Off to see a show this month? Take your pick

‘Blues for an Alabama Sky’ cast L-R: Erin McGee, Shaun Diggs, Bryana Bentley, Justin Lampkins, S. Francis Livisay (standing). Photo: Patti Celek

By Natalie McCollum

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—yes, I mean Halloween. For many, the month of October is synonymous with the holiday of costumes, masks, and becoming someone you’re not (at least on the outside). What better way to celebrate the season and all its theatrics than with a performance by one of the Miami Valley’s many fine theatres? Make some time in your seasonal revelries to attend some of these shows so you won’t be haunted with regret that you missed out.

Dare to Defy’s Bat Boy: The Musical at the Schuster Center, Oct. 27-28 & Nov. 3

Based on a series of tabloid headlines from 1992, this rock musical by Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming tells the story of a half-boy, half-bat dubbed “Bat Boy” who grew up living in a cave and is discovered by a group of teenagers spelunking in West Virginia. With music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe, this performance by one of Dayton’s newer theatre companies is sure to get you in the swing of the season. For tickets, go to TicketCenterStage.com or call the Schuster box office at 937.228.3630.

X*ACT: Xenia Area Community Theatre presents ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ Oct. 27-Nov. 5

Sherlock Holmes must again save the day (or night!) by helping Sir Henry, heir to the Baskerville fortune, survive the family curse in the form of a beast terrorizing the English moors. Written by Tim Kelly and directed by Tony Copper, the play is based on a classic mystery by one of the literary greats, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. For tickets and show times, visit XeniaAct.org or call the theatre at 937.372.0516.

Victoria Theatre Association: In the Heights (musical) & ‘Tape’ (play) at the Schuster

Four-time Tony Award winning musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, In the Heights, arrives at the Victoria Oct. 3-8. It tells the story of the diverse residents of Washington Heights, a New York City neighborhood, through Latin dance and hip-hop lyrics. Co-directed and choreographed by James A. Rocco and Al Justiniano.

In “Tape” by Stephen Belber, an aspiring filmmaker named Jon reunites with Vince, his best friend from high school and confesses to something terrible he did 10 years ago. This show, running Oct. 19-22, is produced by The Playground, Dayton’s millennial theatre, and includes a cast of young, upcoming talent: A.J. Breslin as Jon, Christopher Hahn as Vince, and Tabitha Wharton as Amy. Directed by Jenna Valyn.

Both shows are taking stage at the Schuster Center, 1 West Second Street in Dayton. Tickets are available at TicketCenterStage.com or the box office, 937.228.3630.

Dayton Theatre Guild presents ‘Marjorie Prime’ Oct. 6-22

In this play by Jordan Harrison, which was a 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist, 85-year-old Marjorie copes with her husband’s death with a human replica AI, called a prime. However, this story isn’t just for the sci-fi nerds. As director Jared Mola explains, “Though the show takes place in the not so distant future, it has more in common with a classic living room family drama than science fiction. I think the show has a wide appeal in that respect. … it’s a very accessible human drama more than anything. No silver jumpsuits!” Still, the script presents some unique challenges. “Not many shows ask you to play a hologram or interact with artificial intelligence, but I have four actors who are very up to the task of making it as ‘realistic’ as possible,” Mola says. These skillful actors are Barbara Jorgensen as Marjorie, Ryan Shannon as Walter, Wendi Michael as Tess, and K.L. Storer as Jon. For show times and tickets, visit DaytonTheatreGuild.org or call 937.278.5993.

Sinclair Theatre opens 2017-18 season with ‘Blues for an Alabama Sky’ Oct. 6-14

This play by Pearl Cleage portrays the Harlem Renaissance through the eyes of five African-American musicians, artists, and social activists whose work is influenced by famous contemporaries such as Margaret Sanger and Langston Hughes. Directed by Kimberly Borst, the cast includes Bryana Bentley starring as Angel, a blues singer; Erin McGee; Shaun Diggs; Justin Lampkins; and S. Francis Livisay. For tickets, go to Sinclair.edu/Tickets or visit the box office at Blair Hall Theatre one hour prior to performance.

Wright State Theatre Department presents ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ Sept. 28-Oct. 8

Relax with a few relatable laughs from this Pulitzer-winning comedy about two polar-opposite families about to be joined through marriage and meet at a dinner gathering that goes awkwardly off-script (pun intended!). This play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart takes stage at the Festival Playhouse on Wright State’s campus. For tickets and more information, visit Liberal-Arts.Wright.edu/Theatre-Dance-and-Motion-Pictures or call the Creative Arts Center box office at 937.775.2500.

Clark State Theatre Arts Program’s fall play: ‘King Lear,’ Oct. 27-29, Nov. 3-5

The Performing Arts Center hosts Shakespeare’s classic tale of a king liquidating his kingdom among three daughters based on their love and loyalty to him; unsurprisingly the results translate to political and social commentary and universal themes still relevant to the human experience today. As director Josh Katawick says, “In my opinion, ‘King Lear’ is Shakespeare’s masterwork.” Check out this masterwork for yourself by calling the box office at 937.328.3874 or visiting PAC.ClarkState.edu.

Cedarville University’s fall play: ‘The Diary of Anne Frank,’ Oct. 5-7 & 12-15

The Stevens Student Center’s DeVries Theatre presents the personal story penned by one of the most famous voices in human history. For tickets and more information, visit Cedarville.edu/Academics/Art-Design-Theatre or call 937.766.3437.

University of Dayton’s Dance Ensemble: ‘…and the Greatest of These Is Love,’
Oct. 27-28

Fall dance concert takes stage at the Black Box Theatre on UD’s campus. For tickets and more information, contact the box office at 937.229.2545 or Tickets.UDayton.edu.

Centerville’s Town Hall Theatre presents Wiley and the Hairy Man Oct. 20-29

Based on the book by Susan Zeder, this musical for youth ages 8 and up is a duel of wits between a boy and his trusty dog and the swamp monster haunting them. Conquering fear is the overall goal (and theme). Sophie Caton as Wiley and Dylan Serrano as the dog lead an ensemble cast. For tickets and show times, call the box office at 937.433.8957 or visit TownHallTheatre.org.

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