Can’t wait to see ‘Hamilton’? 5 reasons to see ‘In the Heights’ this week in Dayton

Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

2008 Tony Award-winning Best Musical In The Heights, conceived and composed by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, opens the Victoria Theatre Association’s Premier Health Broadway Series Oct. 3-8 at the Schuster Center. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Contributing Writer
2008 Tony Award-winning Best Musical In The Heights, conceived and composed by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, opens the Victoria Theatre Association’s Premier Health Broadway Series Oct. 3-8 at the Schuster Center. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO(Contributing Writer)

If you’ve ever wondered what makes “Hamilton” a cultural game-changer, check out Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 2008 Tony Award-winning hip-hop/pop musical “In the Heights” —currently presented at the Schuster Center courtesy of the Victoria Theatre Association and Minnesota’s Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in collaboration with Teatro del Pueblo.

Here are five reasons why you should see Miranda’s entertaining and eye-opening account of diversity, legacy and home, nominated for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

>> The story behind “In the Heights” coming to Dayton

IN THE HEIGHTS: Oct. 3-8,2017, Schuster Center: See another hit production from the mastermind behind “Hamilton: An American Musical.” This four-time Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of a vibrant community in a New York neighborhood. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions to take with you and which ones you leave behind. SUBMITTED(Staff Writer)

 

1. UNIVERSAL STORY. 

Featuring a book by Quiara Alegría Hudes and co-directed by Alberto Justiniano and James A. Rocco, “In the Heights” weaves multiple stories and dreams of the Upper Manhattan Latino community of Washington Heights in New York City.

Centered on bodega (grocery store) owner Usnavi, the musical strikes a relatable chord in its depiction of close-knit individuals.

This colorful community takes care of their families, have deep pride in their neighborhood, have deep pride in their native homeland (Usnavi has roots in the Dominican Republic), rejoice in the successes of their neighbors, and struggle to make ends meet while longing for better opportunities.

When one of them suddenly wins the lottery, hope is renewed and celebrated. No matter where you were raised or whether or not you took Spanish in high school, you will find something in their journey to connect with. 

“In the Heights,” the story of a neighborhood in transition, will come to the Schuster Center. SUBMITTED PHOTO BY RICH RYAN(Staff Writer)

 

2. RELEVANT INCLUSIVITY 

Looking back, when this show opened the door for diversity on Broadway unlike ever before, planting the progressive seeds of what would become “Hamilton,” its depiction of immigration was ahead of its time.

The national discussion was simply not where it is today. So, hearing the story of Abuela Claudia, the grandmother who raised Usnavi, is a powerful moment with a more gripping impact now. In “Paciencia Y Fe” (Patience and Faith), Claudia details her upbringing in Cuba and arriving in New York in December 1943 to ultimately find employment as a maid.

“Nueva York was far, but Nueva York had work, and so we came,” she exclaims. Claudia’s pursuit of the American Dream cannot be discounted and is inspiring.

“I am thrilled to be working on a story that encapsulates the strength of a Latino community who, when its very existence is jeopardized, musters the guts to celebrate its cultural pride as an act of defiance,” said Justiniano. 

>> When will “Hamilton” come to Dayton?

The character of Usnavi de la Vega originally played by Miranda will be played by Justin Gregory Lopez. He is pictured on the left. SUBMITTED PHOTO BY RICH RYAN(Staff Writer)

 

3. DYNAMIC SCORE 

Miranda’s gifted knack for hip-hop wordplay and creating moments with depth and soul that feel like throwbacks to classic musicals is evident throughout his Tony-winning score.

For example, the opening title song introduces Washington Heights on par with “Tradition” from “Fiddler on the Roof,” and flavorful ensemble numbers “The Club” and “Carnaval del Barrio” respectively recall the joy of “Havana” from “Guys and Dolls” and “Dance at the Gym” from “West Side Story.”

“Lin is always in tune with identifying who should express themselves,” said original “In the Heights” director Thomas Kail. 

>> The 10 arts events you will regret missing this season

 

4. LIVELY CHOREOGRAPHY 

Directors Alberto Justiniano and James A. Rocco provide exuberant routines with street-inspired and salsa-driven movement clearly aiding the look and feel of the story. The aforementioned “Carnaval del Barrio” is a particular knockout. 

>> 10 shows you can’t miss in October

“In the Heights,” which comes to the Schuster Center Oct. 2-8, is a collaboration between two Minneapolis theaters. SUBMITTED PHOTO BY RICH RYAN(Staff Writer)

 

5. ENGAGING PERFORMANCES 

Last week, an Australian production of “In the Heights” was canceled due to controversial whitewashing or inauthentic casting. Thankfully, Dayton audiences are treated to a terrifically authentic and very engaging cast wonderfully led by Justin Gregory Lopez as Usnavi. Breezily rapping without missing a beat while full of wit and energy, Lopez absolutely charms. Equally noteworthy are Aline Mayagoitia as soul-searching student Nina, Lauren Villegas as gossipy nail salon owner Daniela, Emily Madigan as Daniela’s ditzy sidekick Carla, Stephen Scott Wormley as Nina’s love interest Benny, and Debra Cardona as Abuela Claudia. 

 

WANT TO GO?

What: “In the Heights” 

Where: Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton 

When: Through Oct. 8. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday 

Cost: $25-$98 

Tickets/more info: Call Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com

The 10 shows you can’t miss in October

Published: Sunday, October 01, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Erica Lynn Bridge (center) and the cast of La Comedia Dinner Theatre’s production of the musical Mamma Mia!, featuring a slew of hits from 1970s pop icons ABBA. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Erica Lynn Bridge (center) and the cast of La Comedia Dinner Theatre’s production of the musical Mamma Mia!, featuring a slew of hits from 1970s pop icons ABBA. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Here are 10 can’t-miss stage shows this month.

