2022 Guide to Group-Friendly Theaters
Looking for an option to keep the whole group entertained? These theaters make perfect additions to any itinerary. Whether your group is in the mood to see a Broadway show, be wined and dined or take a behind-the-scenes tour, these theaters have something for everyone.
Barter Theatre is the State Theatre of Virginia and is located in historic Abingdon Virginia. Open since 1933, Barter is one of the longest running professional theatres in the nation. With various year-round productions, the theater has been entertaining guests for generations.
Today, Barter is one of the last year-round professional resident repertory theaters remaining in the United States. Many well-known stars of stage, screen and television have performed early in their careers at Barter, including Gregory Peck, Ernest Borgnine, Patricia Neal, Ned Beatty, John Glover and Wayne Knight.
The theater’s location, Abingdon, is a lovely town in the Blue Ridge Mountains that has a rich history, culture and majestic scenery and is an ideal destination for a motor coach. Located within the Abingdon Historic District, Barter Theatre provides a sensational on-site dining and catering experience for guests.
In 2022-23, Barter will present a variety of entertaining shows, including Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 The Musical (running through August 21); Murder on the Orient Express, a legendary murder mystery that will have you laughing one moment and gasping the next (running from September 3 to November 5); It’s a Wonderful Life, a world-premiere adaptation written especially for Barter’s resident acting company (running from November 12 through December 28) and many more.
Barter Theatre is group-friendly as it offers group rates that vary, but can be as much as 50 percent off single ticket prices. Barter also offers complimentary tickets to the organizers of groups and media organizations. Barter provides complimentary services such as group itineraries you can customize, a free step tour guide to welcome your group, assistance with lodging needs and more. Guests can arrange their visits in advance and be introduced to lodging, dining and attraction partner experiences. Barter also provides behind-the-scenes tours, actor-led talk-backs and even workshops that can be adapted to the needs of your group.
Barter offers easy access for everyone in your group, including ramp entrances, fully handicapped-accessible buildings and assistive listening devices for the hearing impaired.
BEEF & BOARDS DINNER THEATRE
Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre celebrates their 50th Anniversary in 2023. They have been serving up food, fun and fabulous live entertainment since 1973. Located in Indianapolis, IN, the theatre was part of a chain of dinner theatres built by Louisville contractor J. Scott Talbott. Today, the Indianapolis location is the sole remaining Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, entertaining more than 150,000 theatergoers annually.
The 50th Anniversary Season includes Broadway classics and new smash hits such as Clue, Footloose, An American in Paris, Disney’s Beauty & the Beast, Sophisticated Ladies, Grumpy Old Men, Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and White Christmas.
A visit to Beef & Boards is more than just great theatre. Included with every visit is a tasty dinner buffet prepared by the in-house chef, plus a full-service bar and mouthwatering gourmet desserts. Be sure to stop by the Intermission gift shop for unique gift ideas. Group rates and complimentary tickets for escorts and drivers available for groups of 20 or more. Come see why each year more and more people discover the value and quality of Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre.
Beef & Boards is a professional theatre that entertains audiences year-round. Currently owned by the Stark family including the managing partner Doug Stark and his children Liz Stark, Nick Stark and Josh Stark, Beef & Boards is a professional theatre employing members of Actors Equity Association.
Chanhassen Dinner Theatre
Among the charming streets and manicured lawns of Chanhassen, Minnesota sits the occasional red barn and a little piece of Broadway. Chanhassen Dinner Theatre came to be in 1968 when the Bloomberg family decided to build their dream atop cornfields, and it has since turned into the largest professional dinner theater in the United States. The combination of a classic sit-down dining experience along with a professionally produced performance has resulted in over 12.5 million visitors since the day their doors opened.
Today the privately-owned business is known for its world-class actors, musicians and backstage crews, in addition to offering entertainment spanning from a concert series, comedy club, special presentations and of course year-round theater productions all interpreted and created on-site. The current year-round performance, Footloose, gives audience members the opportunity to enjoy a glass of pinot noir while watching rebelling teens stomp and spin across the stage. All ticket prices include warm butter and bread to start, a choice from a wide selection of entrées, and coffee, milk or tea to accompany the drawing of the curtains. Chanhassen Dinner Theatre ensures that there is a meal for everyone, with options ranging from a roasted beet salad to a grilled tip sirloin, and as the show comes to a close, be sure to end sweetly with an apple galette or the towering chocolate cake for two.
