THE MAGIC OF DINNER THEATER

Dinner Theater

Dinner with a Side of Comedy, Mystery, or Burlesque! Dinner Theater

ST. LOUIS, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) – Dinner Theater – The phrase “dinner and a show” conjures up all sorts of images.  It can be as simple as musicians playing unobtrusively in the corner of a restaurant, as immersive as mystery dinner theater, or as elaborate as medieval feasting.  In St. Louis, a wide variety dinner shows pop up throughout the year, everything from food truck-music festivals to Shakespeare in the Park.  Four of the most popular dinner shows are in full swing, some opening their special holiday shows this week.  Each is offering a unique evening out.

Probably the best known is the Bissell Mansion Restaurant & Dinner Theatre, 4426 Randall Place in North St. Louis, (314-533-9830).  All this month and through December, the Bissell Mansion presents “It’s A Wonderful Death”, a parody of Frank Capra’s classic “It’s A Wonderful Life.”  In their version, the cantankerous Mr. Potter is found murdered.  You’ll meet the residents of Bedford Falls, as the play unfolds and the audience helps to solve the case.  You can be part of the cast, by asking for a “starring” role in the show, or just sit back, relax, and guess “whodunnit.”  Tickets for the Bissell Mansion Participatory Murder Mystery include a 4-course meal (appetizer, salad, entree and dessert).  Evening meals also included two glasses of white wine.  Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:00 pm., with a Sunday show at 2:00 pm.  Tickets are $54.95 per person in November ($56.95 in December), and must be reserved in advance, by phone.

Another popular choice is the Lemp Mansion Restaurant & Inn, 3322 DeMenil Place in the Benton Park neighborhood of St. Louis, (314-664-8024).  The Jest Murder Mystery Company at the Lemp Mansion Restaurant has also begun performing their holiday show.  This year it’s “Dickens of a Killing!”  The comedy mystery centers on the murder of Ebenezer Scrooge.  The suspects are a who’s who of Charles Dickens’ characters.  Tickets for the interactive comedy-mystery show are $52.95 per person, including a three-course meal with wine.  The show runs every Friday and Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. from now through January 7, 2017.  Reservations are required and can be made by phone or online at www.lempmansion.com.

A once familiar downtown St. Louis favorite is back for a limited engagement in a new venue!  The Royal Dumpe Dinner Theatre has moved to The Lodge at Grant’s Trail, 4398 Hoffmeister Ave. (Lemay) in South St. Louis County, (636-933-9057).  At “the King’s Hunting Lodge,” you will step back into 16th century England for an evening of medieval madness with King Henry VIII and his bevy of wenches.  The comedy show is an interactive night of bawdy merry making and song!  The Royal Dumpe claims to be the longest running show of its kind in the U.S. Since this is their fourth decade of feasting, they may well be.  But it almost wasn’t so.  The Royal Dumpe Theatre closed last spring when their landlord sold the building on North 2nd Street that had been their home.  At the new location in South County, they won’t hold weekly shows as in the past.  In fact, there are only two dates listed on their website: December 4 & 15, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  With the new location comes a new menu and a change in pricing.  At the new venue, the $49.50 per person price includes dinner, the show, all drinks, parking, taxes, and even the gratuity!  There’s a link to buy tickets online at www.royaldumpe.com.

For something completely different, check out the burlesque show at the Boom Boom Room at 500 North 14th Street in downtown St. Louis (314-436-7000).  Modeled after a 1920’s speakeasy with a modern twist, customers describe the dinner and cocktail shows as “classy with divine debauchery.” The venue is intimate, with a limited number of seats.  On Friday and Saturday nights they offer two-hour dinner shows.  Tickets for the Friday night show, “Cocktails, Cuisine & Corsets” cost $14.99, plus $14.99 each for the two-course dinner (salad & entree).  On Saturday it’s “Dinner Von Tease” at $21.99 each for the show, plus $29.99 each for a four-course dinner (salad, fish course, entree, dessert).  Tickets can be purchased online at www.theboomboomroomstl.info.  Both shows feature singing, dancing, burlesque, cirque and more to keep you thoroughly entertained.  Since the venue is downtown, be prepared to pay for parking at one of the two nearby garages.

All of these dinner theaters have limited seating, so reserving your place well ahead of your planned night out is recommended.  No matter whether you want a raucous whodunit, a bawdy medieval feast or something else entirely, these establishments are serving up dinner and a show.  It’s a whole evening of entertainment like nothing else.

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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon is an experienced writer, editor, and broadcast journalist with a strong news background. She’s worked in radio and television news, and for national and international newswire services.

She began her career in public radio while still a student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (where she earned a B.A. in Communications). She soon made the jump to news/talk radio, handling assignments from field reporting, airborne traffic, and news anchor, to producing and hosting daily talk shows. She’s also worked in television, most recently as the inaugural producer for The Allman Report on KDNL-TV 30, and as a news writer and reporter for national and international newswire services.

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