The Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford, NY, one of the major professional dinner theatres on the East Coast, celebrates its 25th anniversary July 9 with a black tie gala of dinner, 42nd Street and dancing.
42nd Street is the company's 116th show. Performances began July 8, with an official opening set for July 15.
On July 9, 1974, owner-producers Bill Stutler and Bob Funking opened An Evening Dinner Theatre in a facility 200 yards from the current space, in suburban Elmsford, an hour commute from New York City. The company has operated year-round since its founding, offering 115 productions to some 3 million theatregoers.
The company bills itself as the longest-running, 52-weeks-a-year Actors' Equity theatre in the history of New York state. As on Broadway, the Westchester offers eight shows per week.
The commercial venue began with a few friends and a small business loan and blossomed into a troupe that serves musicals, concerts, dance shows, children's theatre -- and meals -- and employs 175 technicians, artists and staff members. The company moved from its first facility (where Kiss Me, Kate was the first show in 1974) to the new space (with A Chorus Line) in 1991. Luxury boxes were built in the mezzanine for private dining, restrooms were expanded and the stage included a turntable and a hydraulic lift, rare for dinner theatres.
For information about Westchester Broadway Theatre, call (914) 592 2222.
-- By Kenneth Jones