The key to a successful dinner theatre is balance.
You can’t have a great performance and subpar food or vice versa. There needs to be a balance between great entertainment and great food.
That is something Queen Street Dinner Theatre producer John Thompson has learned since starting the company in 1999 as a part of special celebrations in this province.
“It has to be balanced. The food has to be flavourful and delivered in a timely manner, and the shows have substance and production value,” said Thompson.
The Queen Street Dinner Theatre is starting its 21st season early next month at the Royal Canadian Legion in Grand Falls-Windsor after getting its start in 1999.
The group has accumulated what Thompson calls assets — lighting, sound, tables, chairs, etc. — over the years that when people enter the Legion for a show, they have a hard time believing it is the Legion they’re walking into.
This season will feature two evening shows and one afternoon show on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays across the summer.
These shows will feature one of three performances being put off by the company. First, there is "Connie’s Crush" and what is sure to be an acid washed trip down memory lane for many of the audience.
Featuring music from the late 1960s and early 1970s, "Connie’s Crush" place a spotlight on Grand Falls-Windsor during that time.
"Oh! What A Night!" and the story of rock superstars Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons is another of the dinner shows that audiences can look forward too.
A highlight of the Jersey sound popularized by Valli and his band, people who buy a ticket will get to hear many of the band’s greatest hits.
Finally, the afternoon show is called "Departure Time," but it might as well have been called gimme back my Bullet. Lynyrd Skynyrd reference aside, Departure Time takes the audience through the last days of the famed Newfie Bullet and the railway in the this province as well as the beginnings of what would be the CN Bus.
There will be live music for all of these shows — you’ll find Thompson behind his 1972 Ludwig drum set for the evening and afternoon performances — and the theatre plays a big part of the tourism industry in Grand Falls-Windsor.
The theatre routinely brings in 3,500 to 4,000 people to the community every year. They’ve seen their capacity increase from 60 people in its first couple of years to over 150 in the recent times.
The two evening and one afternoon show isn’t anything new for the Queen Street Dinner Theatre. What is new is the fourth show they’ve added this season.
Named "Courage," it is a one-time deal, will pay tribute to The Tragically Hip and represents the first time the theatre has run on a Saturday night.
“We’ve been wanting to try a Saturday night show for a while,” said Thompson.
For more information on the Queen Street Dinner Theatre, visit www.queenstreetdinnertheatre.com.