East’s Theatre Department presents “Dinner Theatre”

Keenan McElwee (’15) having fun as a mime.

Anthony Cornatzer, Eastside Staff

Indisputably, nothing compares to a nice night out with great food and live entertainment, right?

Well, last Friday night, Oct. 17 at 7:00 p.m., the Cherry Hill East Theatre Department hosted that sort of fun night with its “Dinner Theatre” show.

Earlier after school that day, students, including myself, helped to set up cafeteria two to look like  a small “coffee-house” setting. Chairs and tables were pulled out of the teacher’s cafe and placed alongside some of the regular lunch-tables in front of a small, intimate stage. A few hours later, we all came back along with others to perform different acts that ranged anywhere from stand-up comedy, mime skits and even Shakespearean “Mad-Libs” to entertain the huge crowds. The audience came for the quality entertainment as well as to enjoy the great food that was provided by East’s Theatre Boosters.

The food ranged from garlic bread to salads, and various forms of exquisite pasta. The majority of the food was served to the patrons by us, as their waiters and waitresses in between acts that many of us performed in at one point or another.

The show was in fact a fundraiser for East students such as myself who are going on the incredibly expensive London trip over spring break in 2015, which altogether costs over $3,000 per student.

The concept of a dinner theatre goes as far back as twenty years when the theatre department was consistently in need of fundraisers for all of the tours and trips outside of East. So, Mr. Nation, the theatre director at the time, envisioned the idea of a dinner theatre.

It is “a fun way to make money… [as well as] entertaining,” said Mr. Tom Weaver, East’s current theatre director and advisor for the trip this year.

Indeed, there is a lot of truth to that statement. Especially when one considers how, by the end of the night, he announced that the contributions made by all of the patrons ($15 per person at the door or $14 pre-ordered) culminated to an outstanding amount of over $1,300.

This chipped off $52 per waiter in relation to the London trip, and that’s not including the decent amount of tips some of us made, as well.

Reportedly, there will be at least one more dinner theatre sometime in either January or February amongst other fundraisers going on throughout the year before the trip.

Till then, stay posted and up to date for other great theatrical nights out!