Why settle for nationwide talent on the boob tube when you could see area singers competing in the flesh? Anthony's Italian Kitchen's latest inception of their dinner theater space is "Anthony's Idol." It sports 10 ladies, a karaoke machine, a live organist, and songs that run the gamut from "Hello Dolly" to Alicia Keys covers.

Each Saturday in the month of May, 10 local singers as young as 16 have taken the stage before a packed crowd. After two runs through the line-up, the crowd chooses their favorite. Each week's results are added to the previous votes, and on May 30, the winner (we're pushing for Iris Downey) will claim a $500 prize.

The audience, munching on a three-course meal, is diverse: children, parents of singers, boyfriends of singers, friends. The singers are as diverse: a woman in her 40s, a young singer-songwriter who brings her own guitar, and an actress. The range makes the competition more interesting, and more competitive.

This Saturday may be sold out already (call to see if there are last-minute cancellations), but Anthony's has a knack for coming up with fun stuff like this with some regularity — and they have an ongoing dinner theater of Broadway show tunes with Jennifer Miller and Company. A $39.95 ticket includes dinner, the show, and a bottle of wine. If nothing else, it's worth seeing your local pizzeria make the transformation into a dimly-lit, fancied-up dinner theater.

Anthony's Idol finals | May 30 @ 7 pm | Anthony's Italian Kitchen, 151 Middle St, Portland | 207.221.2267

  Topics: New England Music News , Entertainment, Alicia Keys, Performing Arts,  More more >
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