Saw the Pirates of Penzance at Toby's last night. I haven't been there in decades, but was being treated for my birthday. I did read the reviews before going, and I want to specifically address some of the (relatively few) negative comments. Picking up the tickets at will call was a snap and the person was very courteous. We got excellent seats in the top tier of a section and an unobstructed view of the performing area. Perhaps due to the fact that an entire tour bus of people got lost and were very late arriving, there was not a very long wait for the buffett. As soon as we arrived we were invited to go to the salad bar. Everything on that bar was fresh...the lettuce, the cucumbers, etc. and well stocked. As for the buffet, all the food was hot and tasty. The variety was great...something for everyone. The roasted chicken was good, the ribs were tender and good, there was plenty of fish available. They do slice the carved meats thin, but I asked for and got a slice of the beef, turkey and ham, and there was plenty available for seconds. The vegetables were fresh and steamed perfectly, and the roasted potatoes were delicious too. The rolls on the table were fresh, warm and plentiful. Because it was my birthday, I was served a free "special" dessert (with candle) that was very good. The price of alcoholic drinks was reasonable and less than at many other nearby establishments. Let's face it, Toby's isn't the Kennedy Center and the food is not Citronelle quality, but then you aren't paying the ridiciously high prices at those venues. The show was an operatic comedy/romance, and the cast was very good and very professional in their performances (the actress playing the lead, "Mabel" had a superb voice (we're talking Met qualty) and the all of the cast had great voices. Given the limited space and "in the round" configuration, the staging was very good too. There were some energetic, fast-paced songs, so it was sometimes difficult to decipher the words. Although opera is NOT my first love, I enjoyed the performance very much. The cast as servers did a great job...they were cheerful, curteous and appreciative of the audience. Bottom line: Where in the DC metro area can you get a good quality meal and a professional performance at a price that is slightly over $100 a couple??? That is probably not possible! If you haven't been to Toby's you should give it try. You might want to do so when the performance is one that has music that you know you will enjoy. But, please, be sure your expectations are reasonable....and remember, you get what you pay for...and in the case of Toby's....you get MORE!!!
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