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Dinner-theatre show at Surrey hotel to feature ‘Eat Your Heart Out’ comedy

‘To our knowledge, this is the first time dinner theatre has been presented in Surrey,’ Royal Canadian company says
Vinny Keats plays a struggling actor in “Eat Your Heart Out,” a dinner-theatre production staged in Surrey by Royal Canadian Theatre Company, from Jan. 27-29 at Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel. (submitted photo)

A rare dinner-theatre production in Surrey is coming to the Sheraton hotel in Guildford.

Royal Canadian Theatre Company will stage Nick Hall’s “Eat Your Heart Out” in a ballroom there from Jan. 27 to 29, as part of the Dine Out Vancouver festival.

Ellie King directs the comedy, billed as “a very funny, and often realistic, look at the life of a young actor trying to make it in what has been described as the ‘toughest business in the world.’”

The show marks Royal Canadian’s first venture into presenting dinner theatre. In partnership with Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel, the company aims to bring “fun and fine dining together to help dispel the January blues. To our knowledge, this is the first time dinner theatre has been presented in Surrey.”

The three-course meal will be served to guests in three zones set up in a hotel ballroom, with dinner at 7 p.m. and curtain at 8 p.m. The hour-long show includes a short intermission. Tickets are available online via, starting at $79.99 per plate. Event details are also posted to

The gourmet menu features a main choice of Aburi Sockeye Salmon and Crab, Sakura Farms Baby Back Ribs or Wild Mushroom Rotollo, appies of Chili Parmasan Fried Brussel Sprouts or Pacific Coast Seafood Chowder, and dessert of Gluten-free Apple Pie Cheesecake.

Royal Canadian’s “Eat Your Heart Out” stars Vinnie Keats as Charlie, a charming young struggling actor who works as a server at a restaurant – “actually quite a few different restaurants,” notes a show preview. “Along the way he meets all sorts of people, from a hard-baked advertising executive through a disenchanted married couple to the girl he really, REALLY, likes.”

The show also stars Crystal Weltzin as Girl, Stephen Elcheshen as Man, Sue Backs as Woman and Ty Javos as Boy. “These talented actors play all the characters Charlie meets on his journey,” an event advisory notes.

The show crew includes Cathy Shields as stage manager, Kerri Norris as costume designer and Nigel Brooke, lighting designer.

Keats is a classically trained actor and vocalist. Most recently his focus has been on-camera work, starring in the independent film, ‘Clay Pots,’ as well as appearing in a few national commercials, a bio notes. Before that he has entertained live audiences as Sky in “Mamma Mia,” Beast in “Beauty and the Beast” and Iago/Romeo in “Goodnight Desdemona, Goodmorning Juliet,” to name a few. Vinny is also a gymnast; you may have caught him flipping his way across the stage in Disney’s “Newsies.”

Keats studied at The Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria.

“I was drawn to the role of Charlie and this show because it truly is the story of most actors,” Keats elaborates. “I see so many parallels in my own life and I want to thank Ellie for giving me the chance to reflect them.”

• RELATED: Girl gets lost in new ‘Alice’ panto in Surrey, a full-circle adventure for creative team.

In December, Surrey-based Royal Canadian Theatre Company staged a holiday-month pantomime based on “Alice in Wonderland,” the script of which was written by Weltzin, who is among actors in this month’s “Eat Your Heart Out” dinner-theatre production.

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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