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Dinner Theatre Review: Boy Meets Murder

unnamedMore than thirteen years after the classic teenage sitcom Boy Meets World aired its last episode, Suffolk University’s Performing Arts Office (PAO) reached into our nostalgic pockets and tried to bring us back to the 90’s.

Like previous dinner theaters hosted at the Donahue basement, the PAO extended the night’s experience to an interactive experience. As the audience sat, music from when the show was popular played.

Cast members wore colorful wigs and mingled as the show started. The production ran the risk of coming across as gimmicky with the wigs and movie posters displayed across the basement but succeeded in pulling it off as part of the experience. The program given out to the audience even featured a note credited to one of the characters, Topanga Torrence. All of this helped audience members feel as though they were part of the movie night featured in the play’s plot.

The play follows the sitcoms characters as they host their first ever college event, a horror movie screening. Topanga, played by Corinne DeCost, leads the cast through the night until a cast member mysteriously dies.

Throughout the night the Director, Kathy Maloney, carefully had the cast speak to each other from across the tables where the audience sat. This helped heighten the audience’s involvement. It was a great use of the room which was not as utilized in last year’s James Bond production.

The production gave plenty of references to the classic show but it was still enjoyable for those who were not familiar with it.

Most of the comedic moments were presented by musical numbers and samples instead of visual props. Interestingly enough the production strayed away from the 90’s by also referencing modern day technology. This move tried to set a past time into a modern world which could have been extended. This modern day angle was ambitious but not fully executed. What was scratching at the surface could have made plenty of modern jokes. This minor shortcoming did not take away from an enjoyable night which I would have recommended to the Suffolk Community.

Naturally, since the play is set during college years the personal conflicts faced by Cory Mathewson, Shawn Thumper and co (played by Valeri Butler, Givany Lopes) were more adult themed.

This production ran November 21, 22 and 23, 2013.

Like my previous experiences with the PAO’s dinner theaters, I really enjoyed myself and I look forward to attending next year.

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