IN THE HEIGHTS

Oct. 3-8, Schuster Center

“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda won a 2008 Tony Award for writing the score for this diverse showcase of hip-hop and Latin rhythms centered on the universal hopes and dreams of the Washington Heights community in New York City. 

>> The story behind “In the Heights” coming to Dayton

>> When will “Hamilton” come to Dayton?

Tuesday-Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton. Tickets are $25-$98. Call (937) 228-3630 or visit ticketcenterstage.com. 

“In the Heights,” which comes to the Schuster Center Oct. 2-8, is a collaboration between two Minneapolis theaters. SUBMITTED PHOTO BY RICH RYAN(Staff Writer)

MARJORIE PRIME

Oct. 6-22, Dayton Theatre Guild

Dayton Theatre Guild presents the local premiere of Jordan Harrison’s 2015 Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama. Set in the age of artificial intelligence, the play examines loss, memory, identity and technology as an 85-year-old widow copes with the death of her husband through the use of a computer program known as a prime.

Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 5 p.m. (with exception of Oct. 7 at 8 p.m.), and Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Dayton Theatre Guild, 430 Wayne Ave., Dayton. Call (937) 278-5993 or visit daytontheatreguild.org.

PAVLO

Oct. 17, Centerville High School

The Miami Valley Community Concert Association presents the eclectic sounds of this internationally renowned and award-winning recording artist. The Toronto native, born to Greek parents, considers his musical aesthetic to be a blend of Greek, flamenco, Latin, and Balkan influences meshed into contemporary pop.

Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Centerville High School, 500 E. Franklin St., Centerville. Tickets are $30 for adults and $5 for students (first grade through college). Call Carol Heine at (937) 938-1109 or Gwen Brubaker at (937) 297-0463 or visit mvcconcert.org.

(left to right) Tabatha Wharton, Christopher Hahn and A.J. Breslin star in Playground Theatre’s production of Stephen Belber’s dark drama Tape, a story of friends finally facing up to the truth. PHOTO BY KNACK CREATIVE(Contributing Writer)

TAPE

Oct. 19-22, Schuster Center

Millennial-driven Playground Theatre, one of the most progressive troupes in town, opens its season with Stephen Belber’s dark drama concerning motive and truth centered on old friends coming to terms with the past.

Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. inside the Mathile Theatre of the Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton. Tickets are $15-$20. Call (937) 228-3630 or visit ticketcenterstage.com.

THE CONSUL

Oct. 20 and 22, Schuster Center

Dayton Opera presents the company premiere of Gian Carlo Menotti’s thought-provoking 1950 Pulitzer Prize-winning work concerning “the struggle for freedom against oppression and the maddening nature of unrelenting bureaucracy.” Sung in English with English surtitles.

>> The 10 arts events you will regret missing this season

Friday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton. Tickets are $28-$94. Call (937) 228-3630 or visit ticketcenterstage.com.

MYSTIC INDIA: WORLD TOUR

Oct. 26, Schuster Center

Hooray for Bollywood! This colorful extravaganza, a special Star Attractions courtesy of the Victoria Theatre Association, features an assortment of dancers, musicians, aerialists, and acrobats in a display of authentic Indian and modern styles.

Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton. Tickets are $25-$60. Call (937) 228-3630 or visit ticketcenterstage.com.

Dayton Ballet’s 80th anniversary season kicks off with The Great Gatsby Oct. 26-29 at the Victoria Theatre. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO(Contributing Writer)

THE GREAT GATSBY

Oct. 26-29, Victoria Theatre

Dayton Ballet’s 80th anniversary season begins as choreographer Ron Cunningham, Artistic Director of Sacramento Ballet, illuminates F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tale of wealthy Jay Gatsby and the lovely Daisy Buchanan. This ballet premiered at Sacramento Ballet in February 2013 and will feature live music by Billy Nivock’s Blue Syncopators and blues singer Felita LaRock with narration by Human Race Resident Artist Jamie Cordes as Nick Carraway. Thursday at 7:30 p.m.,

Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton. Tickets are $14-$72. Call (937) 228-3630 or visit ticketcenterstage.com.

BAT BOY: THE MUSICAL

Oct. 27-Nov. 3, Schuster Center

Dare to Defy Productions ushers in Halloween with the “Weekly World News” legend of Bat Boy, an irreverent account of the half-boy, half-bat who sends a fictional West Virginia town into a complete frenzy. This hilariously edgy 2001 off-Broadway pop/rock musical featuring catchy songs by Laurence O’Keefe (“Legally Blonde”) particularly includes an inspired nod to “Pygmalion.” Oct. 27 at 8 p.m., Oct. 28 at 2 and 8 p.m., and Nov. 3 at 8 p.m.

Oct. 27 at 8 p.m., Oct. 28 at 2 and 8 p.m., and Nov. 3 at 8 p.m.in the Mathile Theatre of the Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton. Tickets are $16.50-$25. Call (937) 228-3630 or visit ticketcenterstage.com.

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN

Oct. 27-Nov. 5, Beavercreek Community Theatre

This kooky musical comedy based on Mel Brooks’ classic 1974 film retains the spirit of the original (Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ on the Ritz” is an Act 2 signature) while incorporating new songs by Brooks including “Please Don’t Touch Me,” “He Vas My Boyfriend” and “The Brain.” Contains adult language and situations.

Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Lofino Center, 3868 Dayton-Xenia Rd., Beavercreek. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. Call (937) 429-4737 or visit bctheatre.org.

From left: Karie-Lee Sutherland (Tanya), Becky Barrett-Jones (Donna) and Britte Steele (Rosie) appear in La Comedia Dinner Theatre s production of Mamma Mia! through Oct. 28 in Springboro. (Contributed photo)(Contributing Writer)

MAMMA MIA!