Whether it be an anniversary dinner date or celebratory corporate event, different packages ensure the best deal is given according to specific groups, and information about personal discounts is available by calling the box office. The hardwood dance floors and dramatic venues of the Ballroom and Dance Loft can be the setting for an elegant wedding, or outdoor event space is readily available through Chanhassen Dinner Theatre’s partnership with Bluff Creek Golf Course. Whatever the occasion may be, the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre provides gourmet meals alongside vibrant entertainment which rightfully titles this establishment as a theatrical gem in the Midwest for generations to come.
Cornwell’s Dinner Theatre
For more than 35 years, Cornwell’s Dinner Theatre in Marshall, Michigan has been perfecting the recipe for great family entertainment with a full season of Broadway musicals and comedies performed by a company of professional actors, many of whom have gone on to perform on national tours and even Broadway. The intimate, 155-seat theatre with its exposed timber beams, provides unobstructed views of the stage and a warm and friendly dining experience.
Cornwell’s first priority is to make sure you and your family make lasting memories at Turkeyville, USA. They do that by providing the best dining and entertainment experience followed up with unmatched customer service. When you arrive at the theatre, the house staff will be waiting to seat you at your table, where you will be served salad, soup and drinks. Homemade dinner rolls and Grandma’s cranberry relish will be brought to your table while you adjourn to the buffet to enjoy the latest turkey dishes with all the trimmings, followed by your choice of three different desserts. After the meal, you may have some time to stretch your legs and visit their bakery, ice cream parlor and gift shop while their serving staff will clear your table. After the meal, the lights go down and the curtain rises on Cornwell’s latest production.
Cornwell’s 2022 lineup of shows includes such classics as The Odd Couple (running through August 20), Curious George: The Golden Meatball (running through August 20), Church Basement Ladies (September 8-October 29), and Still Dreaming of a White Christmas (November 8-December 17).
Cornwell’s Dinner Theatre specializes in creating memorable experiences for bus tours and other large groups. The theater provides a personal touch and concierge service you won’t find anywhere else. They offer two pricing tiers for groups:
Groups of 12-19: $46
Group of 20 or more: $44
Cumberland County Playhouse
The Cumberland County Playhouse in Crossville, Tennessee is the only major nonprofit professional performing arts resource in rural Tennessee and one of the 10 largest professional theaters in rural America. It serves more than 80,000 visitors annually with two indoor and one outdoor stage, young audience productions, a comprehensive dance program and a concert series.
The Playhouse strives to stretch its audiences with programming which includes major elements of opera, dance, and challenging dramatic works. Each year, The Playhouse features nearly 500 performances and 1,600 classes in theatre, music, and dance.
Combining a resident professional company and a staff of 16 with more than 100 visiting professionals and a large volunteer corps, the Playhouse draws professionals from across the country and volunteers from a dozen Tennessee counties. The Playhouse has been managed and directed by two generations of the Crabtree family since its opening in 1965.
The 2022 season expects to be the Playhouse’s best season yet, as it features a slew of great shows including Escape to Margaritaville (running until September 8, rated PG-13), Ken Ludwig’s Leading Ladies (August 19-October 13, rated PG), The Buddy Holly Story (September 16-October 27, rated PG), The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (November 4-December 21, rated G) and Johnny and the Devil’s Box, a new musical running November 18-December 17, rated PG).
The Playhouse will also host on its main stage, Landau Murphy, Jr., an America’s Got Talent winner, On October 6. The Playhouse also hosts fee outdoor concerts including The Smoky Nights on September 4. In December, the Playhouse will host a Classic Nashville Christmas on December 1 and the Inversion Vocal Ensemble on December 15.
