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Top 5 Dinner-and-a-Show: Twin Cities

Top 5 Dinner-and-a-Show: Twin Cities

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A good show goes hand-in-hand with a good dinner in the Twin Cities

Sea Change at the Guthrie Theater has been recognized nationally for its excellence.

There’s no better way to finish off a fabulous meal than with an exceptional theater performance. The Twin Cities is a hotbed of talent for both those pleasures. Be it a casual and funky pairing in Northeast or a chichi celebration in St. Paul, these options on both sides of the river are guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds and entertain your entourage.

  1. Sea Change and the Guthrie Theater
    There’s nothing fishy about the Guthrie Theater’s in-house seafood-themed restaurant. Sea Change’s pre-theater and late-night menus feature plates that are as appealing to your eyes as they are to your palate. Chef Tim McKee (a 2009 James Beard Award winner) relies on fresh, sustainable seafood for inspiration, making a point to use fisheries that are environmentally responsible. Even the décor is eco-friendly and incorporates raw materials. As if the crustaceans weren’t enough to persuade you to test the waters at Sea Change, there’s an extensive wine list so you can drink like a fish, too! After delighting in one of Sea Change’s decadent desserts, step out onto the patio and get a glimpse of the Mississippi River.
  1. Heidi’s and the Jungle Theater
    Chef Stewart Woodman (a James Beard Award nominee and cookbook author) named this fine dining venue in the Lyn-Lake area of Uptown after his wife and business partner, Heidi. Dishing up simple yet stunning fare like lobster popcorn, lamb shank, and Bavarian cream-filled cinnamon donuts, this four-star locale is an ideal intimate precursor to a performance at the eclectic and urban Jungle Theater, just a few doors down.
  1. Solera and the Orpheum Theatre
    Forget the sangria and patatas bravas for a second; what you’re really going to Solera for is the rooftop seating. But since you’re up there taking in the scenery, you might as well sample the most authentic Spanish tapas in the Twin Cities. With chef Jorge Guzman now at the helm, Solera’s small plates still honor their traditional roots while incorporating more locally sourced foods. Share several with your date before strolling to the nearby Orpheum Theatre, a feast for the eyes in its own right.
  1. The Ritz Theater and the Modern Café
    Food-loving theater-goers who don’t want to blow their whole budget in one evening should head over to the arts district in Northeast Minneapolis. The Modern Café is only steps away from the historic Ritz Theater, and its pot roast is legendary in these parts. Braised to a mouthwatering tenderness and served atop a pillowy mound of mashed potatoes and a side of seasonal vegetables, this beefcake is one you’ll want to take your time to savor. Chef Jim Grell even recommends the dish for breakfast, so order double and ask for a doggy bag.
  1. The Fitzgerald Theater and Meritage
    Duck liver schmear, confit pig tongue, and an oyster Bloody Mary shooter. Is your mind blown yet? Because those are just the "Amusements" on Meritage’s menu. Continue on to the braised rabbit ravioli, escargots Bourguignon, or seared Minnesota foie gras, and we’ll be impressed if you can even walk after your meal at this chichi St. Paul establishment. While Meritage is certainly a splurge, it’s one you won’t regret. Chef Klein plans his plates seasonally and sources ingredients from local farms. After your epic indulgence at Meritage, head on over to the Fitzgerald Theater, a Capital City landmark, for one of Minnesota Public Radio’s many shows, including the uber-popular "Wits" series, where audience members are encouraged to tweet during the performance.

Top Dinner Theater In Connecticut

It is still possible to dine while watching theater in Connecticut, and not just in the handful of cinema and draft houses scattered about the state. While there are very, very few places that still offer the traditional dinner theater experience, there are still a number of places that allow and even encourage patrons to bring their own meal and drinks and provide a cabaret setting in which they can enjoy those libations. Some restrict dining to the hour before the show goes on and intermission, while others have a drinks or dessert bar, or even full-service restaurant on the premises, thus allowing theater goers a chance to have drinks, snacks or a meal without leaving the building.

