We may tend to think of dinner theater as an essential part of Americana, but in reality the tradition started much longer ago and beyond our borders. The Alcove Restaurant & Lounge is proud to be a continuing part of the still-thriving dinner theater tradition!
A Little History
In England, the “dinner and a show” concept started during the Medieval period or earlier as part of the Christmas holiday tradition for nobility. Elaborate dinner courses were alternated with drama and pageantry.
Of course, colonial America wasn’t much for nobility or pageantry. But a few centuries later, dinner theater was eventually reimagined as a lively show during which dinner was served. By the 1950s, dinner theater was all the rage, featuring enough star power to draw big audiences.
Impresario Howard Douglass Wolfe took the concept to new heights with his Barn Dinner Theaters —productions were developed in New York, then traveled to his theaters, which were located throughout the East and Gulf coasts. The sets were rustic but the staging was high tech, featuring hydraulic sets and other wonders.
These days, dinner theater establishments aren’t as widespread as they once were. But with classic establishments like The Alcove, the concept lives on with such innovations as interactive murder mysteries, family dramas and musicals, often held at former restaurants, mansions and other offbeat places.
Keeping the Tradition Alive
In Ohio, the classic dinner theater tradition was revived by The Alcove almost 30 years ago in our century-old restaurant and lounge.
Although the tradition of dinner theater has not always been kind to lovers of fine food, The Alcove configured a process for which the meal and the show each get a turn in the “spotlight.” After an optional cocktail social hour, ticket holders are invited into the dining room for the salad and dinner courses. The show begins after plates are cleared and beverages refreshed, while intermission brings dessert and coffee, or the after-dinner drink of your choice. It’s a seamless way of allowing the dining and the theater experiences to overlap but not conflict.
Experience the Alcove Tradition
Now that The Alcove is finishing up renovations to once again broaden and refine the restaurant, lounge, theater and events space experience, we’re eager to share our new look with both loyal customers and new friends. The 2017 dinner theater season will be kicking off soon, with a great mix of musicals, drama, romantic comedies and murder mysteries.
Drinks can be purchased at the bar before the show and during breaks in the theater action. Cocktail hour starts at 6:30, with the dining room opening at 7:15. p.m. The show starts after dinner, with dessert and additional beverages offered at intermission. If you have questions or would like to inquire about the ticket pricing, contact us! We hope to see you soon!