The Cumberland County Playhouse provides arts opportunities to a vast region under-served by other arts resources, including rural East and Middle Tennessee, North Georgia, Southern Kentucky, and Northern Alabama and metropolitan Knoxville, Nashville, and Chattanooga.
Creating accessibility to the arts for all is key to the mission of the Cumberland County Playhouse.
Disney on Broadway
The Palace Theatre lights begin to dim as curious crowds shuffle quietly in their seats, unaware that the performance ahead will leave future generations in awe. Since the 1994 official opening, Disney on Broadway has become a worldwide success and leaves audiences dazzled with magic and returning for more.
Disney on Broadway currently offers one of the most captivating productions, so much so that its untamed atmosphere and dancing gazelles have been decorating the stage since November 1997. The Lion King has dominated the musical world with 70 major theatre awards internationally and captivates over 100 million audience members across the globe. Renowned director, Julie Taymor, has perfected the details of costumes, and exemplifies the richness of African culture by including six indigenous African languages which are sung and spoken throughout the show. Named the most successful musical in history, The Lion King plays eight times a week at the Minskoff Theatre in New York.
Transitioning from the Pride Lands to the allies of Agrabah, audience members are invited to chase after Abu and glide across the starry sky on a magic carpet ride through the dazzling work of Disney on Broadway’s Aladdin. With over 10 million audience members worldwide, the spectacular show contains 84 special effects which truly bring the magic of Disney to life. Oscar winning composer, Alan Menken, stuns the crowd with his musical work “A Whole New World” while Genie sparkles on stage with a thousand crystals in a singular pair of pants. Aladdin currently plays eight times a week at the historic New Amsterdam Theatre in Times Square.
If a trip to New York does not suit the schedule, Disney on Broadway offers its astonishingly chilly musical Frozen currently touring North America with its award-winning creative team. All ticket sales can be found at the Disney on Broadway website with a surplus of performance dates and times to choose from.
DRURY LANE THEATRE
Discover the ultimate group destination at Drury Lane Theatre. For over 66 years, the Oak Brook icon has staged spectacular performances and created unforgettable experiences for a host of visitors. Featuring live theatre, delicious dining, convenient transportation & nearby lodging, as well as dedicated group services, it’s an easy and affordable way to gather.
Organizations and groups of fifteen plus qualify for dramatic savings of up to 20% off regular ticket pricing. Making it more affordable than ever for your group to enjoy performances curated from the best of classic and contemporary theatre.
Whether you’re booking a class field trip or a night out for your Community Group, Drury Lane’s dedicated Group Services Team is with you every step of the way.
Make it an event to remember with the theatre’s on-site restaurant, Lucille. Choose from an array of menus and dining options exclusively for groups. From boxed lunches and pizza parties for school trips, to plated three-course dinners beneath dazzling crystal chandeliers. At Drury Lane, there’s something for every price point and palette to enjoy.
For large groups, getting to the venue can be half the battle. To make it easy, Drury Lane offers free parking in the adjacent garage, ample room for bus and motorcoach parking, as well as complimentary valet for passenger cars. No matter how you arrive, it couldn’t be any more convenient. And for groups that need lodging, two well-appointed hotels are located right next door to the theatre.
See why thousands of groups choose Drury Lane year after year. Contact the Group Services Team today to start planning your next unforgettable outing.
Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre
After completing a rough sketch of a dinner-theater venue on a Denny’s paper napkin, the Prather family’s vision came alive in 1987 in the southern Pennsylvanian city of Lancaster. Today the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre can seat a full house of 328 people and provides outstanding performances and award-winning food to over 150,000 guests annually. The simple yet sophisticated atmosphere has historically presented shows such as Annie, Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz.
The Main Theatre is presenting five musicals for the 2022 season which include Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Chicago the Musical, Saturday Night Fever and Elf the Musical to close off the year. The Children’s Theatre is showcasing How I Became a Pirate from July 15th to August 5th and is a perfect way to spend a hot day inside with the family. The performance is followed by interactive Q&As with cast members and the chance to receive autographs and photos in the lobby after the curtains close. All shows take the stage for a little over a month, so be sure to check ticket sales at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre’s main website to secure a spot.
