Well it seems that I chose the right night to go to see Yakov Smirnoff. Anyone who wished to stay on after the show and wait for the clean-up to be completed was invited to partake in a special treat.
But first, the show itself. Yakov is indeed a very funny man. But he is on a mission – to improve relationships through humor. He has an MA in Psychology, and he teaches about the relationship between love and laughter at Missouri State and Drury University. His concept of GIFT (Give Importance, Fun, and Time) is very profound, and he presents his audience with a GIFT of laughter and thought-provoking philosophy.
I had an excellent seat – 4th row center section on the aisle. That meant I was able to get up at intermission and be one of the first people in line to get a photo and an autograph in the book I bought.
Now, the Yakov theater seats 2000, but the show comes with a full dinner.
So, the question is, how to you serve this –
(soup, Carolina pulled pork, roast chicken leg, mixed vegetables, corn muffin, and apple pie,
using china dishes, a linen napkin, and real silverware) –
to nearly 2000 people at once?
The answer is very ingenious.
You give every one a lift-up tray on the side of their chair,
similar to those found on the front rows of airplanes.
You stack dozens of plates on several carts,
and the dinners are passed down each row to the center, until everyone is served.
The pull-up tray has 4 magnets that hold the dinner tray,
and the lid fits under your chair while you’re eating.
Then, the whole thing fits under your chair when you are done!
(Yakov had his own auditorium style chair and dinner on the stage,
and did a Q&A during the mealtime.)
The Special Treat!
Just before the dinner break,Yakov announced that he is working on developing a sit-com which will be produced by Jay Abrams. He invited anyone who wished to stay on for a bit to view a staging of the pilot episode, and then take part in a focus group session.
We had about a forty minute wait while the crew cleaned the theater – removing all those dinner dishes can take a bit of time! – and then we filled the front center section (from my photos, you can see that I was front row, center!), and were treated to a showing of an extended version of the proposed pilot. It was very funny, while dealing with the serious side of relationships.
After that, the entire cast came to the stage, and Yakov took comments and suggestions for another 20-30 minutes, while we all filled out discussion pages.