Dinner theaters are as rare as they are special. There was a day when you could see stars from New York City playing at a local dinner theater anywhere the country. Minnesota had its share. Now there are five dinner theaters in Minnesota. See this fall’s shows where you can dine and be entertained, all at one venue.

The Velocity Of Autumn
Old Log Theater
5185 Meadville St.
Greenwood, MN 55331
(952) 474-5951

Dates: Sept. 12 through Oct. 24, 2015
Price: $24 Wed., $29 Thurs., $30 Fri., $35 Sat. and $29 Sun.

Open since 1940, the Old Log Theater is Minnesota’s first professional theater, but relocated and expanded to a new 655-seat theater with an attached dining room in the 1960s. Don’t miss Old Log’s regional premiere of “The Velocity of Autumn,” the new dramatic comedy this fall. It’s a gripping tale about 79-year-old Alexandra who must fight to live out her life in her own abode. Alexandra lives by herself at home and is facing the ephemeral nature of independent living. Her family has other plans. Humor often serves a purpose and in this case instructs us on a basic issue that we will confront from both sides of the matter. Come see how Alexandra handles her plight, played by Melissa Hart, a Broadway veteran and TONY nominee.

(credit: Joan Marcus)

(credit: Joan Marcus)

Sister Act
Chanhassen Dinner Theatres
501 W. 78th St.
Chanhassen, MN 55317
(952) 934-1525

Dates: Oct. 30, 2015 through Feb. 27, 2016
Price: $64 to $85 for dinner and show depending on day or night of the week.

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres started in 1968 as part of a nation-wide dinner theater fad during the 1970s. This fall’s show, “Sister Act,” is another first-class, highly enjoyable direct-from-Broadway musical that brings all the energy and aplomb we know and love about the New York theater district. Alan Menken of “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast” fame, wrote the catchy original tunes. This production will be like no other, as Regina Marie Williams, Twin Cities’ finest jazz vocalist and a premier actress, will interpret Menken’s Motown, soul and disco songs live.

Church Basement Ladies
Plymouth Playhouse
2705 Annapolis Lane N.
Plymouth, MN 55441
(763) 553-1600 ext. 1

Dates: Now through Nov. 15, 2015
Price: $28 through $37 individual and $22 through $34 group depending on day of the week. $149.95 through $159.95 for two Stay and Play Package.

The Plymouth Playhouse opened a 211-seat in theater in 1974 offering an adjacent restaurant and hotel. Stay a night at the Best Western Kelly Inn Plymouth, have dinner at The Green Mill Restaurant before the show and then stroll over to welcome the return of “Church Basement Ladies Musical,” the show that hit Minnesota’s comedy sweet spot in 2005. This down-to-earth humor is based on a book depicting how things were done in the church basement kitchen.

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By The Mystery Café
Majestic Oaks Country Club
701 Bunker Lake Blvd. N.E.
Ham Lake, MN 55304
(763) 566-2583

Dates: Oct. 9 through Nov 21, 2015 at 7 p.m.
Price: $61.29 Adults, $57.29 Groups of 10 or more, $56.29 Seniors and Veterans,

“Its like Saturday Night Live meets the game of Clue,” says the show’s creator, Lee H. Adams. Everyone has a part in this highly interactive show format. Scan your clue packet as the show opens with the first of four acts. Then break for the first course of a sumptuous three-course meal the served by the show characters, played by preeminent local entertainers. Be sure to bribe them for clues with the play money included in your packet. Crack the case and win a prize. Adams says, “This is the first interactive dinner show in Minnesota having started at Nicklow’s in Crystal in 1989.”

Pop Up Musical
St. Croix Off Broadway Dinner Theatre
1616 Crest View Drive
Hudson, WI 54016
(715) 386-2394 ext. 333

Dates: Fridays and Saturdays Sept 11 through October 24, 2015
Dinner Served: Anytime between 6 – 7 p.m.
Curtain: 8 p.m.
Price: $60 includes show, dinner, beverage, tip and tax. Beer, wine and drinks extra.

New to the dinner theater experience is St. Croix Off Broadway Dinner Theatre, celebrating its 10th anniversary this fall. This special theater arrangement offers intimate tables where you can enjoy the evening theater with your significant other on special occasions. Pop Up Musical offers the excellence of graceful Broadway classics in a fast-paced and lighthearted nature with informative “pop ups” throughout each number.

Related: Best Outdoor Theaters In And Around Minnesota

Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.