Jake’s First Musical: Experiencing The Chanhassen Dinner Theater

Until February 3rd, Jake had never seen musical before.

People singing just makes him feel uncomfortable. It always has. On the flip side, I love it when people sing. Actually, I prefer when people do. Talking is boring.

I grew up watching musicals and never sports. Jake grew up watching sports, but never musicals. Every time I watch a musical on television he leaves the room and every time I try to watch a sporting event, I fall asleep. Last year, Jake’s employer invited us to attend a baseball game in their suite when we first moved to St. Louis. I spent the entire time utterly captivated by the nacho cheese squirt machine in the snack bar.

If you’ve ever watched Anthony Bourdain’s television shows, you may notice how uncomfortable he seems when people around him start singing. He tries to listen politely. His eyebrows raise and his lips curve into a tight, close-mouthed smile as his eyes appear to scream.

This is Jake. This is Jake making it through exactly 60-seconds of Christopher Walken performing a song in Peter Pan Live! before fleeing the room. This is Jake watching that singing scene in About a Boy. This is Jake on the occasions where we’ve dined at a restaurant and a musical ensemble suddenly appears and begins serenading tables, getting closer and closer to ours.

Imagine his surprise with my family invited us to join them for a performance of Camelot and the Chanhassen Dinner Theater. “There’s beer,” I promised. And there was.

It’s been at least a decade since I’ve visit the Chanhassen Dinner Theater. The theater space is grander than I remember, the service is polished, and the food’s a bit better.  Those who purchase full dinner + show tickets arrive about an hour and a half early to play their meal orders. The menu offers about seven options that include non-alcoholic beverages like coffee, tea, and milk, plus a basket of rolls and a side salad.  Alcohol, desserts, appetizers, and meal upgrades cost extra. I ordered the baked snapper dish.

If you love musical theater and you like to eat things, you will love the Chanhassen Dinner Theater. And even if you don’t know if you love musical theater, but you like to eat things, you still might enjoy the Chanhassen Dinner Theater. The three hour run time’s similar to a sporting event. There’s no nacho cheese in sight here, but there’s wine, ice cream sundaes, and good ranch dressing.

I’m not going to go so far as to claim that Jake loved his first musical experience, but he definitely didn’t hate it. In fact, he even liked it. There’s a first time for everything, including one’s first musical theater experience. And if the musical comes with dinner, all the better.


  1. Katie

    Chanhassen is the best!!! And they really should sell their ranch to-go.

  2. Beth Ann Chiles

    Look at you–opening Jake’s eyes to new things and introducing him to things that he might actually enjoy. 🙂 It sounds like a really great place to go and I am sure I would love it. Musicals are my fav!

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