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A Killer Good Time at the Murder Mystery Company

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here.

Last Friday, I had fun, fun, fun Girls’ Night with my buddy, Dear Friend Elly. There was yummy food, funny entertainment, and I got to act really goofy, which is kinda my super power, and all of this went down thanks to the Murder Mystery Company. They offer both public and private presentations of their interactive murder mystery dinner shows all over the country. I love food. I am an actor. I like being entertained. There were so many wins here.

When you sign up for a show, you get a really informative email about the show that you will be seeing, as the particular shows and themes change every few months. The one we saw was called “Til Death Do Us Part”,about bad things going down at a wedding reception. The folks in charge suggest you dressing up along the theme of the show, so said you could even wear your wedding dress. I could maybe currently get my wedding dress up to my knee, so I wore my veil along with a regular dress, and decided that if anyone asked who I was, I would say that I was that wedding guest who tries to show up the bride by being a little spectacular. I thankfully didn’t have that at my actual wedding, but I have seen it done before. Yes.

So anyway, I drove the 40 minutes from my house in Annapolis, MD to see the Baltimore troupe at a Greek restaurant called Ikaros. There was street parking as well as free parking in the lot next door, and that is a big deal when you go places in the city. Elly was already waiting in line, so we were checked-in and pointed to the picture line, where you can pose for funny pics where you are strangling each other and stuff. If you get a Gold Circle ticket (kinda like the VIP level ticket), like we had, everyone in your party gets a copy as a souvenir. Otherwise, you can buy a copy. It actually turned out cute.



Then we were shown to our table, where our seatmates were a couple on a date. They were sweet people, and it was fun to meet some new folks while still being able to talk to the people you came with. A guy in a mullet wig and a t-shirt with a picture of a tuxedo on it came over, and introduced himself as “Bob”, the best man. Ahh, the show had kinda begun. He told us a bit about what was going to be happening later, and went around the table and had everyone introduced themselves.  Now, I am a veteran of dinner theater as a performer, and I have been an audience member at those types of shows where the actors are also your waiters, but when it’s time for the show, they get on the stage and do the show, and don’t interact with the audience in character. Not so much at murder mystery dinners, where you are expected to be a “detective” by asking the “suspects” questions based on clues that you get, OR where you are asked to actually play one of the suspects along with the paid actors in the show. Which is what happened to Yours Truly when “Bob” got to me last and said, “Your name is actually ‘Dr. Candy'”, and he put a doctor’s coat on me, and said that I would be playing one of the suspects in the show. I won’t give away the plot of the show, but someone dies. And a bunch of people could have done it. Yes.

Now, here is what I found out about murder mysteries: I believe that your good time is based on how willing you are to play along. If you just want to see a show, you might want to do something else. But if you are willing to throw yourself into it and just abandon yourself to the silly, like most of the people there decided to do, it is a big old treat.

So during the really delicious Greek dinner (bring cash to tip the really gracious waitstaff, who weren’t in the show), I got to look at a notebook full of info about my character, and I got prompted as to what to say to the “detectives” when they questioned all of the chosen suspects, me included (again, I think that there were maybe 8 or 9 audience members given name roles, while the paid actors helped out when we got confused). Then the interrogations begin, as people walk around the room and try to get info from the suspects, and we take fake money for them as bribes. Or not. You could actually just stay in your seat and let other people walk around and do the work and just eat and drink and observe if you want, based on your level of wanting to jump in. Whatever works.

So, by the end of the night, people vote on who they think the murderer is. Now, whether or not who we picked actually makes sense was of no importance. It was just fun. And at the end of the night, they gave out awards to the audience members who gave the best performances, and this happened.


I did explain later that I was actually a professional actor and such, so I felt like they could have given it to someone else, but they let me keep it. So YAY!!

If you are looking for an all-inclusive night of delicious food, fun entertainment, and the chance to exercise your inner “Cookie” from “Empire”, or whoever you wanna be, you should check out the Murder Mystery Company. This is the link to the Baltimore location, which is currently offering a 40% discount (don’t you love discounts?) , and this link takes you to the national site, where you can find a show in your area. It’s a fun night. You should do it.

We were given complimentary tickets to The Murder Mystery Theater Company show in order to review it, but the high opinions of it are completely real and my own. 

Have you ever been to a murder mystery night, either at a restaurant or at a party? Did you get all into it? 


Open your Eyes

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here.

So, my son is almost 3, and every day does something new and often funny. His newest thing is to close his eyes and say, “But I can’t see everybody!”. And I explain that’s because his eyes are closed. If you aren’t open to looking, then everybody and everything is going to pass you by. Some people are okay with that, and close their eyes to the things that they don’t want to see. But whether or not they decide to look, the people are still out there, living.

