By Michael Evans
Posted On: Jan 11, 2018
If you’re looking for a quick way to warm up in the winter, what’s a more perfect combination than a belly full of fantastic food and a whole lot of belly laughs? Popular “dinner-and-a-show” theatres are just the answer to satisfy your craving. There are a handful of these venues in Ohio that can help create a slew of memories for you and your friends and family.
Starting in the north, there is Pickwick & Frolic Restaurant & Club located in Cleveland. This staple of lakeside nightlife has been entertaining guests for years with its many rooms of excitement. The main stage is at the Hilarities 4th Street Theatre, a 400-seat showroom which features seven stand-up comedy shows a week, including many nationally recognized names.
In addition to Hilarities, Pickwick & Frolic also is home to Frolic Caberet, a 100-seat venue with Friday night burlesque shows and Saturday night interactive murder mystery dinner parties. Additionally, there are three bars under one roof at Pickwick & Frolic: The Pickwick Bar, Kevin’s Martini Bar & Tap Room (with some of the city’s best mixologists), and The Champagne Bar (the only one of its kind in Cleveland)!
My brother and I go to Pickwick & Frolic to get a hearty dose of laughs (since laughter is the best medicine, after all), but also come for the hearty portions of top notch food. What made Pickwick & Frolic stand out for us were the out-of-this-world food offerings. Normally at a comedy club, the menu only includes typical bar foods like wings and burgers. But, at Pickwick & Frolic, the upstairs restaurant is a fine dining experience, with entrees like rotisserie chicken and certified Angus beef. This means they have some of the best steaks in the whole city of Cleveland. We were not disappointed!
Book tickets now for one of the many stand-up acts at Pickwick & Frolic, or try out “Dazed and Amused,” a wild comedy hypnosis show on January 26. You can also book corporate events, or social events, like bachelor and bachelorette parties.
Moving further south to the state capital of Columbus, you will find Shadowbox Live, a venue known for decades for its comedic musicals, such as the incredibly popular “Holiday Hooplah” show, which takes place every December. This variety act was a staple for me and my work friends for company social outings. But even though “Holiday Hooplah” just ended doesn’t mean there’s not a TON of great shows on the lineup right now.
Rock performer at Shadowbox Live in Columbus
This winter, Shadowbox Live performs “Epic,” it’ sketch comedy and rock ’n roll show featuring the best sketches and songs from the troupe’s first 6 years in their downtown home. The show features original sketch comedy and rock songs, and, true to its name, the material selected is, well, epic. “Epic” runs Fridays at 7:30 PM and Saturdays at 7:30 PM and 10:30 PM until March 17. A special one-hour version of the show, Epic Nightcap, is performed each Friday at 10:30 PM.
Shadowbox Live also invites you to shake your rump to the funk with their revival of “Front Street Funk." The show weaves the history of American pop-culture into the chronological trip through this music from the mid-60s to the mid-80s. Shadowbox Live breaks the norm with the staging of this show, allowing for a small dance floor for those that feel moved to shake their rump to the funk! “Front Street Funk” runs select Wednesdays and Thursday at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM until February 15.
Dinner and a show at La Comedia
Last but not least on our tour of “dinner-and-a-show” venues in Ohio is La Comedia Dinner Theatre in Springboro (in between Dayton and Cincinnati). La Comedia is the only facility open in Ohio that was built to be a professional dinner theatre. With tiered seating for over 600 people, it's also one of the largest dinner theatres in the nation.
La Comedia adds an extra fun element in that their dining experience consists of a gourmet buffet meal, which mouthwatering options like Southern fried chicken, Norwegian cod, and beef and noodles. All this can be enjoyed while being entertained by a high-quality Broadway-style production. Playing now through February 18 is “Smoke on the Mountain,” featuring a show full of bluegrass gospel songs such as “Rock of Ages” and “I’ll Fly Away.” Starting February 22 is the groundbreaking saga “The Color Purple.” Get your tickets today!
For more Ohio entertainment, Find It Here at Ohio.org.