Niagara Falls is known for many things around North America and the world, including the massive and awe-inspiring waterfalls that have bewitched millions over the years, the award-winning and widely respected wineries that serve up everything from ice wine and Riesling to Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, that massive indoor water park, a bevy of high-quality museums, and now: zombie comedy diner theatre?
No, that’s not a typo. Not to be confused with dinner theater, the diner theatre dreamt up by fringe theater aficianados RealSpace Theatre pushes the boundaries of a more traditional theatre experience through environmental integration that breaks down the separation that normally exists between audience, performers, and performance in a way that brings story, actors, and audience into an intimacy rarely experienced. It’s part and parcel of what the people behind RealSpace have been doing for over five years, and Niagara Falls is just now getting its first taste.
RealSpace Theatre’s first theatre and environment integration experiment took place at the 2010 Toronto Fringe Festival with a play called The Getaway that involved an honest-to-goodness real-life speeding van as the location of the play. Since that memorable debut, RealSpace Theatre has presented a handful of customized and unique theatre experiences that make use of non-traditional venues, and their current show Dine Her, has to take place in a local diner—not a theatre venue dressed and lit to look and feel like a diner, but an honest-to-goodness, real-life diner.
Dine Her is a zombie comedy that’s already played to well-fed, sold-out audiences at diners in both Toronto and Kitchener/Waterloo. At the end of May 2015, it started up its next run on Niagara Falls’ own Bridge Street at Dad’s Diner, a beloved Niagara Falls institution that has long been serving up breakfast and lunch without high prices or fanfare. Since RealSpace Theatre chose Dad’s Diner as the location for its run of Niagara Fall’s experience of Dine Her, however, that lack of fanfare has shifted considerably.
For four weeks, from May 27th through June 27th, Dad’s Diner is being transformed into a one-of-a-kind theatre venue that will astonish, terrify, and feed its nightly audience while they seek to discover whether or not true love can actually conquer all. The audience will sit in the midst of the story, not just observing the terror and humor, but, at times, being literally surrounded by it. It’s an immersive theatre experience that’s as cutting edge as it is entertaining, and it includes a zombie-themed meal to boot.
For theatre that’s definitely not like anything you’ve ever encountered before, head to Niagara Falls anytime between now and June 27, and take in the zombie comedy, Dine Her, at Dad’s Diner. The show runs every day until closing night, including Sundays, and seating is at 7pm. Tickets are just $60, and they include dinner and the show. Due to the subject matter, the show is only suitable for adults. You can purchase tickets here.