The CT Cabaret Theatre
31 Webster Square Road
Berlin CT, 06037
(860) 829-1248

The CT Caberet Theatre is a &ldquobring your own&rdquo dinner theater one where patrons are encouraged to pack a picnic meal to enjoy while watching the show. There is a dessert bar, so those who forget to bring their own may still partake of some tasty treats as they take in the entertainment on stage. The play is the thing at CT Caberet Theatre, and while &ldquoThe God of Carnage&rdquo winds up its run in early October, it is immediately followed by &ldquoThe Beverly Hillbillies&rdquo (which is billed as a &ldquoboot-stomping extravaganza”) and after that comes another musical, &ldquoThe 25 th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.&rdquo After Christmas the theater offers &ldquoFortune’s Fools,&rdquo which will bring the CT Cabaret Theatre into the home stretch of its 17 th season.

165 Wooster St.
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 865-4489

Long before Lady and the Tramp made sharing spaghetti look romantic, diners everywhere knew that Italian food was for lovers &ndash and for lovers of mystery, that goes double, especially at Consiglio’s in New Haven. The same family has run the restaurant for over three-quarters of a century, and even before they began hosting Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, the food was, as the saying goes, &ldquoto die for.&rdquo The menu is classic Italian family cooking, from &ldquoAunt Marie’s&rdquo secret meatball recipe to &ldquoNona’s Linguine.&rdquo The pasta is hand-rolled and home made, and the eggplant, chicken and veal parmigiana, not to mention the lobster ravioli with shrimp, are magnificent. Consiglio’s does catering and offers cooking classes &ndash but about every other Friday also opens up the restaurant to a troupe of players who put on original comedic murder mysteries, into most of which they manage to work what has become the dinner theater’s signature line: &ldquoNow you dunnit!&rdquo

The Ridgefield Theater Barn
37 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield CT, 06877
(203) 431-9850

Theater &ldquoin a cabaret setting&rdquo is how The Ridgefield Theater Barn describes itself. The theater is indeed a big barn, but a comfortable one, especially in the summer and fall (it is air conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter, spring and fall). While there is a reception hall in the entrance, patrons are invited to &ldquobring their own&rdquo refreshments, which they can enjoy at their table either before the show or during intermission (but not while the actors are performing). The Barn’s early October offering is the &ldquoRole in the Hay&rdquo players with their original &ldquoWhose Barn is it Anyway?&rdquo improv comedy which will be followed in November by the latest in its &ldquoBig Read&rdquo program: &ldquoThe Last Flapper.&rdquo The Ridgefield Theater Barn also offers &ldquoFive Women Wearing the Same Dress&rdquo on its main stage from November 14 through December 6, with &ldquoOblivion&rdquo to follow in March and the classic &ldquoWho’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf&rdquo in June.

Downtown Cabaret Theatre
263 Golden Hill St.
Bridgeport, CT 06604
(203) 576-1636

Bridgeport’s famous Downtown Cabaret Theatre returns in October after being closed all summer long for extensive renovations. First up is a one-time-only performance of &ldquoRoy Orbison and Friends,&rdquo after which the theater will kick off a full season with the musicals &ldquoHair&rdquo and &ldquoForever Motown.&rdquo A number of shows with tribute bands (like 2U playing U2’s hits and Zoso-the Led Zeppelin Tribute Band) are also booked for the fall. Like most dinner theaters in Connecticut, this one is also a bring-your-own place (and that includes BYOB wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages) with cabaret-style seating.

