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Cirque d’Or brings high-flying fun to Dayton

Published: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday, February 07, 2018 @ 2:56 PM

Featuring a cast of 30 of the world’s greatest acrobats, contortionists and aerial artists, Cirque D’Or amazes crowds with their electrifying and mesmerizing stunts. 

>> Step Afrika! Comes to Victoria Theatre sharing their rhythm with familys in Dayton 

The sensational aerial performances have been dubbed “breathtaking” by The New York Times and “fantastic” by CBS News.

>> Paula Poundstone headed to town this weekend

This all-ages traveling show makes at stop at the Victoria Theatre at 3 p.m. Feb. 11. 

Tickets are on sale now at Ticket Center Stage, by calling 937-228-3630 or 888-228-3630. Tickets are also available online at www.ticketcenterstage.com.

>> Time to get funky at Dayton’s newly opened Funk museum

Want to go?

WHAT: Cirque d’Or

WHERE: Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton

HOURS: 3 p.m. Feb. 11

INFO: Ticket Center Stage, 937-228-3630 or 888-228-3630

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See the story of how Carole King rose to stardom in Dayton this week

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

9 shows at the Schuster Center

After interviewing Carole King for days, playwright Douglas McGrath was faced with a tough decision. Which parts of the legendary singer/songwriter’s personal journey should be included in a musical about her life?

You’ll see the results when the Tony and Grammy award-winning Broadway hit “Beautiful — The Carole King Musical” makes its Dayton premiere at the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center May 22-27. The show’s songs include “I Feel The Earth Move,” “One Fine Day,”“You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman,” “You’ve Got A Friend,” “Up on the Roof” and “Take Good Care of My Baby.”

>> ‘School of Rock,’ ‘Book of Mormon’ are coming to Dayton

Singer/songwriter Carole King’s early life is captured in the musical, “Beautiful.” CONTRIBUTED(Staff Writer)

McGrath believes for a Broadway show to succeed, the audience has to care about and connect with the people in it — whether it’s the King in “The King and I” or Alexander Hamilton in “Hamilton.” In this case, McGrath decided to focus on a period in King’s life that began in 1959, just before Brooklyn native Carol Klein composed her first hit song. She is 17, pregnant and newly married to 20-year-old lyricist Gerry Goffin.

>> Festivals in Dayton we CANNOT wait for!!

The decade that follows includes her early songwriting years, the break-up of her marriage and the 1971 release of “Tapestry,” one of the best-selling albums of all time. “Tapestry” not only represented Carole King’s artistic peak as a performer and writer but also sums up everything that had gone on in her life up to that point, McGrath notes. “All of those things inform these songs. Because ‘Tapestry’ was such a triumph, it supports the play’s message of victory over heartbreak.”

The playwright didn’t know a lot about the famous singer before becoming involved with the Broadway show. “She is a keep-to-herself kind of person and my standard joke is that — like most people — I thought she was born, learned to walk and then recorded ‘Tapestry!’ ” he says. “What I didn’t realize was that 12 years before ‘Tapestry’ came out she was writing hit songs for all of the big groups in the ’50s and ’60s —Aretha Franklin, The Drifters, the Shirrells, the Beatles, the Monkees.”

Douglas McGrath, who wrote the script for “Beautiful,” is pictured with Carole King. CONTRIBUTED(Staff Writer)

Crafting a show

The other main characters in “Beautiful” are another married songwriting couple — Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

“We were lucky in this case because ‘Beautiful’ is about four real people,” says McGrath, who interviewed all four songwriters at length. “All four were intelligent, inspiring, interesting and flawed people — meaning they are human, not perfect — which helps an audience relate and connect.”

McGrath was obviously impressed with King when he interviewed her. “You don’t necessarily think of rock musicians as intellectual, but Carole is really brainy and could speak articulately about everything,” he says. “She skipped two grades in school and was in college by age 16. She has a perfect memory and never struggled for specific dates or names. Later, when I interviewed Gerry, her ex-husband, he confirmed everything she had told me.”

