On Stage Dayton

‘The Trip to Bountiful’ Review –Dayton Theatre Guild – Homeward Bound

Carrie Watts, a feisty widow, takes matters into her own hands by embarking on a bittersweet journey to her past in Horton Foote’s tender, touching drama “The Trip to Bountiful,” set in 1953 Texas and admirably presented by the Dayton Theatre Guild through Sunday, May 1.   Before Carrie (Gayle Smith) ventures on her titular excursion to her childhood home, which is the absolute heart and soul of the play, Foote humorously reminds us why on earth she’d want to take such a leap of faith. It seems as if she’s simply had enough of being a bother, a sheer inconvenience, to her dutiful son … [Read more...]

WSU Spring Dance Concert Feature Premiere Of Six Works

The Wright State Dance Ensemble will premiere six works and feature dances by nationally known guest choreographers Jon Lehrer, of Lehrer Dance, and Greg Robinson during its annual Spring Dance Concert. Performances take place in the Festival Playhouse in the Creative Arts Center on Thursday, April 21, at 7 pm; Friday and Saturday, April 22 and 23, at 8pm; and Sunday, April 24, at 2 pm. The concert will feature eight varied pieces reflecting the breadth and vision of the Dance Program, as well as guest works by the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II and Dayton Ballet II. “The … [Read more...]

‘One Slight Hitch’ Review – Human Race Theatre Company – Wedding Woes

Cuteness abounds inside the Loft Theatre as the Human Race Theatre Company presents the second professional production of comedian Lewis Black’s comedy “One Slight Hitch.” The play’s Cincinnati setting is cute. The notion of a summer wedding is cute. A slacker ex-boyfriend provoking chaos is cute. A precocious teenager grooving to music on her Walkman is cute. But conceptual issues dampen this flimsy, problematic farce which transpires like an overlong “Saturday Night Live” sketch pushing hard for laughs and relying heavily on nostalgia for appeal. Directed by Margarett Perry and … [Read more...]

‘The Wild Party’ Review – Dare to Defy Productions – Revenge & Revelry

Dare to Defy Productions terrifically explores the brutal depths of an extremely complicated relationship in its vibrant and sexy presentation of Andrew Lippa’s 2000 off-Broadway musical “The Wild Party,” adapted from Joseph Moncure March’s 1928 narrative poem of the same name and staged inside the Mathile Theatre of the Schuster Center.   In this Prohibition-era New York tale, Queenie, a sultry dancer, and Burrs, a vaudeville comedian, are dangerous, abusive lovers who have reached an emotional breaking point but can’t bear to live without each other. It’s a messy game, a … [Read more...]

‘Reasons to Be Pretty’ Review – Playground Theatre – Slip of the Tongue

Words hurt. And when it comes to waging a war of words, you can always count on masterfully raw playwright Neil LaBute to go for the jugular. Case in point: “Reasons to Be Pretty,” his vicious yet thought-provoking 2009 Tony Award-nominated tale of relationships gone bad currently receiving a knockout local premiere in the Mathile Theatre of the Schuster Center courtesy of Playground Theatre. Lights up: Greg and Steph, arguing to the profane hilt, explosively dismantle their four-year relationship over an off-the-cuff comment Greg told his best friend Kent about Steph’s appearance. What … [Read more...]

‘The Music Man’ Review – Wright State University – Amazing Americana

Threats of trouble arouse the small town of River City, Iowa in Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey’s classic 1957 Tony Award-winning musical comedy “The Music Man,” but there are no signs of distress in Wright State University’s fantastic presentation running through April 3 in the Festival Playhouse. In this exceedingly charming tale about a con artist reawakening love and possibility within a vulnerable community in July 1912, a first-rate Nathan Robert Pecchia leads the way as Professor Harold Hill, a traveling salesman who decides to go back into his bag of tricks during a seemingly … [Read more...]

‘The Bridges of Madison County’ Review – Victoria Theatre Association – Sublime Desire

A handsome stranger forever changes the life of an Italian-born Iowa housewife in “The Bridges of Madison County,” a gloriously romantic heartbreaker of a musical written in 2014 by composer/lyricist Jason Robert Brown (“Parade”) and librettist Marsha Norman (“The Secret Garden”) based on the 1992 best-seller by Robert James Waller. As evidenced in its sublime regional premiere at the Schuster Center courtesy of the Victoria Theatre Association’s Premier Health Broadway Series, “Bridges,” set in Winterset, Iowa in 1965 and the following years, remains an impactful, fascinating and complex … [Read more...]

Take a fresh look at ‘Bridges of Madison County’

In yet another remarkable instance of Dayton’s big-city-small-town dynamic, we witness the wealth of arts found in large metros that’s still accessible for all potential audiences. Now through March 20, the touring cast of The Bridges of Madison County will be performing at the Schuster Center in Dayton as its makes its limited run around the country. Dayton is fortunate to land one of these few performances, and tickets start at just $25. Those who are familiar with the story of Bridges will find the musical closely follows, but takes some creative departures. Here with their … [Read more...]

Dancing Bodies and Melodic Voices Come Together

Musica, Dayton’s Chamber Choir, is partnering with the Dance Department at Stivers School for the Arts to present Body & Voices, a program utilizing the talents of both musicians and dancers.   The Musica ensemble will be under the direction of Artistic Director, Dr. Jeffery Stern and the Stivers dancers are under the direction of Adjunct Faculty and Choreographer, Rodney Veal. The Body & Voices concert will capture the spirit and convey the story of the American Civil War through song and movement. Our program tells this story in four sections: a study of one of the most … [Read more...]

‘Slowgirl’ Review –Dayton Theatre Guild – Redemptive Reunion

Greg Pierce’s quietly compelling 2012 two-hander “Slowgirl,” a contemporary tale of reunion and redemption, has received a terrific local premiere at the Dayton Theatre Guild.   Delicately directed by Rick Flynn, this character study examines the loving yet stained relationship between retired lawyer Sterling (Peter Wallace) and his 17-year-old niece Becky (Jenna Gomes). The relatively content Sterling moved to the tiny town of Los Angeles, Costa Rica following his divorce and a highly publicized bad business deal. He is unexpectedly thrust into parental mode when Becky, suspended from … [Read more...]