Mealtime entertainment is fairly ubiquitous – jazz bands, cabaret singers, the like – but the dinner theater concept cranks it up a notch with scripted performances, burlesque spectacles, and other immersive tableside experiences. These productions can be captivating, multisensory treats; but, sometimes, they’re cheesy murder-mystery sagas accompanied by questionable chicken entrees. We’re ready to cast any unfair presumptions aside, though, because a pair of new venues at two hotels in Sin City and South Beach have us angling to catch a dinner and a show soon.
Speakeasy Style in Sin City
Las Vegas’ Bellagio teamed up with production company No Ceilings Entertainment to create the program at the new Mayfair Supper Club, which overlooks the resort’s Bellagio Fountains. Decor is reminiscent of an Old Hollywood speakeasy, and depending on the hour, entertainment ranges from live pianists to Prohibition-era-inspired jazz performances (Beyoncé’s former choreographer is handling the dance numbers) and aerialists dangling from the ceiling during late-night dance parties … because Vegas. For dinner, expect Champagne cocktails, caviar, and slow-roasted prime rib served tableside. The Mayfair may be Sin City’s new celebrity haunt – since it opened on New Year’s Eve, Lady Gaga and the Jonas Brothers have already been spotted there.
Drama in South Florida
Revenge is on the menu for Faena Theater’s cabaret-style take on Peter Greenaway’s film The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach. The production re-creates the fictional world of the opulent Hollandais restaurant, from cocktails (served by actors dressed as waiters at the hotel’s Saxony Bar preshow) through a three-course dinner. The fantasy unfolds around the audience, with performers dancing between tables as the thief and his wife’s troubles become clear and her affair with a bookstore owner heats up. James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein orchestrates the evocative meal featuring saffron-infused ceviche, Wagyu short-rib Wellington, and a chocolate dessert that packs a surprise. Through April 26.