Archive for the ‘Dinner Shows’ Category

Orlando Dinner Show: “Fork You!”

May 5, 2011

SunnyStefani Got Framed--We Swear!

I’ve been in sunny Orlando for two months now; enjoying every moment of it. Over Easter weekend my family came to celebrate the holiday with me. After looking through what felt like a hundred attraction brochures, they decided on “Capone’s Dinner & Show.”

It seems no matter where I move to I can’t escape good ole Chicago. Upon arrival at Capone’s we had to give a secret password to get in. (I won’t reveal how we knew the password–you’ll have to figure that out for yourself!)

Being the gangsters that we are, as soon as we got in we had our mug shots taken. (We didn’t do it, we swear!  We were framed!) We decided to start the show by going to Al’s Secret Hideaway Bar. This special room is on the second floor. To enter, there is a one-drink minimum per person (which could be a child’s drink for $2.50.) It then gives you access to be among the first people to be seated while everyone else is waiting outside in the general admission line.

Once our gang was seated we were shocked by the presence of our server, ‘Joey Too Slow.’ Immediately I thought I was back in Chicago at “Ed Debevic’s” where the staff is supposed to act rude and insult you. However, little to my surprise, he was very attentive and not ‘too slow.’

Capone's Dinner & Show

Capone's Dinner & Show

Admission is reasonably priced considering it’s an all you can eat real Italian buffet feast that includes unlimited alcoholic beverages, plus dessert. We enjoyed the show as it was very entertaining. We liked the fact that the servers got involved with the show and that there was audience interaction.

The vocals weren’t the greatest but what do you expect, it’s not Broadway. The songs were catchy, to the point where I was still singing one yesterday (La La La, I’m going bananas.) The actors were quick on their feet when an audience member would yell something and interrupt them. For example, Fingers, a gangster, was hiding from the villain of the show, Buggs. When Buggs finally caught up with Fingers he pulled out a gun and a kid in the audience held up a fork and said use this. The fork then became the butt of an ongoing joke, “fork you,” no, “fork you,” which was quite entertaining and really got the audience laughing.

Overall, we enjoyed the night. The food wasn’t to die for but the lasagna and beef were good. The unlimited drinks alone covered the cost of the show. Unlike most Orlando Dinner Shows, it was an all-you-can-eat buffet. The only thing I was disappointed about was there were no tommy guns used during the show and Al Capone was only mentioned once. I was expecting gangsters to be shot and mobsters to be running around looking to kill each other, but there was nothing of that sort. Capone’s is a very family friendly mobster dinner show–appropriate for children of all ages.

I would go back again, just to enjoy the great atmosphere.

Capone’s Dinner & Show
4740 W. Hwy. 192 (Irlo Bronson Hwy.)
Kissimmee, FL 34746

[Ed Note: We’re not going to put a link to Capone’s website on this post because it plays annoying music and, what’s far worse, even if you tell it you don’t want the sound when you click on a new link it starts playing again–Capone’s, please take note and fix this!]

[Ed Note May 6, 2011:  Within a day of posting this review, we received a comment from John Kucik, the President of Capone’s, informing us that he has taken the music off all the webpages except for the home page. True to our word, we have now put in links to their website onto this post. Please enjoy Capone’s, it’s a lot of fun–then leave a comment letting us know your review!]

Treasure Tavern

August 26, 2010

Orlando's Newest Dinner Show Adventure for Adults Only

Avast, me hearties, the seas have been rough and we’re puttin’ in to port. When yer through swabbin’ the decks, yer might wants to spend yer plunder at yonder Treasure Tavern, arrr, it be the hottest new dinner show fer weary mates. Shiver me timbers! 

That’s right, there’s a new show in town. 

Authentic Caribbean Ambience

In the 240 seat theatre connected to the Pirate’s Dinner Adventure on the popular International Drive strip, comedians, acrobats and dancers will entertain you in a themed Caribbean outpost with rum and good times. The two hour festivities feature a three course prime rib dinner and ala carte appetizers.  They’ll throw in a signature rum punch for good measure.  Open Tuesday through Saturday the cost is $49.95 ($24.95 if you opt out of dinner) and you must be 18 to enjoy. 

