A Look at Baltimore's Dinner Theaters

Carrie Murphy

Dinner and a movie is the standard American date night. Dinner and a play is a step up, a little bit fancier and more fun. But how about dinner during a play? Baltimore has two dinner theatres that are worth checking out this holiday season and the live entertainment makes them a great option for the whole family. Family date night? Why not? 


Toby's, located near the Harbor Tunnel at the Best Western Hotel and Conference Center on Boston St, is a Baltimore institution (there's also a location in Columbia). They're known for their fun productions of favorite musicals. The Sound Of Music is currently playing, until January 27th. Prices range a bit depending on showtimes, but children are always $37.50 and adults are generally around $50.  


But I know what you really want to know about is the food! It;s buffet-style and features a little bit of everything: ham, shrimp, tilapia, macaroni, rice pilaf and other sides, as well as an extensive salad bars and lots of different dessert options. I'll be honest: it's definitely not a five start (or even four star) meal. This is good old American buffet food, nothing innovative or fancy. But it certainly goes down well when you're watching talented people belt out songs in a live performance.


Oregon Ridge Dinner Theatre is the other, food-with-show option in the area. This theatre is the home of the Baltimore Actor's Theatre and also usually features musicals. A run of The Music Man is currently onstage and the theatre just finished up their annual run of the Christmas classic Babes in Toyland. Shows here run on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings, with a brunch buffet served on Sundays. I haven't heard much about the quality of the food there, but I'm betting its pretty similar to the options at Toby's. 


If you're willing to travel a bit, there's also a dinner theatre in Frederick (called Way Off Broadway) and another one in Silver Spring (Blair Mansion).  


I went to dinner theatres quite often when I was a kid; they're a fun activity to do with the whole family and can be a really different, fun outing for everyone, especially if you don't often go to live theatre. Do you have any favorite dinner theatre experiences?


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