UPDATE


Sprawling dinner party to be held at UD this weekend

Published: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 @ 12:20 PM

More than 500 Dayton residents gathered on the Third Street Bridge for conversation and a meal during The Longest Table event, which was held Saturday, Oct. 15. The concept was one of the winning projects at the UpDayton Summit.
More than 500 Dayton residents gathered on the Third Street Bridge for conversation and a meal during The Longest Table event, which was held Saturday, Oct. 15. The concept was one of the winning projects at the UpDayton Summit.

The Longest Table Dayton wants you to come to Sunday dinner at the University of Dayton. 

The project, a winner from last year's UpDayton Summit led by City of Dayton Legislative Aide Bryan Stewart, will hold its third consecutive monthly community dinner from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, March 19 in the UD’s Central Mall, 300 College Park, Dayton. 

>> PHOTOS: Dayton’s first Longest Table across the Peace Bridge 

“I hope our March meal will help UD students gain a better understanding of Dayton as a whole,” Stewart said. “I hope they gain a better understanding of Dayton’s rich, complicated history and get a chance to actually meet folks who live, work, and play in the community off campus.” 

Like others in the series, the meal is sponsored by Dayton's Human Relations Council. 

>> RELATED: The Longest Table: Join this massive dinner party on a Dayton bridge

The community is invited to the free event. 

The project has participants sit and talk in the name of community betterment.

The University of Dayton's Student Government Association is hosting participants on campus. 

The Longest Table held its first event in October, where more than 500 relative “strangers” broke bread with one another on the Third Street Bridge (The Peace Bridge) during the giant dinner party.

Visit thelongesttabledayton.com/march to register. 

More than 500 Dayton residents gathered on the Third Street Bridge for conversation and a meal during The Longest Table event, which was held Saturday, Oct. 15. The concept was one of the winning projects at the UpDayton Summit.

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This insanely popular, lovable feline will be near Dayton in the form of a food truck

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 2:00 PM



Copyright 2018 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
(Copyright 2018 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Local fans of the Japanese character Hello Kitty have reason to rejoice. 

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The iconic feline will be visiting Greater Cincinnati at the Kenwood Towne Centre in the form of a food truck. The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck has been touring the U.S. since October 2014 and will be making an appearance at the mall on Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Spreading fandom through merchandise and cutesy cartoons, Hello Kitty has been a worldwide craze for more than 40 years. 

>> This burger joint truly lives up to its name

The Cafe Truck will be selling Hello Kitty cookies, packet pies, macaroons, stainless-steel thermos bottles, bow-shaped water bottles, headbands, keychains and T-shirts.

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: Hello Kitty Cafe Truck appearance

WHEN: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, April 28

WHERE: Kenwood Towne Centre (near the Cheesecake Factory at 7875 Montgomery Road) 

INFO: Facebook

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7 ways to enjoy the weather in Dayton this weekend

Published: Friday, April 15, 2016 @ 12:06 PM
Updated: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 11:42 AM

This weekend's weather calls for unseasonably warm weather which means people are going break free of winter in Dayton. Here's some stuff you'll see if you want to or not. Video by Amelia Robinson, Dayton.com.

After all these chilly days, we are chomping at the bit to get outside and enjoy some sun.

Here are a few ways to enjoy the nice weather this weekend, which, according to our weather partner WHIO.com, is supposed to be lovely: mostly sunny and in the low-to-mid 60s. Get the full weekend forecast from WHIO.com.

>> Top 10 things to do this week

(Richard Wilson)

1.) Go for a hike. There are some fantastic places to explore in the Dayton metro area. We're blessed to have a fantastic parks system that includes Huffman, Eastwood and Taylorsville MetroPark (among many others), as well as some great options in Yellow Springs, like John Bryan and Glen Helen. Make time for a weekend hike and you can round out your hike with some mouthwatering food truck grub at one of the many food truck events that are always happening in Dayton.

>> 6 of the best Dayton trails to hike in the spring

>> 5 must-do things in Yellow Springs

>>Your guide to food truck events in April

2.) Go for a driveRoll down the windows, turn up the music, and just go. Check out these 7 must-see sights within driving distance of Dayton, or explore a nearby town like Tipp City,  Troy or Fairborn. Not to mention, it’s the second weekend for Kings Island, and the weather is finally perfect for high adrenaline thrills. 

>>What’s new for Kings Island 2018?

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Riders enjoy views of the Little Miami River on zip lines at Ozone Zipline Adventures at YMCA Camp Kern in Oregonia. Greg Lynch/ Staff(Greg Lynch)

3.) Get an ice cream coneThere are plenty of places in the area to get ice cream and other frozen treats, from the guilt-free vegan paleo Fronana in downtown Dayton to the well-known, well-loved local staple Graeter's. And who could forget Young's Jersey Dairy, or JD's Custard in Englewood? The options are endless...