In addition to musical entertainment, the Dutch Apple offers seasonal menus to pair with each show. Enjoy an under the sea adventure with The Little Mermaid while indulging in the butter crumb baked cod followed by a decadent strawberry swirl cheesecake, or sip on a specialty themed cocktail. The Dutch Apple strives to ensure that there is a meal to delight everyone, with options ranging from beef tenderloin, country style potatoes, seasoned greens beans and a diverse assortment of desserts.
Groups and group leaders love their special group rates for every party of 16 or more and include dinner, show, tax and gratuity. Arriving by motorcoach: Group leader and motorcoach driver will each receive a complimentary dinner and show ticket. Arriving by car: Every 21st person will receive a complimentary dinner and show ticket.
Whether it be a romantic date, celebrating a big family birthday or corporate work event, The Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre presents outstanding performances, delectable meals and excellent hospitality which will leave all guests applauding for more.
Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular
With its sights, lights and world-class attractions, New York City is the ultimate destination during the holidays. There’s a festive spirit filling the air in Manhattan, and just beyond the ice skaters and breathtaking Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, in the epicenter of it all, is Radio City Music Hall®. Walk through the doors of this iconic landmark theater, and you’ll find yourself transported to a magical winter wonderland – the home of the Radio City Rockettes ® and the most incredible holiday show to ever hit the American stage.
The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes® is an unparalleled, holiday production that features the signature precision choreography and eye-high kicks of the world-famous Radio City Rockettes®. You’ll be awestruck by the show-stopping numbers, including the renowned “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers,” and the festive holiday celebration “New York at Christmas.” From dazzling kick lines to the magic of Santa, the Christmas Spectacular is the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit. Since its debut in 1933, the Christmas Spectacular has been New York’s most beloved holiday tradition, and one that should be on everyone’s bucket list!
It’s never too early when it comes to holiday travel planning. Experience all the warmth and magic of this New York sensation––at great savings! Reserving seats and creating an amazing visit around the show couldn’t be easier. A dedicated Christmas Concierge from our Group Travel Department will help plan your day and make it unforgettable. Radio City also offers ticket packages that include once-in-a-lifetime experiences where you can take a behind-the-scenes tour of Radio City, dance with a Rockette, enjoy a glamorous pre-show reception in the historic Roxy Suite and much more!
Historic Rabbit Run Theater
Historic Rabbit Run Theater, with its quaint and rustic surroundings, has been an entertainment mainstay in Northeast Ohio for generations. Its charm and pastoral setting irresistibly draw patrons each summer from the end of May through the beginning of September.
Rabbit Run is located in the heart of the Grand River Valley Wine District near the shores of Lake Erie in picturesque Madison, OH, and is one of the few original barn theaters still in operation. Rabbit Run offers outstanding live theater in its productions of blockbuster musicals, comedies and dramas.
The theater has a rich history dating back to the 1800’s when the barn was built. The main crop on the farm was broccoli, which attracted numerous rabbits. So many rabbits, in fact, that they beat down paths or “runs” throughout the property. Hence, the name Rabbit Run Theater seemed appropriate as the theater opened in the late 1940’s.
Throughout the years the Rabbit Run stage has been graced by the appearances of many well-known actors and actresses. Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy appeared in “The Fourposter” to sell-out crowds in 1952. Dustin Hoffman performed throughout the 1962 season. Sandy Dennis and Charles Grodin have also appeared at Rabbit Run.
Groups are our specialty, and several pre-show winetasting/dinner theater packages are available with area wineries and attractions, including Grand River Cellars, The Winery at Springhill and the Steele Mansion.
We are known for our group amenities, including the services of a hostess who greets the group and talks about the history of the theater, as well as large complimentary cookies offered to group guests during intermission.
Whether visiting the many wineries in the area or taking in the natural beauty of Northeast Ohio, a stop at the unique and beautiful Rabbit Run Theater is the perfect end to a perfect day.