The Palace Theater
100 E. Main St.
Waterbury, CT 06702
(203) 346-2000

While the famous Palace Theater in Waterbury offers &ldquodinner and a show packages&rdquo on the premises, the dinner part is conducted before and not during the theater performance. The Palace has an elegant, catered dinning hall called the Poli Club, with a prix-fixe menu and full service bar. Reservations are required, but despite being a &ldquoclub,&rdquo it is open to both members and non-members. The restaurant is on the mezzanine level, quite literally only a few steps from the seats. The menu changes daily and is available online. The Palace was fully and beautifully renovated in 2004. Its current season includes performances by Harry Anderson, Martina McBride, Bob Baldwin and Caesar Milan and the musical &ldquoNewsies.&rdquo

Best Upcoming Comedy Shows In Minnesota

While Minnesotans are not characterized as humorous, six superlative comedy shows are coming soon to Minnesota.

Kurt Braunohler
Acme Comedy Company
708 N. 1st St.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 338-6393

&ldquoHow do I land?,&rdquo the YouTube video that went viral last August, was Kurt&rsquos brainchild. His album of the same name is also doing well. Now Kurt will be touching down in the Twin Cities for a week. Kurt currently hosts “The K Ohle with Kurt Braunohler” on the Nerdist Network, has hosted IFC&rsquos “Bunk” and has appeared on Comedy Central, “This American Life” and “Radiolab.” Braunohler&rsquos early comedic inspiration&mdashstreet comedy sketch “Kurtbot” with accompanying websites&mdashis a good indication of his creative genius.

Isaac Witty and Bryan Miller
Joke Joint Comedy Club
801 Sibley Memorial Highway
Lilydale, MN 56118
(651) 330-9078

&ldquoIf you want a really &lsquoclean&rsquo show, see Isaac Witty and Bryan Miller,” says Ken Reed, Joke Joint Owner/Booker. Isaac has been invited to appear on “Late Night with David Letterman” and “Prairie Home Companion.” Bryan was also on Craig Ferguson’s show last year. Near Moose Country, Joke Joint is one-quarter mile northeast of I-35E and Highway 13 In Lilydale.

John Caparulo
Acme Comedy Company
708 N. 1st St.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 338-6393

Date: Feb. 26 – March 1, 2014

Also known as &ldquoCap,&rdquo John Caparulo may be best known from appearances on &ldquoChelsea Lately,&rdquo a late night E! show. Cap is part of Jeff Foxworthy&rsquos “The Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Next Generation.” He is also an intermittent host of “The Mad Cap Hour” radio show with Mark Ellis and Cap&rsquos wife Jamie on Sirius XM, iTunes and Acme Manager Derick Johnson feels both Braunohler and Caparulo are noteworthy snatches for a Twin Cities appearance.

Al Jackson
Joke Joint Comedy Club
801 Sibley Memorial Highway
Lilydale, MN 56118
(651) 330-9078

Up-and-coming Al Jackson returns to Joke Joint after an especially comical New Year’s Eve episode a few years ago. Al Jackson quit his job as a biology teacher in Miami to be a stand-up comedian in New York. He writes, produces and has received a lot of recognition in a short time with appearances on MTV, Comedy Central and BBC.

Stevie Ray’s Comedy Cabaret
Chanhassen Dinner Theatres
501 W. 78th St.
Chanhassen, MN 55317
(952) 934-1525

Date: Every Friday and Saturday night at 8:00 p.m.

Live improv driven by crazy suggestions from the audience, similar to Drew Carey’s “Who’s Line is it Anyway,” Stevie Ray’s Comedy Cabaret creative troupe puts on a show that is enormously popular with audiences looking for a very funny and clean comedy show. There is no age limit for this show, but audiences should be appropriate for PG-13 material. To make an extra special birthday or anniversary really memorable, slip the hostess a note when you arrive for a special show-time shout-out. A very nice feature is that guests have the option of ordering food from a bar-grill menu or getting a beverage before the show and even throughout the show.

Sunday Bulletin Board: Take it from a 3-year-old: ‘I like your pie crust so much better than Grandma’s. Your pie crust is just so …’ — pause — ‘… so durable!’

Writes THE GRAM WITH A THOUSAND RULES: “As I have mentioned before, my mom was not a particularly inspired everyday cook, but we all enjoyed her baked goods. Maybe her cookies and pies didn’t melt in your mouth, but they were always nice and chewy.

