My parents took me to my first real show at Derby Dinner Playhouse when I was around 10 or 11. I distinctly remember thinking, "That's what I want to do!" I had been bitten by the theatre bug in a big way. Flash forward a decade, and this recent college grad (with a degree in Music/Vocal Performance) decided to audition for a show there. Except they didn't cast me in the show--they hired me full-time as a Barnstormer (now called Footnotes)! It was the culmination of all my childhood dreams. I performed there just under a year before moving to Music City, but I have fond memories of the Derby, and I've taken my children back to see shows again and again. So, yes, this review may be a bit biased. But as a performer myself, I am a discerning critic, and I believe the shows at DD can stand up to any local or regional theatre. Many of the regular actors have been there for years--they have invested their lives in DD, and it shows. The Derby continues to introduce new generations to mostly-family-friendly theatre, returning to perennial favorites again and again but also bringing newer works to the stage. The children's shows are an excellent way to let younger theatre fans get a taste of the magic. Even before I worked there, before I knew I would one day grace the stage, I was a fan. Derby Dinner has been entertaining audiences for generations, and they continue to discover and bring new talent to the stage!
I honestly cannot say enough good things about Derby Dinner. We have been going here for many years as my parents used to take me as a child and my school took us for field trips way back when. The children shows are aplenty and the kids really enjoy them. All their productions are great! The dinner is buffett-style so be sure to go hungry. I always enjoy their food and they have kid-friendly options. You can order dessert for intermissions or before the performance begins and drinks other than tea and water are extra.
Where can you go and see a great musical/play and have a nice buffet? I personally cannot wait to go back!
If you can get tickets to one of their children's shows, you will not be disappointed. Kids love the ability to be so close to the show and get to eat a meal of their choice. We saw Blue's Clues and my two year old loved it. The children dance and sang and it did not disrupt or bother anyone. Adult shows are pricey but typically well done.
Derby Dinner is celebrating its 25th year in business and they just keep getting better and better. They offer a variety of mainstage shows every year, including 5-6 musicals, as well as children's theatre shows, and special events. They always have shows that are appealing to audiences of all ages! The food is wonderful too. The salad bar and buffet are all you can eat and they have an extensive drink/dessert menu.