The Palm’s latest dinner theater show puts a twist on 'A Christmas Carol' - Atlantic City Entertainment | Atlantic City | Atlantic City Events | Atlantic City |

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The Palm’s latest dinner theater show puts a twist on 'A Christmas Carol'

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Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 10:30 am

Sharon Geller knows many people are already familiar with the classic “A Christmas Carol” tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his infamous visit with the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

The fun in this production, Geller says, comes from the unexpected — like when Elvis Presley turns up as the ghost of Christmas past or when Christmas present comes in the form of a swaggering Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Or, when a large member of the audience gets the chance to play Tiny Tim.

“It’s a very funny, Marx Brothers-type treatment of the holiday classic,” says Geller, who plays all of the female parts in the production, including Mrs. Cratchit and the Lady of Goodwill.

The show is “Scrooge Unplugged,” a dinner theater production with a comedic twist on the classic Charles Dickens story. The show, featuring a team of four New York actors, will be at The Palm restaurant in Atlantic City beginning Sunday, Dec. 2, and running through Dec. 30.

“Scrooge Unplugged,” Geller says, gives the audience a chance to relive the classic in a completely different way. The production combines the message of “A Christmas Carol” with a few funny twists and the randomness that comes from audience participation.

“What we’ve done … is actually re-arranged the show,” Geller says. “We’ve taken a lot of liberties with it.”

The acting troupe, which also includes actors Daryll Heysham, Robb Del Casale and Jack Hoffman, has performed the mobile show for about 20 years in locations throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York, Geller says.

Paul Sandler, general manager at The Palm, first saw the production when he brought in the actors years ago to perform at the former Cousins Country House in Egg Harbor Township, where he was then head of catering. It’s been 14 years since Sandler has seen the show, he says, and he’s looking forward to seeing it again.

“It’s the tale of Dickens from the eyes of Scrooge,” Sandler says. “It is absolutely hilarious. It’s a spoof, and there’s a lot of interaction between the audience and the acting troupe. There is a tremendous amount of guest participation.”

Sandler says the idea to bring the dinner theater concept to The Palm began last spring.

“This whole concept started back in April,” Sandler says. “We wanted to start promoting dinner theatre in the restaurant. We have three private rooms. On the softer days, those rooms are dark. We started with a Broadway play called ‘A Mind with a Dirty Man,’ and we sold out every night. And that got me thinking.”

Sandler brought in a second dinner theater act with “A Very Noir Pinot” — and quickly sold out again.

“It just told me, there is so much demand in the area,” Sandler says. “It’s good clean, family fun.”

Geller, who performed at Cousins for years, remembers the reactions from families.

“What’s really interesting is when we were at Cousins, we had families coming back year after year,” Geller says. “They all wanted a part in it. Families love it, because it’s a chance to laugh, and who doesn’t need that? It’s great entertainment, because even though it’s irreverent, it’s not dirty. It’s clean, but totally funny. It’s a nice time to be with family.”

“I really think Atlantic City … has been missing things to do with the whole family,” Sandler says. “And this is a child-friendly, a kid-friendly idea for a little bit of theatre, a little bit of entertainment.”

‘A Very Noir Pinot or Sour Grapes’ Murder Mystery

The Palm also will bring back its popular murder mystery dinner theater, “A Very Noir Pinot or Sour Grapes,” for four select holiday reprise showings. Performances take place 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, Monday, Dec. 3, Sunday, Dec. 9, and Monday, Dec. 10. Price for meal and show is $85 per person and does not include beverage, tax or service charge. Call 609-344-0483 for more information or to make reservations.

Palm Dinner Theater Menus


SCENE 1 (choice of):

Classic Caesar salad; Palm lobster bisque with fresh lobster meat, sherry and crème fraiche; pear and endive salad with reggiano parmesan, almonds, dried strawberries

SCENE II (choice of):

Nova Scotia lobster salad with butter poached lobster meat, baby greens, asparagus, fresh tomatoes, avocado and onions tossed in cilantro vinaigrette; Atlantic salmon filet with roasted red pepper sauce and wilted baby arugula. All entrées served with roasted garlic whipped potatoes and creamed spinach.

SCENE III (choice of):

New York cheesecake with raspberry sauce; molten chocolate lava cake with butterscotch chocolate sauce.


SCENE 1 (choice of):

Classic Caesar salad; Palm lobster bisque with fresh lobster meat, sherry and crème fraiche; pear and endive salad with parmesan, almonds, dried strawberries

SCENE II (choice of):

Prime rib with port wine jus, wild mushroom bread pudding; roasted monkfish tail with butternut squash and Nova Scotia Lobster croquet, ginger chili butter; pan-seared muscovy duck breast with fig and green peppercorn sauce, escarole and chestnuts. All entrées served with stout and orange-glazed Brussels sprouts and goat cheese whipped potatoes.

SCENE III (choice of):

Flourless chocolate cake with hazelnut crème anglaise; New York cheesecake with raspberry sauce.


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