Edmonton's favourite dinner theatre--beloved for its prime rib buffet and rice pudding--has iced the rest of the 2020/21 season, citing increased COVID-19 restrictions as the reason. Though the theatre was able to stage a full run of Playing With Fire--the one-man telling of the Theo Fleury story last fall, and a few weeks of what would be the Christmas/New Year annual rock 'n roll revue, all was cut short before Christmas arrived.
"It’s been a year of two steps forward one step backwards for all of us. Our team worked tirelessly to bring you a safe and enjoyable dining experience, with the amazing storytelling of Playing with Fire and the high energy rock and roll of Keep Calm and Rock On. Since then we have been in constant contact with government as well as other theatre creators across the country, putting our heads together to find the best way forward," explained Mayfield Dinner Theatre artistic director Van Wilmott in a Facebook post to theatre patrons this week.
"With the current restrictions we are still unable to safely put a show on our stage this summer. As disheartening as this is, our expectation is that the fall will find us at the beginning of a new regular season including some of the shows missed last season (possibly including the Patsy Cline two-hander and Buddy Holly Story)."
All current reservations from June 1 to August 15, 2021 have been cancelled, and the box office remains closed until further notice. The Mayfield Dinner Theatre will update season ticket holders and the general public in July on whether a new slate of shows will proceed for the fall 2021 season.
"We're awaiting a light at the end of the tunnel, and we look forward to the return of live theatre in Edmonton," said Wilmott, thanking patrons for patience and support during challenging times.
The cancellation of the Mayfield's current and summer programming joins similar moves by Edmonton's Folk Music Festival and Shakespeare in the Park (which pulled its usual June gig in Hawrelak Park but still plans to offer COVID-19-safe programming in late summer). The Edmonton International Fringe Festival and Heritage Days have yet to announce whether their events will go ahead this summer.