|Musical theatre, plays
|Johnny Holliday, Edward Norton, Caroline Bowman, Robin Baxter, Steve Blanchard, Mary Page Keller, Ric Ryder
Toby's Dinner Theatre is a dinner theater based in Columbia, Maryland.
Soon after the establishment of the Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts (CCTA), Toby Orenstein decided to open a theater in her name. In 1979, she approached businessman James Rouse, the catalyst for the CCTA, and he agreed to helped start this endeavor.Shortly thereafter, a Virginia-based restaurant group operated by Steve Lewis approached Orenstein with a partnership offer for the Garland Dinner Theater in Columbia, Maryland. On December 4, 1979, Toby's Dinner Theater opened with a performance of Godspell. In a 2008 interview with the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame, Orenstein reflected on her apprehensiveness:
It was Hal (husband, Harold Orenstein), who encouraged me to embark on this venture. He was so supportive. We had a son in college and a daughter in high school and financial concerns, but we just decided to do it. I took no salary for my work at the school. He had a good job as an economist. We did not want for anything, but we had only a small savings. The food company had the credit rating to qualify for the loan, but we still had to come up with money. We took every drop of savings we had and put it into the theater. I was scared to death. I had no idea how to run a business like this. I am the kind of person who jumps into the water and then finds out she can’t swim. My husband is the rational one.
On March 10, 2006, Toby's Dinner Theatre opened a second location in Baltimore with a run of Beauty and the Beast.This location is now closed.
In 1979, Toby's Dinner Theatre opened at its current location in downtown Columbia, Maryland, adjacent to the Merriweather Post Pavilion and Lake Kittamaquindi. It has an indoor seating capacity of 300 individuals.The theatre has parking, buffet-style dinner, full bar, full menu, and live music and entertainment. Dinner is a mix of American cuisine. The facility is ADA compliant. Toby's is estimated to draw 4,000 subscribers and 80,000–102,000 patrons a year.
Recent productions include Dreamgirls ,Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring Caroline Bowman and Cathy Mundy, Beauty and the Beast , Show Boat , A Christmas Carol , Sister Act , Hairspray , Peter Pan , Into the Woods , South Pacific , and Newsies .
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Toby Barbara Orenstein is an American theatrical director, producer, and educator. She has two honorable mentions for the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre. Orenstein was inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame in 2008. Selected by Eleanor Roosevelt for her federal education project in the Harlem, Orenstein taught Dramaturgy to students in a local public school in the late 1950s. In 1972, at the request of pioneering businessman and philanthropist James Rouse, Orenstein founded the non-profit Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts through which, the nationally acclaimed theatre troupe the Young Columbians was created for the United States Bicentennial. Later, Orenstein established the award-winning Toby's Dinner Theatre in 1975. Her commitment to the performing arts is considered legendary.
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