498 Tuscan Ave. #17, Hattiesburg
Carey Dinner Theatre will celebrate its 43rd season with “I Love a Piano” in June at the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre on the Hattiesburg campus of William Carey University.
“I Love a Piano,” a musical featuring the timeless and beloved tunes of Irving Berlin, one of America’s greatest songwriters. Using an upright piano as a centerpiece, the action follows Berlin’s career from his earliest hit, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.” The piano, with its one bad key, takes six performers through the 20th century and becomes the instrument of record at a sheet music store, a pre-WWI parlor, a silent movie theater, a Depression-era dance hall, a WWII canteen, a 1950s summer-stock theatre, and finally to the present.
Conceived and written by Ray Roderick and Michael Berkeley, the show features more than 60 of Berlin’s classics, from “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” “Blue Skies,” “Cheek to Cheek,” and “Always,” to show-stopping numbers such as “God Bless America” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” The show runs June 14 through 30
. To make reservations or to be added to the mailing list,
call (601) 318-6221. The box office is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, beginning Monday, June 4. The admission price of $30 includes a buffet meal, the show and
sales tax. Dinner is served at 7 in the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre, and the performance follows. There are no performances on Sundays and Mondays. About Carey Dinner Theatre
Carey Dinner Theatre was founded in 1975 when O. L. Quave, then-chair of the Department of Theatre and Communication at Carey, along with other faculty and staff members wanted to give young performers a professional and educationally sound opportunity to express their talents in a unique format. There was also a desire to offer the public quality entertainment that the whole family could enjoy. Out of these goals and ideas, the dinner theatre was born.
Two students, Keith Thompson and Jay Rogers, wrote and composed “It's Make Believe,” a musical, which was produced in the first season of what was then called Carey Summer Showcase. The 1975 show, with four performers, plus technicians, office personnel and
staff, launched one of Mississippi's most valuable summer traditions.
A distinctive feature of Carey Dinner Theatre from the beginning has been that members of the company serve tables during dinner. By the time the performance has started, each person in the audience has had personal contact with at least one member of the dinner theatre's company.
In 2016, Carey Dinner Theatre received the Pine Belt Public Image Award presented by the Pine Belt Chapter of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi for “bringing quality family entertainment to the Pine Belt.”