Dinner Theatre

aka: Dinner Theater
Dinner Theatre is a format that caters usually to elderly patrons. The building will be both a restaurant and theatre. In some places food is served during the show, others it's served beforehand.

At conventional dinner theaters, the plays chosen tend to be The Musical, or other Lowest Common Denominator crowd-pleasing fare. Another take comes in the form of original spectacles in custom-built arenas designed to entertain family crowds, such as the Real Life Medieval Times chain. A popular variation has been to mix dinner theater with LARP Murder Mystery theatre, where the audience takes part in the proceedings to solve the crime. Alternatively, the show is set up as an event that encourages mingling between audience and actors, a concept pioneered by Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding in The '80s.

In fiction, this is usually portrayed as the lowest job an actor can get.

Examples:

Film

Literature
  • Joan Hess's The Murder at the Murder at the Mimosa Inn takes place during an all-weekend Murder Mystery event, which includes Dinner Theater performances for the "crime", investigation updates, and denouement.

Live-Action Television
  • In the episode "Hollywood Babylon" of Supernatural, a character named Gerard St. James is playing Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman.
    Gerard St. James: Speaking of, I'm playing Willy in a dinner theater production of Salesman at Costa Mesa, all next month. (He hands Dean a flyer) You get a free pepper steak with the coupon.

Western Animation

Alternative Title(s):

Dinner Theater

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