Get dressed up, prepare to be ‘dinnertained’

iffany Strong

Uhm, yeah, I would like the prime rib, a baked potato and a side of “Footloose.”

The time has come where you can get dinner, dessert and a whole lot of entertainment all at the same time. I like to call it dinnertainment, while most others just call it dinner theaters.

Upon my research, to my dismay, I discovered that dinner theaters have not just recently began popping up. They have been around since 1959 and were created by a college student.

So here’s the great news: Of the approximately 85 dinner theater halls nationwide, we have the largest professional dinner theater in the world right in our backyard.

Sarah Lance, public relations assistant and marketing manager for the Carousel Dinner Theater said the theater has come a long way from where it used to be, from production to food.

Akron’s Carousel is right under our noses, and yet college students are of the smallest attending groups.

So what’s the problem with dinner theaters appealing to a younger crowd? Come on, there’s food, entertainment, alcohol for the legal and you only have to waste gas going there and back.

Delving into this a little more, at the Carousel specifically, there is a menu prepared by a certified chef with top quality-choice favorites from “Jack Daniel’s roast crown of pork” all the way to dessert choices like “Reese’s peanut butter pie.”

This dinnertainment will cost only $45.50 a ticket. Alcohol and some menu items cost a little extra.

Okay, it seems a little pricey, but break that price down for a minute. A play by itself at Playhouse Square in Cleveland costs approximately $30. This price is sans food, drinks and dessert. So for a mere $15 more, you get all that served directly to you while watching a show.

Still don’t have your attention? The actors are the cream of the crop. They dance, sing and act with the best of the best, right in front of your very eyes.

They are cast in New York City, most of them are equity actors, which means they belong to the actors union. “Using equity actors requires high, stringent standards from our theatre,” Lance said.

Each show runs for about two months, so that’s six shows a year. If the current show doesn’t strike your fancy, check the next one.

All shows at the Carousel are musicals or mega-variety shows, but at dinner theaters around the nation there are new ideas sprouting. Mystery dinner theatres and comedy dinner theaters are appearing and stealing many people’s attention.

Basically what I am saying is that there are movie theaters all over the place. You can sit in front of a movie screen any day of the week in your baggy sweats, eating your butter flavored popcorn and Sour Patch Kids.

So get dressed up, pay the toll and prepare to be dinnertained for a change!

For more information about shows appearing in the upcoming season at the Carousel, visit

Contact ALL correspondent Tiffany Strong at [email protected].