Kelt Eccleston’s Kitchen Party at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. A review.

Kelt Eccleston’s Kitchen Party at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. A review.  March 13-May 2 2015 in Victoria BC.

Kelt Eccleston has been a performer for decades, since his teens. It’s evident in the wonderful synergy he creates onstage in Kelt Eccleston’s Kitchen Party at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel (March 13-May 2, 2015) where a group of long-time friends and associates, including his sister Colleen, join him in a warm, relaxed set of old favourites, original compositions, improvisation and folk tunes.

Kelt Eccleston Trio 2

He is well-known to Victoria audiences for roles in theatre (The Privatization of the CPB/Belfry Theatre SPARK Festival, Home is a Beautiful Word/Belfry Theatre, Rattenbury, Good Timber and Moodyville Tales/The Other Guys Theatre Company) and as a musician.

The evening began with drinks and cocktails in the lobby of the David Foster Foundation Theatre.  Staff is always happy to bring over selections from the Snug if your beverage of choice is not on the menu.  A three-course dinner is served at a leisurely pace before the evening’s entertainment, allowing guests to settle into the ambience. Once again, we noted the perfectly-sized portions and attentive service of the hotel staff.  A modern touch has been incorporated—drink orders can be texted during the show.

Coffees in hand we sat back for the show.

Eccleston is a skilled performer with a natural ease onstage. It’s particularly evident in the comfortable atmosphere of camaraderie he creates. Composer Tobin Stokes (Venus in Fur, Pauline, Rattenbury) improvised tunes as accompaniment to a recitation of Robert Service’s The Cremation of Sam McGee, and then followed up with his own composition set to the tune of The Basin Street Blues—with cheeky references to Oak Bay.

The next performer introduced was Mark Hellman (The Incompleat Folksinger) who Eccleston met doing tours of schools throughout Canada with the Story Theatre Company soon after university graduation. On opening night they played an improvisation game popular with kids—the one word story.  Audience suggestions used were “a dressmaker’s dummy” and “the Count of Monte Christo”.  Of course, for the audience, half the fun is in waiting to see if the actors will trip up.

There were plenty of stories of life on the road, and behind the scenes—it was an opportunity to learn more about the progression of an artist’s career, and the multi-disciplinary nature of their work.  Hellman for instance has been a voice-over artist, puppeteer, community choir director, actor and musician.  Eccleston’s sister Colleen, a fine musician herself, teaches courses on the history of rock and roll at the University of Victoria.  Featured guest Ivonne Hernandez plays a spirited fiddle, and is recently returned to Victoria after years spent in Boston at the prestigious Berklee School of Music.  Toe-tapping is guaranteed in songs like Le Reel du Pendu—played on an out-of-tune fiddle—and Belle of Belfast City.  Old favourites Teach Your Children Well and Those Were The Days My Friend had everyone singing.  Isn’t that the point of a kitchen party—good food, good drink, good friends, good tunes, good times?  Kelt Eccleston’s Kitchen Party guarantees all this.  Sit back and enjoy and let this group of talented individuals take you away.

Kelt Eccleston’s Kitchen Party: Enjoy classic cuisine such as pickled beet and goat cheese salad, free-range chicken, and hazelnut chocolate torte, followed by an evening of fun. Hosted by entertainer and actor Kelt Eccleston, this is a unique, entertaining night of engaging music, fascinating improv, head-shaking stories and laughter. Each week features a special mystery guest to join Kelt and his band on stage! Kelt’s Kitchen Party turns a room full of strangers into old friends.

Enjoy a carefully prepared three-course dinner in the elegance of the David Foster Foundation Theatre and experience the return of Dinner Theatre, amongst friends and family!

Pre-Dinner Reception: 6:00-6:45pm

~ Starter ~
Pickled beet and goat cheese salad with salted pecans
~ Main Course ~
Free range chicken with wild mushroom farce, roasted pepper demi, parsnip puree and seasonal vegetables
~ Dessert ~
Hazelnut chocolate torte brandy tulie and Grand Marnier cream

To reserve your seats, confirm availability, or to book your group, we are now accepting reservations by phone at 250.598.4556.

Enjoy this very special Dinner Theatre engagement at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel for $89 per person + tax^

Overnight Packages available from $199 per person

Please note, there will not be a Dinner Theatre performance on Friday, March 20 or Friday, April 3.

*A portion of every Dinner Theatre ticket sold will go to the David Foster Foundation, helping the families of children awaiting major organ transplants, as part of the hotel’s 10 year, two million dollar, commitment.

*Dinner Theater tickets can not be cancelled and are non-refundable

Further reading:

Kelt Eccleston!/artists/Kelt-Eccleston
Colleen Eccleston
Tobin Stokes
Mark Hellman
Ivonne Hernandez
The Other Guys Theatre Company

Disclaimer: We attended Kelt Eccleston’s Kitchen Party as guests of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

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