Murder Mystery spices up Family Weekend


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“It was Colonel Mustard in the Ballroom with the Candlestick.”

These three declarations can win a game of Clue, in which cards and plastic figurines stand in for murderers and weapons (in the game). But some families like to take the game a step further into reality — which is where Saturday’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party comes into play.

“It’s going to work just like Clue,” said Jacob Murphy, the director of the University of Iowa’s Family Weekend, which will host the event. “You’ll know someone died, and each character will have a back story about what they’ve been doing that night. It’s up to the audience to figure out who did it.”

Award-winning comedy group Mission IMPROVable will bring murder to the table for this spooky Halloween/Family Weekend mash-up. With the purchase of a $10 ticket from the Hub on the IMU first floor, people can enjoy a provided dinner and dessert along with guaranteed murder, investigation, and conviction.

The Murder Mystery Dinner Party event will take place at Old Brick, 26 E. Market St., with dinner at 8 p.m. and dessert at 10 p.m. Although the 8 p.m. dinner is sold out, there are still tickets available for the 10 p.m. show.

“I think what makes tickets sell for this event is that it’s advertised as family time, and it gives families something cool to do while they visit,” said UI senior and Hub employee Brian Roder. “A lot of freshmen live in the dorms and this is a good opportunity for them to keep their families from just sitting in the dorms all weekend.”

Family Weekend Assistant Director Kaitlyn Chizek said Murder Mystery Dinner Party goes beyond the average party or concert, offering people some off-the-cuff entertainment.

“Some parents don’t think that these types of events happen on campus or that they would be cheap for students,” she said. “This is our chance to showcase what kind of events the university generally offers.”

Murphy said the dinner-party attendees will be seated at round tables where, after getting their food, Mission IMPROVable will begin the show.

“The audience members will write down their clues after every round and make their suggestions,” he said. “It’s not going to be just a sit-and-watch type of thing. It’s going to be very interactive for the audience.”

This interactive aspect appears to draw participants to the night of murder and suspicion. While many of the Family Weekend programs are recurring, this is the first event of its kind at the UI.

“You actually get to be a part of it and guide how the event goes, which I think is a huge factor in people choosing to go,” Murphy said. “And you get the chance to win prizes, which never hurts.”

Family Weekend: Murder Mystery Dinner Party
When: 8 and 10 p.m. Saturday (8 p.m. dinner sold out)
Where: Old Brick, 26 E. Market
Admission: Tickets $10 at the Hub (Tickets NOT included in Family Weekend Package)

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