And I believe that a lot of people’s eyes were closed to the depth of the racial tensions in this country, but some of those eyes were pried open with crowbars after the events in my hometown of Baltimore the past few weeks. The death of Freddie Gray while he was in police custody has spawned sorrow, resignation, peaceful protests, violent riots, marches, hateful Facebook comments, and many, many words, both written by many bloggers and spoken by the countless number of reporters who descended on the city that I love.

And although I worked out some feelings on Facebook, trying to grieve and reflect and heal in a group along with friends who are from the area and some who have moved away (I no longer live in Baltimore, but about 45 minutes away in Annapolis), I waited to write something on this blog. I needed time to process what was happening. And although I am writing now, don’t think that this post is some definitive manifesto on what happened in Baltimore last week, what has been happening there and all over this nation since its founding, an on what I think will and should happen. Because it’s not.

It’s not that easy. I’m not healed.

Because although it would be fantastic, and I am serious when I say this, if these feelings and tensions went away once people saw evidence, and once a trial happens, and once a court of law decides whether or not the officers accused of Mr. Gray’s death were actually responsible. But that’s not going to happen. Because people are prone to see what they want to see, based on their leanings and whatever they bring with them to any incident, and those leanings often prevent them from seeing anything else, regardless of whatever evidence they are presented with to the contrary. I mean, some people don’t even think we have any racial issues in this country, and that it’s all about taking advantage of opportunity, and that we are all treated the same way in society based on how we act, and that it has nothing to do with your race, or where you came from, or anything like that, and if you just obey the law, you will never have any problems, and that race issues are all in the heads of the ones who claim they are being oppressed.

And I think that is the highest level of wrong, and absolutely not true, but I won’t try to give you evidence of that right here and now. Because, I think, trying to list all of the ways I see racism in the very fabric of this country trivializes the gravity of the issue. Because I would give you evidence, and you would explain it away and say that I imagined it, and that everything is fine, and I would disagree, and I think this conversation is so important, that I won’t even pretend to hash it all out here.

But there needs to be a conversation. Because this isn’t going away. It’s not. And we can choose to keep our eyes closed, like my silly toddler, and pretend that people outside of our eyelids aren’t hurting, aren’t sad, aren’t tired. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. It just means that you refuse to see them. What we need is to open our eyes, and actually listen to each other. We need what my former Pastor and the closest thing I have to a mother-in-law calls a paradigm shift. We need to accept that we don’t know everything. That’s not what this should be about. This isn’t about being right, about those other people being wrong, and being able to close the door on this once this case or that case is over. Too many lives are caught up in this, of people who feel like their lives don’t matter to everyone, of police officers who are trying to keep and maintain a peace, of people who happen to share the same color or occupation of those under fire. These feelings are bleeding through in living color on Facebook, and in comment sections, and it’s ugly. The hate I have seen in the past week is enough to make me want to scoop up my husband and son and move somewhere far away. That won’t help. And that doesn’t change the fact that these things are still happening. They are. And they will. So we have to talk about it. To try to hear each other. Something. Because I am sick of dead young men, and of dead officers, and hate. Even with talking, I don’t know if these things will ever go away. But we can start by at least seeing each other. At opening our eyes.


Thank you.


Five Minute Friday: Visiting home, and having home visit

by SweetMidlife

I no longer feel like a visitor in my own home.

Leslie here! Our word for the day is “Visit.” Here goes!


I am a transplant in South Florida, a place that is often said to have no natives, which is dumb and arrogant on the part of the transplants, because somebody’s getting born in those hospitals. Anyway, I’m often asked “Where are you from?” with the assumption that I am originally from somewhere else. And I am a native Baltimorean by way of Pennsylvania. For years that was my identity, to the point where even though my mail was delivered here, I still referred to Baltimore as “home,” though I hadn’t lived there since 1992. I felt lighter there, more comfortable. I felt like I was at home on my visits, and visiting in Florida, which was technically my home.

But a funny thing happened about five years ago – I fell in love with a man who was from home, from my high school, who also felt like a visitor in the state where he’d lived off and on for a decade. But we found more than a person to kiss and share a mortgage with. We found our home. And suddenly, this place where we were living felt like home. Our friends and family were secretly hoping that, having fallen in love, we would move back to Maryland and finally be home. The weird thing was – we each fell in love with a Baltimorean and finally felt like Floridians. We were no longer visiting in this space. We belonged.

I still don’t get how Floridians drive. But I guess I am one now, no longer a visitor in my home. So it’s sort of OK.


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