Through Oct. 28, La Comedia Dinner Theatre

There’s still time to catch one of the most highly entertaining and exuberant shows in La Comedia history. “Mamma Mia!,” the jukebox musical built on an ABBA foundation, features a terrific Becky Barrett-Jones as hard-working hotel proprietor Donna Sheridan and knockout triple threat Erica Lynn Bridge as Donna’s daughter Sophie who longs to know the identity of her father as her wedding approaches. Barrett-Jones’ “The Winner Takes it All” and Bridge’s “The Name of the Game” are musical standouts.

From left: Karie-Lee Sutherland (Tanya), Becky Barrett-Jones (Donna) and Britte Steele (Rosie) appear in La Comedia Dinner Theatre s production of Mamma Mia! through Oct. 28 in Springboro. (Contributed photo)(Contributing Writer)

>> 5 reasons you won’t want to miss this Mamma Mia!

Evening performances (arrival time 5:30-6 p.m.) and matinees (arrival time 10:30-11 a.m.). Cost is $61-$75. Prices based on section/tiered seating. La Comedia Dinner Theatre, Rt. 73, 765 W. Central Ave., Springboro. Call (937) 746-4554 or 1-800-677-9505 or visit lacomedia.com.

Jeff Dunham’s new comedy tour includes a stop in Dayton

Published: Monday, September 18, 2017 @ 10:43 AM

Jeff Dunham controls (from left) Peanut, Achmed the Dead Terrorist and Walter. Or do they control him? CONTRIBUTED
Jeff Dunham controls (from left) Peanut, Achmed the Dead Terrorist and Walter. Or do they control him? CONTRIBUTED

Comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham is bringing his cast of characters on the road for his 60-city Passively Aggressive tour, which includes a Jan. 14, 2018 stop at Wright State University’s Nutter Center.

Tickets for the show will go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 25 at the Nutter Center box office and www.ticketmaster.com.

>> The 10 arts events you will regret missing this season

Comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham is bringing his cast of characters on the road for his 60-city Passively Aggressive tour, which includes a Jan. 14, 2018 stop at Wright State University’s Nutter Center. CONTRIBUTED

Dunham just released his latest stand-up special, “Jeff Dunham: Relative Disaster,” on Netflix this

month.

>> New owners have big plans for this Dayton comedy club

Dunham holds the Guinness World Record for “Most Tickets Sold for a Stand-up Comedy

Tour.”

Dunham will be recognized on Sept. 21 when he receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The old, the new and even the risky on area stages this season

Published: Sunday, September 17, 2017 @ 6:00 AM


            (left to right) Tabatha Wharton, A.J. Breslin and Christopher Hahn portray old friends with a secret in Playground Theatre’s production of edgy drama “Tape” Oct. 19-22 in the Mathile Theatre of the Schuster Center. (Photo by Knack Creative)
(left to right) Tabatha Wharton, A.J. Breslin and Christopher Hahn portray old friends with a secret in Playground Theatre’s production of edgy drama “Tape” Oct. 19-22 in the Mathile Theatre of the Schuster Center. (Photo by Knack Creative)

Familiar favorites and exciting area premieres are in store as local theaters enter the 2017-18 season.

The Victoria Theatre Association supplies a great roster of national tours ranging from Tony-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s stunning dance extravaganza “An American in Paris” to a freshly revitalized version of “The Sound of Music” (brilliantly refocused by Tony-winning “Hairspray” director Jack O’Brien).

The Human Race Theatre Company launches with the American premiere of buzzworthy musical “Legendale,” but also aims to please with local premieres of “The House” and “Sex with Strangers.”

Dare to Defy Productions, a haven for musicals, balances family-friendly fare (“Little Women”) with edgier titles (“Bat Boy,” “The Who’s Tommy”).

Playground Theatre, focused on relevant millennial-driven stories, will particularly push the envelope with its local premiere of the risqué drama “Bachelorette,” which has been touted as one of the riskiest shows produced thus far from the continually impressive troupe.

On collegiate stages, Wright State University entertains with traditional tastes in mind due to such classics as “You Can’t Take it With You,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and “The Grapes of Wrath.” Sinclair Community College, bolstered this season by its newly renovated Blair Hall Theatre, embraces the African-American experience with “Blues for an Alabama Sky” and “Blood at the Root.” The University of Dayton will shed light on social justice (“Unfinished”) and also provide a world premiere musical concerning the founding of the Marianists (“Spectacle”).

Across the broad spectrum of community theaters, Actor’s Theatre of Fairborn returns after a lengthy hiatus with “Of Mice and Men,” Beavercreek Community Theatre presents Stephen Sondheim’s groundbreaking “Company,” and the Dayton Theatre Guild offers five local premieres including Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama “Marjorie Prime” and acclaimed off-Broadway and regional hit drama “The Christians.”

THEATER

PROFESSIONAL

Victoria Theatre Association

Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, and Victoria Theatre, First and Main streets, Dayton. (937) 228-3630 or ticketcenterstage.com.

facebook.com/VictoriaTheatreAssociation

twitter.com/VictoriaTheatre

pinterest.com/vtadayton

The Victoria Theatre Association, which operates the Victoria Theatre, Schuster Center and Loft Theatre, presents more than 300 professional performances annually for all ages, most notably the popular Broadway Series, which brings national tours to town direct from New York.

