Opening day today for the Dayton area’s 1st Raising Cane’s restaurant

Published: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 11:16 AM
Updated: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 6:41 AM

The competition among chicken restaurants is getting hotter across the Miami Valley

Today is opening day for Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers’ first Dayton-area location  at 1136 Miamisburg-Centerville Road in Washington Twp., the latest in a wave of new chicken restaurants across the region.

Raising Cane’s joins an increasingly competitive chicken-restaurant market, with most of the recent growth focused on Dayton’s south suburbs. Chick-fil-A has opened new locations in Kettering and the Cornerstone of Centerville center, and last year completed a $1 million makeover of its Washington Twp. restaurant. Locally based startup Mike’s Nashville Hot opened its first two restaurants in Austin Landing in Miami Twp. and on Ohio 48 in Washington Twp. And other chains such as Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen and Church’s Chicken have announced plans to add locations across the region. 

CHICKEN WARS: Dayton-area competition intensifies with new-restaurant openings

At the new Raising Cane’s, the first person in line when the restaurant opens at 10:30 a.m. today, June 28, will receive “Free Cane’s for a year,” in the form of a gift card good for one free “Box Combo” each week for 52 weeks and a $35 gift basket, a spokeswoman for Raising Cane’s Dayton-area franchisee said. Customers started lining up early in the week.

Bob Daniels of Beavercreek was first in line Tuesday at Raising Canes.(Rick McCrabb)

Bob Daniels of Beavercreek was the first in line on Tuesday evening. Sitting in a tent, Daniels said he got in line at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers confirms it’s coming to Dayton

Customers who come in during today’s grand opening Day will receive a “Raising Cane's Limited-Edition BBQ Spatula,” while supplies last, according to Andria Morgan, marketing manager for RCO Limited, Raising Cane’s Dayton-area franchisee. 

Other prizes and festivities include tickets to see a Columbus Crew soccer match for the first 10 people in line, and a live, on-site broadcast from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. from K99.1FM.  

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The site of the new restaurant in Washington Twp. most recently housed a Golden Dragon Buffet & Grill, and, before that, a Ryan’s Steakhouse. The former restaurant structure was demolished to pave the way for construction of the new Raising Cane’s.

The Ohio 725 restaurant will seat 92 inside and will employ 45 to 65, Morgan has said.

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Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers operates multiple restaurants in the Columbus and Cincinnati areas, and opened a restaurant in Fairfield in October 2016. Plans call for adding more Dayton-area locations, Morgan has said. Plans for a potential Beavercreek location are pending, according to city and restaurant officials.

Raising Cane’s opens new location in Fairfield

The Raising Cane’s chain prides itself on a limited menu and a simple concept, focused on chicken fingers, made “fresh, never frozen,” marinated for 24 hours, then battered and cooked to order. Also featured on the menu are crinkle-cut fries, cole slaw, Texas Toast and sauces that are made in-house each day.

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Dayton’s big role in boxing history — and 3 unforgettable moments

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Dayton History Fight Night returns to historic Memorial Hall on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. CONTRIBUTED
Dayton History Fight Night returns to historic Memorial Hall on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. CONTRIBUTED

Dayton History Fight Night returns to historic Memorial Hall on Saturday, Feb. 24.

But Fight Night isn’t the first time boxing was held at Memorial Hall. Numerous boxing legends once graced its historic stage. For much of the 20th century, boxing was the king of sports, and Dayton was a premier Midwest boxing city.

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Dozens of hard-hitting fighters, both amateur and professional, hailed from the Gem City and traveled the boxing circuit from New York to California. Local legends like Buddy Knox, Joe Sekyra, Joe Marinelli and Marion Condi duked it out at numerous Dayton arenas during the early 1920s and 1930s.

In 1935 the Dayton Daily News began hosting Golden Glove Tournaments, broadcasted across the city on WHIO radio. The Dayton Gymnastics Club and the Fraternal Order of the Eagles held weekly fights. Popular venues included the Fairgrounds Coliseum, the Patterson Boulevard outdoor arena, the Dayton Opera House, the Lakeside Park Pavilion, and the Westwood Field Gym.

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But Memorial Hall was the crown jewel of Dayton venues. Founded in 1910, it came of age during the heyday of boxing. Here are three famous moments in Memorial Hall boxing history:

Jack Dempsey meets Gene Tunney, October 1925, in Dayton. CONTRIBUTED(Dayton History)

Jack Dempsey meets Gene Tunney, October 1925

Jack Dempsey was an international sports legend in 1925. When he arrived at Memorial Hall in October of that year, it had been six years since he pummelled Jess Willard for the world heavyweight boxing title. It seemed no one could take The Manassa Mauler off his throne.

