Hi everyone. I’m actor/musician Lone Richmond. You might remember me from such dinner theatre productions as Dr. Love: The Love Doctor and Tomato Tomato, Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off. Now you may be asking yourselves, “What is this wacky thing called dinner theatre anyway?” Well, to let you in on Cape Breton’s hottest new entertainment trend, we’ll take a peek at Norman and Marion, a typical Island couple who’ll be attending either the Hawaiian-style Aloha! Christmas at the Sheraton Casino or the ’30s murder mystery Slay Bells Swing at the Savoy Theatre. Marion is anxious to make it on time as she and her co-workers are meeting at the show for their staff Christmas party, while Norman is pleased to get a chance to see some of the local talent perform outside of the loud, smoky bar circuit. Let’s find out if our couple is almost ready for their night on the town . . .
Marion (yelling to her husband from the bedroom): “Honey, the babysitter’s here, do you want me to finish ironing your shirt? We don’t want to be late. Everyone from work’ll be there.”
Norm (entering the bedroom): “No, I’m all done, just let me get my coat. What’s this thing we’re going to anyway a food play?”
Marion (as she proceeds to fix Norm’s tie): “Dinner theatre Norm, it’s like a play but the actors play songs and wait tables and get people from the crowd to sing and dance and stuff. My sister Lila went to the ’60s show at the Savoy this summer with the girls from club and she said they just had a blast. Normie Jr. you be good for the babysitter now, you’re allowed one popsicle out of the freezer, but be in bed by 9 o’clock like a good boy. OK hun?”
Normie Jr. (with hangdog expression): “Yes, Mom.”
Norm: “Now Normie, Mother knows best. See you later kids.”
(Norm and Marion make their way to the car, Insert any uptempo song familiar to the audience).
Norm: “Oh I think I know what you’re talking about. Didn’t they have one of these where they played all Beatles tunes down at the Cape Bretoner Motel one Valentines a few years ago?”
Marion (excitedly): “Yeah Hun, they also had one out Marion Bridge at the Fire Hall. Those shows were pretty much self-produced and self-financed though. Now with big venues like the Savoy and the Sheraton getting in the act, the shows are providing good production in terms of sets and sound and atmosphere and stuff. These shows have been really popular in places like PEI and Halifax and now it seems they’re really taking hold here! Plus, I bet it’ll be a great shot in the arm for a lot of local musicians and actors giving the up and comers some of their first exposure to audiences as well as other productions looking for performers. And more established performers can count on a steady source of income while they work on some original material instead of wasting their time working at McDonald’s or…”
Norm (interrupting): “I worked at McDonald’s for two years while I was in college and it sure didn’t do me any harm!”
Marion: “Oh you know what I mean, it’ll help local writers too. That Good Rockin’ Tonight show in Glace Bay was written by this couple from Glace Bay, they live in Halifax now I think. They’re the ones who wrote the show at the Sheraton too. And the guy who wrote the one at the Savoy this Christmas, Burke – you know, he played saxophone in the Revue this summer. That car’s turning, hun.”
Norm: “I see it. Do you want to drive?”
Marion: “I was just making sure.”
Norm: “Well I hope the food’s as good as you make the show out to be. What are we having anyway?”
Marion: “Lila said the food was just great the time she went. There’s a lot of choice on this one – I got you the chicken instead of the fish cause I was afraid you’d choke on the little bones.”
. . . will our heroes make it on time? Will Marion miss her staff Christmas party? Will Norman enjoy his meal? And which show are they going to anyway? Join me, Lone Richmond, next time to find out, as we go out On The Town!.