Review of Derby Dinner Playhouse’s “Princess Penelope’s Dragon”


 photo photo11_zps89274e83.jpgPrincess Penelope’s Dragon is the latest children’s theatre production to hit the Derby Dinner Playhouse Stage.  We went to the  May 24th lunch performance and left happily entertained.  They have future performances on May 31, June 7, 14 and 21.  Tickets start at $16 and include food and beverage (juice/milk for kids, water/tea/coffee for adults).

I took my daughter out for a mommy/daughter date and we had such a great time.  I have seen Derby Dinner Playhouse shows before and I can honestly say this has been my favorite children’s theatre show.  The actors were very animated and the story had a wonderful lesson.

 photo photo2_zps6dddc7f2.jpgPlan to get to a show about 20 minutes before the doors open.  This will get you close to the front of the line to get in and get your table.  Once seated, wait staff with take drink orders and you can head to the buffet. There is always a salad bar with standard garden salad options.  For this show, they had seasoned potato wedges, mac n cheese, green beans, corn on the cob, chicken nuggets, corn dogs and sliced ham and turkey.  They have rolls as well.  We ate a hearty meal and they promptly cleaned the table, refilled drinks and took dessert orders.  With all of the buffet options, we opted not to get dessert (prices $1.50 to $5.75) but many people did get dessert.

The show started with an introduction by their star mascot and some actors introducing the next season of productions, which looks like fun.  My daughter decided that she wants to go to Derby Dinner Playhouse for her birthday in the fall!  When the show began, we were quite distracted by the blinking lights of the group of girls sitting directing in front of us.  I didn’t notice it during dinner but when the lights dimmed, it was extremely distracting to have a row of rainbow blinking butterfly headbands directly in our line of view.  Luckily, there was a table empty two tables away so I just moved with my daughter.  However, if there was not another seat available nearby, our experience would have been ruined!  I am going to let the Derby Dinner Playhouse staff know about this concern and I’ll update this post regarding their response (see the comments). I am going to suggest that the star mascot ask patrons to turn off lighted toys just like they do for cell phones.  I’m quite surprised the mothers with the children didn’t recognize the total distraction and turn them off themselves to be conscientious of other viewers.  Anyway, when we moved to our new seat, it was just fine.
The show was delightful.  Actually, the actress that played Penelope was delightful – she was just perfect for the awkwardly adorable character.  The story was quick to keep attention, funny and had some surprises that evoked reactions from the kids.  Most of all, I liked the lesson.  The story showed why it is important to take responsibility for mistakes instead of lying to deflect punishment.   I thought it was a wonderful combination of teaching a moral lesson and getting you bopping in your seat.  I have already told a friend to take her girls!

Enjoy the show and check out Derby Dinner Playhouse.  If not for this show, see their next season – we’ll definitely be going to Rudolph!


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