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Now browsing: Hometown News > Entertainment > Indian River County

Restaurant closes but theater goes on
Rating: 3.1 / 5 (40 votes)  
Posted: 2012 Aug 31 - 00:46

For Hometown News

VERO BEACH - Theatre-Go-Round was shocked to learn that Joey's Bistro on the Miracle Mile closed suddenly on Aug. 5, only days before a sold out performance for that evening.

The nomad traveling dinner theater company found themselves out on the street once again by another restaurant that had closed its doors.

Jon Putzke, artistic producer, said his 2012-13 season will continue uninterrupted with a move to the 14th Avenue Steak House at 2023 14th Ave.

Owners, Enzio and Phyllis Vitiello welcomed Theatre-Go-Round to their recently renovated establishment that has operated as a legendary mainstay in downtown Vero Beach for the past 21 years.

Theatre-Go-Round began in 2007, at the now defunct Coppertop Restaurant on State Road 60. Having presented such hits as "Nunsense Jamboree," "Jerry Finnegan's Sister," "Nuncrackers" and "String of Pearls," the group left the Best Western Hotel in fall 2009 when a potentially long-term offer to relocate to a more intimate setting was made by LaFonda owner Geraldo Martinez.

Mr. Martinez partnered with the nonprofit theater group and moved them into his former Mexican restaurant on 34th Avenue near the airport in order to fulfill the year and a half remaining on his lease with the city. After completing the 18 month stint, Theatre-Go-Round realized the city owned property was in disrepair beyond their financial means to continue the operation once the original terms of the agreement expired with Mr. Martinez.

Mr. Putzke staged his next three productions in the grand ballroom at the Elks' Lodge on 26th Street between July and March of last year. Still longing for an intimate setting that would coincide with his established intimate productions of themed musical revues, the artistic producer found a new home at Joey's Bistro and reopened May 6.

Immediate success was evident when sold out crowds attended "The Sounds of the Seventies," as well as "Dancing in the Street" and when the upcoming new season of shows was announced at the beginning of the summer, audiences continued to fill the well-known nightclub week after week.

With little advanced warning, Mr. Putzke was notified Joey's would cease operations following the theatet's Aug. 5 performance.

Within days after the closing, Mr. Putzke found a new home for Theatre-Go-Round when the 14th Avenue Steak House embraced his dinner theater concept and agreed to pair their food and beverage service with the theater's musical productions on Sunday afternoons.

Mr. Putzke is pleased to find himself back in the heart of downtown doing theatre again.

"I remember great times 'back in the day' when Vero was slower paced and downtown was known for its hometown atmosphere. Everybody knew and supported everybody," said Mr. Putzke.

Theatre-Go-Round will complete the announced run of its musical revue "Dancing in the Street" swinging to the songs of the'60s on selected Sundays Sept. 9 through Nov. 4.

The remainder of the 2012-13 season includes "Holiday Harmonies" the hits and highlights of the season Nov. 18 through Dec. 16 and "New York, New York," a musical tribute to the city that never sleeps will debut Jan. 13 through March 10.

"Those Fabulous '50s," featuring the solid gold hits of that decade will bring audiences out on the dance floor March 24 through May 19. Performances will be given two Sundays each month with doors opening at 12:30 p.m. for seating, cocktails and dinner with the show following at 2 p.m.

The all-inclusive dinner theater package, featuring a four-course, sit-down dinner with three entrees to choose from, show ticket, tax and food service gratuity is $45 per person.

Show only tickets, if available the day of performance, are $22.50. A la carte bar and beverage service is offered throughout the afternoon.

Reservations are required with Visa, MasterCard or Discover and can be made by phoning the Theatre-Go-Round box office at (772) 252-9341.

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