McGrath says his hours with King weren’t always easy for her. “Her life has been filled with joy as well as heartbreak and I don’t think she had talked about some of it for a long, long time,” he says. “A lot of Kleenex kept coming out of her purse. Gerry was her first love.”

>> Complete lineup of 2018 concerts at the brand new Levitt Pavilion in downtown Dayton

Douglas McGrath, who wrote the script for “Beautiful” spent days interviewing Carole King about her life. CONTRIBUTED(Staff Writer)

Whenever he worked on the script, McGrath played their music in the background. “It helped me see the connections between events in their lives and the music itself, what they created, ” he explains. “You could hear something in their lyrics and stories that would make sense with certain parts of their lives. I wanted the songs to feel connected to their lives.”

That goal was apparently achieved. King walked out halfway through the first read-through she attended. It turned out, says McGrath, it wasn’t that she didn’t like it. She did. It was simply too painful.

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“Beautiful” tells the true story of Carole King s remarkable rise to stardom as part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin. CONTRIBUTED(Staff Writer)

Becoming Carole

Since that time, King has returned to see the entire show. Sarah Bockel, who will portray the famous singer in Dayton, remembers a night in Boston when the cast was asked to gather on stage after the performance for an important announcement.

“We thought we were getting fired!” recalls the Chicago native who worked as an understudy for the leading role before playing it. “Then, Carole King walked out! We didn’t know she was there, it would have made us too nervous. She was extremely gracious and kind, gave us her blessing. Everyone was crying and clapping because she’s not only changed our lives but has changed millions of other people’s lives. We all got to take a selfie with her.”

Sarah Bockel will portray Carole King in the Broadway musical, “Beautiful.” CONTRIBUTED(Staff Writer)

Bockel says there’s a lot she loves about this part and this show. “I love singing the music every night, and love the other 22 people in the show,” she begins. “I love the fact that theater allows people to communicate a message to a group of strangers sitting in the dark who are bought together because they want to be told a story. I love telling stories. I like communicating with people, making them feel joy, sad. I love being a different person and I love the work you have to do within yourself to produce genuine emotion in yourself so that others can feel something cathartic. I love that it’s never the same and you’re always learning.”

Bockel believes audiences relate to “Beautiful” because they have a major connection to the music and to memories attached to it. “Her music is so personal and so applicable to everyone’s lives,” she believes. “For example, what does it mean to be a natural woman? It can mean something different to everyone but the idea is really simple.”

“Beautiful” features the life story and music of Carole King. CONTRIBUTED(Staff Writer)

The take-away

McGrath hopes Carole King fans who come to the show will be surprised to discover new things about the singer’s life. He’s also hoping those fans bring their kids and grand-kids.

“Her story is very inspiring for young people,” he says. “It’s about a girl who — at 16 — broke into a business where there were no females. And when her marriage came apart and she thought everything was lost, there were even better things ahead. It’s a great message for those who have experienced losses — a first heartbreak or a job that doesn’t work out. You think you’re the only one who has had your heart broken and that’s not the case. It’s great to see someone who’s had difficult things happen and fully recovers without becoming bitter.”

