Theater Info for Maryland

Toby’s Dinner Theatre Hot Nostalgia

By • Jan 8th, 2013 • Category: Reviews
Hot Nostalgia
Toby’s Dinner Theatre
Toby’s Dinner Theatre, Columbia, MD
Through January 27th
2:00, with intermission, not including meal time
$49-$54/$36 Children
Reviewed January 6th, 2013

High energy, strong vocals and lots of memories were stirred up during Toby Dinner Theatre’s Sunday afternoon production of Hot Nostalgia II in Columbia, Maryland. The ten high-stepping performers sang and danced to the hits from the 30’s and 40’s such as “Minnie the Moocher” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” The 50’s brought in Rock and Roll and the cast donned poodle skirts and swooned to the songs of Elvis Presley, the Supremes, and more. The audience (of which we were on the younger side) appeared to enjoy act one, including a spontaneous round of applause when the video monitors showed the headline “Japan Surrenders.” Video clips were shown to introduce each decade.

Act Two opened with just as much enthusiasm. The older crowd was not as excited, but the younger audience members recognized most of the songs from the 60’s and 70’s. We enjoyed covers from the Beach Boys, The Beatles. The Drifters, and a memorable Sonny and Cher. Then with the advent of Vietnam, the tone of songs began to change. The late 60’s brought songs about love, not war, the woman’s movement, songs about the need for peace and joy to the World. The singers and dancers evolved from do woppin’ and gaiety to a realization that life isn’t always peaches and cream. There was sorrow, death, and unhappiness.

Throughout the afternoon all ten actors kept the energy up as they glided, shimmied, shook, and slid across the dance floor. Costume Designer Mary Quinn used costumes that were colorful when necessary for both the men and women and period appropriate throughout the performance. The ladies’ hairdos got higher and higher as the sixties got later and later!

A few sound problems were really the only deterrent to the fun afternoon. Somehow the sound mix did not always mix well and this occasionally caused the group numbers to sound muddy over the soloist. Yet at other times the singers all blended perfectly so it was uneven. Light Designer Coleen M. Foley’s use of color through strobe lights, a disco ball, valentines and other creations set the tone for many of the songs. The orchestra under the direction of Ross Scott Rawlings kept the beat going and the rhythm on track.

Hot Nostalgia II ran a little over two hours with one intermission. It was an energetic look back at the great music from the 30’s to the 70’s.

Photo Gallery

David James and Janine Sunday Shawn Kettering
David James and Janine Sunday
Shawn Kettering
David James David James
David James
David James
Shawn Kettering Tina DeSimone
Shawn Kettering
Tina DeSimone

Photos provided by Toby’s Dinner Theatre


  • Heather Marie Beck
  • Debra Buonaccorsi
  • Tina DeSimone
  • Prince Havely
  • David James
  • Shawn Kettering
  • David Little
  • Ashley Parker
  • Jeffrey Shankle
  • Janine Sunday
  • Swings: Mary Kate Brouillet & Lawrence B. Munsey


  • Piano/Conductors: Ross Scott Rawlings
  • Trumpet: Tony Neenan, Frank Gorecki or Craig Taylor
  • Reeds: Steve Haaser or Charlene McDaniel
  • Bass: Linda Cote or Frank Higgins
  • Percussion: Aaron Holmes or Jack Loercher

Production Staff

  • Director/Choreographer: Lawrence B. Munsey
  • Musical Director: Ross Scott Rawlings
  • Scenic Design: David Hopkins
  • Costume Design: Mary Quinn
  • Lighting Design: Coleen M. Foley
  • Sound Design: Drew Dedrick
  • Production Manager: Vickie S. Johnson
  • Production Stage Manager: Kate Wackerie
  • Stage Managers: Drew Dedrick, Kate Wackerie
  • Technical Director: Jimmy Engelkemier
  • Master Carpenter: David A. Hopkins
  • Set Construction: David A. Hopkins, Dan Sexton, Russell Sunday, Ian Wallace
  • Properties & Set Dressing: Amy Kaplan
  • Light Board operators: Coleen M. Foley, Ethan Knister
  • Sound operators: Drew Dedrick, Jimmy Engelkemier
  • Stage Crew: Laura Blasi, Jason Britt, Erin McDonald

Disclaimer: Toby’s Dinner Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review. SBR provided advertising on the ShowBizRadio web site to Toby’s.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College.