‘New York After Dark’ latest installment by Revue Dinner Theatre

Nancy MacPhee nmacphee@journalpioneer.com
Published on February 12, 2013

Members of the cast of “New York After Dark” are Shawn Arsenault (left), Alicia Altass, Adam MacGregor, Brittany Banks, Sherri-Lee Darrach and Bobby McIsaac. The show opens this Thursday at Summerside’s Brothers 2 Restaurant.

Submitted photo

SUMMERSIDE — Get into a New York state of mind for a night of music, improv, skits, comedy and food.

Revue Dinner Theatre’s “New York After Dark” opens Thursday night at Brothers Two in Summerside.

The show is different from the usual Feast Dinner Theatre productions, says Sherri-Lee Darrach and Adam MacGregor, two of the directors and cast members.

“For the first time we are playing ourselves,” said Darrach. “It’s harder being yourself, honestly… I’ve been in character or waitressing the times I have spilled things on people and have been able to blame it on whoever I am.

“Now it’s me. There is so much more heaviness to that. We are ourselves but we will be taking on different characters throughout the night.”

It’s the second production for Revue Dinner Theatre, following on the heels of last year’s successful “Vegas After Dark.”

“Every act will have a few songs and a few sketches and a bit of improv,” added Darrach. “So, live, we don’t know what’s going to happen. Some of it will be given from the audience moments, terrifying moments. It’s either going to be amazing or terrible.”

MacGregor added, “You can’t expect the audience to make the show. You never know what you’re going to get. Whatever you are going to get you have to work with.”

But it’s not all improv based on audience input.

The cast, along with Island comedian, Patrick Ledwell, has penned what Darrach calls a funny and witty script for the actors.

“We will still have our material. Even if the audience is not quite interacting the way we need them to or if their energy isn’t up,” added Darrach, a dinner theatre veteran. “We have a framework.”

The idea was to make the show different than a traditional dinner theatre while intertwining the concept of each.

“We need to show what we do best in dinner theatre and what we do best is the improv, on the spot; we don’t drop character,” said Darrach.

MacGregor added, “It’s like ‘Saturday Night Live’ meets ‘Whose Line is it Anyway.’ We have sketch comedy but we also have improv games and improv scenes.”

Although there is a narrator guiding the show, MacGregor added, “It’s different every night.”

With ever-changing characters, there is one constant and that’s the music.

There’s an array of New York-themed songs, from Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind” and Frank Sinatra’s classic, “New York, New York” to a medley of recognizable hits from various Broadway musicals.

It was MacGregor’s job to piece together the music of “New York After Dark.”

“It’s definitely a much more mixed bag than we normally have in terms of genres and styles,” he added. “We’re taking a lot more chances with the music in this show.”

The menu is Chef Luigi’s Italian buffet, and like with Feast Dinner Theatre, the actors will be the servers.

For more information, including dates and locations, visit revuedinnertheatre.ca.