broadway play waitress
Theatergoers can see, smell and taste the action at the Broadway show Waitress.
| Credit: Photography by Joan Marcus

Even better than dinner before a show: Dinner at the show! A handful of new Broadway and off-Broadway productions are serving up serious eats as part of the experience. Audience members at the hit musical Waitress are greeted by the smell of fresh-baked apple pie wafting through the theater. Sara Lee pies, enhanced with extra cinnamon and nutmeg to make them smell all the more irresistible, are baked backstage and the aroma is blasted through the vents. At intermission, just when you can't take the temptation any longer, you can buy homemade pie in a Mason jar at the concession stand.

Over at off-Broadway's Sweeney Todd, about a barber and baker who forge an unsavory partnership selling meat pies made with very questionable ingredients, ticket-buyers can pre-order their own (conventional) pies, then come to the theater early and enjoy a feast. 

A few blocks away at the new musical Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, a riff on War and Peace starring Josh Groban, the show opens with the cast bursting into the theater, whooping a Russian battle cry and shouting, "Who wants a dumpling?!" They then hand out 400 boxes containing fluffy, warm pierogi from beloved neighborhood restaurant Russian Samovar. You don't get that when you read the book.