Eight months earlier, Dempsey had married Estelle Taylor, the silent film star famous for her roles in “Don Juan,” “Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall,” and “The Ten Commandments.” Their marriage fell apart in 1931, but not before Dempsey’s reign as world champ.

Gene Tunney snatched the belt from Dempsey in September 1926. While campaigning for that future fight, he followed Dempsey to Dayton to witness his Memorial Hall appearance. Throngs of cheering fans erupted as Tunney, the famed World War I Marine boxer, entered the venue in a black suit.

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Dempsey fought two exhibition matches against Ray Newman and Marty Cutler, but it was Tunney who stole the show. He entered the ring, shook hands with Dempsey, and the pair posed for a now-famous photo. It was the first time the renowned boxers entered the ring together. And it happened in Dayton.

Joe Louis, world heavyweight champion, visited Dayton in early 1935, when his star was still rising. CONTRIBUTED(Dayton History)

Joe Louis vs. Biff Bennett, April 22, 1935

Hellbent on breaking free from a life of hardship, Joe Louis became a professional boxer on Independence Day 1934. The man they called the “Brown Bomber” held the world heavyweight boxing championship for a record-setting 12 years, and he held the love of the American public forever. Louis was king of the ring from 1937–1949. But when he visited Dayton in early 1935, his star was still rising.

Louis faced Biff Bennett at Memorial Hall on April 22, 1935. With a 75-second first-round knockout, the crowd was witnessing a legend on the cusp of greatness. With the Dayton victory, Louis had amassed an incredible 19–0 record in less than one year of professional boxing. A bigger stage was on the horizon.

Considered by many to be the greatest boxing heavyweight of all time, Louis went 68–3 in professional fights, scoring 54 knockouts, including five in the first round. Poor Biff Bennett became one of Lewis’ first-round KO’s that April evening at Memorial Hall. Louis himself was on his way to becoming one of the greatest boxers of all time.

Boxing hall of fame member William Landon “Gorilla” Jones fought at Memorial Hall in Dayton on April 22, 1930. CONTRIBUTED(Dayton History)

Gorilla Jones vs. Tiger Roy Williams, April 22, 1930

William Landon Jones had a rough-and-tumble Memphis upbringing. It was one that taught him to fight. In later years, he used this skill to chauffeur and protect legendary actress Mae West, but it was his own legend as two-time world middleweight boxing champion that got him the gig.

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Nicknamed the “Gorilla” for his extraordinary 75-inch reach, Jones was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame posthumously in June 2009. He fought in 138 professional bouts, won 101, lost 24, drew 13, and knocked out 52 opponents. At Memorial Hall on April 22, 1930 — five years to the day before the great Joe Louis graced the same stage — Jones would suffer defeat.

Represented by Joe Glaser, a showbiz insider who also managed Louis Armstrong, Chicago boxer “Tiger” Roy Williams was a tough all-around contender. The Tiger had taken down Sammy Slaughter, Patsy Perroni, and many of the top middleweight contenders of the time. In Dayton he took down Jones — the man who would snatch the world middleweight title less than two years later.

From January to May of 1930, Williams went undefeated in eight consecutive Memorial Hall matches (one being a draw against Dayton’s own Joe Sekyra on Feb. 24, 1930). When Williams faced Jones, he would deliver the great fighter his second consecutive 10-round loss.

Gorilla Jones’ name would come to be more widely remembered, but that night in Dayton it was Williams, not Jones, who was the star.


Dayton History Fight Night is sponsored by Steve R. Rauch Inc. After training at Brown Institute of Martial Arts, amateur boxers go three rounds at the 108-year-old venue, and beer, wine, soft drinks, and snacks are available.

For the first time ever, Dave Greer’s Classic Jazz Stompers will be playing Dayton History Fight Night. Guests are encouraged to dress in their best 1920s outfits to match the theme of this historically inspired boxing event.

After the final bell tolls, the Fight Night Speakeasy After Party starts swinging in Memorial Hall’s lower level. Featuring a full-service bar and live entertainment from Funky G & The Groove Machine, attendees can mingle with fighters and dance the night away. All proceeds benefit Dayton History in its mission to bring the past to life to understand the present and inspire the future.


