Suspects Dinner Theater was founded by Paul Waterman, and has been producing fast-paced, audience participation, murder mysteries since 1989. So that means they’ve been doing this for – let me see, 3 take away 9 equals, oh forget it – it’s been a long friggin time. Suffice it to say, they’ve had a few years to work on their approach to providing a killer dining experience.
When making reservations you quickly realize your night out will include a bit of audience participation, since they request a list of attendees, and want to know if you are celebrating an event such as a birthday, anniversary, or your release from prison.
The location for the dinner is the famed Delta King located in Old Town Sacramento. The seating was spacious with large round tables along two sides forming an aisle to accommodate the actors during their performance. There were nine people seated at our table and everyone immediately started introducing themselves to each other. Each person was eying the other thinking, ‘Are they the killer, or are they going to wind up deader than a doornail.’
As we were just settling in to order one of several bottles of wine, our host for the evening Robert, pronounced (roe-bair), a vibrant and flamboyantly gay guy, comes storming onto the scene screaming into the microphone as he was testing the mic. This caused the already nervous attendees to look around as if someone had just been shot.
A number of guests were asked questions while Robert poked fun at them. He would joke around about their name, occupation, or who they were with. One gentleman named TJ set Robert off on a TJ Hooker rant.
As our second, or was it our third, bottle of wine arrived, Robert continued working the audience with a number of comical routines, keeping everyone in tears.
The night’s events really picked up as Talent Manager Bobby Banks was introduced. Banks immediately asked the audience for volunteers to participate in a talent contest. As Banks talked to each contestant he bantered with them about their jobs, and who they looked like.
The contestants who volunteered were Sid, Kelly, Hailey, Christine, and Nikah.
After the contest a man dressed as Santa Claus came in shooting, telling everyone not to worry he was only there to kill someone.
I was trying to remain incognito, but I was singled out by Santa and made to dance like a sexy tiger – I’d rather not relive that moment, thank you very much.
Thankfully someone shot Santa and shut him up – sorry kids.
It’s difficult to put into words just how hilarious the actors were as they worked the audience with questions, it had many people in tears from laughing so hard.
I found the food delicious and typical of what you would expect to find in a large setting.
This was a bloody good deal and definitely well worth the $40 per person. You get to sit down to a good meal, see someone get shot, and participate in unraveling the night’s events to discover the killer.
The stars of the show did a killer job!
Robert O’Brien – Host
Jason Patrick – Talent show host
Luis Martinez – the Hitman
Raymond Keller – PSY impersonator
Matt Wokas – Detective
Kristine David – Jilted contestant
Linda Nalbandian - Stage mother