Tavern Creed

Enter a time gone by when sailors and travelers would spend hours in exotic ports-of-call. It’s one of the few venues in town that does not focus on entertaining the children. 

Mrs. LanceAround and I got a glimpse of the Tavern at our monthly Central Florida Vacation Rental Managers meeting. We were impressed with the layout of the tavern, bar and stage. The technical details, such as lighting and sound, were excellent. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen the show yet. 

If you’ve experienced the Treasure Tavern, leave a comment and let us know how it is. 

Treasure Tavern
6400 Carrier Drive
Orlando, FL 32819

Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows

May 4, 2010

Exterior of Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows

A murder is committed at least once every night in Orlando. And if you’re skillful enough, you might even figure out whodunit!

I’m talking about the good time you’ll have at Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows.

There are several dinner theatres in the Orlando area. Let me share with you why I believe Sleuths is among the best:

Variety–Sleuths has three very different, very intimate theatre spaces that seat from 75 to 250 guests. They also have a repertoire of 14 different shows. There is something for everyone and it’s different every time you go.

Customer Service–Proudly locally owned, there is good attention to detail

Talent–The actors at Sleuths are the best I have seen in this kind of venue. Not only are do they maintain believable characters, they are very skilled at being extemporaneous.

Getting Caught in the Act

Audience Interaction–Part of their talent is the ability of the actors to interact with the audience. You will feel like you are part of the show. Indeed, some shows even incorporate audience members onto the stage!

The evening begins with a salad, bread and Sleuths signature cheese spread as various cast members mingle among the tables and help set the atmosphere while you munch on the hors d’oeuvres and get to know your table mates. The first act introduces the various characters and sets up the situation. It is a mixture of comedy and intrigue. Some of the scenes involve various members from the audience. Once the murder occurs, the scene is set for the next act.

At this point, dinner is served and you can take notes about the various clues you observed. The main dinner options are Honey-glazed Cornish game hen or, for an extra three bucks, Prime rib. Being vegetarian, Mrs. LanceAround and I were relegated to what seems to be the only vegetarian option at almost every dinner theatre we’ve ever been too–Soggy, bland vegetarian lasagna. The guests at our table reported that their cornish hens were really good. Beverages, including all the wine and beer you want, are included in the price.

During the show Mrs. LanceAround and I attended, every table in the theatre was given the opportunity to come up with a question to ask one of the surviving cast members. After eating dinner, this Q & A was skillfully moderated by one of the cast. During the Q & A interrogation, dessert was served. The evening ended with the audience indicating who they thought committed the murder. Our show was so balanced that each of the four cast members had approximately 1/4 of the audience thinking it was them!

The Characters at Sleuths

The evening ends with the revealing of the murderer and everyone in the audience who correctly identified the culprit was given a small detective badge as a reward.

In addition to their nightly mysteries, Sleuths also does children’s parties, traveling shows and offers meeting space for rent. They provide group discounts for parties of 15 or more.

Prices begin at $52.95 for Adults and $23.95 for children ages 3 to 11. The shows are family friendly. You can save by using one of the coupons that are easy to find in the many discount publications throughout the area or simply print a coupon off Sleuth’s website.

The readers of the Orlando Sentinel voted Sleuths the Best Dinner Show in 2008.

Step into a world of intrigue, comedy and suspense–You might just die laughing!

Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows
8267 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819
407.363.1985 or 800.393.1985

Best Orlando Dinner Show with Magic

October 20, 2009
The World's Best Cleaners Pose with the Best Dinner Show Performer in Orlando
The World’s Best Cleaners Pose with the Best Dinner Show Act in Orlando

In addition to theme parks and water parks, a popular form of entertainment in the Orlando area is the dinner shows.  There are many varieties; from small, intimate shows in the corner of a restaurant to large extravaganzas with thundering horses or swashbuckling pirates on huge ships.  I have seen most of these and some day I will blog about them all.

