Tom Watson

Oak Bay Beach hotel offers nostalgic musical trip

David Foster Dinner Theatre 2014 lineup

The Oak Bay Beach Hotel is taking guests back in time with a production starring Timebenders founder Tom Watson and Calgary born jazz vocalist Kristina Helene.

In the first show of the David Foster Foundation Dinner Theatre season, Pennies from Heaven, features a tribute to the songs and styles of Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald and Doris Day.

“It’s an ensemble show – I’m the least talented of the bunch,” said a humble Watson. “I conceived it you could say. We debuted it in the summer at Butchart Gardens and at the Sidney bandshell in the summer concert series.”

He then pitched it to Oak Bay Beach Hotel owner Kevin Walker and Conference Theatre Sales Manager Jayme Humber.

“It’s a cute little space with not bad acoustics. They’ve done a good job with it, it’s well thought out,” said Watson of the theatre space.

While a typical Timebenders show is filled with costume changes and laced with humour, Watson said Pennies from Heaven is a refined 90-minute set filled with great classic tunes.

“It features the songs and stars of the first half of the last century. With a mix of male and female stars like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, Doris Day and Ella Fitzgerald.”

Starring with Watson, Helene is a rising star in the jazz world. “Kristina is very young but incredibly talented,” said Watson.

Helene’s voice has caught the attention of producers in Los Angeles where she is currently working on a new album, splitting her time between Victoria and California.

“(We don’t do) impressions per se,” said Watson of the show. “We try to evoke the personality. I try to get the voice as much as I can, we change outfits a couple of times, but its not like the Timebenders’ outlandish spoof tributes. This is more elegant, stylish music. There’s a little interaction with the crowd.”

Individual dinner theatre tickets are available for $89 per person for each show of the season. Guests may choose to purchase a full season pass for $319 per person, which includes one ticket to each of the four productions, priority table reservations up to two days in advance, plus a complimentary Tuesday night movie ticket, a mineral pool day pass, and 25 per cent off regular room rates throughout the year.

The first show of the season was a sell-out and Watson said the performances have been pretty popular. “It’s a nice, romantic thing to do,” he said.

Dinner theatre productions are paired with gourmet, three-course meals. Pennies from Heaven runs to Nov. 21. For more information or for tickets go to oakbaybeachhotel.com or call 1-800-668-7758.

David Foster Dinner Theatre 2014 lineup

The annual holiday revue, It’s Christmas, returns and features songs and stories for the Christmas season. Featuring a cast of talented performers, the show will take guests down memory lane, evoking the best of the holiday season. It’s Christmas runs from Nov. 28 to Dec. 26.

Not to be confused with your own family wedding memories, I do, I do! features a nostalgic musical. As the show begins, guests are introduced to Michael and Agnes as they prepare for their wedding day, follows their expanding family and the inevitable mid-life crisis. I do, I do! runs from Jan. 16 to March 7.

Kent Eccleston’s Kitchen Party brings Oak Bay all the way to the Maritimes, where guests end up in Kent’s kitchen to experience music, improv, and head-shaking stories. Kent Eccleston’s Kitchen Party runs from March 13 to May 2.