WHAT: Dayton History Fight Night

WHERE: Historic Memorial Hall, 121 E. First St.

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 24, Doors: 7 p.m., Fights: 8 p.m.

ADMISSION: $15 in advance, $20 at the door

TICKETS: (937) 293-2841, online at, and available at Carillon Historical Park, Carillon Brewing Co., Clash Gallery & Boutique, Brown Institute of Martial Arts, Brixx Ice Co., Old Scratch Pizza and Therapy Cafe

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‘School of Rock: The Musical’ is bigger than Jack Black — and here’s why you shouldn’t miss it

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 12:00 AM

The cast of the School of RockTour. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MATTHEW MURPHY
The cast of the School of RockTour. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MATTHEW MURPHY

Rob Colletti was a high school junior when the hit movie, “School of Rock,” came out. Now, 15 years later, he’s taking on the Jack Black role of Dewey Finn in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical version of the movie, which plays at the Aronoff Center throughout next weekend.

“I saw (the movie) when it came out,” Colletti said. “I was a huge Jack Black fan and I was also just hitting my stride in my musical discovery. I grew up with my dad playing that music, though his tastes were mellower. The movie added Black Sabbath.”

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Theodora Silverman and Rob Colletti in the School of Rock Tour. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MATTHEW MURPHY(Contributing Writer)

The story is familiar to many. Finn is a down-on-his-luck rock star wannabe living off his roommate. By chance, he lands a job as a substitute teacher, where he throws out the math textbooks and turns the classroom into a rock school. Naturally, Finn and the kids end up having more to teach each other than how to play The Doors in perfect harmony. According to Colletti, the musical expands greatly on the movie.

“There are two new levels of storytelling,” he said. “First, the relationship between Dewey and Rosalie, the principal, is amplified. There’s also a storyline about the kids, how they’re not listened to by their parents and how they’re being pushed into lives they didn’t choose. There’s a reason why the movie was two hours and the musical is two and a half. Even audiences who know the ending are surprised.”

In addition to retaining all of the classic rock songs from the movie, the Webber score adds 14 more songs.

“(The score) hearkens back to (Webber’s) ‘Jesus Christ Superstar,’ which was a rock opera,” Colletti said. “It’s all guitar, piano, bass and drums. There are no brass or woodwinds. It’s just a rock band in a pit. And the kids play songs onstage, too. I’ve never yet seen an audience that isn’t on their feet at the end.”

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Rob Colletti, in a role originated by Jack Black, portrays Dewey Finn in “School of Rock: The Musical.” CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

Because a major part of the movie’s appeal was Jack Black’s idiosyncratic brand of physical comedy, Colletti said he felt obligated to replicate that performance, but only to a certain extent.

“I’m very intent on not doing a Jack Black impression,” he said. “I’ll be building on what he did, because it’s iconic for a reason. But it wasn’t just him. If you look at old footage of Mick Jagger and Angus Young, you can see their physicality in (Black’s) performance. It was very specific and it just happened to fit his sense of humor.”

Colletti added that he’s applying his own life experiences to the trials that Finn endures.

“I’ve had my share of failure, too,” he said. “I’ve been dismissed, fired, told no. I use the implications of the lessons I’ve learned.”


What: “School of Rock: The Musical”

When: Feb. 22-March 4; 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday

Where: Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati

Cost: $30 and up

More Info: 513-621-2787 or

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Feeling inspired? Tackle your passion project with this Dayton workshop

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Participants in the pilot session of Gignite worked together for 8 weeks in 2017 on freelance businesses, hobbies, and long-term goals.
Olivia Barrow
Participants in the pilot session of Gignite worked together for 8 weeks in 2017 on freelance businesses, hobbies, and long-term goals.(Olivia Barrow)

Next week kicks off the Gignite incubator series in Dayton. Gignite is an 8-week incubator for side gigs, passion projects and hobbies. It was created and organized by former Dayton resident Olivia Barrow, a content marketer, entrepreneur and former journalist who worked at the Dayton Business Journal. 

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“We provide the time, space, accountability, and inspiration for you to turn those ‘one day I want to’ ideas into real projects,” Barrow said in an interview with Mad Works Co-Working

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A few years ago, Barrow watched her friends launch The Nucleus, Dayton’s first co-working space. At that time, Barrow knew she wanted to incorporate something like this into her work-life routine.  

