A busy summer theater season
By Jaqui Theobald
TONIGHT ONLY! Great chance to return to the theater, retrieve that urge to be on stage again. The last audition for this play that features, ahem, mature actors, Neil Simon’s “45 Seconds from Broadway” is at 7 p.m. tonight. (Tuesday, July 16). More than half a dozen men and women from 50 to 70-ish, as well as a pair of slightly younger women and a 20-something African (not African American) man are needed. The show will run from Aug. 23 through early September on the weekends. Dayton Theatre Guild is at 450 Wayne Ave. For more information, contact KL_Storer@yahoo.com.
There is still time to catch the last weekend of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” that durable Andrew Lloyd Weber musical, at Epiphany Lutheran Church, 6430 Far Hills Ave. It is a lively, colorful show with easy-to-love music and dancing. There’s a little bit of Genesis, a little bit of Elvis and an interesting theater-in-the-round presentation directed by Megan Wean. “Curtain” is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 18-20; Sunday, July 21, at 2:30 p.m. For more information, call 937.433.1449 ext.105 or go to epiphanydayton.org for the very reasonably priced tickets.
You don’t have to sell your soul to the devil to see “Dr. Faustus,” the Christopher Marlow late-16th century classic, nor did the Zoot Theatre Company have to make a deal to add their original puppets to the production. Director Brian McKnight has heroically shortened the script to about 90 minutes, just right for the presentation in the Hale Cloister at the Dayton Art Institute. It is an interesting choice for an under the blue (we hope) sky. There’s plenty to talk about after you see this; muse on good and evil, always an issue no matter what century we live in. You can reserve a “box and a bottle” as well as your tickets at 937.512.0140 or go to zoottheatrecompany.org. Remaining performances are Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, July 17, 20 and 21, at 1 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 18, and 19 at 7 p.m.
Six Dayton area parks will host “As You Like It,” Shakespeare’s comedy of disguised lovers and mistaken identities. There are fools, battling brothers and conniving dukes in what could be called an action comedy. This is the final season of Free Shakespeare, here. Chris Shea – who has done so much to make Shakespeare friendly and easy to know – is moving to Seattle for his own new acting opportunity. He plans to start a Free Shakespeare there. “As You Like It” will play on some Thursdays and weekends at different locations from mid-July through the second weekend in August. The dates and sites: July 18 and 25 at Rosewood Arts Center, 2655 Olson Dr. in Kettering; July 19-21 at ArtStreet Amphitheatre on Keifaber St. on the University of Dayton campus; July 26-28 at Newcom Founder’s Park in Oregon Historic District by the gazebo, Green Street at Hess Street; Aug. 1 and 8 at Blommel Park on Jay Street in South Park Historic District; Aug. 2-4 in Wegerzyn Gardens Metro Park, 1301 E. Seibenthaler Ave.; Aug. 9-11 at Antioch College Amphitheatre 795 Corry St., Yellow Springs. You may want to bring bug spray and a blanket. All the shows begin at 7 p.m. Shea has shared a great love of the theater with Dayton and he will be missed, but it is a hopeful goodbye we send him.
If you have had enough of the classics, you can check out the experimental. The Human Race Theatre Company is supporting the development of new musicals this summer. Their Festival of New Musicals provides the writers of two new pieces the opportunity to rewrite and tighten up their shows. After the busy two-week workshop, they will perform “The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes” with book and lyrics by Christopher Dimond and music by Michael Kooman. The staged reading with professional actors will be Friday, Aug. 2, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 3 at 2 p.m. The other piece is “Guarding Gold Street” by the Race’s own resident artist Sean Michael Flowers and Marya Spring Cordes. It will be presented Saturday, Aug. 3 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 4, at 2 p.m. For more information, call 937.228.3630, visit ticketcenterstage.org or go in person to the Schuster Box Office, 1 W. Second St.
Clearly Dayton has a rich theatre community. We do the classics, we innovate and we honor our own. The Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame will combine the celebration that adds four special people who have made outstanding contributions over the years with the awards ceremony that acknowledges this year’s college and community best.
The two living to be honored are Darrell Anderson, head of the Theatre Department at UD, teacher, historian and scenic and lighting designer; along with Chris Harmon, director, teacher, outstanding creative set designer and winner of 35 previous DayTonys. Two others left their imprint during their lifetimes. Kay Wean was head of Drama Ministry at Epiphany Lutheran Church and was also active with student actors at Centerville High School. Her daughter Megan continues her tradition at Epiphany. John Kenley brought his Players for 10 summer weeks from 1957 to 1995. He introduced theater to many Daytonians. The dinner is Saturday, Aug. 3 at Sinclair Community College. Go to sinclair.edu/tickets for details.
Virginia Garcia was inducted into the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame in 2002. She passed on June 25, at the of age 94. It is a sad goodbye.
Reach DCP freelance writer Jacqui Theobald at JacquiTheobald@DaytonCityPaper.com.