Arts & Entertainment
A frustrated and sheltered wife’s decision to turn over a new leaf reaches exciting, shocking, hilarious, and absurd proportions in David Lindsay-Abaire’s whimsical 2001 off-Broadway comedy “Wonder of the World,” excellently produced in its local premiere by the Dayton Theatre Guild.
The absolutely splendid Kari Carter, delivering a knockout Guild debut, impressively drives this kooky if uneven vehicle as the disillusioned yet determined Cass Harris, a free-spirited and conflicted soul longing for adventure and renewed purpose after leaving her husband Kip. Bound for Niagara Falls with a notepad detailing over 280 goals from learning Swedish to wearing velvet, Cass ventures forth to correct mistakes in her life with the hope of finding opportunities to explore possibilities in an attempt to live to the fullest. As is typical in the bizarre and dysfunctional Lindsay-Abaire universe, Cass comes in contact with an assortment of funny eccentrics such as a suicidal alcoholic, goofy private investigators and a clown therapist. His roadmap ultimately grows disjointed (an overlong group therapy scene within the framework of “The Newlywed Game” deflates Act 2), but he appealingly injects great promise into Cass’ journey of self-discovery nonetheless by the end of the play. In fact, the action wonderfully culminates on the rushing waters of Niagara Falls imaginatively staged by director Saul Caplan with black-clad stagehands (the Invisibles) in full view of the audience assisting the action (per the Kabuki tradition of Kuroko).
Vividly executing her passionate portrayal with bubbly ease, Carter thrillingly conjures the sitcom-esque vivacity and chatty effervescence of such contemporary comediennes as Sarah Jessica Parker (the original Cass), Lena Dunham, Julie Bowen, and Tracee Ellis Ross. She notably masters the tricky nuances and rhythms enabling the script to remain snappy, witty and conversational while ensuring Cass’ emotional vulnerabilities are evident. As clingy Kip, coping as best as possible with his Barbie fetish, Ian Manuel, in a welcomed return to the Guild, lends very endearing support. He firmly balances Kip’s devotion for Cass with darker undertones giving credence to her choice to seek a new love. Kerry Simpson, in a refreshing principal capacity, is equally winning as Cass’ troubled sidekick Lois Coleman, the aforementioned alcoholic on a mission to become the next Annie Edson Taylor complete with barrel in tow. Marcella Balin and Richard Young are delightfully unified as oddballs Karla and Glen, hired by Kip to track down Cass. Scott Madden is enjoyably pleasant as Maid of the Mist’s Captain Mike, Cass’ desired flame. Debra Strauss is a versatile hoot in multiple zany roles including a helicopter pilot, three waitresses, and a clown. Doug Lowe, Bekki Madden, Carly Risenhoover-Peterson, and Tori T. Tuccillo complete the cast as the dutiful Invisibles, effectively handling the varied moving parts of Richard Lee Waldeck’s efficient set pieces. Linda Sellers’ costumes, Jason Vogel’s lighting design, Ryan Shannon’s sound design, and N. Lynn Brown’s properties and set dressing nicely complement the action.
Lindsay-Abaire’s plays include his splendid and heartbreaking 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “Rabbit Hole” in addition to “Fuddy Meers,” “Good People,” “Kimberly Akimbo,” and “Ripcord.” He also wrote the book and lyrics for “Shrek: The Musical” and the book for the musical “High Fidelity.” “Wonder of the World” isn’t a representation of his best work, but Carter’s wondrously wonderful performance specifically resonates as an affirming reminder to always choose to go on when life gets messy.
“Wonder of the World” concludes Sunday, May 28 at 3 p.m. at the Dayton Theatre Guild, 430 Wayne Ave., Dayton. Act 1 and Act 2 are performed in 60 minutes. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $13 for students. For tickets or more information, call (937) 278-5993 or visit daytontheatreguild.org. Patrons are advised the production contains adult language, fog effects and the sound of gunshots.
Oakwood artist Amy Deal’s art continues to decorate our city.
In 2015 her design was selected as the winner from over 80 submissions to grace the flood wall at RiverScape. Her 1000 foot mural that depicts biking, hiking and paddling also pays homage to the Wright brothers and the Dayton area’s history with bicycles.
You may have also seen her work on the walls of White-Allen Chevrolet on North Main Street. This two year project has gone up in stages, with the south side wall being put up last November.