This past week, we were fortunate to discover a little known dinner show featuring magic and comedy called The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show.  It immediately became our favorite dinner show to recommend for anyone coming to Orlando. 

Here’s what happened.

One of the challenges of running a vacation rental home company is finding quality cleaners who consistently clean every home with great attention to detail.  In the ten years we have been in business, we tried everything from hiring and training our own cleaners to using large cleaning companies.  Even with the close supervision we provide, we could not find a solution that gave us the meticulous results upon which we insist.  That is, until about one year ago when Office Manager Anne discovered Katya, Alexander and Cristian.

These hard working, honest folk had to escape from Columbia, fearing for their lives, during a social upheaval.  Upon arriving in America and unfamiliar with the language, they had to find a way to earn a living.  We were lucky to run into each other.  Ever since we hired them, our homes have gotten rave reviews for cleanliness.

We were so happy, we wanted to do something special for our new friends.  But what to do?  Especially with the language barrier?  That’s when I suddenly recalled a dinner show featuring magic at WonderWorks.  Billed as “Central Florida’s only upside down attraction,” you know you’ve reached someplace unique when you drive up to WonderWorks and discover a building that appears to have been ripped from its foundation and landed upside down on another building!  Inside you’ll find some amazing exhibits–that I will blog about in a future post–and the best dinner show in all of Central Florida!

Since our cleaners struggle with English, we thought they could enjoy a magic show.  None of us were disappointed.

The Food--And Laughs--Kept on Coming

The Food--And Laughs--Kept on Coming

In addition to the show, there is unlimited salad, pizza, soda and even wine and beer.  The food itself wasn’t fantastic.  The elongated tables were pre-set with large bowls of mixed salad, containers of creamy Italian dressing and top hats filled with popcorn.  The plastic plates and forks were a bit of a disappointment.  After enjoying some salad, large pizzas were placed down the table.  They were half cheese, half pepperoni.  Since we are vegetarian, we requested an all cheese pizza and it appeared within minutes.

Plastic cups were filled to the brim with soda, wine or beer.  Throughout the evening the servers were attentive and refilled your glass whenever it emptied.  During the last portion of the show, trays of white cake with white icing replaced the pizza trays.

While the food was adequate, and there was all-you-care-to-eat-and-drink, the entertainment was top notch.  It took a few minutes to warm up to the comic prestidigitator, but after a while it became impossible to not laugh at his quirky sense of humor.  Unlike many one-man performers, Tony Brent has the unique ability to play in perfect harmony to his audience.  He is not threatened by the crowd nor does he have a need to be the center of the universe as he utilizes audience interaction during his comedic magic show.  If an audience member provides a moment of entertainment, Tony is happy to let him have the spotlight.

While Tony’s magic is top notch, it is his ability to introduce humor as well as his spot-on timing that makes it the best dinner show in Orlando.  He utilizes different costumes and voices to create or parody characters that make you laugh until your side hurts.  His magic enhances the characterizations.  His tricks are not overly sophisticated, but when combined with the characters and music, it creates a comprehensive evening of entertainment.

"Sonny and Cher" Lip Sync "Babe"

"Sonny and Cher" Lip Sync "Babe"

The show ends with an unsuspecting male audience member put into a wig and fake mouth and forced to lip sync the song “Babe” with Tony playing Sonny.  It is impossible to convey in words how hilarious it was to watch that bit.

His website advertises that his show is “funny enough for the comedy club, smart enough for the boardroom and clean enough for the church.”  That is very accurate and pretty much sums up the Outta Control Magic Show at WonderWorks.

It was so rewarding to watch the world’s best cleaners–Alexander and Katya–Smiling and laughing during the show.  We were so sorry that Cristian could not attend.  After the show, we gave them a gift certificate for a restaurant and told them how much they meant to us and to our business.  We were so happy that we could provide them an evening of exquisite entertainment as our way of saying thanks for all the hard work they do for us and our guests.

