Dinner and a show is common practice at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, where one might expect both to be top notch.
They were, but the human element touched me more during a foray to the waterfront theatre recently. Specifically, the older couple at Table 2, where the woman caught the bouquet early in the performance of I Do! I Do! and the couple held hands much of the show.
This was after a three-course meal in the multi-chandelier-lit theatre that started with prawn carpaccio truffle puree, herb greens and honey citrus vinaigrette. Small slices of a nice white bread can discreetly sop up remnants of the delightful vinaigrette. A table mate did it without anyone noticing, admitting it only later.
The same diner missed out on the tenderest of tenderloins in red wine demi-glaze, opting for the salmon option. Cutting the pork with a butter knife, the hotel manager explains it’s done sous-vide. It’s a kind of poaching method; cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags in a water bath or in a temperature-controlled steam environment for longer than normal to cook the meat evenly and retain moisture.
After a dessert of opera cake with bailey sauce and berries, a host informs us that if we are in need of another drink during the production, we can simply text the bartender and libations will be delivered, we got into the I do’s.
I Do, I Do is nostalgic musical by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones that follows couple Agnes and Michael through the peaks and valleys of married life.
Sue Doman (Agnes) and Stan Davis (Michael) are both stalwarts of the Victoria music scene. Doman has led the Starlight Pops since its inception in 2003 (she is also its founder), the Friends of Government House Singers and the Newcombe Singers.
Davis performs regularly at the hotel, including its production of Forever Plaid and Four Neat Guys.
Doman and Davis are proficiently accompanied off stage by keyboardist Peter Rothauser, who provided some long pause performances as the actors were backstage. From the sugary sweet “yes dear” of young love to the eye-rolling bitter “yes dear”, the show garners giggles and gasps following the two soul mates navigating the highs and lows of married life.
Rumours of hot chocolate and cookies before trundling off to bed after a show at the hotel (or heading home) are not exaggerated, but rather, tasty.
I Do! I Do! runs Fridays and Saturdays until March 7 in the David Foster Foundation Theatre which contributes partial proceeds to the foundation that helps families of children awaiting major organ transplants.
Tickets are $89; to reserve call 250-598-4556.
– with files from Laura Lavin