On Stage

Summer extras: Dinner and a show, auditions and awards

By Jacqui Theobald

Photo: Tamra Francis and Heather Gorby in Mayhem and Mystery’s “Reunion Reckoning”; photo: Jerry Francis

Mayhem and Mystery at Spaghetti Warehouse

Mayhem and Mystery is in its own category – it’s not dinner theatre in the usual sense, but plays presented in restaurants, one inviting audience members to participate, and one with opportunities to applaud. Both are light-hearted fun. The troupe has long been presenting original scripts by creators Tamra and Jerry Francis at the Spaghetti Warehouse in downtown Dayton. In July and August, they host “Reunion Reckoning,” an interactive comedy just in time for the real family reunion season. These people may not be like the quirky relatives in your actual family, but you just may see a few similarities – good for a laugh or a sigh. Audiences have a chance to be a small part of each show.

The Fazedin family gathers annually to eat, sing, dance and tell stories. They decide to crown a king of the gypsies, a conflict leading to fist fights between Hanzi and Emillion. Fifika (don’t you love the names?) interrupts, sharing a vision of a dead body. Mayhem turns to mystery, and possibly murder. It won’t disturb your digestion.

Please call 937.461.3913 for REQUIRED reservations. Cost: $25.95 per person for dinner and Mystery show. Tax and gratuity not included. Performances at 7 p.m. on Mondays July 21 and 28 and Friday, July 18. There are also shows Mondays August 4, 11, 18 and 25 and Fridays August 8 and 22. The Spaghetti Warehouse is located at 36 W. Fifth St. For more information, please visit mayhemmystery.com.


Dare to Defy’s “Altar Boyz” 

Here is an emerging company working to make theatre available and comfortable for every audience. After recent performances at the little Mathile Black Box space at the Schuster, they will perform “Altar Boyz” at Mimi’s Café at The Greene on Tuesdays Aug. 5 and Sept. 2.

Altar Boyz is a Christian boy band from Greenville, Ohio on the last night of their Raise the Praise tour. They have big ambitions: saving souls, raising spirits and, not incidentally, making the big time. The play has a fine history, beginning at the New York Musical Theatre Festival ten years ago, moving in 2005 to off-Broadway’s New World Stages, where it’s still running. It won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical and was nominated for seven Drama Desk Awards.

Bobby Mitchum is Matthew, the very good-looking leader, who works hard to hold the group together. Drew Bowen is Mark, described as sweet and sensitive. He choreographs all the band’s spectacular dance moves. The driver for the group’s van is Luke, who has a taste for the communion wine, played by TC Schreier. Completing the Altar Boyz are Juan, ladies’ man and Latin lover, played by Jordan DuVall, and Abraham (played by Zach King), the “nice Jewish boy” who wonders how he ended up in the group.

The play was conceived by Marc Kessler and Ken Davenport, book by Kevin Del Aguila, music and lyrics by Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker.

Seating starts at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:15 p.m.. Tickets are $20, with additional food purchase required. For more reservations and more information, please call 937.999.9949 or visit daretodefyllc.com.


First annual  X*ACT awards and hall of fame ceremony

Too often, diligent workers with strong personalities who give their all to an organization are taken for granted – until it’s too late. It sounds like Olivia Gladman, who passed away this year, was well respected and recognized at X*ACT, Xenia’s community theatre, before she was recently honored there. One of her daughters, Mona Vollmer, accepted her award.

“My mother was passionate about all her many interests; as a founder of the this theatre, as an educator, involved with family, a feminist, an early civil rights advocate who insisted on doing things right,” Vollmer said. “And she loved to ride in cars with the top down. She was knowledgeable and wise. This award means a great deal to our family.”

The Olivia Award for Outstanding Volunteer went to H.L. Woosley. “In community theatre, everyone does many jobs,” he remarked. “I’ve run the technical department, been board VP, designed posters and programs, built snow and fog machines and supervised two building renovations. But the best part of theatre is the people you meet.”

For the complete list of award winners, please visit xeniaact.org.


Audition tonight, July 15, only – Dayton Theatre Guild, 7 p.m.

Two women characters ages 22 and 38, and three males, ages 15, 30 and 40, some with Texas accents, can still try out for “People Dancing to Good Country Music” by Lee Blessing, directed by Ralph Dennler. The show will be performed Aug. 22 to Sept. 7 at the Guild, 430 Wayne Ave. For more information: ralph@theatregulid.org.     

More auditions: ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ at Beavercreek Community Theatre, Aug. 4 and 5

Dixie, Trixie, Pixie and Ralph are the “no-neck” monster children in the Tennessee Williams classic drama, directed by Michael J. Boyd. Children’s ages range from 7 to 13. Parents will be asked to sign off on the play’s content and mildly adult language. The young actors are rambunctious on stage, but need to be calm backstage. The adult roles are huge theatrical challenges. Auditions will be at 6 p.m. for kids and 7 p.m. for adults, both days at Lofino Center, 3868 Dayton-Xenia Road, Beavercreek. Performances: Sept. 12-24. For more information, please visit BeavercreekCommunityTheatre.com and click “Auditions.”

Reach DCP theatre critique Jacqui Theobald at JacquiTheobald @DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Reach DCP theatre critic Jacqui Theobald at JacquiTheobald@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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