Season tickets: Broadway Series: Tickets start at $240; Family Series: $40 for four shows, $50 for five shows; National Geographic Live!: Tickets start at $66; Single tickets vary

PREMIER HEALTH PARTNERS BROADWAY SERIES

  • Oct. 3-8: “In the Heights”
  • Nov. 7-12: “An American in Paris”
  • Feb. 13-18, 2018: “The Sound of Music”
  • March 20-25, 2018: “Something Rotten!”
  • April 11-22, 2018: “The Phantom of the Opera”
  • May 22-27, 2018: “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical”

PROJECTS UNLIMITED STAR ATTRACTIONS

  • Oct. 24: “Alton Brown Live – Eat Your Science”
  • Oct. 26: “Mystic India: The World Tour”
  • Nov. 28-29: “A Christmas Carol”
  • Nov. 29: “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas”
  • Dec. 3: “The Illusionists Present Adam Trent”
  • Dec. 12-17: “A Christmas Story”
  • March 17, 2018: “Steep Canyon Rangers”

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE SERIES

  • Jan. 28-29, 2018: Mireya Mayor: “Pink Boots and a Machete”
  • Feb. 18-19, 2018: Bertie Gregory: “A Wild Life”
  • March 11-12, 2018: Terry Virts: “View From Above”

MORRIS FURNITURE CO. INC. FAMILY SERIES

  • Nov. 4: “How I Became a Pirate”
  • Jan. 20, 2018: “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”
  • March 3, 2018: “Step Afrika”
  • March 18, 2018: “Go, Dog. Go!” (Sensory-Friendly)
  • April 7, 2018: “Journey to Oz”
  • April 8, 2018: “Journey to Oz” (Sensory-Friendly)
  • May 5, 2018: “The Olate Dogs Variety Show”

UNIVERSAL 1 CREDIT UNION VIC150 MUSIC SERIES

  • Oct. 15: Mary Chapin Carpenter
  • Nov. 1: Kansas
  • March 4, 2018: Dailey & Vincent
  • April 13, 2018: Rodney Crowell

UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON CENTER FOR LEADERSHIP SPEAKER SERIES

  • Oct. 17: Cy Wakeman: Reality Based Leadership”
  • Feb. 6, 2018: Tim Sanders: “Genius is a Team Sport”
  • April 11, 2018: Jon Gordon: “The Energy Bus”

The Victoria says:

“I think this season’s Premier Health Broadway Series is one of – if not THE– strongest Broadway series we have presented in many, many years. We start with ‘In the Heights,’ Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first Tony Award-winning musical, then move on to Gershwin and the city of light in the simply beautiful production of ‘An American in Paris.’ Next, a newly conceived production of ‘The Sound of Music’ brings new life to this classic, followed by the truly funny musical ‘Something Rotten!’ Bigger and better than ever, ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ returns to Dayton in April, and, we finish the season with ‘Beautiful – The Carole King Musical.’ I mean, WOW! I am truly excited to see all of these productions and I hope Miami Valley audiences enjoy every single minute.” — VTA President & CEO Ken Neufeld

Human Race Theatre Company

Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., Dayton. (937) 228-3630 or humanracetheatre.org

facebook.com/HumanRaceTheatre

twitter.com/HRTC_Dayton

YouTube.com/HumanRaceTheatre

The Human Race Theatre Company is Dayton’s only professional regional theater and has particularly championed many new plays and musicals. Universal storytelling is a key component in its programming as the organization attempts to produce shows that touch emotions and remind audiences “why we are here.”

Season tickets: $54-$206; Single tickets vary

  • Sept. 7-Oct. 1: “Legendale – A New Musical”
  • Nov. 2-19: “The House”
  • Feb. 1-18, 2018: “Sex with Strangers”
  • April 5-22, 2018: “Brighton Beach Memoirs”
  • April 19-May 13, 2018: “Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End”
  • May 31-June 24, 2018: “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised]”

The Human Race says:

“The Human Race is Dayton’s ‘Official Professional Theatre Company,’ producing incredible entertainment while sharing stories that explore our humanity for 31 years. Join us as we bring life to new works, share the best of current American theatre and re-invent the classics.” — Human Race President & Artistic Director Kevin Moore

Dare to Defy Productions

Mathile Theatre of the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton

Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main. St, Dayton (937) 228-3630 or d2defy.com

facebook.com/Dare-to-Defy-Productions-LLC

Dare to Defy Productions thrives from an ambitious mindset balancing recognizable and relatively unknown contemporary musicals.

Season tickets: $155; Single tickets: $23.50-$53.50

  • Oct. 27-Nov. 3: “Bat Boy: The Musical”
  • Dec. 1-9: “Little Women”
  • Jan. 12-20, 2018: “The Who’s Tommy”
  • April 13-21, 2018: “Tick Tick Boom!”
  • May 18-19, 2018: “The Wedding Singer”

La Comedia Dinner Theatre

765 W. Central Ave., Springboro. (937) 746-4554 or lacomedia.com

facebook.com/lacomediadinnertheatre

Celebrating 40 years, La Comedia Dinner Theatre has established a long tradition of quality productions, featuring New York and local talent, and tasty food including certain dishes that represent the “flavor” of the show.

Season tickets: $231-$420; Single tickets: $35-$54

  • Aug. 24-Oct. 28: “Mamma Mia!”
  • Nov. 1-Dec. 31: “Timeless Memories of Christmas”
  • Jan. 11-Feb. 18, 2018: “Smoke on the Mountain”
  • Feb. 22-April 15, 2018: “The Color Purple”
  • May 3-June 24, 2018: “Little Shop of Horrors”

Magnolia Theatre Company

Mathile Theatre of the Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton

magnoliatheatrecompany.com

facebook.com/MagnoliaTheatreCompany

instagram.com/magnolia_theatre_company

Founded in 2012 by Gina Handy, Magnolia Theatre Company is dedicated to promoting female-driven plays with a fresh, funky and feminine vibe.

Single tickets: $15-$20

Schedule TBA

Playground Theatre

Mathile Theatre, Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton.

theplaygroundtheatre.org

facebook.com/playgroundDYT

Playground Theatre is dedicated to compelling stories reflecting the relatable emotions and struggles of millennials. The troupe stages fresh new works from some of today’s most established and promising playwrights.

Single tickets: $15-$20

  • Oct. 19-22: “Tape”
  • Jan. 4-7, 2018: “The Tutors”
  • March 8-11, 2018: “Bachelorette”

Playground Theatre says:

“We’re growing and evolving every season. We’re pushing the boundaries and taking risks. This season we’re exploring the seven deadly sins such as envy, sloth, wrath, and gluttony.” — Jenna Valyn and Christopher Hahn, Playground Co-Founders

Springfield Arts Council

Clark State Performing Arts Center, 300 S. Fountain Ave., Springfield.

