Hungry theater-goers are more likely to fall asleep during intermission, eat through their playbills, and not throw tomatoes at deserving underachievers. Sate your appetite and culture cravings with today's Groupon: for $21, you get one ticket to see Avenue Q at the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre in Sarasota (a $43 value). Choose from one of the following show dates and times:
- Tuesday, February 15: Doors open for buffet at 6 p.m., curtain at 8 p.m.
- Wednesday, February 16: Doors open for buffet at 6 p.m., curtain at 8 p.m.
- Thursday, February 17: Doors open for buffet at 6 p.m., curtain at 8 p.m.
- Saturday, February 19: Doors open for buffet at noon, curtain at 1:30 p.m.
- Saturday, February 19: Doors open for buffet at 6 p.m., curtain at 8 p.m.
- Sunday, February 20: Doors open for buffet 4 p.m., curtain at 6 p.m.
For almost 40 years, the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre has been pairing gastronomical gifts with lively productions of more than 300 plays and musicals, including five originals, one of which went all the way to Broadway. The 281-seat theater will soon host Avenue Q, the highly acclaimed, Tony Award-winning Broadway smash. Performed by a cross-species mix of puppets and humans, the musical follows Princeton, a well-meaning recent college grad who moves to New York City with Big Apple–sized dreams and gets a much-needed real-world education from his neighbors. The off-color, mature, and perversely funny production is warm, endearing, and more heart-rending than a sock puppet production of King Lear.
Before each night's theatrical main course, chef Frank Caldwell greets hungry histrionics-lovers with a buffet of carved roast beef, succulent chicken concoctions, as well as pasta, vegetarian dishes, and garlic mashed potatoes with a Greek chorus of gravy. Exit stage left to the expansive salad bar, or allow the experienced wait staff to pamper you with homemade premium desserts or preshow mixed drinks from the full-service bar.
- That theater artisans are so magnetically drawn to the Golden Apple is a reflection of the vibrant and nurturing personalities of its owners—the first family of the Sarasota theatre scene—Bob Turoff and Roberta MacDonald. The couple has been married for 47 years, 36 of which have been spent guiding the Golden Apple from a vacant Morrison’s Café to perhaps the most vital catalyst in downtown Sarasota’s cultural resurgence. – Kevin J. Allen, SRQ