>> 7 places to get frozen treats in & around Dayton

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7 reasons not to miss Dayton GeekFest

Published: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

GeekFest at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery will take place Friday, April 28 from 6-11 p.m. There will be cosplay and a costume contest, a Star Wars Room, video games and board games, and much more. PHOTO / Larry Peck
Larry Peck
GeekFest at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery will take place Friday, April 28 from 6-11 p.m. There will be cosplay and a costume contest, a Star Wars Room, video games and board games, and much more. PHOTO / Larry Peck(Larry Peck)

This Friday and Saturday, GeekFest will take over the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

Like past years, GeekFest will be packed full of events, vendors, special guests, treats, costumes and more. But this year, organizers have turned GeekFest into a two-day event.

Boonshoft’s Jason Heaton gave us the scoop on the delightfully nerdy activities you can take participate on Friday night and Saturday (Family Day).

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The annual GeekFest will take place at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Friday and Saturday. Cool events like Wizard School, gaming, special guests, vendors, and food trucks will be there for your geeky amusement. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Wizarding School

Fans of a certain bespectacled boy wizard won’t want to miss GeekFest’s Wizarding School events on Friday night. Heaton says the planetarium will be turned into a Great Hall. 

“We're going to have a chemistry experiment, which we call ‘potions,’” says Heaton. “We'll have astronomy class and at the same time we’ll play Quidditch on the dome of the planetarium. One person will be elected to stand in the middle and actually 'fly' around. That's something really unique.”

Wizard School will also include magic wand making for little kids and a special animal show.

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The annual GeekFest will take place at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Friday and Saturday. Cool events like Wizard School, gaming, special guests, vendors, and food trucks will be there for your geeky amusement. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Orc & Pie

Another fun activity taking place only on Friday night is GeekFest’s staple 5-minute D&D adventure, Orc & Pie. 

In this quick live action role-playing experience, participants will be transformed into heroes… heroes hungry for pie! Will they defeat the fearsome Orc and loot his confectionery treat? Find out at GeekFest. (Hint: the heroes win the pie).

>> This local comic shop just expanded to take over 3 storefronts

The annual GeekFest will take place at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Friday and Saturday. Cool events like Wizard School, gaming, special guests, vendors, and food trucks will be there for your geeky amusement. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Special guests 

Both Friday and Saturday at GeekFest willf eature exciting guests.

Nate Lovett, a professional children’s book illustrator who’s done work for Nickelodeon’s Paw Patrol and more, will be giving “Let’s Draw” presentations both days.

>> Your guide to Dayton food truck events this spring

Cincinnati-based sci fi author Wendy Vogel, whose novel Horizon Alpha features dinosaurs on other planets, will be giving a presentation in Boonshoft’s planetarium on Saturday. “She added some science, so they're based on real planets,” explains Heaton. “Wendy’s not only going to talk about her book, but we’re also going to fly to those planets. I'm looking forward to showing off the science behind them.”

As in previous years, Ohio’s 501st Legion Star Wars cosplayers and the Real Ohio Ghostbusters will also be at GeekFest.

>> Here’s a first look at the new Asian restaurant opening at The Greene

The annual GeekFest will take place at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Friday and Saturday. Cool events like Wizard School, gaming, special guests, vendors, and food trucks will be there for your geeky amusement. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Gaming

Of course, all of your gaming urges can be satisfied at GeekFest. 

A full-on video game arcade, featuring cabinet games brought in by DK EffectGaming Adventures, and Doug’s Electronic Repair, will be in full effect Friday and Saturday.

If cardboard delights are more your speed, a room devoted entirely to tabletop games will be available, with games generously provided by GeekFest staff and the Wittenberg RPG Guild.

>> 7 bar and gaming arcades to visit in Dayton

GeekFest at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery will take place Friday, April 20 through Saturday April 21. PHOTO / Larry Peck(Larry Peck)

Trivia

“On Saturday, we're going to have geek Jeopardy like we've had in the past,” Jason Heaton tells Dayton.com. “We’re also going to try Harry Potter Jeopardy this year for the first time.” 

“Beat the Geek” trivia will be another opportunity to show off your nerd brain. 

The annual GeekFest will take place at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Friday and Saturday. Cool events like Wizard School, gaming, special guests, vendors, and food trucks will be there for your geeky amusement. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Blast off into outer space 

Also going on in the planetarium is Boonshoft’s regular live show, The Sky Tonight, about the astronomical bodies visible from earth on a given evening. Heaton says there will be “a few other surprises in the planetarium, as well.”

“There's going to be a full-blown R2D2 replica a guy named Josh Montgomery built from scratch,” brags Heaton. “He's going to show it off and talk about it in the Planetarium early on Saturday morning.” 

The planets of Star Wars and Geek Jeopardy will be projected onto the 50-foot dome of the planetarium.(Provided by Boonshoft)

More!