“They were quite a contrast to my Crabby Grandma’s pies. Grandma’s pie crusts were flaky, and she sprinkled way too much sugar on top of them — but still, we ate them and dutifully praised her for how tasty they were. Grandma thrived on compliments, couldn’t get enough of them, but all of us kids really preferred Mom’s pies.

“Mother never stopped being amused about my oldest sister’s description of her pie crust. When Ruth was about 3, she was eagerly snarfing down a piece of apple pie and allegedly told my mom: ‘I like your pie crust so much better than Grandma’s. Your pie crust is just so …’ — pause — ‘… so durable!’

“We all liked her apple pie with the hearty chunks of apple, but my dad’s favorite was her lemon meringue pie.

“My sister took this picture of Mom as she was taking one of her (as my dad always described them) delicious lemon pies out of the oven.

“Hmmm, possibly Dad liked her lemon meringue pies best because they had just one durable crust?”

Our birds, ourselves

KH of White Bear Lake writes: “Subject: Not What I Imagined.

“Have you ever formed a relationship with another person that was based solely on phone conversations over an extended period of time? (Bulletin Board replies: Many times, actually — particularly during the early years of Bulletin Board . . . BEFORE EMAIL . . . when the Bulletin Board Hot Line was a phone attached to an answering machine, from which we transcribed your calls.) And then when you eventually met that person, discovered they looked nothing like the image you had developed in your mind? (Bulletin Board replies: That has happened, too.)

“From a distance I’ve watched the beauty, elegance, and grace of trumpeter swans many times. But when I met these swans close up, it was like meeting that phone person for the first time.

“I’ll never be able to see them the same way again.”

Our squirrels, ourselves

GRANDMA JODY reports: “Subject: Dinner and a Show.

“Captain Bob made a little picnic table as a gift for Hannah so she can feed her squirrel friends in style. The front door was open all winter, so our cats have a clear view, through the storm door, of the nature theater literally at our doorstep. Win-Win! (Well, for everyone but me who frets about the heat bill.)

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: No, but there are days when it sure feels like spring. We’ll take it!

Then & Now

JOHN IN HIGHLAND: “Subject: What This Country Needs . . .

“Everyone knows that the best place to keep baseball cards is in an old cigar box. ’Most everyone also has stories about the thousands of dollars worth of baseball cards that they had, but lost through the years. If only they had held on to them! I can still picture my stack of my dad’s old cigar boxes up in the attic, and remember how I left them behind when our family moved to a different house.

“I have finally convinced my sons that they should use some of my old cigar boxes to hold their favorite baseball cards (and mine).”

Life as we know it

Where Were You Then? Division (responsorial)

FRIENDLY BOB of Fridley: “The recent submission from The Astronomer of Nininger that mentioned the launch of Sputnik (1, as it later turned out) in October 1957 certainly reminded me of where I was then.

“I was in second grade at Dundas Elementary School, and my older sister (the late Mrs. Patches of St. Paul) was in sixth. My class was too young to comprehend much about the event (though I had for some time been very interested in all things related to space). About all we knew was that our hated enemies, the Russians, had launched a basketball-sized object into Earth orbit, and the little antennae protruding from it sent beeps back to us Earthlings. My sister’s class, on the other hand, felt inspired to mark the occasion by making up a (simple) song. They put their collective creative heads together, and all these years later I can still remember it!

“They even had a second verse to it (which I do NOT remember!), and I think it could also be sung as a round. I always thought it was a pretty ambitious undertaking for kids that young. When we all got home on the bus from school, my sister was just bubbling over with excitement about the achievement.”

Please release me!

An earworm reported by THE DORYMAN of Prescott, Wis.: “Subject: Where do I begin . . .

“. . . to tell the story of my ann-u-al checkup?