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  • ” to add another link History content optimization This code can be dropped into a codeblock anywhere on a Methode object. What it does: 3 history content links pulled from this Google Sheet after the third paragraph. 3 history content links midway through the story Newsletter and apps invitations ⅔ through the story Lisa Powell Facebook Page Plugin after the story Example. To customize the list: data-first-paragraph: Include the number of the paragraph after which you want to display the first block of stories (default is 3) data-second-paragraph: Include the number of the paragraph after which you want to display the second block of stories (default is halfway down the story) data-first-number-of-stories: Include the number of stories you want to display in the first block (default is 3) data-second-number-of-stories: Include the number of stories you want to display in the first block (default is 3) URL string: ?icmp=cmgoHistoryStoryLink Business team story optimization This code can be dropped into a codeblock anywhere on a Methode object. What it does: Insert tips solicitation with contact information for the bylined reporter after the third paragraph Insert B2B Newsletter solicitation box after the story Insert 5 most recent stories by the bylined reporter after the B2B Newsletter solicitation box Insert the bylined reporter’s Facebook Page Plugin after the 5 most recent stories. Example. To customize the list: data-tips-paragraph: Include the number of the paragraph after which you want to display the tips solicitation (default is 3) URL string: ?icmp=cmgoBusinessStoryLink Payroll Project promotion This code can be dropped into a codeblock anywhere on a Methode object. What it does: Inserts a box with a sentence about the Payroll Project, the current number of records in the database and a button to navigate to the search tool page Example.
    URL string: ?ref=pp_invitation_box News map embed This code can be dropped into a codeblock anywhere on a Methode object. What it does: Embeds a map with points signifying stories that have the topic “cmgonewsmap” and a location added in the metadata. Example. URL string: ?ref=cmgo_news_map_map Lifestyles story optimization This code can be dropped into a codeblock anywhere on a Methode object. What it does: Insert the most recent stories by that author. Insert the most recent stories in the same category, either lifestyles or entertainment, depending on the author Example. To customize the list: data-author-paragraph: Include the number of the paragraph after which you want to display the other stories by this author (default is 3) data-author-stories: Include the number of stories you want to display from that author (default is 3) data-category-paragraph: Include the number of the paragraph after which you want to display the other stories from this category (topic verticals_entertainment or verticals_lifestyles) (default is halfway through the story) data-category-stories: Include the number of stories you want to display from this category (default is 3) URL string: ?icmp=cmgoLifestylesStoryLink

    WANT TO GO?

    What: “Beautiful-The Carole King Musical”

    When: May 22-27. Performances are at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

    Where: Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St., Dayton

    Tickets: $26 and up plus service fees. Get tickets online at TicketCenterStage.com, at the Box Office, or by phone at (937) 228-3630 or (888) 228-3630.

    NOTE: Saturday matinee performances of Broadway Series presentations are sign interpreted. Audio description is available by request.

    BACKGROUND ON BROADWAY At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday, you can learn about the development, history, and artistry of the show. This free event is held in the Schuster Center’s fourth-floor lobby. You must have a ticket to that day’s performance.

    “Beautiful” comes to the Schuster. CONTRIBUTED(Staff Writer)

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    10 reasons to check out A World A’Fair

    Published: Monday, May 11, 2015 @ 6:00 AM
    Updated: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 @ 4:08 PM

    Featured performers at this year's
    Featured performers at this year's "A World A'Fair" will be the Tamburitzans, international folk dance performers. Submitted photo.(HANDOUT)

    Back for its 45th year, the three-day festival of food, dancing and more culture runs May 18-20, and the weekend is packed full of entertainment and educational offerings that showcase the diverse backgrounds present in the Dayton metro area. If you’re still on the fence about clearing your weekend to go, maybe we can persuade you.

    >>PHOTOS: A World A’Fair 

    >>The largest international festival in Dayton and Ohio is back for a 45th year— and our bellies are ready

    1.🌍It’s arguably the biggest entertainment bang for your buck. At less than $10 at the door for adults and even cheaper for seniors and children under 5 for three days of dancing, a variety of food offerings, and the most creative way to refresh your geography knowledge, we really shouldn’t have to twist your arm on this one.

    A scene from 2013's A World A'fair. SCOTT STOLSENBERG/CONTRIBUTED(Scott Stolsenberg/Scott Stolsenberg)

    >>The Greene announces new band pavilion 

    2.🌍The cultural dances are a must-see. There’s so much you can learn about a new culture through traditional dances, and many local cultural groups put on inspiring displays of grace and strength. Cincinnati-based Lebanese troupe Alhambra brings traditional solo dancing — like belly-dancing — to the festival for the first time, and the world class Kenya Safari Acrobats return to astound you with gravity-defying moves. Check out the entertainment schedule here.