Suncoast Broadway Dinner Theater
Less than 45 minutes north of Tampa International Airport and two miles from Florida’s gulf coast, Suncoast Broadway Dinner Theatre in Hudson provides the best of live, professional entertainment with a scrumptious, all-you-care-to-eat dinner. Add on a show-themed specialty cocktail, and audiences have an all-in-one complete experience they won’t soon forget. Audiences can experience the hottest Broadway titles or rocking tribute concerts, all featuring nationally recruited talent backed by state-of-the-art lighting, sound and scenery.
Suncoast’s newly renovated dining room provides an elegant, plush and roomy experience with more than half of the seats fully ADA-accessible. Upcoming shows include Evita, White Christmas, The Buddy Holly Story, Sister Act and the regional premiere of Escape to Margaritaville. Don’t miss our concert series featuring top tribute artists from Elvis to the Eagles or ABBA to Aretha. Every show is a hit at Suncoast Broadway!
TIBBITS OPERA HOUSE
Built in 1882, Tibbits Opera House is among the oldest theaters in Michigan. Rich in history and ambiance, the theatre features an exquisite restored French Second Empire façade. The intimate 499-seat theatre, offers nearly perfect acoustics and great entertainment year-round. It is the center for the arts in Branch County.
Tibbits has developed an outstanding reputation for its professional Summer Theatre, now in its 59th consecutive season. USA Today called it one of “10 great places to see the lights way off Broadway.”
The summer season of 2022 from June 16-Aug 6 includes three musicals (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; Godspell; and Nunsense) and Neil Simon’s comedy Barefoot in the Park, all at very reasonable prices. Dynamic late-night cabarets will feature favorite Summer Theatre performers showcasing beloved Broadway songs. For families, Tibbits offers Popcorn Theatre, classic stories presented by the professional resident company, on Fridays and Saturdays mid-June through early August. Group tours are available and are adaptable to fit your group’s interests.
Through the rest of the year, Tibbits Entertainment Series offers a variety of touring performers and something for every taste. Tibbits’ Young Audiences offers programs both for and by area youth, as well as educational programs and opportunities for students to develop their interest in the arts. In addition to the performing arts, Tibbits also provides an active visual arts presence in Branch County. Arts Alive, an organization devoted to furthering opportunities in the visual arts for the community, hosts activities and exhibits which are open to artists in all mediums.
Riverside Center for the Performing Arts
Riverside Center Dinner Theater and Conference Facility in Stafford County, Virginia, opened in 1998 with the theater’s inaugural performance of Oklahoma! Since then, Riverside Center’s illustrious stage has been the site for more than 100 mainstage musical and dramatic productions and more than 120 musical adaptations of popular children’s stories for its Children’s Theatre.
Built in response to the late Rollin E. Wehman’s vision for bringing professional performing arts, and especially live musical theatre, to the Fredericksburg area, Riverside Center is 36,000 square feet of dinner theatre and conference facility all rolled into one beautiful building. Specially-designed according to a multi-function concept, the two spaces are gracious and accommodating to many different purposes for both large and small gatherings of people and for many different purposes. Over half a million patrons have experienced the enchantment of Riverside Center since 1998.
In 2016, the facility was rebranded as Riverside Center for the Performing Arts.
The theater is a traditional proscenium stage, boasting Virginia’s only dinner theatre fly loft for exquisite sets and seamless transitions between scenes. Riverside’s ever-widening reputation and recognition for production excellence has attracted performers from the Broadway stage and national-tour casts, and noted musical theater critics have cited Riverside Center as “consistently demonstrating high-quality, professional-caliber productions” and “one of the best places to see musicals in the D.C. area.”
Every week, Riverside offers both evening and matinee main stage performances, as well as Children’s Theatre matinees on Saturdays and selected weekdays. Dinner Theatre patrons enjoy a three-course, chef-prepared meal served by an experienced staff of waiters, a service not generally found in dinner theaters elsewhere. Between its fine theatre facility and a commitment to bringing the best productions of the musical stage to central Virginia, it is the aim at Riverside Center to raise the standard of dinner theater entertainment for its patrons.
