Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Country Dinner Playhouse Closes

Employees arrived on Tuesday to find the doors padlocked and a "closed until further notice" sign on the Greenwood Village dinner theater - a sad end to a 37-year run.

This is a blow to the state's theater community. Theater elitists may scoff at Country Dinner Playhouse's repertoire choices - and the food - but it was the state's only year-round professional theater. Many Colorado actors earned their equity cards there; many others were able to make ends meet because of the long season and eight-shows-a-week production schedule.

I don't know who the villains are in this scenario. (Since it's theater, there has to be a villain!) The theater owners said that it became impossible to continue without a lease, which the property owner refused to provide; the property owner said the theater owners had been assured that the property wouldn't be developed before May 2008 - which, I must say, isn't exactly reassuring. And no one denies that the landscape has become increasingly difficult for dinner theater over the years: Several have come and gone in Colorado Springs during my time at the Gazette.

There will be a story in Friday's Go! - which will replace the review of the Country Dinner Playhouse production of "Evita." Meanwhile, here are some links to more info:

Denver Post Story
Comments to Denver Post Story
Rocky Mountain News Story


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