A gala reunion is being held for those who worked at America's first Dinner Theater, Candlelight Dinner Playhouse on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 6:30pm to 12:30am at the European Chalet, 5445 S. Harlem (two blocks from the site of the original theater).
The $50 admission includes dinner, open bar from 6:30pm to 10:30pm and a commemorative gift. Candlelight founders William Pullinsi and Anthony D'Angelo will attend and make special remarks.
Candlelight Dinner Playhouse operated for over 38 years presenting over 150 award-winning musicals and was widely credited for helping to establish Chicago as a theater destination, both creating audiences and hiring top tier Chicago talent. Memorable productions include the long runs of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, MAN OF LA MANCHA, and Maury Yeston's PHANTOM. Newer work and more cutting edge productions were also presented at the venue, including FOLLIES, THE HUMAN COMEDY, NINE, SONG AND DANCE and FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE.
The 560-seat theater had a reputation for housing high quality productions, and Pullinsi and D'Angelo often spent lavishly to acquire the best for their productions, purchasing the original Broadway set for COMPANY and the original William Ivey Long Broadway costumes for NINE. The adjacent 423-seat Forum Theatre was built in 1972 to present thought provoking plays including THE NATIONAL HEALTH and BOSS, based on the book by Mike Royko. Producer Libby Adler Mages went on to produce the massive hit DO BLACK PATENT LEATHER SHOES REALLY REFLECT UP? at the Forum Theatre which ran for over four years.
The theater closed in 1997. A large percentage of employees worked at the theater ten years or more, and the venue was widely considered a "family operation with a family like atmosphere." Candlelight's former Public Relations Director, Noreen Heron Zautcke, is planning the reunion.
For tickets, please send a $50 check to Heron PR, 1528 W. Fullerton, Chicago, IL 60614 no later than Jan. 28. For more information, phone 773.969.5200.