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Dinner and a Show

October 13, 2023 by Maggie Ronan

Downtown Harrisonburg presents Hand-Picked Dinner and Show Pairings that feature JMU Shows and Downtown Dishes.

With The Forbes Center for Preforming Arts and Downtown Harrisonburg being only a 5-minute drive apart, it only makes sense to elevate your night with both dinner and a show.  This year, enjoy a wide variety of talented performances hosted by James Madison University and indulge in some of Downtown Harrisonburg’s best restaurants.

The International Big Band Pink Martini will be preforming October 26, starting at 8:00PM. This self-described small orchestra will be preforming songs in 25 languages with a cross-genre mix of classical, jazz, and old-fashioned pop. Click Here to learn more about The international Big Band Pink Martini. With an orchestra as diverse and unique as this one, you’ll need a restaurant pairing as equally diverse and unique with never seen before menu items. Mashita is the perfect pairing for The International Big Band Martini because of their creative fusion specials such as Kimchi fries, caramelized kimchi quesadillas, a Korean style burrito, and a Korean style fried chicken sandwich.

Trey McLaughlin and The Sounds of Zamar will be preforming November 16, starting at 8:00PM. they have carved a unique place for themselves in the music industry through soul-stirring arrangements of contemporary gospel, musical theater, and pop favorites. With millions of online views and voices spread to the corners of the earth, the ensemble bursts onto the stage with expressive vocal style, awe-inspiring original arrangements, and opulent harmonies. The ensemble, organized in 2009 has performed with gospel greats. Hailing from Augusta, Georgia, the group transcends cultural boundaries, and their music is sung all over the world. Be transported by this soul-stirring evening featuring one of the brightest and most prolific groups on the gospel scene! Soul-stirring arrangements is best paired with some good old fashion comfort food. Head over to Texas Inn for all day breakfast and some American classics including specialty burgers and hotdogs along with homemade Potato salad and homemade macaroni salad.

All Things Equal – The Life and Trials of Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be presented on November 1 and 2, starting at 8:00PM. This is a new play by multiple-Tony Award-winning playwright Rupert Holmes (Curtains – 2007, Say Goodnight Gracie – 2003, The Mystery of Edwin Drood – 2003) and it is a fascinating and humorous portrayal of the Supreme Court Justice, a true American original. Theatergoers will marvel at Ginsburg’s strength, tenacity, sly wit and compassion, her yearning for equality, and her love for this nation’s precious institutions. All Things Equal is an intimate look at RBG’s life and trials: being one of only nine young women studying law at Harvard while also raising a daughter and helping her husband battle cancer, fighting for women’s rights in the 1970s before all-male courts, and taking courageous stands for human rights amid an increasingly politicized Supreme Court. With everything that Ruth Bader Ginsburg did to advance women’s rights it is only appropriate to feature a woman owned business for this pairing. Boboko Indonesian Cafe, owned by Marina Muan is the perfect place to start your night. Marina is a hardworking woman that goes above and beyond by being the only cook in her entire restaurant. Stop by for classic Indonesian cuisine, high quality vegan and vegetarian options, and personable customer service from Marina and her staff.

DRUM TAO will be preforming January 19, starting at 8:00PM and is an international phenomenon that has reached over 9 million spectators featuring the world’s top taiko drummers! Hailed for its high-octane, visionary productions, DRUM TAO electrifies the stage with lavish sets, complex choreography, and flawless athletic movement. While honoring the ancient Japanese art form, they embark on an astonishing rhythmic adventure performing incredible feats on a variety of drums (some weighing up to 3 tons) and other instruments including marimba, flute, and harp that require complete mind and body coordination. You won’t believe your eyes! Pair this ancient Japanese art form with some Asian-fusion fare and sushi from Beyond.

JMU Student Dance will be preforming a concert on November 9-11, starting at 8:00PM. This showcase of new choreography offers audiences an opportunity to see the work of the Dance Program’s talented young artists. A night of dancing pairs best with The Golden Pony. Not only do they have weekly shows and feature DJs, but they also have a wide selection of food items from burgers to pizza to Mexican favorites!

The SpongeBob Musical will be preforming February 27- March 2, starting at 7:30 and March 2 and 3, starting at 2:30. Who lives in a pineapple under the sea and became the hottest star on Broadway? Why, it’s SpongeBob SquarePants! Plunge into this stunning all-singing, all-dancing, dynamic stage show! When the citizens of Bikini Bottom discover that a volcano will soon erupt and destroy their humble home, SpongeBob and his friends come together to save the fate of their undersea world. With lives hanging in the balance and all hope lost, a most unexpected hero rises. The power of optimism really can save the world in this amazing musical featuring irresistible characters and magical music. This deep-sea pearl of a show is set to make a splash with audiences young and old. Featuring students from JMU’s School of Theatre and Dance and School of Music. Downtown Harrisonburg might not have a Krusty Krab, but we do have Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint with Wagyu beef smash burgers, quality cocktails, and a mile-long beer list making it a perfect pairing for this show

This post only features a fraction of Downtown Harrisonburg. Make your own dinner and show pairing by taking a look at our Downtown Directory along with The Forbes Center for Performing Art’s website for additional show times! While you’re at it, check out our Events Calendar for more information on all of the events going on Downtown every week.