“While at my health-care clinic, a haunting piano solo played over the music system. The theme from ‘Love Story,’ while a beautiful melody, seemed a tad ominous to me in that setting. It didn’t noticeably affect anyone else that I could tell, but then most of them weren’t old enough to even see a PG-rated movie back in the ’70s. If you remember it as well, there are plenty of opportunities to hear it again on YouTube, but if you do, prepare for humming it at least for the rest of the day.”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Recommending an earworm means always having to say you’re sorry (even if you aren’t).

Maybe just about almost not quite exactly what (if anything) they nearly had in mind

DONALD: “Subject: I want something more definite!

“I do not find very convincing the TV ads for a product that supposedly improves memory. Why? Because the people giving the testimonials are too vague when indicating how long they’ve been taking the supplement. It’s ‘just about,’ ‘almost,’ ‘approximately,’ ‘a little more/less than,’ ‘nearly,’ or some other term to convince us that it really does work. (Who knows how good an elephant’s memory is, anyhow?)

“Wait — what was I just talking about?”

Come again?

Another episode of creative hearing, reported by THE MAMBO KING: “I was watching The Players golf tournament on Sunday when the commentators made mention of Lee Westwood’s caddie.

“My wife, the lovely Ms. Goody One-Shoe, looked up from her knitting and after a second or two said: ‘That’s not Beyoncé.’

BULLETIN BOARD MUSES: That’s his Storey, and he’s sticking with her!

This ’n’ that ’n’ the other

A trio from AL B of Hartland: (1) “A caller told me he wasn’t getting a vaccination. I hadn’t asked. He said it was because he didn’t know what was in it. That didn’t concern me, as I’d just eaten a hot dog. Who knows what was in that?”

(2) “Spring is one of my favorite four seasons.

“Weather does its own thing. It was a beautiful day. I’d have enjoyed frolicking in the lovely weather, but needed to go inside to see some good folks for maintenance, so I could continue to take up space.

“I needed my appointment card, so I put it in my pocket. When asked to present that card, I discovered (not quickly) that it had mysteriously moved to the last pocket I searched. I was glad I wasn’t wearing bib overalls. My father favored the bibs — Key or Oshkosh B’gosh. The newest one was the one he wore to town. Those overalls had a pencil pocket, a watch pocket, two side pockets big enough for lunch and a bullhead, a pair of back pockets to hold a wallet and a farmer-size hankie, a pliers pocket and a hammer loop. If I’d been wearing bib overalls, I’d still be looking for that consarned card.”

(3) “A small flock of rusty blackbirds showed up in the yard. Johnny Cash should have thrown a bit of brown into his wardrobe, because that color combination sure looks good on a rusty. The birds slogged through wet areas at the edge of our woods, searching for food. I don’t imagine they’re picky when peckish in March.

“A rusty blackbird looks like a blackbird that is rusty.”

Where we live

HELENA HANDBASKET reported, late last week: “Subject: The season.

“Optimal butter-spreading conditions achieved in the 608 area code. The saltine did not break.

Top 5 Dinner-and-a-Show: Twin Cities - Recipes

Live 8: Real Serious Music carousel - Salvatore Giunta. On Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010, President Barack Obama will award the Medal of Honor to Giunta.

People gather at the site of a bombing in the holy city of Karbala, Iraq, Friday, Feb. 5, 2010. A twin car bombing targeted a crowd of Shiite.

Attacks In 3 Iraqi Cities U.S. Army soldiers secure the area after a roadside bomb exploded Wednesday Oct 22, 2003 in a tunnel in the heart of.

(CBS News) BEIRUT - Fierce fighting is being reported in Syria's two biggest cities. The street battles have left parts of Damascus and Aleppo in.

A man wounded in a market bombing lies in hospital, in central Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Feb. 1, 2008. AP Photo/Karim Kadim The number of Iraqi.

Blasts Rock Two Iraqi Cities An Iraqi boy cycles past a burned-out U.S. military vehicle on the outskirts of Baghdad, Nov. 3, 2003. The vehicle.

