If you think "dinner theater" is for grandparents, then you clearly haven't been to one of the spots listed below. These Manhattan restaurants combine great food with great entertainment. Bon appétit, and enjoy the show! By Jessica Allen/Tracy Dunstan
"Dinner and a show" at Tribeca's Duane Park means seasonal New American cuisine like tuna tartare, short ribs braised in red wine and pan-roasted chicken -- along with burlesque and live jazz. If it sounds hot, well, it is, and we don't just mean waiting for the food to cool off before having a bite. Other options include a real live sideshow soiree (there will be whips, twists, and flips, for sure). Prices vary, but most of the meal-and-entertainment combos cost around $100, not including tax, tip, and beverages. Reservations required; see calendar for dates and times.
Murdered by the Mob
141 W. 38th St.
If you're looking to also interact with the actors on stage while having a night out at the theater, look no further than Murdered by the Mob. The performances include a three-course meal, dancing and the chance to help solve the case. In fact, you might even get the chance to bring home an "Academy Award" if you are selected as the best actor or actress from the audience. Be sure to take your pick from the delicious meal options, which include chicken parmigiana and pasta primavera.
For going on two decades, the men and women of Lips have been putting the "pretty" and the "professional" into drag shows. Dinner with the Divas, one of the city's longest-running drag shows, includes drinks, food, hoots, hollers, sexiness -- and, of course, plenty of divas. The emphasis here is on fun—if you're not having a good time, Lips isn't doing its job. During Drag Karaoke, you can sing like there's no tomorrow during dinner for just $20.95. Other shows and other times are available -- see website for details and to make a reservation.
Queen of the Night
The Paramount Hotel
235 W. 46th St.
New York, NY 10036
A ticket to the dazzling Queen of the Night show grants you a cocktail and a full dinner along with the chance to engage with the cast. Located at the Paramount Hotel, the show has a Moulin Rouge feel with a hint of Cirque du Soleil. Do note that the meals are served family-style and you are expected to "dress to impress" for the occasion.
At Sushi Roxx, you'll get carefully crafted specialty cocktails and a la carte sushi prepared by an alum of Sushi of Gari in a fun, vibrant atmosphere, modeled on nightclubs in Tokyo. Best of all? During dinner on Tuesdays through Saturdays, the waitstaff will periodically break out into song and dance. Choreographed by Karina Smirnoff of Dancing with the Stars fame, this routine won't be any lame or hokey "Happy Birthday," either -- these folks are professionally-trained singers, dancers, and actors. Not surprisingly, it's 21 and over after 8:30 pm, when things get even, ahem, steamier.
West Bank Café - Laurie Beechman Theatre
407 W. 42nd St.
New York, NY 10036
The West Bank Café is the perfect theater to check out if you like a little variation in your dinner theater. Located within the Café is the Laurie Beechman Theatre, which can seat 100 guests. There are plenty of interesting events to choose from. Past performers include Joan Rivers and Le Scandal Burlesque. Broadway lovers looking to get up close and personal with stars from the stage should check out the "Broadway Sessions" night on Thursdays.
A night at Tatiana is spectacular in every sense of the word. You might see bikini-clad beauties, bare-chested singers, fire-eaters, and the woman for whom the restaurant is named, as well as longtime patrons and people who seem to have just wandered in off the Brighton Beach boardwalk. On weekends, you can reserve a spot for one of the Russian restaurant's famed banquet-style meals, with lots of food and larger-than-life entertainment. You'll think you've left Brooklyn and landed in Las Vegas. Prices vary, depending on the day, and reservations are required.
As the your meal begins, a wealthy family is preparing to auction off its prized truffle until . . . they discover that not only has the two-pound truffle been stolen but a restauranteur is missing and presumed murdered! It's your job to figure out whodunit. You'll be serenaded with jazz as you nosh on a three-course dinner or brunch, weighing evidence and assessing motives along the way. Tickets are required, and the restaurant suggests you come in your finest finery in order to heighten the verisimilitude of the performance. Your ticket includes a truffles tasting!
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