Southwest News Media

By Lydia Christianson

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) visited the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres on Oct. 13 to highlight the Save Our Stages Act, her bipartisan bill with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) that created a grant program to help independent live entertainment venues, museums and theaters weather the pandemic.

Since it passed into law in December, the bill has helped 249 Minnesota venues and organizations, including the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, according to a release from the senator’s office. To date, the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres have received more than $7.5 million in Save Our Stages funding, the sixth largest grant awarded to a Minnesota organization.

“Last year, we refused to sit back and let the music die, which is why we passed the bipartisan Save Our Stages Act to provide critical relief funding to independent venues,” said Klobuchar. “With more than 300,000 guests annually, the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre is a true bedrock of the Chanhassen community. I look forward to visiting for great meals and shows for years to come!”

Actors and musicians were brought out on stage by Artistic Director Michael Brindisi to listen to Klobuchar, who greeted them and the matinee audience in attendance. Afterward Brindisi led Klobuchar on a tour of the theater.

“Had it not been for Sen. Klobuchar’s efforts with this grant money, our reopening would have looked very different,” Brindisi said.

The Chanhassen Dinner Theatre is the largest professional dinner theatre company in the U.S. It is composed of four separate theaters and multiple event spaces. The Chanhassen Dinner Theatres have produced more than 240 productions and employ more than 300 staff members.