Dinner theater to kick off season with new name and building this weekend
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ISLAND PARK – A popular dinner theater venue in eastern Idaho has a new location and is opening for the season this weekend.
Yellowstone Playhouse, formerly known as Mack’s Inn Playhouse, is located 10 miles north of the Mack’s Inn location on the north end of Island Park overlooking Henrys Lake.
Drew Durrant, the managing partner of Yellowstone Playhouse, tells EastIdahoNews.com the new location was several years in the making and was part of an effort to increase the seating capacity.
“When we took over the theater in 2008, there were 5,000 people coming. Last year we had 13,000 people come. We were turning people away. So this new building is going to help us get more people in,” Durrant says.
Yellowstone Playhouse is right off U.S. Highway 20, which Durrant says has much better visibility than the previous location. The new 10,000 square foot theater has a capacity for 300 people. It includes tiered seating, curtains, LED lighting and a new sound system.
Durrant and his wife, Julie, purchased the property that became Mack’s Inn Playhouse in 2008. Prior to that, it was Mack’s Inn Dinner Theatre.
“We went away from the traditional musicals (that were being performed there) and we switched to family-friendly musical spoofs,” he says. “Laughter is a huge thing to us. We don’t feel like people laugh enough, so when people come up on vacation, we want to make memories with them.”
The new season will debut Friday, May 24 with the same type of shows people are used to seeing, Durrant says, with entertainment that is appropriate and engaging for everyone. There will be three different shows this year: “Pirates of the Car-Rib-eee-an,” “The Princeless Bride” and “The Greatest Road Show in Idaho.”
There will only be weekend performances prior to June 7, but then the season will continue with performances every night except Sunday. Each show will begin at 7 p.m. The season runs through Labor Day.
There are also three different dinner options prior to the show: Prime Rib, Breaded chicken, or Macaroni ‘n’ Cheese for the kids. Sides include beans, corn, baked potatoes, rolls and ice cream for dessert.
The cost varies, depending on the choice of dinner, or $18 for just the show. Kids 2 and under are free.
Pre-sale tickets are double what they were last year, Durrant says, and he estimates between 18,000 and 20,000 people will come this season.
“We finally have a building that matches the quality of our food and our shows,” he says. “The cast is phenomenal. I think this year is going to be bananas with the new building and the increase in the level of talent.”
This is only the first phase of changes for Yellowstone Playhouse. Durrant says later additions will include a western-themed village along with cabin rentals and RV spots to help make this a vacation destination for Island Park.
“Our partners, Rob and Sherri Dias, are all about making this a vacation destination for families,” Durrant says. “We’re looking forward to the next 30 years.”
Yellowstone Playhouse is located at 5163 North Highway 20. To purchase tickets, visit the website. You can also visit the Facebook page.