Kicking Off Summer on Stage

Kicking Off Summer on Stage

Previewing Regional Theatre Offerings

By Brian P. Sharp

The Story of My Life at The Dayton Theatre Guild

The Dayton Theatre Guild concludes its 2011-12 season with the Season Extra “The Story of My Life,” music and lyrics by Neil Bartram, book by Brian Hill, June 1 – 17. It is directed by Debra Kent and produced by K.L. Storer.

Thomas Weaver, a successful writer, returns to his hometown to perform the eulogy for his childhood friend, Alvin Kelby. He struggles to find the appropriate words, but comes up with nothing but blank pages. With the help of Alvin, who appears from the recesses of his mind, Thomas sorts through story after story of the events that made up their friendship, searching for his role in his friend’s untimely death. We follow the lifelong friendship between the two men, an inspiring story told mostly in song.

Author Brian Hill received a 2009 Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Book for The Story of My Life.  Jeff Sams (Dividing the Estate, The Boys Next Door) from Franklin plays Alvin and Scott Knisley (The Blue Moon Dancing, Bus Stop -Dayton Playhouse) from Union plays Thomas.

The Story of My Life” runs Fridays through Sundays, June 1 – June 17, 2012. Friday performances are at 8:00 p.m., the first Saturday is at 8:00 p.m., with second and third Saturday performances at 5:00 p.m.  Sunday matinees are at 3:00 p.m.  No one under the age of seven will be admitted.

Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for students.  Reservations can be made via the website at www.daytontheatreguild.org, or by calling the Guild at (937) 278-5993.

Stop Kiss and bare: A Pop Opera at Playhouse South

Playhouse South will be presenting two shows: Stop Kiss, by Diana Son, and bare: A Pop Opera, by Jon Hartmere, Jr. and Damon Intrabartolo. Stop Kiss is an incredible story about two people who meet, fall in love, and overcome violence and fear to be together. They just happen to be women. bare: A Pop Opera is a musical about two boys (Peter and Jason) who are roommates in a Catholic high school. More importantly it’s about their love for each other and the effects of that love on themselves, all of their friends, family and everyone in the school.

Jen Skudlarek, director of Stop Kiss, says, “For me personally, I wanted to direct Stop Kiss right now because of the recent bullying and teen suicide epidemic within the LGBT community. For me, this play is about hope and love in the face of adversity, and I hope that is what it brings to the community.”

First-time director Jamal Cann states, “To me, bare is ultimately the story of a group of teenagers finding their voice in a world where they feel like no one, specifically adults, understands them or really cares about what they have to say. There’s a sense of oppression the kids feel, whether it’s a feeling of being afraid of going against God’s will, or even if they believe there is a God out there listening to them all.”

The directors want to not only present shows that touch the heart; they want to make a difference. Playhouse South will be raffling off an afghan and pillows made by Jess Evans with the proceeds going to the Trevor Project (the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth). In addition, donations will be taken at performances to benefit the organization.

Stop Kiss runs on June 14, 16, and 22, all at 8 pm; bare runs on June 15, 21, and 23. Tickets can be purchased at www.playhousesouth.org or by calling 888-262-3792 the shows are performed at the Clark Haines Theatre (3750 Far Hills Ave., Kettering

Children of Eden at Wilmington College – Summer Theatre

“Children of Eden” is a two-act musical by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Godspell).
Act One is a retelling of the story of Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden, and Cain and Abel, while Act Two retells the story of Noah and his family, the ark, the animals and the Great Flood. Haines said, “This is a show about children and parents, testing boundaries, faith and reconciliation.” The show requires a very large cast and contains massive amounts of choral singing.

Wilmington College-Community Summer Theatre will present “Children of Eden” as its 40th anniversary production Thurs., Fri. and Sat., July 19, 20 and 21, at 7:30 p.m., and Sun., July 22, at 2:30 p.m., in WC’s Hugh G. Heiland Theatre. Tickets are $12 and can be reserved by calling the Theatre Box Office at (937) 382-6661 ext. 267.

FutureFest at The Dayton Playhouse

Dayton Playhouse has announced the final 6 new works that will be shown during the festival of new plays (FutureFest) July 27-29.  Weekend passes are available for $95 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 937-424-8477 or online at www.daytonplayhouse.org

A Political Woman – Directed by Cynthia Karns – Fully Staged – Friday 8pm

Provenance – Directed by David Shough – Staged Reading – Saturday 10am

Nureyev’s Eyes – Directed by Annie Pesch – Staged Reading – Saturday 3pm

Curve – Directed by Jim Lockwood – Fully Staged – Saturday 8pm

Excavation – Directed by Nancy Campbell – Staged Reading – Sunday 10am

This Rough Magic – Directed by Gayle – Fully Staged – Sunday 3pm

Beavercreek Community Theatre will close out its 2011-2012 season with “Chicago.”

The musical, set in Prohibition-era Chicago during the roaring twenties, will be presented from June 15 – June 24 with 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday performances and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday matinees.

The satire on criminal justice corruption and the concept of the celebrity criminal features Roxie Hart, a chorus girl played by Katie Perry of Kettering, who murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband Amos, portrayed by Michael Shannon of West Carrollton, to take the rap. He turns on her when he finds out he’s been duped. On death row, Roxie vies for the spotlight and headlines with another convicted murderess, Velma Kelly, played by Tina de Alderete of Miamisburg.  Velma is a vaudevillian who murdered both her husband and her sister when she found them in bed together. Ultimately they join forces in search of the “American Dream” of fame, fortune and acquittal.

Their cell block is presided over by the corrupt Matron “Mama” Morton, portrayed by Monique Hobbs of Centerville.  The two murderesses vie for the services of lawyer Billy Flynn, played by Dean Swann of Dayton.  Billy takes Roxie’s case and re-arranges her story for use by sympathetic tabloid columnist Mary Sunshine, portrayed by Bobby Mitchum of Dayton.  The cast includes Adrianne Krauss of Columbus, Arizona Craycraft of Springboro along with Dayton residents Malcolm Walker, Michael Stockstill and Jordan Tyler Duvall of Dayton and Beavercreek residents Odette Gutierrez, Mary Stoughton, Matt Owens, RJ Steck and Sandra Hyde.

The director is Chris Harmon of Beavercreek, who is also the set designer. Annette Looper of Centerville is the choreographer and Ben Spencer of Riverside as the music director.

Tickets are $13 for adults and $11 for students, BCT members and seniors, ages 55 and older.  A group discount of $1 per ticket is available to groups of 10 or more when the tickets are purchased at the same time for the same performance.

Tickets can be reserved by calling 429-4737 and leaving a message or by emailing boxoffice@bctheatre.org.  For more information, visit the theater’s Web site at www.bctheatre.org, where the tickets can be purchased online with a credit card.

Beavercreek Community Theatre is located within the Lofino Adult Enrichment and Cultural Arts Center at 3868 Dayton-Xenia Road in Beavercreek.

Reach DCP theatre critic Brian P. Sharp at Theatre@DaytonCityPaper.com

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