Dinner and show has been a classic night out since the dawn of time, but the dinner theater has fallen out of favor in recent history. In the 1970s nearly 150 dinner theaters thrived and played host to a number of traveling theater troupes. By the 1980s most of those original establishments had died out. In the last 10 years dinner theaters have experienced a bit of a resurgence, and it’s easy to see why. Dinner theater offers everything in one place: for a night out it’s an easy choice for food, drink, and entertainment.
Here are a few of our favorite dinner theaters in Chicago.
#1 The Mercury on Southport
The Mercury Theater at 3745 North Southport Avenue has big plans for 2013. The Mainstay Theater will become the biggest producer of musicals in the city, with four productions, including A Grand Night for Singing, Barnum, The Color Purple, and The Christmas Schooner. An $80 subscription gets you into the first three, and the holiday special can be added on for a total of $100.
#2 The Noble Horse Theater in Oldtown
The Noble Horse Theater offers a unique, historic style of theater including horseback performances. Shows include Quadrille, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and The Nutcracker. Dinner is optional with the evening performances, and every show is BYOB, so come prepared. The Noble Horse Theatre is located at 1410 North Orleans Street and reservations can be made online.
#3 The Tiki Terrace
The Tiki Terrace is Chicago’s only Polynesian dinner theater. Every Friday and Saturday night guests can take a mini vacation and experience the food, music, and dancing of the South Pacific. Located at 1591 Lee Street, in Des Plaines, it’s considerably closer than Hawaii. Contact the Tiki Terrace now to make your reservations.
#4 The Famous Medieval Times
Maybe the best known dinner theater in the Chicago area, Medieval Times offers epic battles, horseback heroics, and hearty fair. The castle, just off I-90 at 2001 North Roselle Road in Schaumburg, offers tickets online and is happy to host large parties at group rates all year round.
#5 The Infamous Tommy Gun’s Garage
Tommy Gun’s is the longest running interactive dinner show in Chicago. Since 1987 Tommy Gun’s has been an interactive speakeasy with musical comedy review, set during the roaring twenties. It boasts all the characters you would expect in the scene of a prohibition era speakeasy, including flappers, gangsters, jazz musicians, and more. The Menu is similarly themed with items like The Kingpin steak dinner and the Don’t Call Me Chicken boneless chicken breast dinner. Make reservations online now.