You’re Fired! – An Apprentice to Murder - Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre, Toronto – May 12, 2012

The only thing more talked about than Donald Trump’s real estate investments, golf course action, and infamous ex-wives club is undoubtedly his hair, causing countless jokes and much speculation as to whether the unflappable blonde mop is a bad hairpiece of just plain bad styling. The only thing critics seem to agree on is that the helmet-like ‘do’ is a definite don’t, and thus it remains a mystery.

With mystery in mind, it makes sense to incorporate ‘The Donald’ character into the newest conundrum served up by Toronto’s Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre, especially in light of Trump’s reality show, The Celebrity Apprentice, ready to wrap up its fifth season on May 20th, with the show’s final catch phrase declaration of “You’re Fired!”

Playing off of the popular reality series, which originated in 2004 simply as The Apprentice, the new “You’re Fired! - Apprentice to Murder” mystery incorporates several highly amusing but surprisingly accurate celebrity impersonations, including The Donald, played by actor Ken MacDougall, a washed-up Gary Boozy (a take-off of Gary Busey) played by Laurence Prance, and Regis Filden (a comical spin on New York talk/game show host Regis Philbin), played by Danny Wengle. The female contingent is rounded out by Birgette Solem who masquerades as tough talkin’ athlete Sue Polyester (Sue Sylvester of Glee, Two and a Half Men), Kimberly Persona as the self-absorbed, eccentric Madame Gaga (Lady Gaga), and Barb Scheffler who does double duty as train wreck Lindsay Lohest (Lindsay Lohan) and plastic surgery maven Joan Rivets (Joan Rivers).

With a dinner and dessert menu developed to suit the show’s New York based premise, the evening begins with Waldorf salad, Salmon Rockefeller, New York Style Boneless Beef Ribs, and Trump Tower Brownies or Big Apple Cheesecake. From there, the experience quickly morphs into gunshots and laughter. As the mystery unfolds, the cast moves throughout the room as they interact with each other as well as the audience, while effectively involving show goers that are celebrating special occasions. A short intermission allows for coffee and tea to be served, while discussions of ‘whodunit?’ fill the room. By the time the cast returns, Regis Filden has taken control of the investigation and systemically begins to unravel the clues. The audience is allowed to guess at the culprit via ballots that also assist in presenting prizes at the conclusion of the show, and inevitably the various guesses and opinions result in even more comedy as several are read out loud for everyone to hear.

Having been in business for 25 years, Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre offers up a talented cast that changes up their murderous show several times over the course of each year. “You’re Fired! - Apprentice to Murder” is their latest instalment, having begun its run in early April. And while it does crack the question of whodunit, unfortunately it doesn’t solve the mystery of Trump’s hair.

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