When Olde Towne Dinner Theatre in Worthing opened in 1982, there was only enough space to entertain 15-20 guests for each performance. After some renovations over the years, artistic director John Boe says they serve crowds of about 100 now as they prepare to enter their next season: their ruby anniversary season.
In the first week of June, their current theater season will end with the final three performances of Caught in the Net, a British farce by Ray Cooney.
This show follows a man who has two separate families that are seemingly oblivious to each other. As this takes place in the early days of the internet, the father didn’t know the net could be a problem for his secret lives with each family.
“The daughter from one family and the son from the other meet up on the internet and decide they want to meet in person,” said Boe.
The pair was intrigued by their uncanny familial similarities like last names and their taxi driver fathers.
“This is the last show of this season. We’ll start rehearsing for the next season in July and we’ll open at the beginning of September,” said Boe. “We’re kicking it off on June 11 with our 40th Anniversary Gala.”
Attend the gala for a variety show, a Hegg Brothers performance, hors d’oeuvres, and more.
Browse the silent auction and place your bids, and don’t forget to enter the raffle. When you buy one of the $100 raffle tickets, you enter for the chance to win a $4,000 travel voucher, according to Boe.
Before the next season, about 20 kids get the opportunity to participate in the Children’s Theatre Camp to learn the basics of theater and put on a show. The camp is Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
“This year we’re doing The Lion King Jr.,” said Boe. “We’ll spend the first part of the day teaching. Then we’ll get into the show and music.”
At the end of the camp, the kids perform on June 24 at 6 p.m. and June 25 at 1 p.m.
The rehearsals for the upcoming season will start soon after the camp.
“It’s our 40th anniversary season, so we’re doing all shows we’ve done at some point in the past,” said Boe.
Every performance starts with a full meal.
“We do everything in house,” said Boe. “Our head chef creates all the recipes. We’ve got soup, salad, dinner, and dessert.”
40TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON
And Then There Were None
2 Across: A Comedy of Crosswords & Romance
The Movie Game
For each performance of a show, the meal and dessert will be the same with a choice of protein. Then when a new show takes its place, so comes a new meal and dessert.
The season will start with an Agatha Christie murder mystery laced with humor: And Then There Were None.
DINNER AND SHOW TIMES
Visit the Theater website for show dates.
Doors open at 6 p.m., dinner starts at 6:30 p.m., and the show begins at 8 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday
Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner starts at 5:30 p.m., and the show begins at 7 p.m.
Doors open at 1:30 p.m., and the show begins at 2 p.m.
2 Across: A Comedy of Crosswords & Romance by Jerry Mayer comes next, following two strangers who meet on a late night San Francisco subway.
“The third show of the year is called Leading Ladies,” said Boe, mentioning a show by Ken Ludwig. “It’s an American farce about two failing male actors who find out about daughters who are supposed to receive a huge inheritance but have been missing for years.”
Boe says the actors dress up as women, pretending to be the daughters in an attempt to get the inheritance money.
“Since the last time we did the show, people have been asking for us to do it again,” he said. “They just loved it.”
“When we open one show, we have a week before auditions for the next show. Auditions are roughly three weeks before we start rehearsals for the show.” -John Boe
The fourth and final show of the ruby season will be The Movie Game by Adam Hummel, one of Boe’s favorites.
“It’s about a guy and a girl who love old movies, especially rom coms,” said Boe.
Still living with his parents and without a reliable job, the man desires to get a grip on his life.
“He hires a film crew to make a documentary of his life so he can see what he’s doing wrong,” said Boe. “It’s a lot of fun. It has some quirky characters in it.”
For more information, visit OLDETOWNETHEATRE.ORG.