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“Coworking really appealed to me. I craved collaboration and creative energy from a room full of entrepreneurs,” she said. 

But that opportunity didn’t arise for her until after she left the Gem City.

Soon after quitting her 9-to-5 job, Barrow joined co-working space 100state in Madison

“It has done wonders for my productivity and mental health -- I’m someone who can’t handle staying at home by myself all day,” she said.

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Gignite was then born out of the need for further collaboration among peers. 

“I wished that I could get a group of about 10 people to join me in making an 8-week commitment to spend three hours a week tackling our neglected side-gigs, hobbies and passion projects,” she said. 

Her wish was also her command. In fall of 2017, Gignite launched in Madison, Wisconsin with a pilot session of 11 members.

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The first session comes to Dayton next Monday, and will be hosted at The Nucleus with A.J. Ferguson, Director of UpDayton, facilitating the session. The session runs for three hours every Monday night, from Feb. 26 to April 16. 

For the first hour, A.J. will lead the group in activities designed to break the ice and build relationships -- as well as give everyone a little break to mentally prepare for the adjustment from work day to Gignite. 

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The pilot session included a party on week 8 to celebrate all of the group's accomplishments.(Olivia Barrow)

After discussion and activities, each participant will have up to two hours of “focus time.” Each week, A.J. will counsel each member about their project(s) — what did you accomplish this week, and what are your goals for the next week? 

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Group discussions and creative activities to build relationships and help move your project forward, light refreshments, paper and pens, potential future referrals, electrical outlets, wifi and uninterrupted focus time. On the eighth week, the group throws a party to celebrate their accomplishments. The cost is $150 up front, with a $50 refund if you meet the attendance requirements.

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Want to go?

WHAT: Gignite Incubator

WHERE: The Nucleus, 411 E 5th St., Dayton

HOURS: 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Mondays from Feb. 26-April 16

COST: $150 (you’ll receive a $50 refund if you meet attendance requirements)

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Top 10 things to do this week

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 12:00 AM

Vocalist Kathryn Rose will join the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Jeans N Classics rock ensemble for Tribute to the Brill Building Songwriters at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23 and 24. CONTRIBUTED
Vocalist Kathryn Rose will join the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Jeans N Classics rock ensemble for Tribute to the Brill Building Songwriters at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23 and 24. CONTRIBUTED

Looking for something to do this weekend? Look no further ...

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This year marks 50 years since the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company formed. Given that milestone, it’s no surprise the acclaimed arts group is taking the opportunity to look back at five decades of movement and magic with a number of events in 2018.

First on the agenda is “The Gathering: A DCDC Family Reunion” at the DCDC Studios, 840 Germantown St., Dayton, at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23. This program, which was originally booked at the Dayton Woman’s Club, features current dancers and former company members, choreographers, board members and administration. Cost: $25.

The celebration continues on Saturday, Feb. 24, when DCDC presents the winter concert “Reunited” at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Current and past members of the company will perform. Cost: $24.50-$47. Call 937-228-3630 or visit

>> DCDC celebrates 50 years with one-night special celebration

On the brink of its 50th anniversary season, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company is producing a one night only celebration of former dancers and current artists in its winter concert fittingly titled Reunited, which is slated Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Victoria Theatre. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)


Hits from the 1960s and 1970s composed by Neil Sedaka, Carole King, Burt Bacharach and other celebrated songwriters are the focus of the next installment of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra’s SuperPops Series. The Jeans ’N Classics rock ensemble will once again join the DPO for Tribute to the Brill Building Songwriters at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23 and 24. Cost: $13-$79. Call 937-228-3630 or visit


Each year, Dayton History gives interested area professionals a chance to step into the ring and display their skills during an amateur boxing exhibition. The annual Fight Night fundraiser with a 1920s flair is presented at Memorial Hall, 125 E. First St., Dayton, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24. Doors open at 7 p.m. Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Proceeds benefit Dayton History’s education programming and conservation efforts at Carillon Historical Park and other Dayton History sites. Call 937-293-2841 or visit

>> Local fighters will put their dukes up at Dayton History Fight Night

Dayton History Fight Night returns to historic Memorial Hall on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. CONTRIBUTED(Dayton History)