We’ve barely scratched the surface of all the exciting things going on at GeekFest this Friday and Saturday. There are also cool geeky vendors like Bell Book and Comic and No Limit Gaming, food trucks both days, and even costume contests. You will not want to miss GeekFest. It’s one of Dayton’s best events of the year!

Want to go?  

WHAT: Boonshoft GeekFest

WHEN: 6-10 p.m. Friday, April 20 and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 21

WHERE: Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, 2600 Deweese Pkwy, Dayton  

COST: Friday night, $20/person, tickets here. Saturday, free with regular museum admission

INFO: www.boonshoftmuseum.org or 937-275-7431 

 

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5 reasons to see ‘Phantom of the Opera’ on its final weekend

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 9:53 AM

Phantom

The music of the night returns with a stunning makeover as the national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s global megahit “The Phantom of the Opera” continues through Sunday, April 22 courtesy of the Victoria Theatre Association’s Premier Health Broadway Series. 

Produced by legendary British powerhouse Cameron Mackintosh and based on the novel by Gaston Leroux, “Phantom” tells a romantic, mysterious and compelling account of the titular musician who takes young soprano Christine Daae under his wing in late 19th century Paris. Meanwhile, Christine is wooed by the dashing Raoul, infuriating the Phantom and fueling his vengeful takeover of the Paris Opera House.

Here are five reasons why you should see this thrilling spectacle on its final weekend. 

>> Phantom of the Opera is in Dayton — and you’ve never seen it like this before

“The Phantom of the Opera” comes to the Schuster Center April 11-22. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MATTHEW MURPHY(Staff Writer)

 

1. EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN 

Director Laurence Connor brings character-driven finesse and breezy fluidity to this reconceived production. He dials back the cinematic opulence of the original helmed by Harold Prince (which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary on Broadway) while adding new touches. In particular, “Prima Donna,” an ode to diva Carlotta (excellently conceited Trista Moldovan), is treated as a beautiful transition, guiding the audience directly into the operatic sequence “Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh.”

Connor also moves the vibrant “Masquerade” inside the Opera House, another effective departure from the original, and alters the Phantom’s suspenseful final seconds to magical degrees. “The original production was brilliant, but this production is truly spectacular,” said Eva Tavares, who portrays the haunted Christine. “I also feel ours is a grittier production. We want to make our characterizations as real as possible.” 

 

2. A POWERFUL LOOK AT EMPATHY 

Despite the Phantom’s treachery and defiance in his obsessive pursuit of Christine, it is imperative to feel some sense of connection to his struggle nonetheless.

“I find the show to be based in a real place of empathy,” Tavares said. “It’s about loving someone and caring for someone even when they don’t love or care for themselves. Even when the people around Christine tell her the Phantom is vicious, she knows the real person inside. He was a tortured individual who was dealt a hard hand at a young age. Christine’s unabashed and unfiltered empathy really speaks to people. She displays a kindness we all need in our lives.” 

 >> World premiere of Pete Rose play coming soon to Dayton

Eva Tavares as Christine in "The Phantom of the Opera." CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MATTHEW MURPHY

3. A BEAUTIFULLY COMPLEX CHRISTINE 

As Tavares navigates her role with lovely elegance, she provides a beautifully complex journey from giddy chorus girl (her star-is-born excitement throughout the gorgeous “Think of Me” is an early highpoint) to mature woman.

There is also a very telling moment in Act 1 when Christine grows suicidal, another savvy directorial choice from Connor.

The soaring ballad “All I Ask of You” literally becomes Raoul’s plea to bring Christine off the ledge. 

 

4. APPEALING NON-TRADITIONAL CASTING 

Standing 6-foot-7, Quentin Oliver Lee, an African-American, firmly leads the production in the vocally demanding titular role. His refreshing and imposing presence certainly gives the material a great deal of renewed subtext.

“Diversity in casting shouldn’t be an issue,” said Tavares, who is 5-foot-1. “The people who are right for a role should be cast. Quentin is an amazing actor who brings a lot to the role. We have a great dynamic as friends. I’m so glad and so grateful to be part of a company that sees the value in diversity in casting.” 

A 52-member cast will come to town for “The Phantom of the Opera” April 11-22. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MATTHEW MURPHY(Staff Writer)

 

5. VISUAL SPLENDOR 

Even though this tour overall strays from the original’s iconic nature, you’ll still be dazzled by Maria Bjornson’s fabulous costumes, Scott Brown’s scenic design, Scott Ambler’s terrific choreography (notice the Paso Doble intensity within “The Point of No Return”), Nina Dunn’s video/projection design, and one grand chandelier that is a character all its own. 

 

WANT TO GO?

What: “The Phantom of the Opera” 

Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton 

When: Through April 22; 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday 

Cost: $25-$118 

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

 

Contact this contributing writer at rflorence2@gmail.com

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