By Johanna Crosby, Barstable Patriot, January 26, 2017
The temperature may be dipping but the entertainment scene is heating up with the annual winter dinner theater series at the Cape Codder Resort & Spa in Hyannis.
The hotel has been hosting the series since it opened in 2001 to give Cape Codders and visitors a different and special kind of entertainment choice in the winter months.
"The regional and national acts we bring here are always upbeat and designed to make guests laugh and shake off the winter doldrums," said Joyce Groemmer, director of marketing for the Catania Hospitality Group. "Best of all, you don't need to rush dinner to make the show in time because the dinner and show are in one place."
Besides locals, the series attracts guests to the resort from off Cape who make it into an entire weekend package, Groemmer said. The 2017 season features nine acts, including the return of favorites and four new acts serving up a mix of magic, music and comedy on Saturday nights through April 8.
The Cape Codder Illusionist Show, a blend of magic, illusion and comedy, will take to the stage Feb. 4 with headliner Joel Acevedo, an illusionist who stars in Four-Handed Illusions on Sundays at Boston's Cheers. The opening act will be magician Evan Northrup with his audience-interactive show. Boston promoter and performer Gary Marino will host the show. The World Gone Crazy Comedy Special Valentine's Day Show will deliver its zany brand of song parodies, stand-up comedy and twisted commercials along with audience participation on Feb. 11. The new show covers every aspect of male/female relationships from online dating to divorce, said Marino, a member of the band.
The Dynamic Dueling Piano Duo will play the music of the decades from Neil Diamond to Madonna on replica baby grand pianos on March 4. In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, the five-member Dreams of Freedom Irish Band, a ballad band from North County Kerry, will perform on March 11.
Comedy on the Road will play for laughs with stand-up comedians from Boston, Vermont and New York on March 18. The ever popular Jon Stetson will be back on April 8 with his Psychic Mind-blowing Comedy Show.
A highlight of the season is sure to be the first-time appearance of motivational speaker, humor consultant and author Loretta LaRoche with her new show "Loretta LaRoche: Love, Laughter and Lasagna" on March 25. The Plymouth resident has been doing her one-woman show for over 30 years. In a show billed as an evening of fun, food and laughter, LaRoche will share her funny observations about the stresses of everyday life and a rapidly changing culture.
People are living with more stress today than at any time in our history, LaRoche maintained. "We need to laugh. It is a good catharsis."
Her show is a fun-filled evening intended to help people "de-stress" and learn how to use humor as a coping mechanism to get through life in a better way.
"If you are going to survive you gotta lighten up," she said.
"We have become isolated. As a result we are one of the most depressed cultures in the world. So many people are on anti-depressants. ... We have lost touch with one another."
LaRoche was born in Brooklyn, New York, with the humor gene.
"I was always funny," she said. "I come from a funny Sicilian family that had a great sense of humor. I was encouraged to be a ham."
But the nuns at her Catholic boarding school frowned on the antics of this class clown.
"They'd tell my mother I was smart but silly," she recalled.
Besides using humor, LaRoche has her own ways of dealing with stress.
"I try to spend time with people that are fun," she said. "I don't take things that personally. I leave my life open to reinvention to keep me juicy."
The 77-year-old takes aging with a sense of humor.
"I'm older than dirt," she cracked. "I'm closer to being under the dirt."
Why does she keep doing her show?
"Because I'm still alive," she laughed.
Her show will include Italian music with four jazz musicians including her life partner, Kenneth Wenzel.
Johanna Crosby firstname.lastname@example.org