(937) 328-3874 or springfieldartscouncil.org

facebook.com/SpringfieldArtsCouncil

twitter@ArtsSpringfield

Springfield Arts Council delivers national tours and concerts annually while also promoting community-building through the performing arts.

Season tickets: $155-$230; Single tickets: $35-$55

  • Sept. 30: “Sing-A-Long Grease”
  • Oct. 21: The Carpenters Tribute featuring Michelle Whited
  • Dec. 2: The Midtown Men – Holiday Hits
  • Feb. 10, 2018: Waylon, Willie, Cash: Outlaws and Highwaymen
  • March 16, 2018: The Celtic Tenors
  • April 28, 2018: Glen Burtnik’s Summer of Love

Clark State Performing Arts Center Series

Clark State Performing Arts Center, 300 S. Fountain Ave., Springfield.

(937) 328-3874 or pac.clarkstate.edu/events

  • Sept. 23: “Decades Rewind”
  • Oct. 1: Marshall Tucker Band
  • Oct. 6: Julie Fowlis
  • Oct. 7: MasterWorks I – Gavin George
  • Oct. 14: Black Violin
  • Oct. 21: The Carpenters Tribute featuring Michelle Whited
  • Nov. 2: “Kinky Boots”
  • Nov. 9. “Elf – The Musical”
  • Nov. 18: NightLights I – “Cirque Musica’s Heroes and Villains”
  • Dec. 2: The Midtown Men – Holiday Hits
  • Dec. 9: “The Illusionists – Live From Broadway”
  • Jan. 10, 2018: “Cabaret”
  • Jan. 20, 2018: NightsLights II – The Shimasaki Sisters
  • Jan. 27, 2018: Cristina Pato
  • Feb. 2, 2018: Central State University Choir
  • Feb. 9, 2018: Diavolo L.O.S.T.
  • Feb. 10, 2018: Waylon, Willie, Cash: Outlaws and Highwaymen
  • Feb. 17, 2018: Masterworks II – Pascal and Amy Rogé
  • Feb. 23, 2018: “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella”
  • March 16, 2018: The Celtic Tenors
  • March 24, 2018: MasterWorks III – Misha Dichter
  • April 14, 2018: MasterWorks IV – Mendelssohn’s Elijah
  • April 21, 2018: Celtic Woman
  • April 28, 2018: Glen Burtnik’s Summer of Love

Zoot Theatre Company

(937) 223-5277 or zoottheatrecompany.org

facebook.com/ZootTheatreCompany

instagram.com/zoottheatre

twitter.com/zoottheatre

The puppet/mask-driven Zoot Theatre Company, co-founded by D. Tristan Cupp, is a forward-thinking, collaborative-infused production and design troupe elevating the imaginative magic of theater with inventive finesse.

Oct. 1: A Puppet Happening at Yellow Cab

COLLEGIATE

Cedarville University

251 N. Main St., Stevens Student Center, Cedarville. (937) 766-7700 or cedarville.edu/ticketinfo

facebook.com/CedarvilleUniversityTheatre

Cedarville University’s theater component adheres to programming that educates and entertains with a spiritual focus while exploring deeper themes.

Single tickets: $12-$15

  • Oct. 5-15: “The Diary of Anne Frank”
  • Feb. 1-11, 2018: “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe”
  • April 5-15, 2018: “Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery”

Clark State Community College

Clark State Performing Arts Center, 300 S. Fountain Ave., Springfield. (937) 328-3874 or pac.clarkstate.edu/theatre_arts.php

facebook.com/clarkstatetheatre

Clark State Community College’s theater arts program presents varied works from the sophistication of Moliere to the hot-button drama of Tony Kushner.

Single tickets: $15

  • Oct. 27-Nov. 5: “King Lear”
  • Spring 2018: TBA

Miami University

119 Center for Performing Arts, Oxford. (513) 529-3200 or http://arts.muohio.edu

facebook.com/MiamiOHTheatre

twitter.com/MiamiOHTheatre

youtube.com/user/MiamiOHCCA/videos

Miami University’s theater program prides itself on diverse, thought-provoking works that can “inspire a world of possibilities.”

Single tickets: $10-$15

  • Sept. 27-Oct. 1: “The Flick”
  • Nov. 15-19: “Gathering Blue”
  • March 7-11, 2018: “We Are So Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915”
  • May 2-6, 2018: “Tartuffe”

Sinclair Community College

444 W. Third St. Blair Hall Theatre, Building 2. (937) 512-2808 or sinclair.edu/tickets

facebook.com/Sinclair.Theatre

twitter.com/sinclairtheatre

Sinclair Community College’s theater department continues to balance well-known titles with a few unknown works waiting to be discovered.

Single tickets: $8-$18

  • Oct. 6-14: “Blues for an Alabama Sky”
  • Nov. 2-5: “Radio Plays”
  • Dec. 14-17: “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
  • Feb. 9-17, 2018: “Fahrenheit 451”
  • April 11-15, 2018: “Blood at the Root”

Sinclair recommends:

“Our play selection began with Dominque Morisseau’s ‘Blood at the Root,’ inspired by the case involving the Jena Six. The students love the script. It made us realize we have students that crave this type of theater (and) want to know more about why this event happened in our society. For our students to be moved by it was moving to us. It’s such a relevant story. And it’s not just about race relations. In general, it’s about communication.” — Gina Neuerer, Chair of Sinclair’s Music, Theatre and Dance Department

University of Dayton

300 College Park, Dayton. (937) 229-2545

udayton.edu/artssciences/academics/theatre/productions

facebook.com/University-of-Dayton-Theatre-Program

University of Dayton’s theater program embraces a collaborative, educational and community-driven perspective with an emphasis on devised projects and original works.

