Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Show Must Go On

As entertaining as it is to entertain, throwing big dinner parties can get rather expensive. We all know that keeping connection in your life is important. How to have people over but stay within your budget? Here's one possible solution: 

Last week I attended a birthday party that allowed the hosts to entertain on a low budget. The party was both low stress and highly creative.

First of all, the party was a potluck. Spreading out the cooking responsibilities among guests kept costs low and cleanup at a minimum. But the best part of the party was the main event—a reading of the 1940’s play Light Up The Sky by Moss Hart. The hosts assigned each guest a part ahead of time and sent a script.

This kind of party is a trade off. It is less expensive, but it does require more planning. But the planning is worth it. A play reading makes for a creative, unusual, and refreshing gathering. After a glass of wine, shy performers lose some timidity and those of us with frustrated inner actors (yes, that would be me) get the chance to flex our thespian muscles.

If you’re interested in throwing a dinner-theater dinner party, here are a few tips:

-Choose a play available online. That way you can email your guests the script and not worry about making photocopies
-Get your invitations out well in advance, so your actors have time to read their lines through and get comfortable with the play
-Pick a show with a clear era or theme. Encourage everyone to dress the part
-Make the event a potluck or a dessert party to take the cooking pressure off
-Pick a play with a large ensemble so that as many people as possible can participate. If there are too many parts, double up!


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