Dinner and Jamming

Chat about Delaware’s arts and entertainment scene.

Welcome to Delaware Today’s arts blog, the spot to dish on the many cultural opportunities available to Delaware audiences. We’ll cover as many genres as possible, and note cool events offered by organizations large and small, in all three counties.

Seen a show that deserves some ink? Spill.


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Theater by Candlelight

The stage doesn’t have to be dark in summer. The New Candlelight Theatre opens with “Thoroughly Modern Millie” on Saturday, August 8, and runs thru October 10.

I was fortunate to have seen Sutton Foster recreate the role of Millie at Broadway’s Marquis Theatre in 2002. Foster was a virtual unknown then, basically plucked from a regional chorus line. She’s a major Broadway star now, having recently appeared in “Shrek the Musical.”

Broadway is Broadway. We don’t compare anything to Broadway, unless its London’s West End. But I mention Foster because she was incredibly exuberant: dancing and singing with the kind of energy that hungry, undiscovered stars still have.

I expect to see (and feel) similar energy at the Candlelight. The old barn is now an Equity house. I’ve heard some very good singing of late, and been impressed with much of the choreography. The Candlelight is the only nonprofit, professional dinner theatre in the country. The only one, folks.

Original founders Julian Borris, and John and Lena O’Toole had great love for the Candlelight. They nurtured it and its actors through difficult times. Robert Miller and Jody Anderson, Equity actors themselves, gave the place a facelift when they bought it in 2004. Robert and Jody are hard working, nice people. (And you know how I feel about hard working people. They usually produce good work.) The Millers may have taken the theater up several notches, offering excellent shows and menus, but the O’Toole passion and heart remains. Hard to describe. You just feel it.

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The staff is equally dedicated. Be generous. This is dinner theater. Your servers are your performers. The bulk of their pay comes from tips.

 Quick synopsis: “Millie” is a musical that takes place in New York in 1922. Young Millie Dillmount dares to fall in love and join the workforce, the latter being brave for the time. But she is strong. She is invincible. And she is expected to sing, dance and type at the same time.  Translation: To work twice as hard to earn the respect.

Contact info: (302) 475-2313 or newcandlelighttheatre.com

Page 2: Wilmington Sings the Blues


Wilmington Sings the Blues

The 2009 Riverfront Blues Festival hits Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park Friday, August 7 thru Sunday, August 9.

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The lineup looks promising.  On Friday Walter Trout & The Radicals and Ronnie Baker Brooks will grace the mainstage, while Stacey Brooks and South Saturn Delta Jam on the bandwagon stage.

Saturday’s show includes Billy Branch & The Sons Of Blues, The Roger Girke Band, lower case blues, and Blue Cat Blues. Lots of great performers are lined up for Sunday, as well.

The after parties at Sheraton Suites Hotel (downtown) should be in full swing by 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday evening.

Contact info: Buy tickets through the Diamond State Blues Society at diamondstateblues.com or call (302) 376-6298


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