When someone is looking for something to do in the Cecil County, Maryland area, Dove Valley Vineyard has become one of the go to venues. I attended several events in the past, but I’d never done one of the murder mystery nights. When I saw the Deadly Housewives Murder Mystery Night was coming to Dove Valley, I booked my dinner theater reservations.
This local vineyard traditionally offers a glass of wine in a commemorative glass with most events. For this night of murder and mayhem, they chose Dove Valley Gold – a slightly sweet, semi-dry white wine that I liked enough to buy a bottle to take home ($15). I’m not able to drink red wines without getting an immediate splitting headache, so usually go for somewhat sweet white wines. The bar set up in the back of the room also served cheese and cracker plates and additional beverages, such as soda and water ($2 a bottle), for those who don’t drink wine.
The tables are set up so 3-4 couples are seated together at most of them. A few tables around the edges of the room had seating for couples or groups of four. People naturally began chatting with other couples at their tables and everyone seemed to be having quite a bit of fun getting to know each other. I’ve talked to many women over the past decade who struggle to meet people when they move to Cecil County. One of these murder mystery nights seems like a perfect opportunity for a couple new to the area to make some friends with similar interests.
We were all finishing up our wine when a woman rushed in and loudly started fretting about the time. The show had begun. The story line was entertaining, with a definite PG-13 rating, so I would recommend leaving the kids with a sitter! Audience participation added to the show. You never knew when you’d suddenly find that you were the pastor, the spitting image of the deceased Mary Ruth, or the guy a desperate Summer or Chastity might start singing to when they grabbed the mic. A few of the dinner guests mildly heckled the cast, but they are definitely great with improv and it added to the fun.
The action stopped for a bit while dinner was served. Buck’s Restaurant catered the event with Caesar salad, chicken Parmesan, pasta and dessert. The salad was slightly heavy on the dressing with crisp lettuce. The chicken parm was standard cafeteria type fare, but everyone seemed to enjoy the meal. We overheard one woman proclaiming that she was typically picky about her food, but the chicken was outstanding. Dessert was excellent – a moist slice of cake packed with walnuts and an icing that had the perfect amount of sweetness.
The best character of the night made his appearance near the end of the show. The Columbo like police detective was spot on. Impressive, since it was the 4th character this actor played! (The other male actor who was supposed to play two of the characters wasn’t able to make it.)
Once the final clue was given, it was time to solve the murder. The winner (chosen by the actors, who liked the response on her ballot sheet the best) and three runner-ups were selected and received tickets to a future event at Dove Valley.
All in all, it was an entertaining night and a great way to meet a few new neighbors or catch up with old friends, as I found I was seated with one couple I already knew. If you are looking for a fun date night or just a girls’ night out activity, I recommend Dove Valley’s Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre ($35 per person).
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