    A record-breaking number of attendees were on hand to take in A World A'Fair, May 20-22, at the Dayton Convention Center. (TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED)(HANDOUT)

    3.🌍Learn about a new culture. Are you an eighth Serbian? Maybe your in-laws are South African? A World A’Fair is the perfect event to connect (or reconnect) with a part of your heritage that might have been neglected. Many of the organizations involved have local groups that have great resources for learning languages, dances or just connecting with people.

    >>He’s the guy behind the camera. Meet Daytonian of the Week Tom Gilliam.

    4.🌍Travel in style with the Beer Passport. Available only on Friday evening, it’s the best way to get your fill of new international brews. Sample 2-ounce brews from 12 countries — from Mexico to Scotland to the Philippines — then vote for your favorite.

    A record-breaking number of attendees were on hand to take in A World A'Fair, May 20-22, at the Dayton Convention Center. (TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED)(HANDOUT)

    5.🌍Pet Adoption Fair. The Humane Society of Greater Dayton will be stationed in the lobby, with many of their fun, friendly and furry pets who are available for adoption. Stop by and visit, receive information about how you might adopt, volunteer, donate or otherwise help these wonderful animals in need of good homes.

    6.🌍Encourage local youth to embrace their heritage. What’s more adorable than children proudly displaying their families’ culture? The Junior Ambassador pageant for children ages 7-11 takes place Friday night, and is sure to involve lots of cute smiles and tiny dancing feet.

    >>NEW FESTIVAL: Adventures Fest to include music, beer, food and fun along the river

    7.🌍Bring the whole family. Kids join in on the fun with the Passport program, where they receive a small booklet containing a page for each country/ethnic organization, with a photo from the organization and a question having to do with this year’s festival theme. Take your child to each country’s booth to learn the answer and have their passport stamped for a chance to win a prize. Look for the heart balloon at each booth to find the passport stamper. There’s also a children’s area with activities and games.

    8.🌍So. Much. Amazing. Food. Czech pastries. Bratwurst. Baklava. Tiramisu. Tabouli. And of course, the fan favorite, Netherlands’ Appelflappen. Mouth watering yet? Here’s a list of the offerings.

    9.🌍Take home souvenirs without leaving your town. Buy some authentic merchandise; tell your friends you actually bought it abroad. How could they ever doubt your claim to have visited Warsaw when they see your Boleslawiec Polish pottery?

    10.🌍Preserve Dayton’s melting pot. Attend the festival, and support the preservation of cultures and heritages in the Dayton area. Dayton International Festival, Inc., a non-profit and the main organizer for A World A’Fair, supports a variety of local cultural organizations, which together boost Gem City’s cosmopolitan areas and events year-round.

    Colorful costumes add to the excitement at A World A'Fair. Pictured is Troupe Roja. Submitted photo by Scott Stolsenberg.(HANDOUT)

    WANT TO GO? 

    WHAT: A World A’fair 

    WHEN: 5 p.m.- 11 p.m. Friday, May 18;11 a.m.- 11 p.m. Saturday, May 19; 11 a.m.- 6 p.m., Sunday, May 20 

    WHERE: Dayton Convention Center., 22 E. 5th St., Dayton 

    INFO: Facebookaworldafair.org

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    5 reasons to attend the Buckeye BBQ Fest this weekend

    Published: Saturday, May 19, 2018 @ 9:08 AM

    The award-winning After Hours BBQ, famous for their fall off the bone baby back ribs, are making a return appearance to the Buckeye BBQ Fest. CONTRIBUTED
Contributing Writer
    The award-winning After Hours BBQ, famous for their fall off the bone baby back ribs, are making a return appearance to the Buckeye BBQ Fest. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

    Until a few years ago, the Buckeye BBQ Fest was a competition between Kansas City BBQ culinary artists. That was until the event chairman, Art Mathews, discovered, “The public didn’t care; they just wanted to eat.”

