The advent of mystery-solving search engines has threatened to deprive an entire generation of the euphoric rush associated with solving a double murder at an abandoned paper mill. Today's Groupon celebrates the ancient art of conundrum cracking with a twist. For $29, you get one VIP ticket package to Icing Bridezilla, a comedy/murder mystery/wedding reception, at the Lumber Baron Inn in Highland, a $59 value. As the best gumshoe is a nourished and happy gumshoe, the night includes a three-course dinner, one glass of beer or wine, front-table seating, digital photo, and a choice of souvenir hat or T-shirt.
Icing Bridezilla begins at cocktail hour in the parlors, where guests mingle with the professional actors behind the eccentric cast, including the titular bride and perhaps even a soon-to-be murderer. Once the ice is fully broken, patrons will head to the ballroom, where the three-course dinner provided by The Food Guy Catering will be served with a warm glass of comedy and a cold side order of murder. Unite the collective brainpower of your table while enjoying entrees such as the lemon-honey brined and grilled chicken breast with a lemon and pancetta reduction sauce. Nibble on homemade lemon custards for dessert while enjoying the hilarious conclusion to the wedding-themed web of deception that the audience will help unravel. (Check out the full menu about a quarter way down the page here.)
The production takes place inside a majestic three-story Victorian mansion built by an actual 19th-century Scottish lumber entrepreneur. One glimpse of the Lumber Baron Inn's lavish wooden interiors will have your magnifying-glass grip gesticulating wildly in anticipation. The shows are crowd pleasing and pressure free—the amount of interaction with the cast is entirely up to each guest. Call ahead to make reservations.
Though a majority of reviews are for a wedding or an overnight stay and not the murder-mystery dinners, the Lumber Baron Inn generates plenty of love on the Internet, from BedandBreakfast.com to Frommer's:
- I was blown away by this beautiful Victorian. I stayed with a friend for a weekend getaway and to experience a spooky murder mystery dinner. The Dinner and show were highly entertaining and made our stay so much fun. – BedandBreakfast.com user on 11/8/09
- Built in 1890 by lumber baron John Mouat (hence the name), the 8,500-square-foot house held many surprises: a myriad of ornate wood fixtures (cherry, poplar, maple, and oak, to name a few) and a once-hidden third-story ballroom under an ornate pyramidal dome. – Frommer's
Lumber Baron Mystery Mansion
Most people would agree that the Lumber Baron Inn looks like a mansion, but the significance of its cinnamon-colored exterior depends on whom you ask. The city of Denver would say that it's a historic landmark, Frommer's would add that it's a highly recommended bed-and-breakfast with four retro-posh suites, and its cast of actors would call it a stage for their talents.
Each weekend, their murder-mystery dinners entertain audiences with shows such as America's Got Murder! and Icing Bridezilla. Chef and innkeeper Julie Keller precedes each performance with a continually changing menu of eats; previous meals have included grilled chicken with pistachio sauce and sides of red-cabbage slaw and corn bread.
In addition to the murder-mystery dinners—which combine the Supreme Court's tradition of justice and chicken—Lumber Baron features an array of nightlife acts, including magicians, improv sketches, and movie screenings. Outside, the grounds' garden foliage wraps around events such as weddings and mixers.