I've always said Marlee's is more than a restaurant. Reaching out to our local community is as important as a fine dining experience, and Marlee's does both starting Thursday.

Funny Girl” opens Thursday in Superior’s newest theater space, the second floor of Marlee’s Caribbean Restaurant, 525 Tower Ave. It marks the first production by the newly-formed Superior Community Theater.  The musical, which opened on Broadway with Barbara Streisand in the starring role, includes memorable numbers like “People,” “You Are Woman, I Am Man” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”

The new community theater group has turned the large, open room on Marlee’s second floor into a spot for art. The focal point is the stage. But scattered along the walls are murals by many local artists – a prairie scene that could work as a backdrop for “Oklahoma,” a New York cityscape and a close-up of Marilyn Monroe, to name a few. Add in spotlights, costumes, music and stars waiting to shine.

“I knew there was lots of talent,” said Kruse, who started Superior Community Theater with his wife, Mondie. “That’s why we had to do something. Because everybody kept saying, ‘We need something to do; we need a theater.’ So we decided this is the time.” And Marlee’s is the place. The dedicated space gives the thespians a place of their own, to both rehearse and perform. And audience members have a convenient spot to eat dinner before the show, or get some dessert after the curtains close. “So as long as people keep coming for a meal or two, we can have a community theater,” Wes Kruse said. “Keep theater alive.” Show dates are 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 7 p.m. April 7-9 and 2 p.m. April 10. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for students and seniors. Special dinner and show tickets are available for $21. To order tickets in advance, call (218) 393-0148. To have dinner and a show, allow about an hour to dine. Parking is available in both of the lots behind Marlee’s and in Thirsty’s lot.