Single tickets: $8-$12

  • Sept. 29: “Improv All-Stars Night for BCT to Benefit Brighter Connections Theatre”
  • Nov. 10-12: “Grease”
  • Feb. 2, 2018: “Fluent”
  • Feb. 23-25, 2018: “Unfinished”
  • April 20-22, 2018: “Spectacle”

UD recommends:

“This season we are sharing the voices of our local communities. As the season opener, youth with autism spectrum disorder from Brighter Connections Theatre will shine alongside local and regional professional improv troupes for the fundraiser performance ‘Improv All Stars Night for BCT.’ ‘Unfinished’ will stage the social justice issues that students are passionate about in a new devised work featuring nationally recognized poet and actor Steve Connell as our guest artist in residence. Finally, ‘Spectacle’ will tell the story of the founder of the Marianist Catholic order, the Blessed Father William Joseph Chaminade, honoring our Marianist campus community.” — Michelle Hayford, UD Theatre, Dance and Performance Technology Program Director

Wright State University

3640 Col. Glenn Hwy., Fairborn, Creative Arts Center. (937) 775-2500 or wright.edu/tdmp

facebook.com/Wright-State-University-Dept-of-Theatre-Dance-Motion-Pictures

twitter.com/WrightState

It is no secret that Wright State University’s professional-caliber musical theater department is one of the best programs of its kind in the Midwest. Attention to the classics is also paramount in its programming.

Season tickets: $74-$78; Single tickets: $20-$22

  • Sept. 28-Oct. 8: “You Can’t Take it With You”
  • Nov. 2-19: “Fiddler on the Roof”
  • Dec. 1-10: “Urinetown: The Musical”
  • Feb. 1-11, 2018: “The Grapes of Wrath”
  • March 15-April 8, 2018: “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”
  • April 20-22, 2018: “The Memory of Water”

WSU recommends:

“There are several themes (in this season), but (a) recurring one is for our students to study and be inspired by the plight of refugees throughout history and throughout the world. In ‘Fiddler’, my cast is looking not only at the specific plight of Jews in the Pale of Russia which is at the heart of the story – their community in the Shtetl of Anatevka, the story of a divided family, and the eventual program that lead to the flight of those villagers to foreign lands –we are also looking at the modern-day plight of peoples fleeing their country due to religious, political, social, or economic/climate oppression and catastrophe. This theme continues with Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath,’ focusing now on the journey of refugees within a country, fleeing economic oppression, caused by natural/man-made catastrophe. Both productions, as well as themes in ‘Drood,’ are part of a larger educational journey, if you will, being undertaken by students and faculty alike, namely, the Ghostlight Project, which is raising consciousness of our educational and regional community about burning social issues of today.” — W. Stuart McDowell, Artistic Director and Coordinator of Theatre Studies, WSU’s Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures

COMMUNITY

Actor’s Theatre of Fairborn

23 E. Main St., Fairborn. (937) 878-3353

facebook.com/Actors-Theatre-Fairborn

Actor’s Theatre of Fairborn returns for the first time in nearly a decade with John Steinbeck’s classic tale of friendship and tragedy.

Nov. 10-12: “Of Mice and Men”

Beavercreek Community Theatre

3868 Dayton-Xenia Rd., Beavercreek. (937) 429-4737 or bctheatre.org

facebook.com/BeavercreekCommunityTheatre

Beavercreek Community Theatre continues to divide its programming between traditional and edgier tastes. Some of its best shows in recent years have stemmed from its alternative Edge of the Creek presentations.

Single tickets: $12-$15

  • Oct. 27-Nov. 5: “Young Frankenstein”
  • Dec. 1-10: “Just in the Nick of Time”
  • Jan. 26-Feb. 4, 2018: “And Then There Were None”
  • March 2-11, 2018: “Stuart Little”
  • April 27-May 6, 2018: “A Streetcar Named Desire”
  • June 15-24, 2018: “Company”

Brookville Community Theatre

770 Arlington Rd., Brookville. (937) 833-6790 or brookvillecommunitytheatre.com

facebook.com/Brookville-Community-Theatre

Brookville Community Theatre does intimate and large-scale shows equally well while appealing to fans of such diverse voices as Oscar Wilde, Stephen Sondheim and Neil Simon.

Single tickets: $15

  • Nov. 9-19: “The Christmas Spirit”
  • Feb. 15-25, 2018: “Foxfire”
  • April 19-29, 2018: “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”
  • June 28-July 15, 2018: “Mary Poppins”

Children’s Performing Arts of Miamisburg

Memorial Building, 540 E. Park Ave., Miamisburg. (937) 867-0353 or cpamburg.com

facebook.com/cpamburg

CPAM is dedicated to promoting to area youth the appreciation of the performing arts through education, practice and performance.

Single tickets: $9-$11

  • Sept. 29-Oct. 8: “Peter Pan Jr.”
  • Spring 2018: TBA

Dayton Playhouse

1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton. (937) 424-8477 or daytonplayhouse.org

facebook.com/DaytonPlayhouse

For over 50 years the Dayton Playhouse has dedicated itself to entertaining theatergoers of all ages. The organization’s nationally-recognized FutureFest of new plays continues to give emerging playwrights the opportunity to take their work to the next level as adjudicated by national theater professionals.

Season tickets: $70-$75; Single tickets: $16-$18

  • Sept. 15-Oct. 1: “Sister Act”
  • Nov. 3-12: “Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean”
  • Jan. 19-Feb. 4, 2018: “Beehive: The ‘60s Musical”
  • March 9-18, 2018: “A Few Good Men”
  • May 4-20, 2018: “Disney’s The Little Mermaid”

Dayton Theatre Guild

430 Wayne Ave., Dayton. (937) 278-5993 or daytontheatreguild.org

facebook.com/Dayton-Theatre-Guild

twitter.com/DaytnTheatreGld

youtube.com/DaytonTheatreGuild

For over 70 years the Dayton Theatre Guild seeks to produce eclectic plays that surprise and provoke in order to provide cultural growth.