K12/TEJAS is transferring art this week for the North side of building. It will be a mural of Dayton inventions. In this section you can see a stackable precast concrete stairwell unit, backpack parachute, all steel propeller, part of the self-starter, and part of the pop top. Here’s a sneak peek from Amy’s Facebook page:
Just this week the brand new Kroger in Centerville has installed a piece of Amy’s work “A Great Place To Live.” This project in conjunction with Dayton Visual Arts Center (DVAC) represents Amy’s vision of the region’s great assets, including stone buildings, paved bike paths, parks, fishing, and our rivers.
A sign hanging next to the installation reads:
Amy Deal was born and raised in St. Henry, Oh, received her BFA from Kent State University, and resides in Dayton. She is a fine artist and freelance visual communicator. Amy’s work weaves typography and pigment to create poetic, layered landscapes.
A Great Place To Live illustrates the welcoming spirit of Centerville, alone with nearby Bellbrook and Sugarcreek Township. Taking great pride in the excellent schools, parks and historic buildings and bridges, recreational offerings, and events, our residents are devoted to our community. Scenes of blue skies, neighborhood concerts, sugar maple tapping, fishing, canoeing , and its celebrated network of trails, are painted atop vintage cookbook pages from Centerville schools, churches and lady’s organizations. The cookbook pages are also used for cut letterforms that spell out some of the area’s favorite activities and events. See if you can find ART ON THE TRACE or SUGAR MAPLE FESTIVAL.
Want to see more of Amy’s work? The Dayton Society of Artist (DSA) Spring Show is on display through Saturday at 48 High Street.
Thanks to Bill Franz for the cover photo for this story. Mural pictures came from Amy’s Facebook page.
Librettist Harvey Fierstein and composer Cyndi Lauper’s delightfully feel-good 2013 Tony Award-winning Best Musical “Kinky Boots” receives an outstanding local premiere at the Schuster Center courtesy of the Victoria Theatre Association’s Premier Health Broadway Series.
Based on the 2005 British film of the same name, this upbeat musical comedy of friendship, acceptance and empowerment primarily concerns the economic woes of Price and Son, a shoe manufacturing company in Northhampton, England in dire need of a new target market. Succeeding his deceased father, frequently frustrated Charlie (passionate understudy Ciarán McCarthy) doesn’t have a clue as to what would really spark a turnaround. However, salvation ultimately arrives at the foot of flamboyant drag queen Lola (dynamically fierce Timothy Ware). Lola’s savvy eye for fashion and Charlie’s desire to tap into a niche market and create sexy women’s boots for men provides the lighthearted, opposites attract-driven fuel which keeps the action endlessly entertaining. Still, by no means is this a show without depth or heart-tugging sincerity. After all, Charlie and Lola’s relationship particularly evolves to a better understanding of each other’s faults and similarities, resulting in impactful moments filled with tender respect and occasionally explosive disrespect.
McCarthy and Ware compellingly lead this fantastic tour which rivals the original Broadway production in tone and vivacity while retaining Jerry Mitchell’s expert original direction and choreography. McCarthy doesn’t receive the best musical material (in a lopsided decision, Lauper wrote multiple knockouts for Lola), but brings equal amounts of agitation, determination and introspective vulnerability to the forefront nonetheless. He supplies a first-rate performance giving credence to Charlie’s mission to pave his own trail no matter how far it strayed from his father’s vision. The exceptional Ware, the Broadway Lola standby who performed the role 186 times, attacks the Mead Theatre stage as if it were his personal runway with marvelously magnetic flair. In every saunter, swish, sashay, strut, finger snap, and head twirl, Ware thrillingly breathes vivacious life into Lola’s charming aura, particularly in the super sassy “Land of Lola” and “Sex Is in the Heel.” Both disco-flavored numbers are notably heightened by the mesmerizing talents and athleticism of Lola’s Angels (her fellow drag queens) splendidly portrayed by Joseph Anthony Byrd, Tony d’Alelio, John J. Dempsey, Ian Gallagher Fitzgerald, Xavier Reyes, and Andy Richardson. In addition to showcasing Lola’s natural ability to unify those around her as only she can, Ware’s heartfelt interpretation of “Not My Father’s Son” and roof-raising “Hold Me in Your Heart” endearingly explores Lola’s emotional baggage stemming from being raised by an intolerant father.
