Stories from the music trade are on stage at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, and guest musicians create a different experience each weekend in the dinner theatre turned Kelt Eccleston’s Kitchen Party.
Hosted by entertainer and actor Kelt Eccleston himself, the show is an entertaining night of engaging music, fascinating improv, head-shaking stories and laughter.
“It’s a real departure from theatre or musicals. It’s a real party, we sit around and have some laughs and tell stories about what we do,” said Eccleston. “You get to meet experienced local musicians in a relaxed environment.”
He recalls sitting in a cafe while learning a new song, singing five words aloud. Those five words spurred the lady behind him to strike up conversation as it tweaked a memory for her to share. Those little sparks of memory are something they hope to both ignite and create for audiences at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel between now and May 2.
“We’re always entertained passively,” he said. People go to the movies, or sit on the couch, missing the experience of going out. “People are starting to lose the wonderful experience of sitting among people… we want to give memories.”
An East Coast tradition, the kitchen party is perfectly paired with dinner theatre, he noted, without the food you can’t develop that atmosphere.
This particular kitchen party includes a pickled beet and goat cheese salad with salted pecans as a starter, followed by a main of free range chicken with wild mushroom farce, roasted pepper demi, parsnip puree and seasonal vegetables and a hazelnut chocolate torte brandy tulie and Grand Marnier cream for dessert.
Each week features a special mystery guest to join Kelt and his band on stage in its bid to turn a roomful of strangers into old friends. Sweet musical treats include guest appearances by Yvonne Hernandez, Oliver Swain, Calvin Cairns and John Gogo. They’ll all share the tales of their profession over the run of the Kitchen Party. Kelt says he had no problem getting anyone to sign on: “They wanted to be part of the party.”
That story-telling audience-inclusive feeling is what sold the gig when Eccleson proposed it, said Kris Morash, director of marketing for the hotel.
“We really liked that it was an engaging show,” Morash said. “People could come back and get a different experience.”
Visit oakbaybeachhotel.com or call 250-598-4556 for ticket and reservation information. The Kitchen Party runs weekends through May 2.