Gershwin Pickle

The challenges of converting a former 42,000-square-foot supermarket into a 500-seat professional dinner theater in Mesa presented greater challenges than the Prather family had anticipated. Construction delays played havoc, but it looks like the soup is finally on at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre-West, located at Brown and Higley. Gershwin's Crazy for You debuts November 20.

The Prathers have produced more than 700 critically acclaimed productions over three decades in Pennsylvania and Florida, including classics like My Fair Lady and Fiddler on the Roof, plus contemporary masterpieces such as Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. They promise Broadway Palm won't be a typical Valley dinner club, where the show is often performed in a back room of a restaurant, and food is secondary to the entertainment.

Instead, their full-length musicals feature professional performers, a live orchestra, lavish costumes and elaborate props and sets. A "sumptuous" buffet features salads, five hot entrees with beef, chicken, pork, fish and pasta, a variety of vegetables and rice and potato dishes, plus a dozen desserts including pies, cakes, brownies, cobblers and more.

As someone who's choked down more than her share of rubber chicken and shoe-leather steak at these things around town, it seems like a little Broadway could go a long way toward helping out our supper club scene. Ticket prices range from $33 to $39. Information: 480-325-6700.

Belly Up to the Barmouche: Mark Tarbell's Barmouche restaurant is again serving lunch. The restaurant, at 32nd Street and Camelback, offers bistro-style English and French food with some American comfort dishes thrown in. Lunch service had been suspended for a few years, but Tarbell says he's confident the area is now ready for items like his favorite hamburger, French dip and BLT. Quick service is key, he adds, which is a good thing, considering lunch is only available from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Cha-ching: Dine for America efforts in Arizona raised a mouth-watering $400,000 on October 11 to aid the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Close to 200 local restaurants contributed either a portion or all of their sales, also collecting additional donations from customers and employees. Participants ranged from independent operators like Cucina Tagliani in Glendale to chain restaurants including Romano's Macaroni Grill and Red Lobster. Way to go, guys.


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