Elsewhere, excellent featured portrayals are delivered by perky understudy Erica Peck (offering a very playful rendition of “The History of Wrong Guys” in the role of Lauren, a Price and Son employee with a huge crush on Charlie), Katerina Papacostas as Charlie’s fiancé Nicola, Jim J. Bullock as overseer George, Aaron Walpole as bigoted Don, Madge Dietrich as loyal Pat, and Dan Tracy as Charlie’s longtime friend Harry.
The uniformly terrific creative team includes scenic designer David Rockwell, costumer Gregg Barnes (supplying specifically striking attire for Lola and her Angels), lighting designer Kenneth Posner, sound designer John Shivers, hair designer Josh Marquette, and make-up designer Randy Houston Mercer. Music director Roberto Sinha leads a solid orchestra.
If you need a proud and strong reminder that it’s okay to love who you are, let “Kinky Boots” bolster your declaration to just be.
“Kinky Boots” continues through May 28 in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton. Performances are Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 7:30 pm. Act One: 70 minutes; Act Two: 40 minutes. Tickets are $30-$97. For tickets or more information, call Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or visit ticketcenterstage.com.
Iconic costumes from “a galaxy far, far away” are presented in the Smithsonian traveling exhibition Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume. The exhibition will open at Cincinnati Museum Center on May 25, 2017.
Presenting more than 60 of the finest hand-crafted costumes featured in all seven films in the Star Wars saga, the exhibition uncovers the challenges, the intricate processes and the remarkable artistry of George Lucas, the concept artists and costume designers. The costumes reflect an eclectic mix of cultural, historical and mythical sources that add rich texture to the story.
Through nine presentational “chapters” – Introduction: Dressing a Galaxy; Jedi versus Sith: Form, Function and Design; Concept and Design for Royalty and Beyond; Symbolism and Military Power; Outlaws and Outsiders; All Corners of the Galaxy: The Galactic Senate; After the Throne: Padmé’s Journey; Darth Vader: Iconic Villain; and Droid™ Design – visitors will explore the creative process from Lucas’s vision through concept drawings by artists such as Ralph McQuarrie and Iain McCaig, to the final costume designs of John Mollo and Trisha Biggar, among others.
George Lucas imagined and created a fantastical world filled with dynamic characters who told the timeless story of the hero’s journey. The costumes shaped the identities of these now famous characters, from the menacing black mask of Darth Vader and the gilded suit of C-3PO, to the lavish royal gowns of Queen Amidala.
Featured costumes include:
- Monk-like robes of Jedi masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker
- Intimidating suit and complex breathing apparatus of Darth Vader
- Military-influenced uniforms of the Imperial Stormtrooper, Senate Guard and TIE Fighter Pilot
- Yak hair and mohair costume of Chewbacca
- Intergalactic outfits of Senators Bail Organa, Mon Mothma and Mas Amedda
- Fierce armor of mercenary bounty hunters Jango Fett, Boba Fett and Zam Wesell
- Elaborately detailed gowns of Queen Amidala, Queen Jamillia and their handmaidens
Short videos in Star Wars and the Power of Costume provide a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process and include interviews with artists, designers and actors. The visitor experience will be enhanced by digital interactives featuring sketches, photographs and notes that capture the creative team’s inspiration and vision.
Pulled from the collection of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Star Wars and the Power of Costume is a partnership of the museum, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and Lucasfilm.
Exhibition opens May 25 and closes October 1, 2017
Child (ages 3-12): $16
Senior (ages 60+): $21
Member Adult: $17
Member Child (ages 3-17): $12
Interested in booking a group tour? Check out Group Deals
Costumes will be welcome, but masks, lightsabers and similar items are not permitted.
The Antioch Writers’ Workshop at the University of Dayton will hold its 32nd annual summer program July 8-14, 2017. This summer marks the workshop’s first summer program presented in partnership with University of Dayton, on the university’s campus.
Participants may opt for the Full Week experience, attending morning classes as well as selecting an afternoon seminar focused on fiction, creative nonfiction or poetry. Or, they may choose an A La Carte option, attending a smaller segment of the workshop. Options are available for all schedules, writing levels and budgets.
Registration for attending the full conference is open through June 16 on the workshop’s website, www.antiochwritersworkshop.com. A La Carte registration is open through July 5.
