Erika Crocco heads The Mysterical Players

| 25 Sep 2012 | 02:46

— There's been a murder in town. Well, at a dinner theater anyway.
West Milford Resident Erika Crocco has recently taken on running The Mysterical Players, a murder mystery dinner theater group that has been performing in various areas of New York and New Jersey for the last few years.
Crocco started performing with the group about two years ago. She enjoyed it so much that when asked if she would take on running the New York/New Jersey area while the owner of the company went to promote the group in California, she jumped at the chance. She took over the group about three months ago and has been working securing jobs in and around the area.
Crocco says the group is unique in that they use a script, like a stage show, but with a lot of improv thrown in.
"You never know what an audience member will throw at you, so you have to be quick and on your feet at all times," said Crocco. "They can throw you off from the script and the performers have to be professional enough to 'go with the flow' but still be able to jump right back in where the scene left off. All in all, it is fun and challenging for both actor and audience members."
Crocco said the Mysterical Players are different in that they screen audience members to see who would be the most responsive in a situation prior to the show.
"We try not to make anyone do anything they do not want to do and we want everyone in the audience to be comfortable and have a bunch of laughs at our expense and not theirs," she said.
The shows are two acts; the first act is performed while people are eating their main course. One or even two actors will be murdered. Then there is an intermission where the people in the audience get to not only give themselves a detective agency name but also get to prepare questions to ask the actors. This is where much improv comes in. After the interrogation is over, the audience then gets to decide who the murderer is and what the motive for the crime was. They hand the information over to the detective and then act two is performed revealing the murderer and the motive. One audience member who guesses correctly will win a prize.
Several restaurants have asked the group to return and do more shows, Crocco said, an easy task since the group has over 15 different types of shows, including holiday specials like Halloween, Valentine's and New Years Eve shows. The shows can be changed around to meet certain criteria, and even murderers and motives can be changed so each show can be unique and special to the function. The group has enough show options to do one a month and never perform the same one twice in that location.
The Mysterical Players are available for hire for restaurants, pubs, bars, halls, parties, both corporate and private, and fund raising events. This is a great way to promote a new restaurant, Crocco adds.
For more information about the Mysterical Players or if you are interested in hiring them, contact Crocco at 973-728-6315 or The group is also on Facebook at:!/pages/Mysterical-Players/274445179919.