire family.

Kristina Light loves to curl up with a good mystery in the autumn, and she and her husband love to attend a mystery theater on date nights!

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