Exterior Sign

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The sign in front of Country Dinner Playhouse was a standard fixture in the neighborhood for nearly 40 years.

The Country Dinner Playhouse, affectionately referred to as “The Barn,” staged almost 200 productions, from 1970 – 2007. Located south of Denver near I-25 and Arapahoe Road, the 470-seat dinner theater was a regular favorite of many in the area with its cafeteria-style buffet and happy cast of Barnstormers, an entertaining pre-show song-and-dance troupe that also served as the wait staff.

The professionally produced musicals and comedy-mysteries helped to usher along the careers of some famous faces including movie star Amy Adams and Broadway stars Annaleigh Ashford, Beth Malone and Rachel Kasper deBenedet. Mary Jo Catlett (who appeared in dozens of TV programs) and Ann B. Davis (best known as the housekeeper on the TV show the “Brady Bunch”) also hit the boards at CDP, as well as TV star and Englewood High School graduate, Lee Horsley (starring as private investigator Matt Houston in the 1980s). And, more recently, Melissa Benoist, the current star of TV’s “Supergirl” who appeared on the CDP stage as a child performer.

Bill McHale (sometimes referred to as “Papa” Bill) was the venerable director of CDP’s productions for 30 years. An actor/singer himself, McHale performed in a handful of shows at The Barn in addition to being the director. He retired in 2000 after directing 142 productions, the theater closed in 2007.

Here are some production photos from over the years:

The Barnstormers 1970

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The original group from the opening of the theatre in 1970. The Barnstormers entertained audience members with songs before the main show, and also served as wait staff.

Programs, Advertisements and other documents of interest

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

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The bulletin board in the lobby always presented pictures of the leading cast.