Theatre by the Sea is not unique in New England, but it provides a delightful summer tradition for southern Rhode Island. I usually try to make one show a year, and because all the shows are so different, it is difficult to review them.. In recent years, I've seen Cats and Fantasticks, and both were excellent-I saw the original London production of Cats, and I'd have to say that other than the obvious limitations of staging, both were outstanding.
Dinner was also excellent, albeit variable from year to year, but they could do a better job of letting you know where to go and when before the performance.
Other reviewers have mentioned it, but if you get the occasional really hot summer evening, as the place is not air conditioned, it can get really uncomfortable. Clearly, if you buy your tickets weeks in advance, not much you can do, but if you have a choice, try to avoid end of July and August.
The only other negative thing I would note, and it is strictly subjective, but if you're in the back of the auditorium, under the balcony, there's a bit of a claustrophobic feeling, and in an old wooden building that's not a feeling you want to have. If this might be bothersome, try to arrange for a seat near a door. I want to emphasize that in no way do I think the place is dangerous, but it is just feeling, not based on facts, but one easily avoided by seat choice.
Everyone spending part of the summer in South County should try to catch Theatre by the Sea
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