Sunday, January 25, 2009

Union Colony Dinner Theatre

He said...
Well...where do I begin? The Union Colony Dinner Theatre is located in downtown Greeley, Colorado. The theatre itself is quaint, cozy and inviting with seating for about 150 patrons (that is a guess on my part). The show we had tickets for was Grease. The actors not only act in the musical but they also make up the waitstaff in character. The actors really embraced their roles while waiting the tables and provided excellent service. We had the pleasure of being waited on by Rizzo (the leader of the Pink Ladies). She was very attentive, yet abrasive at the same time, a perfect portrayal of Rizzo. Overall the service was great and gets a big thumbs up from this reviewer.

Now on to the food...ugh! Let me just start off by saying I've had more memorable and tasty meals while I was in grade school. The meal started of with a run of the mill, no fuss dinner salad that was neither here nor there. You know...a very safe choice by the caterer, The Island Grill. For my entree I had the Cheese Enchiladas, she had the Lemon Pepper Chicken, neither of which had any redeeming qualities. The portions were chintzy and inadequate for dinner. I mean really, two 6 inch cheese enchiladas with a scant serving of sauce, a pile of shredded lettuce and tomato, a tiny bit of spanish rice and small scoop of guacamole and sour cream was hardly worth the $36.00 ticket price. Now, I know the $36.00 goes towards more than just the food and I may have been able to overlook that if the enchiladas tasted good, but they didn't. The cheese inside the enchiladas was cold and had reverted back to its original solid state prior to being grated and rolled inside the corn tortillas. The scant amount of sauce I had earlier referred to was sweet and would have been unpalatable if not for the guacamole and sour cream saving the day. The rice was ok but there wasn't enough of it to salvage the meal. I tried a couple bites of my cohort's Lemon Pepper Chicken and I didn't taste any lemon, not much pepper, and a dry, unimaginative grilled skinless chicken breast. Her meal also came with what looked to be a small portion of frozen peas and carrots and watery, boring white rice. Her meal lacked everything, presentation, flavor, color and imagination. A true disappointment. Dessert came at intermission of the show and we split a Brownie a'la mode. I liked it but nothing special.

Now on to the show...yay! The Union Colony Dinner Theatre put on a great performance of Grease. The minimal use of props and the small cast adds to the charm of the show. I enjoyed the simplicity of the set designs and was entertained from the opening scene to the final curtain. Which I guess is the main reason people come out to such a place, to be entertained in a more intimate setting and have a fun evening watching musicals and plays.

Will I ever go back to the Union Colony Dinner Theatre? ...Absolutely, but I'll probably grab a bite to eat before I show up!

She said...
I love the musical Grease and was looking forward to getting to see it at a place that was new to me, the Union Colony Dinner Theatre ( in Greeley, CO. The dinner theatre itself is cozy and well organized; I couldn't see that there would have been a bad seat in the place.

The service by the waitstaff/cast was excellent, and any restaurant employee who knows how to pre-buss tables gets two thumbs up from me! Not once did I see a floor worker walk by a table and not pick up an empty plate or glass; I didn't see any of the "it's not my section" attitude from anyone on the floor, which is a refreshing change from most establishments.

While I was dazzled by the service, I was severely disappointed in the food and drinks. I ordered the "Greased Lightning", which had all sorts of alcohol in it that I like individually, but the combination tasted something like liquid baby aspirin (the orange stuff). But, heck, for $6.50 I drank it anyway.

The Island Grill, a restaurant right across the street from the dinner theatre, catered the meals. The salad was the best part of the meal, and let's face it, you have to work really hard to screw up a salad. My Lemon Pepper Chicken had neither lemon, nor pepper, and tasted like boiled chicken. The Island Grill was kind enough to at least put grill marks on the chicken so it had the appearance of being grilled. The rice was not the light, fluffy rice that even I can achieve at home using Minute Rice, but more a thin, watery gruel served alongside - and I'm not kidding - the same frozen peas/carrots combination used daily in school cafeterias. I didn't realize, when I ordered the Lemon Pepper Chicken meal that I was in for, essentially, a tasteless, diet plate. While I am currently on a diet, I don't typically dish out $36.00 a plate to eat a diet meal.

As a general rule, I consider cheese enchiladas a tasteless dish and refrain from ordering them anywhere, but I found myself eating off of my companion's plate just for something to taste. Because of the portion size, though, I did feel guilty taking even a bit or two from his plate; not even a starving man could exist on the paltry portions served.

Dessert was a brownie a'la mode, which was the second best part of the meal (remember, the salad was the best). Though the brownie was a bit too chewy for my taste, at least it had flavor and did a good job of filling in the empty spot left by my diet plate. Based on the quality (or lack thereof) of The Island Grill's catering, I doubt I'll be spending my hard-earned money at their restaurant any time soon.

The show was amazing! One thing I love about dinner theatre is that it is such an intimate setting and it's easy to get drawn in to the play. I'd forgotten that the play is slightly different from the movie, but it was still a great time and I look forward to returning to Union Colony Dinner Theatre for more shows. However...I'll be sure to eat before the show.