Thanks to our industrious theater community and the vision and persistence of David and Susie Couch, Santa Barbara has long enjoyed the reliable presence of a satisfying and popular dinner theater. After many successful years at the Circle Bar B Guest Ranch in Refugio Canyon, where the theater program ended after the 2014 season, the Couches are back, and in a place that’s three whole exits closer to Santa Barbara on route 101. Their new production company is called Prism, and after some months of negotiation with HJL Group Restaurant Advisors, Prism plans three shows, all including complete dinners, at the historic Timbers Restaurant on Winchester Canyon Road in Goleta.
The first offering, Murder at Café Noir, is a comic tribute to the Humphrey Bogart films of the 1940s and will take advantage of a feature of this new location that was not available at Circle Bar B by integrating the dining experience with the show. The audience will decide who perpetrated the murder while at the same time enjoying a three-course meal. It sounds fun. Murder at Café Noir opens on Thursday, September 17, and runs through Sunday, September 27.
The season’s other two shows will employ the traditional approach of a buffet meal followed by the performance. From October 22-25, it’s Rich Hoag in his charming and extraordinarily re-watchable one-man show Will Rogers’ America. From there, the Prism team moves to the kind of thing they do exceptionally well — British farce. This one has a holiday theme and goes by the already amusing title of The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswoman’s Guild Dramatic Society presents A Christmas Carol. Expect cocked eyebrows, slamming doors, plummy accents, and some festive holiday shrieking from the cast December 3-13. To purchase tickets for any of these events, call 705-9598, or visit prismproductions.org for more information.