Newman theater department presents ‘Murder at Café Noir’

Sep 22, 2021
Murder at Cafe Noir

Looking for something to do next weekend? Why not catch dinner and a show put on by the Newman University Theater Department and Great Western Dining?

Performances of “Murder at Café Noir” by David Landau will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 30–Oct. 2 in the Jabara Flexible Theatre. Tickets are $25 and include a four-course meal.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the first course of dinner will be served at 7:15 p.m.

About the show

Mark Mannette
Mark Mannette

“Murder at Café Noir” is an interactive comic murder mystery that relies heavily on audience participation.  

The play is set at the fictional Café Noir in the Caribbean Islands, and audience members will serve as “patrons” of the café, meaning the cast will interact with them, reference to them and even ask questions that will help determine what happens next.

“The audience can look forward to becoming part of the show,” said Mark Mannette, director of theater at Newman.

Auditions were held at the beginning of the semester, and rehearsals started shortly thereafter. The cast includes seven students who will also serve the food prepared by Great Western Dining. The serving of the food and bussing of dishes is incorporated within the production, so the cast will stay in character the whole time.

Three cast members rehearse for "Murder at Cafe Noir." Photo courtesy of The Vantage.
Three cast members rehearse for “Murder at Cafe Noir.” Photo courtesy of The Vantage.

“This is a different style of theater that the students may not have been exposed to or seen as an audience member before, so by participating in it, they’ll have that kind of an experience,” Mannette said.

Setting the stage

Austin Schwartz, a senior theater major, chose to audition specifically because he had never acted in a dinner theater production before.

Austin Schwartz
Austin Schwartz

“I think that murder mysteries are so much fun to watch and are extra engaging for the audience, so I wanted to take the opportunity to be on the other side of that experience and be on stage,” he said. “There are so many great parts in this show that will make the audience laugh or gasp as the surprises keep coming.”

For Matthew Clark, a senior studying theater and English, the chance to be part of a dinner theater production was too enticing to pass up. His “favorite form of feedback is laughter,” so he especially looks forward to playing an eccentric black-market dealer in the play.

“Even if it is ‘only a comedy’ and most people wouldn’t refer to murder mysteries as high art, I believe any piece that can engage the audience is a genuine artistic expression,” he said. “Whether it’s Hamlet or a simple ‘whodunnit,’ it’s a celebration of life.”

Murder at the Cafe Noir

Reserve your seats to “Murder at Cafe Noir”

Join us for a Newman dinner theater event you won’t soon forget!