Midwest Living Review
The Lemp Mansion bed-and-breakfast, said to be haunted by family members of St. Louis beer baron John Lemp, seems like the perfect place for a murder mystery. However, despite the austere exterior; small, dark rooms; and family suicide history, Lemp Mansion hauntings are elusive -- no goose bumps on a recent visit -- and the dinner theater is, sadly, less than compelling. The show is conducted before and between dinner courses. An actor in a bright red tuxedo (Red-Y-Mix, a concrete shoe salesman!) and a flapper from the 1920s chat with customers, assigning them roles. Dance Hall Dames, for example, are instructed to stand up, shake their hips and sing "Boop boop de boop!" occasionally. Clues about the murder are revealed gradually. Unfortunately, the show is mediocre and doesn't flow well. (In fairness, we later learned that many jokes had been nixed during our show because a few participants had requested the show be sanitized. But that's not fair to the rest of us!) Furthermore, there is no shot or sound of a body falling or really any action at all -- attendees simply learn that the main character is dead and then must figure out who killed him. The food is good, but not enough reason to sit through the show. Corn chowder is sweet and hearty. The main course, chicken with rice primavera, is tasty, but not remarkable. The wines offered are quite nice. Despite several lovely dining rooms upstairs, this dinner takes place in the basement. Windows are high and covered with fringy red curtains, so it feels a bit claustrophobic. On the top floor of the Lemp are the inn bedrooms -- dark, dramatic and old-fashioned, with claw-foot tubs and built-in mirrors. One nice surprise is the lovely garden, with mature trees, flowers, seating and a fountain -- a romantic place for a predinner drink. While we didn't stay overnight on our recent visit, it did look like a promising and memorable spot to stay. We'd just skip the dinner theater. The Lemp Mansion is open every day except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the 4th of July.