The Chemainus Theatre will continue to offer smaller dinner shows to patrons at the Playbill Dining Room. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The Chemainus Theatre will continue to offer smaller dinner shows to patrons at the Playbill Dining Room. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Dinner events satisfying for the Chemainus Theatre and patrons

Small groups enjoy entertainment and the food in the Playbill Dining Room

The Chemainus Theatre’s main stage will remain dark well into 2021, but dinner events in the Playbill Dining Room have been a bright spot amid pandemic restrictions.

Theatre managing director Randy Huber said it takes five to six months of lead time to get a show open. With no end in sight to COVID regulations for the entertainment industry, limiting venues to 50 people, that means a long haul yet before the theatre can consider scheduling any performances.

“I would say realistically, the earliest would be June of next year,” Huber conceded.

If something miraculous happens to change the situation, the theatre would obviously move as quickly as possible to stage a production.

Seating capacity inside the theatre would only be about 30 with physical distancing requirements, which doesn’t make it feasible to entertain any entertainment possibilities there.

“We’re doing what we can within public health orders to keep things alive,” Huber noted. “The cap of 50 really limits what we can do.”

Related: Dining room bustling again after long COVID layoff

In the meantime, the theatre reopened the dining room and launched a Cabaret Series in October, featuring dinner and live entertainment. The events were advertised exclusively to core donors and sponsors, and each one sold out quickly.

It started with award-winning stand-up comedian Mike Delamont and he’s returning Oct. 29-31. Michael Clarke, who appeared at the theatre previously in Rock Legends and Kim’s Convenience, entertained for three nights and Koovy and Connor are up Oct. 22-24. Koovy is from Whitehorse and spent two summers at the theatre in Grease and Mamma Mia while Connor hails from Courtenay and has performed in musicals across the country since he was a young boy.

“We’re going to keep rolling with this format,” said Huber.

“Later this week, we’ll announce our offerings for November and Christmas as well.”

The dinners and shows are conducted under COVID safety protocols, with spacing between groups, three metres of separation between performers and patrons, enhanced cleaning and a maximum of six guests per reservation.

Arts and EntertainmentBusinessDining

 

Chemainus Theatre managing director Randy Huber within the Playbill Dining Room space that will still accommodate 50 people with COVID regulations. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chemainus Theatre managing director Randy Huber within the Playbill Dining Room space that will still accommodate 50 people with COVID regulations. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Physical distancing does not allow enough of a capacity for the Chemainus Theatre to offer any shows on the main stage. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Physical distancing does not allow enough of a capacity for the Chemainus Theatre to offer any shows on the main stage. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Koovy and Connor are playing this week at the Chemainus Theatre’s Playbill Dining Room. Shows are sold out. (Photo submitted)

Koovy and Connor are playing this week at the Chemainus Theatre’s Playbill Dining Room. Shows are sold out. (Photo submitted)

Comedian Mike Delamont is performing at the Chemainus Theatre’s Playbill Dining Room Oct. 29-31 and the limited available space has been filled. (Photo submitted)

Comedian Mike Delamont is performing at the Chemainus Theatre’s Playbill Dining Room Oct. 29-31 and the limited available space has been filled. (Photo submitted)

Just Posted

CVRD to increase enforcement after audits reveal that curb-side recycling contamination in the district is well above acceptable limits. (File photo)
CVRD reports contamination in recyclables well above acceptable levels

Increased enforcement planned starting this summer

Municipality of North Cowichan.
Council acknowledges National Indigenous Peoples Day

Recommendations received for prioritization of the updated Climate Action and Energy Plan

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Flag exhibit is now set up in the Chemainus Valley Museum. (Photo by Val Galvin)
Fibre artists put their unique twists on climate change exhibit

Red Flag warning label affixed to collection now on display at the Chemainus Valley Museum

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Most Read