Season tickets: $80; Single tickets: $13-$20

  • Oct. 6-22: “Marjorie Prime”
  • Nov. 17-Dec. 3: “The Christians”
  • Jan. 19-Feb. 4, 2018: “Stella and Lou”
  • March 16-April 1, 2018: “The Other Place”
  • May 11-27, 2018: “Bakersfield Mist”

Harmony Creek Theatre

Harmony Creek Church, 5280 Bigger Rd., Kettering. (937) 434-3941 ext. 200 or harmonycreekchurch.org

facebook.com/HarmonyCreekTheatre

Harmony Creek Theatre is an emerging troupe embracing thought-provoking dramas and lighthearted fare.

Oct. 20-22: “Murder at Café Noir”

INNOVAtheatre

MJ’s on Jefferson, 20 N. Jefferson St., Dayton.

innovatheatre.com

facebook.com/INNOVAtheatre

Dedicated to innovation through inclusion, INNOVAtheatre specifically embraces diversity in its quest to provide unique theatrical experiences.

  • Sept. 21-23: “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”
  • Dec. TBA: “Steel Magnolias”

Lebanon Theatre Company

10 S. Mechanic St., Lebanon. (513) 228-0932 or ltcplays.com

facebook.com/LTCPlays

Thriving on its intimate setting, Lebanon Theatre Company aspires to produce works “evoking emotion and wonder” for theatergoers.

Season tickets: $50; Single tickets: $19

  • Sept. 22-Oct. 1: “Guys and Dolls”
  • Oct. 6-21: “The Séance”
  • Oct. 13-14: “Raise Your Voices”
  • Dec. 1-10: “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
  • Jan. 19-20, 2018: “Annual Gala – Elegance in Music”
  • Feb. 4, 2018: “Pinocchio”
  • March 16-25, 2018: “Almost, Maine”
  • April 8, 2018: “Rapunzel”
  • May 18-27, 2018: “The Foreigner”

Middletown Lyric Theatre

1530 Central Ave., Middletown. (513) 425-7140 or middletownlyric.org

facebook.com/middletownlyrictheatre

youtube.com/middletownlyrictheatre

Middletown Lyric Theatre produces theater that seeks to “inspire, nurture, challenge, educate, and empower.”

Season tickets: $75; Single tickets: $15-$18

  • Sept. 15-23: “Lost in Yonkers”
  • Nov. 10-18: “The Game’s Afoot”
  • Feb. 16-24, 2018: “My Name is Asher Lev”
  • March 16-24, 2018: “Blues in the Night”
  • April 20-28, 2018: “Circle Mirror Transformation”
  • June 8-16, 2018: “Present Laughter”

Playhouse South

Clark Haines Theatre, 3700 Far Hills Ave., Kettering. (888) 262-3792 or playhousesouth.org

facebook.com/playhousesouth

Kettering’s Playhouse South isn’t above taking risks as it seeks to entertain with familiar titles as well as more contemporary shows aimed at a younger demographic.

Single tickets: $13-$15

  • Sept. 15-24: “Women Playing Hamlet”
  • Nov. 3-12: “Chess”
  • March 2-11, 2018: “The 39 Steps”
  • May 11-20, 2018: “Rock of Ages”

Town Hall Theatre

27 N. Main St., Centerville. (937) 433-8957 or townhalltheatre.org

facebook.com/THT

Town Hall Theatre provides an array of familiar titles including junior versions of many musical hits.

Season tickets: $50-$75; Single tickets: $5-$15

  • Sept. 15-Oct. 1: “Disney’s The Lion King Jr.”
  • Oct. 20-29: “Wiley and the Hairy Man”
  • Nov. 3-5: “Babe, The Sheep Pig”
  • Dec. 1-17: “Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas The Musical”
  • Jan. 19-Feb. 4, 2018: “The Giver”
  • Feb. 16-19, 2018: “Law & Order: Fairy Tale Unit”
  • March 9-25, 2018: “Curious George: The Golden Meatball”
  • May 4-20, 2018: “Madagascar: A Musical Adventure”
  • June 1-3, 2018: “Camelot and Camelittle”

Troy Civic Theatre

Barn in the Park, Adams St., Troy. (937) 339-7700 or troycivictheatre.com

facebook.com/troycivictheatre

For over 50 years Troy Civic Theatre has offered family-friendly entertainment. Classic comedies are always standard fare in particular.

Season tickets: $58; Single tickets: $14-$16

  • Sept. 29-Oct. 8: “Yankee Tavern”
  • Nov. 10-20: “The Pajama Game”
  • March 2-13, 2018: “Escanaba in da Moonlight”
  • May 4-14, 2018: “Making God Laugh”

Undercroft Players

Basement of First Lutheran Church, 138 W. First St., Dayton. http://undercroftplayers.weebly.com

Undercroft Players strives to give theatergoers quality productions at an affordable price.

Single tickets: $5-$10

  • Nov. 16-19: “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play”
  • April 19-22, 2018: “The Selfish Giant”

Xenia Area Community Theater

45 E. Second St., Xenia. (937) 372-0516 or xeniaact.org

facebook.com/XeniaAreaCommunityTheater

Xenia Area Community Theater’s programming embraces comedies and dramas as well as mysteries and original works.

Single tickets: $12-$17

  • Sept. 8-17: “Play On!”
  • Oct. 27-Nov. 5: “The Hound of the Baskervilles”
  • Dec. 8-17: “What Happened After Once Upon a Time”
  • Feb. 9-18, 2018: “Last of the Red Hot Lovers”
  • April 6-15, 2018: “Wait Until Dark”
  • May 25-June 3, 2018: “You Can’t Take it With You”

Yellow Springs Theater Company

First Presbyterian Church, 314 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs.

ystheater.org

facebook.com/ystcohio

Yellow Springs Theater Company, devoted to new and classic works, believes theater can “enrich the soul, challenge the mind, and expand the heart of the diverse community in which it serves.”