The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show is only $24.95 for adults and $16.95 for children ages 4 to 12 and seniors.  It is at 6pm seven days a week and occasionally at 8pm on some Saturday evenings.  For an additional $14 for adults and $12 for children and seniors, you can also enjoy all the exhibits at WonderWorks–But I’ll blog about that later.

For now, I just want you to know that if you are planning to enjoy a dinner show while in the Orlando Area, this is the one to see!

My Big Fat Grease Wedding

July 21, 2008

My Big Fat Grease Wedding is an intimate dinner show that plays in one half of the seating area at The Carving Station restaurant on the Palm Parkway. The show opened in June 2008 and since I sell attraction tickets I was invited to enjoy the show for free in hopes that I would encourage my guests to buy tickets (full disclosure!)

As a theatre major and life long eater I really enjoy dinner shows. I think both the large dinner shows (which can seat several hundred guests and have huge stages where just about anything can happen) and the intimate dinner shows (which can seat around 100 guests or less and there tends to be more audience involvement) have something enjoyable to offer.

More intimate dinner shows like My Big Fat Grease Wedding are a challenge for the actors. To be successful, these shows need direct interaction with the audience and the actors need the flexibility and intimacy of a stand up comedian. Perhaps this, as well as a very weak script, is the area where My Big Fat Grease Wedding fell short. With the exception of a couple of musical numbers, a great performance by a gay wedding Justice of the Peace, and a few nice jokes, the performers were left plowing through a script that did not give the audience much to laugh at or enjoy. The beer and wine were free for the show and my wife mused that perhaps it needed to come earlier and more often in order for the guests to really get into the show.

The story line revolves around an impending wedding where the bride is a huge fan of the musical Grease as well as pure Irish. Her phone ring tone plays the Grease theme and her husband-to-be is forced to wear a skirt-er-kilt for the ceremony. One thing after another goes wrong and the audience is privy to mischief and mayhem with the odd musical number thrown in for good measure. Audience members were occasionally singled out and became (unwitting) participants in the drama from time to time. The actors, however, had difficulty engaging the audience in a way that could take the show to a higher level.

The food, on the other hand, appeared to be a real winner. I say “appeared” because my family is vegetarian and this show follows all dinner shows I have attended in their inability to provide vegetarian meals of high quality. (My number 2 son commented that this last line sounds like “whining.” Perhaps he is correct. I keep hoping that if enough vegetarians speak out, more places will cater to the estimated 10% of us who do not eat meat.) However, for the carnivores among us, there was all you could eat prime rib, crab legs, salmon, and a plethora of pastas, salads, and sides of high quality. This feature, alone, sets this dinner show apart from others I have seen.

The host and hostess were both generous and pleasant and I spoke with them at length about their endeavor. They take obvious pride in their restaurant. The service was adequate, although it was difficult to understand when one is supposed to take advantage of the buffet line as it interrupts the action on the stage.

The restaurant provided a nice, elegant atmosphere for the performance, although it clearly was not designed around the show as only half the restaurant was used for the performance. The other half was occupied by regular restaurant patrons who showed up solely for the expansive buffet.

Usually in an intimate dinner show, you have the nice touch of personal recognition for audience members who are celebrating something special–A birthday, anniversary, honeymoon, graduation, etc. With this show, only one birthday celebrant was noted and it proceeded so awkwardly that it appeared to disrupt the actual show. We were never asked if we were there to celebrate anything. Intimate dinner shows are also usually appropriate for the entire family, but there was just enough sexual references and gay innuendo as to make this show a bit squeamish for small ones. My 13 year old daughter was clearly embarrassed during some scenes.

This was only the second performance of My Big Fat Grease Wedding. Perhaps, over time, the actors will get more comfortable in their roles and more skilled at getting the most out of the audience. And perhaps the script will go through some much needed rewrites. In any case, the hosts were pleasant and attentive, the restaurant worth a try (if you are not vegetarian) and keep an eye on the reviews to see if improvements are made to the show.

_____***** Show 5 out of 10 stars

__******** Food 8 out of 10 stars

_********* Atmosphere 9 out of 10 stars

_____***** Service 5 out of 10 stars