Keynoter and Sunday Morning Creative Writing Craft instructor is John Scalzi, a science fiction author and former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. He is best known for his Old Man’s War series, three novels of which have been nominated for the Hugo Award, and for his blog Whatever, at which he has written frequently on a number of topics since 1998. His novel Redshirts won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel. John is also the recipient of the 2016 Ohio Governor’s Award for an Individual Artist.
Scalzi’s keynote, which will be delivered at University of Dayton, is Saturday July 8 at 7 pm, and is free and open to the public. The workshop is able to provide this free event, as well as faculty and participant readings July 9-13 and other free events throughout the year, thanks to a grant from the Ohio Arts Council.
A “Saturday Seminar” on July 8 will be held before the keynote as a “prologue” to the weeklong workshop, and may be attended by itself or as part of the workshop week. Featured speaker is Jessica Strawser, editorial director of Writer’s Digest magazine and author of the novel “Almost Missed You.”
Faculty from across the United States includes award-winning mystery novelist Lori Rader-Day (“The Day I Died”), best-selling nonfiction author Matthew Goodman (“Eighty Days”), novelist Crystal Wilkinson (“The Birds of Opulence”) and other instructors. Agent Kari Sutherland (the Bradford Literary Agency) and editor Kevin Morgan Watson (Press 53) will also be on hand to take pitches and answer questions about the business of publishing.
The workshop, originally started by Antioch College in 1987, has operated as an independent 501c3 nonprofit since 1992. In addition to its in-kind partnership with University of Dayton and grant support from the Ohio Arts Council, Antioch Writers’ Workshop at University of Dayton receives support and sponsorship from WYSO 91.3 FM, Books & Co. at The Greene, and local businesses in and Dayton.
The DAI will waive its suggested admission and offer free general admission to the permanent collection on Thursday, May 18, 11:00 am – 8:00 pm, as part of the celebration of the Association of Art Museum Directors’ (AAMD) Art Museum Day, coinciding with International Museum Day.
Free Meet the Museum tours will be offered at 2:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. (meet in the Entrance Rotunda). From 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., guests can sample art studio programs in The Lange Family Experiencenter studio.
The DAI will also offer $10 off the purchase of a new Individual, Duo or Family Membership on May 18.
In addition, special pricing of $5 will be offered for that evening’s Curatorial Conversations gallery talk, which will look at the focus exhibition Red: Endless Attraction in Gallery 218. The talk begins at 6:00 p.m. and is limited to 20 people; advance reservations are recommended by calling 937-223-4278.
The theme of this year’s Art Museum Day is Art Museums Foster Vibrant Communities. AAMD members across the United States, Canada, and Mexico will offer programs and initiatives to celebrate the arts and the important role art museums play in their communities. In addition to bringing the best of human creativity to people across North America, museums serve as engines for the creative economy, partners with school systems and civic organizations, and anchors for public spaces and neighborhoods, making their regions better places for everyone who lives and works there.
Share your experiences on Art Museum Day via social media, using the hashtags #ArtMuseumDay and #DAIselfie.
The Book Fair Foundation is comprised of a group of civic-minded people who work together collecting books to support community charities, carrying on the good works the group began in 1970. They work all year collecting books, media and findings and resell those during their annual Book Fair held during the second weekend in November at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds.
Money raised from the sale of books is donated to selected Dayton-area nonprofit organizations. In 2017, proceeds from the sale will benefit the Artemis Center, Caesar’s Ford Theatre and Discover Classical -Dayton Public Radio.
Through the generosity and cooperation of Grismer Tires they are extending Round Up at every Grismer location in the Miami Valley, Springfield and Troy from Monday, May 15th through Monday, May 22nd. Just bring your books inside to the barrel in the waiting room– don’t forget to get your receipt and new bookmark from the Grismer staff while you’re there.
On Saturday, May 20th, they’ll also be at all their regular locations as well, from 10 am to 1 pm, and at our Book Loft Location, 2181 Embury Park Road, Dayton at least ’till 3 pm and probably longer.
Please note that we will not be collecting at Montgomery County Fairgrounds this spring, even though it said so in the ad– but we WILL be at Fairgrounds for our annual sale, this year September 8 -September 11, 2017.
The Book Fair Foundation is a 501c3 registered charity, and your donations are tax-deductible. Proceeds from this year’s sale benefit Artemis Center, Caesar’s Ford Theatre Company and Dayton Public Radio.
