Adams began her professional career as a dancer in a 1994 dinner theater production of A Chorus Line in Boulder, Colorado. The job required her to wait on tables before getting up on stage to perform. She enjoyed singing and dancing, but disliked waitressing and ran into trouble when a fellow dancer, whom she considered a friend, made false accusations about her to the director. Adams said, "I never really knew what the lies were. I only knew I kept getting called in and lectured about my lack of professionalism. " She lost the job but went on to perform in dinner theater at Denver's Heritage Square Music Hall and Country Dinner Playhouse. During a performance of Anything Goes at the Country Dinner Playhouse in 1995, she was spotted by Michael Brindisi, the president and artistic director of the Minneapolis-based Chanhassen Dinner Theater, who offered her a job there. Adams moved to Chanhassen, Minnesota, where she performed in the theater for the next three years. She loved the "security and schedule" of the job, and has said that she learned tremendously from it. Nonetheless, the grueling work took its toll on her: "I had a lot of recurring injuries—bursitis in my knees, pulled muscles in my groin, my adductor and abductor. My body was wearing out. "