May 17, 2001 |
The Celebrity Dinner Theater, offering a meal and a musical, has been confirmed as the first tenant of the Santa Ana Performing Arts and Event Center. Improvements to the lighting, sound system and backstage must precede the anticipated mid-November opening of "A Big Band Christmas." Limon/Carr Productions of Tustin has contracted to bring shows to one of the three halls in the downtown venue, a restored, 71-year-old Masonic Temple.
June 7, 1986 |
Claiming they have not been paid salaries or stage costs, most of the crew for Sebastian's West Dinner Playhouse's production of "South Pacific" walked off the set this week in advance of Friday night's opening performance. Set designer Gil Morales said Friday that the director, choreographer, costumer, lighting designer, production manager and stage manager refused to work on Wednesday after John M. Winkley, the owner of the San Clemente theater, did not pay them as scheduled.
May 3, 1985
The California dinner theater premiere run of "A Chorus Line," the multiaward winning Broadway musical, will open June 11 at the Grand Dinner Theatre in Anaheim. Gene Nelson, the former dance star of Warner Bros. musicals and the movie version of "Oklahoma," is scheduled to stage the Grand version. The producer is Frank Wyka, the Grand's managing director. The Grand version, scheduled to run through Jan.
September 6, 1991 |
A flood of interactive mystery dinner theaters has arisen nationwide in recent years, and San Diego is at the vortex. Four extended-run mystery productions are playing in San Diego County, and local audiences are flocking to see them. Mystery Cafe is presenting two of them--"Murder at the Cafe Noir" and "Killing Mr. Withers"--on weekend evenings in San Marcos and Hillcrest, respectively. Another local producer, E-T Productions Inc.
November 21, 1986 |
Rancho Santiago College has staged a sexy and playful "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," Stephen Sondheim's farcical ode to hedonism in ancient Rome. Director Sheryl Donchey emphasizes the bawdy in this 1962 musical, peopling it with bikini-clad courtesans, grubbing procurers, salacious noblemen and sly, opportunistic slaves. The lines are heavy with double-entendres, and the sight gags feature a fair amount of groping and shimmying.
May 21, 1992 |
Sandra Faye and Dawn Rene, proprietors of a new dinner theater in Camarillo, are taking no chances--they're opening with Neil Simon's sure-fire comedy, "Plaza Suite." Each of the three acts is a separate encounter, all taking place in a suite at the ritzy Plaza Hotel in New York City. The first is a bittersweet drama of an unraveling marriage. In the second, a successful Hollywood producer attempts to seduce a girlfriend from long ago in a hometown far, far away (New Jersey, actually).
February 10, 1995 |
Although some people denigrate community dinner theater as something less than real theater, Jo Erickson doesn't let it bother her. She's too busy running a successful dinner theater. Erickson is the founder and executive director of the Granada Theatre in Granada Hills, which opened its 16th season last week with its production of "Black Comedy," written by Peter Schaffer. "I feel we do as good work as some of the (Equity) waiver houses," Erickson says.
May 4, 1995 |
All but ignored when it debuted in 1970, and little more than a historical footnote today, "Two by Two" deserves wider attention. The musical, one of composer Richard Rodgers' last, is currently playing at Ottavio's Banquet Facility in Camarillo. Directed to maximum effect by Rex Waggoner, it's one of the best productions in the dinner theater's history--maybe the best ever.