Dinner and a show … at a diner: Only in Jersey

ArtPride N.J. is bringing concept back for 1st time since 2019 to diners in Haddon Twp., Summit and Trenton

Imagine being at one of the state’s iconic diners — and taking in a show. ArtPride New Jersey is going to make that happen.

On Wednesday, the group announced the return of Discover Jersey Arts‘ Diner Theatre to the Garden State this May, featuring “pop-up” performances in some of New Jersey’s most iconic diners. After its sold-out performances in 2019, Diner Theatre is back to provide audiences with a unique theater experience paired with delicious diner cuisine.

The “pop-up” style theater performances will showcase three diners throughout the state:

  • May 15: Westmont Diner in Haddon Township;
  • May 22: The Broadway Diner in Summit;
  • May 23: The 1911 Smokehouse BBQ in Trenton.

Seating for each event starts at 6 p.m., and the performances begin at 7 p.m.

For more information on Diner Theatre and to reserve your table, click here.

Three local theater companies, Ritz Theatre Co. in Haddon Township, Vivid Stage in Summit and Passage Theatre in Trenton, will present mini-plays at each event and entertain guests while they enjoy the diner’s food. There is a $5 registration fee to secure a table for the performances, and space is limited.

Diner Theatre is a unique concept that combines local theater production companies with local diners and restaurants to produce a one-of-a-kind theater event. The audience is immersed in a familiar environment, “eavesdropping” on conversations and experiencing surprise scenes performed by seasoned actors.

Robert Carr, Jersey Arts Diner Theatre producer, said he is thrilled to be able to put on the event again.

“After three years of delay, I could not be more excited to see the return of Diner Theatre in 2023,” he said. “This project brings the best of what New Jersey offers: great food, great atmosphere and a stellar arts community.

“To be able to resurrect this project by bringing fun and business back all in one package is the whipped cream on a New Jersey diner apple pie.”

Jim Atkinson, director of programs & services at the ArtPride New Jersey Foundation, said: “What’s not to love about combining two Jersey classics — diners and theater? These unique performances are a great way to bring the arts to people instead of always trying to bring people to the arts.

“ArtPride is committed to building new audiences for the arts, and Diner Theatre is just one example of how we work toward that goal. Besides, it’s just plain fun to host live theatre in a diner.”