Lovin’ It In Loveland

Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 23133 – 1135

Here’s the haps:

Down the road from Estes Park is a town called Loveland. It has a cool name and is a great place to have Valentine’s Day cards postmarked from. Places in other towns offer services to drive your piece of mail up there just to have it hand-canceled. For a price, of course. The real reason we go there or Johnstown is because it’s where the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse is. We might go to a couple of stores but our real destination is the theater. Our experience in Loveland was kind of the opposite of Boulder in some ways.

We stayed at the Residence Inn by Marriott, also listed as a three-star hotel and we were treated very well. the desk staff were very nice and offered us a room on the first floor. The room was nice and large with a kitchenette. Unlike other extended stay places we have been (yes, we like these for just one night, too), it was stocked with pots and pans and dishes and pretty much whatever you need. One weird/annoying thing was the parking fee. $12 to park overnight in the lot. Not a covered structure or anything. The woman told me it came down from corporate and all the Marriotts are doing it, at least all the ones in Loveland(there is a Fairfield by Marriott across the street and another Marriott franchise down the road a piece).

The dinner theater works pretty much the same here as it did in Boulder. The actors also double as the wait staff working mostly for the gratuities. Our server was a nice young woman named Charlotte. Mrs. Herb had the cod and I had the Grilled Caesar Salad, a mistake I won’t make again. Three stalks of Romaine lettuce, whole, with grill marks on them, and some dressing and croutons. Our intermission desserts were cheesecake for her and chocolate cake with a scoop of ice cream for me.

We knew nothing about the show, Cats. We still know nothing. It was singing and a lot of fancy, incredible, awe-inspiring dancing. If you like to see people spin around on their tiptoes and fly through the air and do contorted feats that would make Harry Houdini sit up and take notice, this show is for you. There was no real plot at all that we could make out. We thought of doing the thing we would never really consider doing, leaving at intermission. We decided that what we were seeing was just more of a show than an actual play just as Charlotte walked up. How this young woman could do the incredible dancing and singing she had done on stage and still walk up and deliver dessert and be smiling was beyond my understanding. She asked how we were enjoying ourselves and when we hesitated she just said, “The trick to liking it is to not look for a plot. There is none.” That was a very helpful thing to say to us. She was so nice and working so incredibly hard we stayed to the end when a sort of a judge cat sent another cat to heaven. It was weird.

Charlotte came to us right away after it was done and asked me directly how I liked it. I hemmed and hawwed a bit and she said, “It’s okay if you didn’t like it. You won’t hurt my feelings.” So, I told her the truth, “I thought the dancing was amazing. I don’t remember if I’ve ever seen anything like it. I can’t even imagine how you guys do all that, plus the table work. How do you handle it?”
“We take a lot of ice baths.” We all laughed. I felt like we had connected in a positive way. Would I recommend this show to anybody? Never in a million years. Unless you like that sort of thing.


  1. We saw Cats too and enjoyed the costumes, dancing and music – especially the song ‘Memory’. It is really a good idea to read a synopsis of the show first!

  2. Cats is not the favorite of the musicals I have seen although in fairness I originally saw a middle school version my youngest son was in. It was called Meow for legal reasons.

  3. They made a movie of that show a couple years ago. For some reason Taylor Swift was in it. Watching it in the theater was the closest I have ever come to being in a sensory deprivation chamber.

  4. I don’t think I’ve ever liked anything by Andrew Lloyd Weber, but from all I have read, Cats takes things to an entirely new level. I think its longevity on Broadway is due to tourists from west of the Allegheny Mountains who wanted to attend a musical with a name their friends at home would recognize.

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