PLEASANT GROVE -- A new idea in an antique setting.
That may accurately describe the "Little London Dinner Theatre" set to open in the historic Alhambra Theater on Pleasant Grove's newly restored historic Main Street July 1."This is nostalgic. The theater's been in existence 77 years," said new owner Suzanne Kirby. "It has a history."
"But this will be a whole new kind of theater experience for Utah Valley," said executive producer Jason Boren. "There's nothing comparable."
"We're excited," Kirby said. "We've hired a theatrical engineer to help us lay out the theater. We're redoing everything plus completely overhauling the back so we have a kitchen and a bakery so we can serve a nice meal with chandeliers and china. We'll have a new marquee with our new name."
The wallpaper's new. The stage -- once hidden behind a movie screen -- is uncovered and refit. The seating for 180 is on terraced levels so viewing is optimum and tables can be pushed aside for the shows.
And what's best yet, said Boren, the entertainment accompanying the meals will be high-quality, family-oriented fun.
"We plan to have the same sort of feel as the Hale Center Theaters -- light-hearted with lots of laughter, great voices, great talent."
Cast members will be paid so the theater weighs in as professional theater, and Boren hopes to attract a healthy mix of local and out-of-area stellar talent.
"We've already been getting calls from people interested. I think there's a need for this here," he said.
Boren is a veteran of the stage, most recently involved in productions with the Provo Theatre Company. He grew up in Kirby's neighborhood, so when she was scouting for a director/producer to run the theatrics for the theater he was it.
"Little London's" opening show will be a medley of big Broadway hits until the title "Music of the Night," and feature six singers performing everything from classical opera to belted show tunes.
"Evita, Phantom, CATS, in song and dance, we'll do it," Boren said.
The first script for the new show house theater will be "Beau Jest," a comedy about a Jewish family and a beau who's not necessarily welcome.
Auditions will take place within the next couple of weeks, he said.
Tickets for "Music of the Night" are $21.50 for the dinner and show. Dinner is served at 7 p.m. with performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights beginning July 1 through Aug. 14.
Reservations must be made in advance by calling 785-0827.
The theater will also be available for business luncheons and wedding breakfasts, Kirby said. Hypnotist shows are planned.
"We have a lot of plans and things we want to do. This is just a start," Kirby said.