Saturday, November 12, 2011

Return To Paradise

Last Saturday, we stopped at the Elms to see the progress of their liquidation auction. It is an odd sight to see so much of the furniture already hauled out and the front desk being used as the payment center for the auction. It is all in preparation for the renovations; but odd nonetheless. So, we moved on from an in-progress site to a newly re-opened one in downtown Excelsior Springs: The Paradise Playhouse.

Originally built and operated by the Parrinos in 1999, this sleek building has been sitting sadly dormant for awhile, but with great fanfare, the Paradise Playhouse reopened to the public on this night and we were thrilled to come support its return. New president and CEO Jim Dickerson is responsible for bringing this dinner theater back to life and our friend Cress Hewitt returned as Artistic/Entertainment Director. This past Saturday night featured a classical music performance and a packed house.

This was my first visit to the Paradise and I was quite impressed..I have little experience with dinner theater but I thought this was completely charming. The Polynesian theme could make for some tacky decor, but not in this case...there were many festive but tasteful touches but nothing over-the-top.

Dinner theater is typically more about the theater than the dinner but I'm also delighted to report that dinner played far more than a supporting role here. Catered by Kansas City steak haven The Golden Ox (birthplace of the KC Strip!), there was a plethora of palatable deliciousness available: luscious Chicken Piccata, succulent Prime Rib, and tasty salmon were just a few of the many offerings. The good folks at the Playhouse lobby bar can also mix a mean Grey Goose martini to boot. The classical performance by pianist Sean Martinez and violinist Elizabeth Codd was lovely; featuring numbers that ranged from Rachmaninoff to the Beatles. This re-opening shindig also served as a benefit for the Good Samaritan Center.

It was an absolute kick to see the place packed and looking towards bright future. Break a leg, Paradise Playhouse!

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