Sept. 28-Oct. 7: “Fefu and Her Friends”

Young at Heart Players

Dayton Playhouse, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton

(937) 654-0400 or www.youngatheartplayers.com

Single tickets: $15 for adults; $12 for seniors/ students.

Young at Heart Players is primarily devoted to themes such as connection and ageism in an attempt to enhance communication, creativity and socialization in the lives of senior adults.

  • Nov. 17-26: “Tuesdays with Morrie”
  • June 1-10, 2018: TBA

OTHER

Mayhem and Mystery

mayhemandmystery.blogspot.com

facebook.com/MayhemMystery

Mondays and select Fridays at Spaghetti Warehouse, 36 W. Fifth St., Dayton. (937) 461-3913

Mayhem and Mystery is an interactive theater experience known for its feel-good, upbeat comedies.

Cost: $29.95 (dinner and show)

  • Sept. 11-Oct. 30: “Zombie Nonsense”
  • Nov. 6-31: “A Holiday at the Movies”

Muse Machine

Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St. (937) 222-6873 or musemachine.com

facebook.com/musemachine

twitter.com/themusemachine

youtube.com/MuseMachineDayton

The student arts education organization continues to enrich the local arts scene with impressive performances stemming from a wide range of participants from numerous schools across the Miami Valley.

Jan. 2018: TBA

The Signature: A Poetic Medley Show

Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St, Dayton.

www.tripplecroxxent.com or ticketcenterstage.com

facebook.com/ofpproductionsusa

Celebrating its 10th season, “The Signature” spotlights urban creative arts, notably the art of spoken word, in collaboration with Oral Funk Poetry Productions and the Human Race Theatre Company.
  • Oct. 14: “Razzle Dazzle: Decade Celebration”
  • Dec. 1: “Beyond the Decade”

FALL ARTS PREVIEW

Let us help you plan your arts season!

Our Fall Arts Preview continues with a focus on classical, opera, jazz, folk and world music. Throughout September, we will bring you season schedules and highlights for performing and visual arts groups and venues throughout the region.

Coming next week: Dance and Visual Arts

Find previous installments at MyDaytonDailyNews.com

4 reasons why you should see INNOVAtheatre’s ‘Priscilla’

Published: Saturday, September 16, 2017 @ 12:00 AM


            INNOVAtheatre, devoted to diversity and inclusivity, presents the regional premiere of the 2011 disco and pop-flavored musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Sept. 21-23 at MJ s on Jefferson. The cast contains actors from Dayton and Cincinnati. (Contributed photo)
INNOVAtheatre, devoted to diversity and inclusivity, presents the regional premiere of the 2011 disco and pop-flavored musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Sept. 21-23 at MJ s on Jefferson. The cast contains actors from Dayton and Cincinnati. (Contributed photo)

INNOVAtheatre, an up-and-coming troupe devoted to diversity and inclusivity, offers the regional premiere of the rousing and heartwarming 2011 jukebox musical “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” at MJ’s on Jefferson beginning Thursday, Sept. 21.

Here are four reasons why you might want to shake your groove thing.

THE STORY

Based on the 1994 film of the same name, the musical tells an account of two drag queens (Jeff Weinkam as Tick/Mitzi and David Baker as Adam/Felicia) and a transgender woman (Tony Williams as Bernadette) who embark on a memorable adventure across the Australian outback on the titular bus. Love, loss, acceptance, and empowerment are among the themes uniting this colorful trio.

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“This is a relevant story,” said director/founder Richard Lee Waldeck, a longtime fan of the film. “Everything the (LGBT community) is going through is (relevant) to this story today. We’re still being ostracized, still being pushed out of the military. People just don’t understand who we are and what we’re all about. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to do this show and I’m very proud to be able to present it.”

THE SCORE

Unlike some jukebox musicals devoted to one particular catalog such as “Mamma Mia!” (ABBA) or “All Shook Up” (Elvis Presley), “Priscilla” runs the gamut of disco and pop with a slew of hits including “It’s Raining Men,” “I Love the Nightlife,” “Hot Stuff,” “I Will Survive,” “I Say A Little Prayer,” and “MacArthur Park.”

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“One of the things I love about this show is that the three principals are all completely different and each has great songs,” Waldeck said. “And their journey ties together so well at the end with a wonderful finale. I really think the audience is going to like the fact that the show doesn’t leave you wondering at the end.”

THE STAGING

Originally Waldeck planned to do a smaller, concert version but recently opted for a minimally staged version notably featuring choreography by Maddy Fessler. “The cast is not going to be sitting on chairs behind music stands,” he said. “The audience is actually going to see the bell-bottomed costumes and a big seven-foot shoe. I’m also incorporating digital backdrops. Although I was going to do a concert version at first, I rethought the idea because I didn’t want our first big show to be labeled as boring.

“This will be the first show everyone sees and I wanted to set the bar high and show people what we’re all about even though it’s small venue. I want people to see quality and also want them to see what we can do even if we were in a bigger facility. But we are grateful to MJ’s for giving us the space because it’s a great venue.”

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THE MISSION

The company’s mission puts inclusivity at the heart of everything it does. The vision of the troupe celebrates “innovation through inclusion, exploration and the fusing together of the known and unexpected.” “We cast on talent first,” said INNOVA board member Jamie Pavlofsky. “Theater audiences tend to have ideas in their head about the way a role should be portrayed and we want to challenge that. We’re here to open people’s eyes (meaning) we might cast a role color blind. It might mean a gender-bend. It might even mean an actor in one of our shows has a disability. Taking the stance of talent first allows us to be as inclusive and innovative as we can.”

WANT TO GO?

What: “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Where: MJ’s on Jefferson, 20 N. Jefferson St., Dayton.

Cost: $20-$25

More info: innovatheatre.com