John Witherspoon’s main gig is stand-up comedian, but the veteran performer is responsible for some iconic characters on the big and small screens. He starred in sitcoms such as “The First Family” and “The Wayans Bros.” and has done voice work on animated hits like “Black Jesus” and “The Boondocks.” Witherspoon, who is probably best known as Mr. Jones in the popular “Fridays” film franchise, will reprise the role in the upcoming fourth and final film, “Last Friday.” The actor-comedian returns to town for performances at the Funny Bone Comedy Club, The Greene, 88 Plum St., Beavercreek, on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23 and 24. Show times are 7:30 and 10 p.m. Cost: $25-$57.80. Call 937-429-LAFF (5233) or visit

Actor-comedian John Witherspoon, whose diverse credits include The First Family, The Boondocks and the Fridays film franchise, returns to the Funny Bone Comedy Club at The Greene in Beavercreek on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23 and 24. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)


Rebecca Luker made her Broadway debut in 1988 as Christine in “Phantom of the Opera.” The Alabama native and three-time Tony Award-nominee has also appeared in plays such as “The Secret Garden,” “Mary Poppins” and “The Music Man.” She also appeared on television programs such as “Boardwalk Empire,” “Law & Order-SVU” and “Matlock.” Luker, who recently appeared on an episode of “NCIS: New Orleans” on CBS, performs at the Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., Dayton, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24. Cost: $65, which includes a post-show reception. The VIP ticket is $140 and includes admission to a 6:30 p.m. reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer. Call 937-228-3630 or visit

Three-time Tony Award nominee Rebecca Luker will sing the Golden Age of Broadway and more Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Loft Theatre. She will also participate in a master class and interview Friday, Feb. 23 in the Festival Playhouse of the Creative Arts Center at Wright State University. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY LAURA MARIE DUNCAN(Contributing Writer)

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Whether you’re hoping to boost your curb appeal or update your interior living space, there will be plenty of experts to provide guidance during the Miami County Home & Garden Show at Hobart Arena, 255 Adams St., Troy, Friday through Sunday, Feb. 23 through 25. The event, presented by the Western Ohio Home Builders Association, features plumbers, landscape architects, interior decorators, general contractors and other specialists to help you reinvent your living space. Show hours are 2 to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $5 adults in advance, $6 at the door, free for children 12 and younger. Call 937-339-2911 or visit

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The members of Lynyrd Skynyrd may have recently announced the band was embarking on its farewell tour in May but that doesn’t mean southern rock is dead. A new generation of acts like Blackberry Smoke and Whiskey Myers is keeping the genre alive. Whiskey Myers — performing with Muscadine Bloodline at Oddbody’s Music Room, 5418 Burkhardt Road, Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23 — has been trafficking in its own Texas-bred blend of southern rock since 2007. The band’s latest album, “Mud,” was released in September 2016. Cost: $20-$25. Call 937-813-4272 or visit

New day southern rockers Whiskey Myers performs with Muscadine Bloodline at Oddbody s Music Room in Dayton on Friday, Feb. 23. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)


“The Color Purple: The Musical” is the powerfully engaging stage play based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. The original production received 11 2006 Tony Award nominations. The book also spawned the Oscar-nominated film adaptation by Steven Spielberg. A new production of the show opened at La Comedia Dinner Theatre, 765 W. Central Ave., Springboro, on Thursday, Feb. 22. Show times are 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Cost: $61-$75 adults, $30 children 11 and younger. “The Color Purple” is presented through April 15. Call 937-746-4554 or visit


David Deitrick, who has been musical director for The Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra since October 2014, has programmed a set of Broadway favorites for An Evening of Rodgers & Hammerstein Classics. The concert, at Dayton Masonic Center, 525 W. Riverview Ave., Dayton, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 24 and 25, features selections from “The Sound of Music,” “Carousel,” “Oklahoma” and other shows. The repertoire includes popular songs such as “My Favorite Things,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” and “I Whistle a Happy Tune.” Show times are 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $20 adults, $18 students and seniors. Call 937-530-0515 or visit


Although he spent time living and performing in New York, Mark Chalifoux never lost the laidback Midwestern demeanor he developed growing in the suburbs of Cincinnati. The comic, who recently moved back to Ohio, performs at Wiley’s Comedy Joint, 101 Pine St., Dayton, on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23 and 24. Chalifoux is currently developing material for his debut comedy album, which he’ll record later this year for Audible. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday, and 7:15 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Cost: $10. Call 937-224-5653 or visit

Comic Mark Chalifoux, who is currently developing material for his debut comedy album for Audible, performs at Wiley s Comedy Joint in Dayton on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23 and 24. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

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