January 26, 2005

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Nite: Murder at Del Vaudo’s

Nashua Theatre Guild performs murder mystery dinner

By Richie Victorino  rvictorino@hippopress.com

The only thing I knew about Café Noir before I walked through its doors was that there was a murder planned for that day.

I didn’t know who the culprit was, but I knew the murderer was in my midst.

Was it the café’s manager, Madame Toureau? She was the first to approach me at the bar, while I was waiting to be seated.

She exchanged pleasantries with me and my date and moved on her way.

But there were others, and they all seemed much more, shall I say, capable of murder.

There was Sheila Wonderly (pronounced Wonderlay), whose sexy red dress gave people plenty to think about.

There was Anthony Cairo (who resembled Steve Martin’s role in My Blue Heaven). His slick hair, fancy clothes and shifty manner made him a suspect.

But there were so many more suspects; from a voodoo practicioner to a private investigator, they all seemed guilty.

But only one was the true murderer.

And every word they say, every move they make, could be the clue to who is the guilty one.

Murder at the Café Noir, A Murder Mystery Dinner, is a comic tribute to 1940s Humphrey Bogart films performed at Del Vaudo’s by the Nashua Theatre Guild.

If you’re not ready to get involved in the entertainment, beware of this show.

For example, during a scuffle among two characters, an innocent bystander, who was eating her dinner and laughing her ass off, got water thrown at her.

My date was sung to by that shifty Cairo character. I was given the business card of the sultry Sheila Wonderly. Her card reads: No Job Too Dirty. 1-800-HOT-TIME.

Two random people walking by the restaurant were pulled in by Cairo to vouch for his character.

Throughout the night people were laughing, eating and talking to each other about “who done it.”

By the end of the night we'd had cocktails, dinner, dessert and champagne, all while trying to solve a murder.

Each character comes to guests' table and pleads his case. All the while he’s pointing the finger at someone else, giving reasons for why the other person did it.

If you haven’t paid close attention, you’re only guessing based on personality traits. Good luck to you.

But if you listen closely, you might pick up on something that no one else does. You could be the one who solves the mystery.

Comments? Thoughts? Discuss this article and more at hippoflea.com

Mr. Green in the Conservatory, with the revolver

Various murder mystery dinners are held at Del Vaudo’s twice a month. The next production of Murder at the Café Noir, A Murder Mystery Dinner, is on January 31.

The cost is $40 for one ticket. That includes dinner, dessert, champagne and the entertainment.

Del Vaudo’s is located at 112 West Pearl St., Nashua, 598-8007. You can go to www.delvaudos.com or www.nashuatheatreguild.org for more information.