44 Dead as Bombs Strike 2 Pakistani Cities A Pakistani man removes a gas cylinder from a burning rickshaw after a suicide bombing in Peshawar.

Amy's Blog

Does the guy in the middle look familiar? I was in Minneapolis getting ready to do some recipes on the talk show, Twin Cities Live.

The producers told me there was a celebrity guest host that day along with the regular host, Elizabeth Ries, who by the way, used to work in Green Bay. Anyway, “Who is it?” I asked. And, right then, he walked into the makeup room where I was getting ready. I recognized him immediately. How cool! Remember that hit show about ten years ago, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”? I used to love that show! The “Fab 5” would make a surprise appearance at some guy’s front door. Then, in no time, the team would give this guy a whole new look. His pad too! Well, Thom Filicia was the guy in charge of that. He was the one who would completely re-do the guy’s digs. It always looked so cool when it was done!

So, what’s Thom up to now? These days he has his own New York based design firm. He was in the Twin Cities promoting his new book, American Beauty, which follows him as he takes a fixer-upper lake house and turns it into a gorgeous home. He was about the nicest guy ever! Very down to earth! He even loved my Mini Meat Loaves and said he couldn’t wait to make them at home! So, I just had to ask him. “Do you think your show with ever come back?” His answer, “We’re working on it!” I’m not sure exactly what that means but, I’m hoping it’s a yes and soon! Were you a fan too?

Homesick Dishes: The Best Out-of-Town Outposts for Regional Cuisine

Craving authentic Texas barbecue? Awesome — if you're in Texas, that is. How about a Maryland crab boil? Frustrating — if you're far from Maryland. But there is hope: These outposts across the country have made regional cuisine their specialty, despite being far from the regions they specialize in.

Photo By: Ozzie's Crab House

Photo By: The Maine Lobster Lady Food Truck

Photo By: Tiki Tim's Food Truck

New York Bagels

Trying to replicate that real New York-style combination of a shiny, crusty exterior and a dense, chewy middle has driven some bagel makers to go so far as to import water from the Big Apple for the cooking process. But these bagelries don't rely on gimmicks, just great family recipes and the good old-fashioned boil-then-bake technique that leaves just about everyone craving a schmear.

Where: The Bagel Factory: St. Louis Kaufman's Bakery and Delicatessen: Skokie, Ill. Wholy Bagel: Austin The Bagel Broker: Los Angeles

Texas Barbecue

You won't find overly saucy meats or baroque flavor combinations at any of these joints beef brisket is king, rubbed with seasonings and smoked for hours, to get that authentic Texas experience of meltingly tender meat and plenty of "burnt ends."

Where: Hill Country Barbecue: Brooklyn, New York City & Washington, D.C. Smoque: Chicago Sweet Cheeks Q: Boston Podnah's Pit: Portland, Ore.

Maryland Crab Boil

They live in our imaginations, those perfect seaside crab joints that serve blue crabs by the pile, where the tablecloth is made of newspaper and your utensil is a mallet. Well, even if the seaside is far away, the flavors and ambience at these crab houses will convince you otherwise.

New Orleans Creole & Cajun

One is a newfangled Brooklyn spot that spins Big Easy dishes in bold new ways, while the other is an unassuming storefront in the unlikeliest of places. Both of these restaurants deliver true Louisiana bayou flavor.

Where: Tchoup Shop: Brooklyn Bistro La Roux: Circle Pines, Minn.

New England Lobster Roll

Huge chunks of sweet lobster meat and a rich toasted bun — and little else — have made these spots beloved additions to their decidedly non-New England towns.

Where: BP Oysterette: Santa Monica & Mid-Wilshire, Calif. The Maine Lobster Lady Food Truck (winter months): Scottsdale, Ariz. Garbo's Fresh Maine Lobster: Austin

Chicago Pizza

New York-style pizza gets all the press, but there are some equally die-hard fans of thick, buttery Chicago-style pizzas, and they can enjoy some delicious replicas easily if they find themselves in California or Texas.

