A new year has brought a new era to Chesapeake Music Hall, the dinner theater on Busch's Frontage Road near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
Sherry Kay has taken over as the sole owner, buying out her former husband, Doug Yetter. Anita O'Connor, longtime marketing and group sales director at the theater, will take over Yetter's position as music director.
Kay and Yetter had run the theater for four years, establishing a record for longevity unmatched by any of their predecessors at that location. They continued to operate the theater after their marriage broke up more than a year ago.
Kay worked as co-producer, choreographer, set designer-builder, costumer, performer and general manager while Yetter was co-producer, director and music director.
O'Connor, who has a degree in music from Syracuse University and extensive stage experience, is running the musical program at the theater.
She played Annie Oakley in "Annie Get Your Gun," Aldonza in "Man of La Mancha," and Nancy in "Oliver" and directed Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre's "The Wizard of Oz," "Leader of the Pack" and "Kiss Me Kate." In 1997, she directed Northeast High School's "Wizard of Oz" and in 1998, "Cinderella." She also was musical director of Anne Arundel Community College's 1996 production of "Peter Pan."
O'Connor and her husband, Maurie, did a weekly cabaret show at Loews Annapolis Hotel during the last 3 1/2 years.
Last week, they brought the show to the dinner theater and played to a full house.
O'Connor, a skilled accompanist with a well-deserved following, made the evening a triumph. She has a lush, velvety voice that easily rises to high-voltage Broadway power, with abundant charm to match.
The shows are being dubbed "SupperClub Cabaret," with the next one scheduled Feb. 5.
In addition to the cabarets, the theater is preparing "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," the first full-scale show under new management, for a Feb. 12 opening.
CMH's version coincides with the revival of this Peanuts-inspired feel-good musical in New York.
The show will run through March 28.
Information: 410-626-7515 or 800-406-0306.
Pub Date: 1/28/99