Toby’s Dinner Theatre
Nestled in the charming suburban town of Columbia, Maryland sits an establishment presenting award-winning Broadway and original musicals, freshly prepared buffets and amazing servers who transform into world-class actors. Toby’s Dinner Theatre has been providing show-stopping entertainment for over 40 years and has received over 100 Helen Hayes Award nominations. The venue is known for its unique stage positioned in the center of the seating, guaranteeing all guests are no more than 30 feet away from the performance.
Upcoming performances include Ghost the Musical (running from August 26-November 6) and It’s a Wonderful Life (August 5-August 21), Something Rotten! (January 20, 2023-March 26, 2023) and due to popular demand, Monty Python’s Spamalot is returning to the stage in August for only three weeks. The one-of-a-kind atmosphere of Toby’s is designed to give a homey warmth with a striking Broadway touch. Servers handing out food will morph on stage into brilliant actors and actresses, and the music reverberating off the walls is conducted by a live in-house orchestra. Toby’s Youth Theatre is also offered which provides hands-on experience for kids such as a common core study guide and lessons, with extension activities available as well.
Toby’s Dinner Theatre offers eight shows weekly which include both evening and matinee performances, and ticket sales can be found online at the official Toby’s Dinner Theatre website. Senior and children discounts are available, as well as group sales for those traveling with 15 or more people. There is one complimentary ticket for a Group Leader of 20 or more and 1 complimentary ticket for a bus driver.
Toby’s Dinner Theatre is a must-see attraction when traveling through the greater Baltimore area, so be sure to stop by for a memorable dining and entertainment experience.
Circa ‘21 Dinner Playhouse
Rock Island, IL
Take one step into the Circa ‘21 Dinner Playhouse and feel the overwhelming charm of what once was the bustling historic Fort Armstrong Theatre, first opened in 1921. Today, the classic building sits on the same corner in Rock Island, Illinois and offers a high-end dining experience and modern award-winning musicals while still maintaining the elegant and timeless atmosphere.
Circa ‘21 Dinner Playhouse showcases a variety of events including comedies, dramas, mysteries, musicals, celebrity attractions and children’s shows. Enjoy a freshly prepared meal while Lumière conducts an orchestra of dancing utensils to the hit song “Be Our Guest,” and watch as the wait staff, known as The Bootleggers, transform from serving your meal to entertaining on stage. Mainstage shows for the remainder of the 2022 season include Disaster!, Clue the Musical, and White Christmas the Musical. Enter the era of the ‘70s and prepare to dance along with the disco and jazz hits played throughout the upbeat performance of Disaster!, or bring the mystery board game to life with interactive clues and audience member help in order to solve the crime in Clue the Musical.
All ticket sales for evening and matinee shows include a freshly chopped salad or pasta salad, a plated entrée served to your seat and a choice of coffee or tea. New and popular appetizers include the 5-cheese stuffed mushroom and classic chilled shrimp cocktail, which can be followed by the chicken límon or salmon entree paired with cucumber salsa. Ticket reservations can be made by calling the number on the Circa ‘21 Dinner Playhouse main website, and once acquired, be prepared for an unforgettable musical dining experience.
Groups are always given a warm welcome at the playhouse. Your visit always includes complimentary tickets for escorts and drivers of motorcoaches, the best available seating at the time you make your reservation and plenty of free, safe motorcoach parking.
Derby Dinner Playhouse
Derby Dinner Playhouse is proud to be in their 48th season featuring such shows as IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, GRUMPY OLD MEN THE MUSICAL, and ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE. Located just minutes from downtown Louisville, KY, this 450-seat theatre is noted for their professional productions of Broadway musicals, comedies, and Children’s Theatre. The Derby Dinner stage is surrounded by tiers of dining tables set “in-the-round”, which provides an intimate setting not usually found in most theatrical venues. The freshly prepared home-style buffet includes such Southern favorites as fried chicken and fish, green beans, mashed potatoes, and a full salad bar. And homemade desserts are a specialty of the house! Sit back and enjoy Derby Dinner’s own talented vocal ensemble, “The Footnotes,” as they entertain you just prior to the stage production. With its wide variety of shows, excellent food service and intimate facility, an evening at Derby Dinner Playhouse is truly something that everyone can enjoy. Group rates available for groups of 20 or more.