Where: Zachary's Chicago Pizza: California (various locations) Little Star Pizza: San Francisco (various locations) Gino's East of Chicago: Texas & Lake Geneva, Wis. (various locations) Chicago's Finest Pizza: Plano, Texas

California Fish Tacos

Crunchy, melt-in-the-mouth chunks of fish and the tang of a vinegary slaw on top — it's not hard to understand why Baja-style fish tacos have a following all over the U.S. of A.

Where: Tacombi at Fonda Nolita: New York City (various locations) Dorado Tacos and Quesadillas: Brookline, Mass. Gringo: St. Louis Tiki Tim's Food Truck: Twin Cities, Minn.

Choose from Czech sausage and assorted mesquite-smoked meats like turkey, chicken, and brisket plus made-from-scratch pies and homemade sides like Jambalaya Texana for a plate that’s filled the stomachs of Houstonians for 35 years.

For this classic take on pollo en mole negro Oaxaqueño, a chicken quarter is drenched in Oaxacan-style thick, dark, rich black mole – the result of an 8-10 hour cooking process involving an extensive list of ingredients – and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. Serve with rice, refried black beans, and lots of tortillas.

Dinner and a Show: What to See this Holiday

Stage view from the Orpheum Theatre photo by Jody is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The nights are getting longer, but that just means you can pack more fun into each one. Here are our choices for the best dinner and a show combinations this holiday season.

A Don’t Hug Me Christmas (Nov. 27-Jan. 3 at New Century Theatre)
This blockbuster musical comedy spoof of A Christmas Carol begins when a grumpy Minnesotan flees his bar on snowmobile. He falls through the ice and lands in a coma, where he is visited by the spirit of folk legend Sven Yorgensen.
Pre-show dinner: Manny’s Steakhouse A special night all calls for a visit to Manny’s and a delicious cut of meat.
Post-show drinks: Lee’s Liquor Lounge The closest you can get to a comfy small-town bar in downtown Minneapolis.

The New Standards (Dec. 4-5 at the State Theatre)
Question: What do you get when chart-topping rockers put down their synths and distortion pedals to form a jazz trio? Answer: The New Standards, whose annual holiday show is one of the must-see events of the season.
Pre-show dinner: Marin Elegant dining, just down the street from the theatre.
Post-show drinks: Dakota Jazz Club In case you need more jazz, or just want to take advantage of the 10 p.m. happy hour.

Russian Nutcracker (Dec. 5 at Orpheum Theatre)
The Moscow Ballet is in town for one night only, performing the holiday classic. Their spectacular production involves 40 dancers with more than 200 costumes.
Pre-show dinner: Hammer and Sickle The authentic Russian cuisine includes caviar paired with a vodka sample.
Post-show drinks: St. Petersburg Named one of the top-ten vodka bars in America by USA Today. It’s in Robbinsdale, but remember: the ballet came all the way from Moscow.

Cirque Dream: Holidaze (Dec. 11-12 at Orpheum Theatre)
Broadway director Neil Goldberg brings a practiced presentational execution to the acrobatic standards that make nouveau cirque a draw for theatergoers all around the world.
Pre-show dinner: Zelo Casual, but fanciful Italian fare. You never know who you’ll see.
Post-show drinks: Prohibition Sitting atop Foshay Tower, Minnesota’s most elevated bar has an extravaganza of a view.

All is Calm (Dec. 16-20 at Pantages Theatre)
A musical dramatization of the 1914 “Christmas Truce” between Allied and Central forces, inspired by the radio dramas which were popular at the time. “The heroes of this story are the lowest of the ranks—the young, the hungry, the cold, and the optimistic,” writes creator Peter Rothstein.
Pre-show dinner: BANK Fine dining on the street-level of the Westin Minneapolis, which was home to the Farmers and Mechanics Bank in the 1900s.
Post-show drinks: The Local The semi-private booths in this Irish Pub are the perfect setting to have a quiet conversation about the heavy themes of the play.

Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker (Dec. 19-23 at the State Theatre)
Minnesota’s longest running holiday arts event for more than 50 years has been called one of the ten best nutcrackers in the country by the New York Times. It still features Loyce Houlton’s original choreography.
Pre-show dinner: Crave The hip eatery, which servers a vibrant combo of American favorites and sushi, caters to theater goers, so even if you’re running a little late, they’ll help you get to the show on time.
Post-show drinks: Mackenzie Great drinks, a quaint atmosphere, and right next door to the theater.

Christmas Queens (Dec. 22 at Pantages Theatre)
Contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race sing songs from their new Christmas album. The show walks the line between naughty and family friendly, and there is a VIP option that includes a backstage meet-and-greet.
Pre-show dinner: Hell’s Kitchen Light hearted and quirky, but they serve up some good eats.
Post-show drinks: The Saloon Keep the party going with karaoke, dancing and a drag show at midnight (for adults only).

Guide to Dinner and a Show for Your Valentine

Ready to treat your valentine to some romantic smooth jazz, a tribute to Frank Sinatra, a saucy cabaret show or a Neil Simon play? Valentine’s Day is brimming with great talent and delicious food options around the Sound.

Triple Door
Tuesday, February 14
6:30pm – all ages
9:30pm – 21+
216 Union Street
Seattle, WA 98101

Ol’ Blue Eyes will sparkle again when tribute artist Joey Jewell and the Jim Kerl Swing Session Big Band breathe new life into the classic tunes of Frank Sinatra for a two-show run on Valentine’s Day. Jewell will recreate the sound and vibe of Sinatra’s legendary 1966 performance at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, which was captured on the live album “Sinatra at the Sands” backed by the Count Basie Orchestra as conducted and arranged by Quincy Jones. Plus, order the award-winning food and wine of Wild Ginger, and an oustanding selection of cocktails, beer and spirits. $80/person for the 6:30pm show, $60/person for the 9:30pm show.

Can Can Kitchen & Cabaret
Tuesday, February 14
6:30pm and 9:30pm
94 Pike
Seattle, WA 98101

It’s Seattle’s own burlesque and performace troupe the Castaways star in the ‎6th Annual Valentine’s Day Show at Can Can Kitchen & Cabaret. The Castaways provide innovative live entertainment, a unique blend of contemporary cabaret intertwined with sensual athleticism. The menu is inspired by French and Italian cuisine. Your meal is made with market fresh ingredients and recipes from Grandma’s cookbook. Be sure to look at Can Can’s lengthy, hand-picked wine list and luxurious cocktail menu while you enjoy the show. Tickets for the show $10/Standing Room $40/General Admission $45/VIP. Purchase by phone or online.

Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley
Tuesday, February 14
7:30pm and 9:30pm
2000 6th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121

Talented smooth jazz composer, arranger, keyboardist and trombonist Brian Culbertson plays two shows on Valentine’s evening for you and your sweetheart. Can’t make it on Valentine’s Day? No worries. Brian and his band will be performing nightly from February 15 – 19, so you’re sure to catch a great evening of music and fine dining. Tickets for the show $39/person. Available by phone or online.

Teatro ZinZanni
Tuesday, February 14
222 Mercer Street
Seattle, WA 98109

Treat your amor to a picante experience at Teatro ZinZanni! Woo that special someone with the saucy new show ¡Caliente! A feast including romantic music, decadent champagne, and chocolate-covered strawberries. Valentine’s Day at Teatro ZinZanni has never been hotter! Tickets start at $126/person. Order online.

Tacoma Little Theatre
Tuesday, February 14
210 North I St.
Tacoma, WA 98403

Your ticket includes a 7:30pm performance of CALIFORNIA SUITE by Neil Simon, a wine tasting, and sinfully delicious bite-sized appetizers and desserts. A great way to have a romantic evening with your date! $30/person. Purchase tickets online.


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