    So now, barbecue vendors from around the Midwest converge on Union Square each May to give the public what they want.

    While there are several reasons to attend the Buckeye BBQ Fest, we’ll start with …

    >> 7 festivals this weekend near Dayton

    Kingsgate Logistics Buckeye BBQ Fest will be held on Friday, May 18, and Saturday, May 19, at The Square @ Union Centre in West Chester. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

    THE FOOD

    According to Mathews, barbecue vendors typically stick with a festival for a few years and then move on. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be several returning favorites in 2018, such as After Hours BBQ (pork, chicken brisket, and award-winning baby back ribs from Akron), John Johns BBQ (slow-smoked beef brisket, pulled pork, turkey and chicken from Cincinnati), and Pit to Plate (beef brisket, pulled pork and chicken, ribs, and turkey from Mt. Healthy).

    Brand new vendors this year include JDZ Fried Ribs, Bob Cha BBQ (beef and pork BBQ and chicken dumplings from Liberty Twp.), and Kuya Ed’s Lechon Atbpa (Filipino-style pork and chicken BBQ from Findlay Market).

    To accommodate those who aren’t huge BBQ fans, the fest will also feature several vendors selling hamburgers, hot dogs, metts, Tex Mex, mac and cheese, and sweets like kettle corn, doughnuts, and Kona Ice. Indeed, Mathews conceded that one of the most popular food items — the cherry cobbler from Miss Parolee’s Pies — is not only a non-BBQ item, but a dealbreaker for many returning patrons.

    >> The biggest, best food truck events in Dayton in May

    >> 20 things to do, see, eat in Cincinnati

    The Rotary Club of West Chester/Liberty will host its annual Buckeye BBQ Fest on Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21 at The Square @ Union Centre in West Chester Twp.(Greg Lynch)

    THE BEER

    The fest will be loaded with 120 kegs of beer in 14 different styles. Joining popular and local mainstays like Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, and Yuengling is Hawaii’s Kona Longboard Island Lager, Elysian Brewing’s (Seattle) Space Dust IPA, Shock Top, and craft beer selections from both local (DogBerry, FigLeaf, Municipal Brew Works, MadTree) and national (Breckinridge, Goose Island) breweries.

    The fest’s beer garden is an ideal spot to sit and take a small break, with its patio furniture and beer keg tables. Patrons can also select from a wide variety of bottled beer, canned beer and wine.

    >> Beer garden added at Buckeye BBQ Fest

    THE CARS

    The car show is a major part of the Fest. The 35 to 40 cars on display are hand-picked and hail from different classes, primarily the 1960s/70s hot rod/muscle car era.

    The highlights are Corvettes, Mustangs, Porsches and Camaros. There will also be a “supercar” class, which includes a vintage British MG, a 1980s Aston Martin, and a 2014 Corvette Stingray convertible.

    Awards will be presented at 5:45 p.m. Saturday.

    The award-winning blues guitarist, Noah Wotherspoon, will headline the Friday night music lineup at the Buckeye BBQ Fest. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

    THE TUNES

    Since the live entertainment at the fest is handled by the Cincy Blues Society, the lineup will consist of award-winning local and regional blues bands.

    Noah Wotherspoon (Best Guitarist at the 2015 International Blues Challenge) will headline Friday night, and Johnny Fink and the Intrusion (winner of the 2016 Cincy Blues Challenge and the 2016 Dayton Blues Challenge) will headline Saturday.

    The lineup also features popular regional veterans such as Ricky Nye and The SoulFixers and, last but not least, Middletown’s The Beaumonts, who will be giving their final performance at the Buckeye BBQ Fest after 30 years together.

