“Anything Goes” a toe-tappin’ good time at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse

Anything Goes at Candlelight 1
Photos courtesy of Candlelight Dinner Playhouse (Photos by Dave Arns/Arns Photography)

You don’t have to travel to New York City’s Broadway to see this Tony Award winning musical because it’s now playing at the Candlelight in Johnstown, Colorado. You know it’s got to be a great musical when it’s still being produced 78-years after it was written, and Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” is just that.

We started our evening by ordering the baked Brie. Served with a side of chutney, almonds and roasted garlic, it is now my favorite appetizer at the Candlelight. I’ve written this before, and I’ll likely write it again, but the food at this venue is one of the crowning achievements of this dinner theater.

The theater’s bartender puts together a special drink menu for each show, but this musical’s cocktails were all a little too sweet for my tastes so I opted for a gin martini and my husband, Ryan, ordered a beer.

For dinner we ordered from the standard menu that is included in the price of your ticket, and this menu never gets boring because they change it up a little for each show. I went with the Chicken L’Orange and Ryan ordered the Beef Pot Pie. The chicken was one of the best dishes I’ve had so far at Candlelight. Although I would have preferred potatoes instead of rice as a side, the chicken served on the bone with an orange marmalade was moist and delicious.

Ryan was quite satisfied with his potpie, a dish I’d had when we attended “Scrooge! The Musical.” The potpie has slow-roasted chunks of beef, big slices of chopped vegetables and a flaky pastry crust.

For those who are new to the concept of dinner theater, at this type of show your server is also an actor in the production, so make sure you treat them extra good when you get your bill.

On this evening Joey the Balloon Artists was visiting tables during the dinner hour and during our chat we discovered that he is playing the part of Billy Crocker during the last three weeks of “Anything Goes.” It seems everyone does double and triple duty at the Candlelight.

Anything Goes at Candlelight 2
Dave Arns/Arns Photography

One reason I love dinner theater is that it takes you way for an entire evening. On this night, I was transported to the 1930s, aboard the SS American, on its way from New York to England with some very peculiar passengers.

The first draft of this production was entitled “Crazy Week,” then it was chanted to “Hard to Get” and eventually the writing team settled on “Anything Goes.” All the names fit this nutty story. In addition to a zany love triangle, Public Enemy #13 is aboard the ship – a recipe, not for disaster, but hilarity.

Candlelight has some of the best stage sets of any dinner theater we’ve been to in Colorado, and the costumes for this particular play were fun and colorful. There were more dance numbers in this Candlelight production than some of their past performances, and they were quite good, especially the tap number during the song, “Anything Goes.”

I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for the entire evening, and that makes for an excellent night at the theater.

Candlelight Dinner Playhouse is going into their 5th season, with upcoming shows including “Godspell,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Mame,” “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” and “Guys & Dolls.”

“Anything Goes” runs through March 11, and would be the perfect show for a Valentine’s Day date. “Oklahoma” starts March 17 and runs through June 3, 2012. For tickets, visit ColoradoCandlelight.com, or call (970) 744-3747.

A Note from the Mayor:  Sadly for us, it was our cocktail server’s last show at the Candlelight. We’d gotten to know Katie Rhoades on previously visits to the venue. Ms. Rhoades may already be on her way out of town to the Big Apple, so we wish her lots of luck and hope to see her on Broadway one day.  



  1. Excellent information. Very well written and awesome photography! Thank you, Heidi.


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