After 20 years of marriage, you can say that hubby and I have done our fair share of “dinner and a movie” date nights. While we enjoy the occasional action adventure or romcom, basically those dates involve us enjoying each other’s company for a mere hour or so, and then sitting in silence with not much connecting going on beyond a nudge of the elbow when he starts to snore. That is why we try to come up with different ideas that force us to perhaps go a bit out of our comfort zone and interact with one another and, even on some occasions, strangers! There is no better way to do this than by being a guest at a Murder Mystery Dinner. Lucky for us, there was one held right here in Lake Nona.
Often, murder mystery shows have a theme, and ours was no exception. Murder at Café Noir is a 1940s detective story, and the invite encouraged guests to dress in era or at least in black and white with a pop of color. Now if there is one thing about us Fuentes that you should know, when we commit to do something, we DO IT! That meant victory roll hair with bright red lipstick for me, and suspenders and a fedora hat for my man. We took some goofy pictures and then headed out for our evening of fun.
Justin Nickerson, the event coordinator for Tavistock, and his crew did an excellent job transforming the Lakehouse in Laureate Park into a 1940s black-and-white, glitz-and-glam nightclub called Café Noir, which is where the events of our comedy mystery show unfolded. We checked in and were shown to a table where other guests were already seated. While most of the people at the event were Lake Nona neighbors, the folks at our table had come from other places, which was nice as it allowed us to get to know other people. I particularly was fond of the cute couple next to us, but that could have something to do with the comment the sweet and smart woman made about us not looking old enough to have a college-age son! Did I mention how sweet and smart she was?
Feeling YOUNG and happy, we settled back into our seats to drink our complimentary adult beverages, began to enjoy the first of our three-course meal catered by Canvas Restaurant, and mingled with the costumed actors going from table to table before the show began. The actor playing Anthony Cairo, a dealer in the black-market working Cafe Noir to avoid the St. Vincent police, joked in character with my husband about the job they had recently did. It seems they made a mint selling snapping turtles imported from India. He even gave him his portion of money from the deal and then went off to try and buy the snazzy shoes right off the feet from our table mate. It was fun to watch all the antics and to try and see if anything they were doing or saying would help us solve this whodunit later.
Throughout the evening, we laughed and enjoyed ourselves as we followed along with Private Investigator “Just Plain Rick” Archer as he tried to solve the murders – yes, plural! There was a choice of entrees, and I opted for the roasted chicken with salsa verde and spring salad, which was excellent, but not as good as the clever dessert we were served. We passed clues and evidence around the table for everyone to see, and then each of us filled out a card of who they thought did it. It was fun to hear why people at our table came to the conclusions they did. Ironically, we all got it wrong, but just being there and enjoying the show was very right!
The evening was such a success that there is talk about bringing back the Murder Mystery to Lake Nona again soon. If they do, I highly suggest you get your tickets before they sell out the way this one did. If you just can’t wait until this great show (or one like it) comes back to Nonahood, then you can head to I-Drive and check out Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows (https://www.sleuths.com/index.html) or even purchase an at-home Mystery Kit like https://www.huntakiller.com/wine.
Bottom line: Keeping a relationship fresh sometimes means adding a little mystery … and a Murder Mystery Date Night is the perfect way to do just that!