David Eastwood, a Glens Falls businessman and theatre lover, and his wife, Vicky produce BAREFOOT IN THE PARK in Glens Falls. Cast in the production is their good friend, Bruce Jordan. It marks the premiere season of what is to become The Lake George Dinner Theatre.
From 1969 to 1975 Eastwood produces summer stock at the Towers Hall Playhouse in Lake George. The 10-week season includes comedies, dramas and musicals, all performed in an old carriage house that the Eastwoods renovate into a playhouse. A highlight of this phase of the operation is Eastwood’s production of ARSENIC AND OLD LACE which features a return to the stage by Esther Ralston, a silent film star of the 1920’s.
Terry Rabine, fresh out of high school, joins the Towers Hall Theatre for its production of THE FANTASTICKS, the first of many productions in which he will appear onstage over the next 35 years.
The Eastwood’s summer theatre company is invited by the Holiday Inn-Turf of Lake George to present “dinner theatre” on the premises. This begins an association with the Holiday Inn which continues to the present.
The theatre joins Actors Equity Association, becoming the smallest dinner theatre under an Equity contract in the country, a distinction it continues to hold today. Audiences delight in the intimacy of the unique theatre where no seat is more than 35 feet from the stage.
It is during this season that Eastwood and director/actor Bruce Jordan first present SHEAR MADNESS. A delightful audience participation murder mystery, the show is a huge hit and is subsequently purchased by Eastwood, Jordan and Marilyn Abrams. SHEAR MADNESS later moves to the Charles Playhouse in Boston where it is initially booked for a 30-day limited engagement and where, 26 years later, it continues to sell out. SHEAR MADNESS now has the distinction of being the longest running non-musical play in American stage history and has been performed all over the world.
The theatre produces THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG, its first season of running a single show for the entire summer.
Founder David Eastwood passes away after a long illness. His wife Vicky decides to continue the theatre company and becomes sole producer of the Lake George Dinner Theatre.
The LGDT celebrates its 30th season with the French farce, DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER.
The summer season is extended to 17 weeks, running from mid-June thru mid-October.
LGDT produces the East coast premiere of Sam Bobrick’s comedy REMEMBER ME?, marking Terry Rabine’s directorial debut with LGDT.
On July 9th, California playwright Ron Clark attends LGDT’s production of his play A BENCH IN THE SUN.
SHEAR MADNESS returns to its Lake George roots for LGDT’s 40th anniversary season. The production sets a new record for attendance and is the last show that Vicky Eastwood will produce.
Terry Rabine assumes ownership of LGDT in a very “friendly takeover” and, with Vicky’s invaluable assistance and partnership with the Holiday Inn Turf, continues the LGDT tradition of presenting “fine dining and professional entertainment at a great price”.