The murder mystery dinner has been around since 1981 and so within that thirty-year period the genre has refined and developed to create one of the most fun, interactive and collaborative nights possible.
The basic idea
At its most simplistic the dinners or audience are invited to solve a mystery which the cast enacts round them.
There is usually no stage as such in a murder mystery dinners los angeles, the actors are the waiters, chef, butler (no, the butler doesn't always do it!), house owners, weekend guests. The cast moves around with the diners and may even be seated at the tables. There's often a high comedic element to the evening too.
Variations on a theme
Scripted Evenings Involve a gradual reveal over the course of the evening and diners respond to the clues as they are revealed. The guests are told what to say and when. They may also have some introductory clues or even questions to get things rolling.
Interactive Evenings Diners know their part from the start and usually dress in character too. It is then up to the characters to work out how to solve the murder. Each person is provided with character information and a background. The individual characters might have a goal or task to perform as well as the main mystery. They are given free rein to move about and ask questions.
A mix of the two Some of the characters know what is happening but others don't. The evening unfolds based on the reactions of the unknowing diners who tend to play the detectives.
Incidentally, the meal can be tied into the theme too. An outdoor picnic or a formal dinner at a country mansion all add to the atmosphere and thrill.