*They welcome donations of books, vinyl records, VHS, DVD, CDs, puzzles, board games, prints and maps.
And if you can’t manage to bring your donations to them, give them a call to ask about their free pick-up service at 937.999.4491.
Art Speaks Volumes
Open To: Artists with ties to the Greater Miami Valley
Commission Amount: $35,000 is budgeted for artwork at Woodbourne Library Entry Open Date: May 15, 2017
Entry Deadline: July 7, 2017
Commissions Announced: August 1, 2017
Projection Completion: June 1, 2018
Project Summary: Washington-Centerville Public Library seeks to commission site-specific pieces of artwork for four spaces within the renovated and expanded Woodbourne Library slated to reopen in the Summer of 2018.
Artists are invited to propose newly created artworks, of any medium, that reflect the communities of Centerville/Washington Township and the Modernist tradition of the building. Artists may propose more than one work if they so choose. Proposed artworks should resonate with people of all ages and backgrounds and contribute to the inviting, engaging and stimulating library environment. The committee welcomes, but does not require, submissions that relate to the Washington-Centerville Public Library’s mission to be the community’s connection to diverse opportunities for education, enrichment and entertainment.
From the submissions, a committee of local citizens and Library Trustees will select the winning artists. Winning artists will meet with Library staff, architects and construction representatives to confirm plans for the commission and will be required to sign a Letter of Agreement by September 2017 and complete the work by June 2018.
Centerville/Washington Township Community Background: Centerville/Washington Township is a well-educated suburban community of approximately 53,000 people. Known for its strong school district, parks and library system, it is an attractive community for families with children.
Centerville has the largest collection of early stone houses in the state of Ohio. They are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Downtown Centerville, also known as “The Heart of Centerville”, is an Architectural Preservation District that reflects the “Main Street” downtown era that shaped American towns and cities in the early 1900s. Many of the downtown buildings were built prior to World War I and represent diverse architectural styles rich in craftsmanship and detail.
Woodbourne Library Background: Woodbourne Library is an elegant, metal-frame building with perimeter posts supporting a roof overhang that shades set-back glass walls. Originally constructed in 1965 as a bank branch, the building is considered one of the most significant and beautiful Mid-Century Modernist buildings in Southwest Ohio.
The building was designed by Woodford (Woodie) Garber, one of Cincinnati’s most original Modernist architects. Garber designed some of the region’s most innovative buildings but over time his buildings have suffered considerably from neglect and demolition. The Woodbourne Library is now one of his rare buildings that survives intact and in good condition, despite its change in function over time.
Beginning in 2015, the Woodbourne Library began a transformation to take three separate parcels of land, owned by the Library, and make a unified campus that will serve more than 70,000 library cardholders. As part of this master plan, more parking and green spaces will be added; the existing Library will be completely renovated; and a 10,000 sq. foot expansion will be added. When finished, the Library will be approximately 30,000 sq. feet and have active and quiet zones that meet the needs of all library users. New amenities will include conference/meeting spaces in a variety of sizes, larger spaces for teens and children’s collections, and a creativity space.
Practical Considerations: The artwork must be durable, safe and easy to maintain. Potential locations for artwork include vaulted ceiling space near front entrance, a wall outside the Children’s Room, a ‘nook’ in the central marketplace and a wall in a quiet reading area. Some locations for artwork will be accessible to Library patrons. Renderings from LWC Architects can be found at the end of this RFP that illustrate these potential locations with their dimensions. Architectural plans are still subject to revision.
Submissions: Proposals will only be accepted electronically, in the form of a single pdf of no more than 10 pages and no more than 10 MB. Proposals for each art submission must include the following and be organized in the order below:
1. A sketch and narrative explanation of the proposed artwork
2. An explanation of the relationship between the proposed art and the community/building
3. Size range and suggested location for each proposed artwork
4. Four- six images of completed artwork, preferably of similar scale and material
5. Budget range for each proposed artwork
6. Brief artist CV or bio (1 page maximum)
Proposals and questions should be emailed to: [email protected]
Additional Information: The Library will hold a pre-proposal meeting for artists on June 6th, 4 PM at Centerville Library, 111 West Spring Valley Road, Centerville OH. LWC architects and Library representatives will be on hand with building plans and to answer questions.