Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wizard of Oz

Oddly enough, only days after posting about the musicals that I love so much, we ended up getting to go see one.

I was looking through our Six Flags booklets to see what coupons were included and came across one for Toby’s Dinner Theatre. It was a $10 off coupon for any of their shows, and when I saw that they were doing the Wizard of Oz until July 1st, I knew we needed to go.

I figured we’d have to go on Wednesday night because Zoe was going to the beach on Thursday and she’d likely be working the rest of the weekend, so I called right away. (If anyone in my house loves theatre as much as I do, it’s Zoe.)

We weren’t really sure what to expect since none of us had ever been to Toby’s, but when I looked for reviews online, they were very positive, so I was looking forward to a great show.

Doors opened at 6pm, and the dinner buffet began at 6:15pm. I didn’t really think about traffic being an issue, but I should have. We didn’t end up getting to the theatre until about 6:20, and the line for tickets was quite long. We had to wait about 15 to 20 minutes to pick up our tickets which I thought was ridiculous. After paying for our tickets, we headed into the theatre area. We were seated at our table and then told we could head over to the salad bar until our table was called for the main buffet. We were number 73, so we had quite a wait until it was our turn to get dinner. (Landon was really worried about eating food off of the buffet after our bad buffet experience at the beach last year, but eventually he gave in and ate. Poor kid.) The food was pretty decent and I just couldn’t seem to get enough of the fruit salad…which is really weird for me.

They cleaned up the buffet at 7:45 and the show began at 8pm. I was still a little skeptical about how good the show could possibly be when the stage was so small, but I knew it was going to be good as soon as I heard Dorothy sing her first song. She had an amazing voice, and she played her role perfectly. As the show progressed it was apparent that these actors were all very well rehearsed and knew their stuff. The Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion were terrific and I couldn’t help but think how much they reminded me of the originals.

There were a few elements of the show that I just couldn’t figure out how they were going to include. For example, the Munchkins. They accomplished that scene by having the actors sit on rolling stools and it was quite entertaining! I also wondered how they would incorporate the tornado (I thought special lighting but they had people dressed in long grey costumes whirling around like a tornado) and Toto (they used a stuffed dog at some points, but also a real dog when necessary) and when they got to the Emerald City, would they have that color changing horse that I always loved as a kid (they did!!! lights can do amazing things!).

Over all, I was thrilled with the show. However, if I could change a few things, I would. For instance, being 9 months pregnant was never as uncomfortable as it was sitting in the chairs they provided for both dinner and the show. If you are going to be sitting that long in any one seat, it really should be a bit more comfy. I thought maybe it was just me, but I noticed a lot of people squirming in their seats during the show and Zoe even told me that she was quite uncomfortable sitting there. I would also make it possible for people to purchase their tickets online and bring a printed ticket to avoid the wait at the ticket pick up window. I’m not positive this isn’t an option, but if it is, I wasn’t made aware of this option. The last thing I would change would be to offer dates or times where you aren’t required to eat at the venue. I would have been just as happy to have eaten at home and then gone to the show afterwards, even if the price were only slightly lower. While the food was good, it was just not worth the wait or added expense.

I would definitely recommend anyone who loves theatre to try Toby’s out. The over all experience was really fun, and all 4 of us had a great time. Landon even asked me if I thought we’d get to go see another show sometime this summer…and I did notice that Grease would be showing at the Baltimore location beginning July 1st…Smile.

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