    KID STUFF

    Festival enthusiasts with small children will be relieved to learn they won’t have to sit this one out. The fest features several entertainment options for the kids, including two bouncy houses, a giant Jenga set, a Pop-A-Shot electronic basketball game and, new this year, a giant rock climbing wall.

    There will also be a Jungle Island Petting Zoo, featuring exotic animals for the kids to get up close and personal with. They will include a mini-zebu cow, an alpaca, a mini-Shetland pony, a pygmy goat, a large tortoise, axis deer and kangaroos.

    WANT TO GO?

    When: May 18-19, 5-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday

    Where: Square at Union Centre, 9285 Centre Point Drive, West Chester

    Cost: No admission cost

    More Info: www.buckeyebbqfest.org

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    The largest international festival in Dayton and Ohio is back for a 45th year— and our bellies are ready

    Published: Monday, May 14, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

    A record-breaking number of attendees were on hand to take in A World A'Fair, May 20-22, at the Dayton Convention Center. (TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED)
HANDOUT
    A record-breaking number of attendees were on hand to take in A World A'Fair, May 20-22, at the Dayton Convention Center. (TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED)(HANDOUT)

    It’s that time of year again that Dayton celebrates all the different heritages and cultures that have made our community what it is with the “largest international festival in Ohio.”

    >>PHOTOS: Did we see you at last year’s A World A’Fair?

    >>A World A’Fair: Dayton has been traveling the world without leaving town for 45 years

    The 45th year for ‘A World A’Fair’, organized by the Dayton International Festival, Inc., is set to take place at the Dayton Convention Center on May 18th, 19th and 20th. With over “30,000 people attending in 2016, and almost as many in 2017,” according to aworldafair.org, the festival is Dayton Convention Center’s largest event.

    >>The BEST festivals we cannot wait for

    Jino Manzo preparing Italian sausage and vegetables the 39th annual A World A'Fair held Saturday at the Dayton Convention Center Contributed Photo by Charles Caperton(Charles Caperton)

    This year, a total of 34 countries and ethnicities are taking part, either by making authentic cultural cuisine, performing on stage or presenting their own heritage in a colorful and authentic way.

    Along with the exciting sights and sounds that will be going on, it’s easy to imagine the mouthwatering aromas that will fill the Convention Center. The international foods at the festival is always one of the most anticipated aspects. Coming hungry is essential for this event. You’ll find foods from Czech pastries, to bratwurst, baklava, tiramisu and tabouli. 

    >>NEW FESTIVAL: Adventures Fest to include music, beer, food and fun along the river

    For a complete list of organizations and the foods they will be offering, visit aworldafair.org/food.

    DON’T FORGET THE BEER

    Friday night, there’s a special opportunity to travel the globe with just a beer glass in your hand. The Beer Passport is a Friday night only event, allowing you a 2 oz. sample at 12 different country’s booths— all for $12. Voting for the best beer takes place after participants completed their passports. Tickets are limited to 500 and can be purchased at the event.

    A scene from 2013's A World A'fair. SCOTT STOLSENBERG/CONTRIBUTED(Scott Stolsenberg/Scott Stolsenberg)

    A World A’Fair is easily the best way to stay in country while experiencing a brand new culture. You can fill your belly with amazing food, bring home “souvenirs” from places you’ve always longed to visit and have a day— or weekend— that you won’t forget. 

    Advanced sale tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for ages 6 to 18 and are available until Thursday, May 17th. Tickets are also available at the door for $8 and $5 for ages 6 to 18.

    WANT TO GO?

    WHAT: A World A’fair

    WHEN: 5 p.m.- 11 a.m. Friday, May 18, 11 a.m.- 11 p.m. Saturday, May 19, 11 a.m.- 6 p.m., Sunday, May 20

    WHERE: Dayton Convention Center., 22 E. 5th St., Dayton

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