On stage

An unusual selection is a gift

by Jacqui Theobald

Photo: Danielle Kubasky (Sister Mary Amnesia),Angele’ Price (Sister Hubert), Angie Thacker (Sister Mary Regina), Cassi Mikat (Sister Robert Ann) and Tori Kocher (Sister Leo) in Dare to Defy’s “Nunsense”

“Isn’t it Romantic” is not your ordinary seasonal feature. There are no fuzzy puppies and no kids in the Dayton Theatre Guild’s Holiday Extra this year. It does have the clever lines and make-you-think dialogue by Wendy Wasserstein in this, her third play about young women who want it all. Guild president Kathy Mola, also one of the producers, described the eight-person show as a “light-hearted comedy about the ’80s.” The gift is that the play has brought new participants into the Guild, both actors and backstage volunteers, thereby increasing the theatre community participation. And a talented former Daytonian is back after an out-of-town hiatus, at least long enough to design an eye-catching set for this show. Greg Smith is now living in the region, and couldn’t stay away from the Guild, where he’d previously done over-the-top costume designs, as well as proven his acting skills. “This set is complicated,” director Marcia Nowik said, “with two apartments, two restaurants, an office and Central Park.”

Over the past year, the community theatre has welcomed 17 new crew people and 13 new actors. They must be doing something right.

Angela Timpone plays Janie, whose parents, acted by Richard Young and Marcella Balin, shower her with attention and a push toward conventional marriage and family. Lauren Caldwell is Harriet, who has a very remote, professional-woman mother, Dorothy Michalski, who barely seems to care. Dave Gaylor is Harriet’s boyfriend, Paul, and Wayne Wolfe is Janie’s boyfriend, Marty. Scott Huffman is Vladimir, a Russian cab driver pushed as potential husband by Janie’s parents.

The tangles of trying to have it all, the challenge of the ’80s that is never quite resolved for educated women, is captured in Janie’s words to Marty: “Everything by you is much more simple than it has to be.”

Nowik noted the challenge of keeping comedy light and fresh with “pauses, double takes and throw-away lines.” She said, “The audience has to be surprised.”

“Isn’t it Romantic” will run Nov. 21-Dec. 7 at the Dayton Theatre Guild, 430 Wayne Ave. For tickets and times, please call 937.278.5993 or visit daytontheatreguild.org.

‘The Wedding Singer’ rocks at Playhouse South

“This is a high energy, youthful, big–hair, ’80s-era show,” board member Rebecca Norgaard explained. It’s based on the 1998 movie, starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, about a popular wedding singer who comes to hate weddings after his own fiancée leaves him at the altar. Robbie, played by Jeremy Aldridge, seems to be on the verge of angrily ruining every wedding he sings for but stops just in time as Julia (played by Lauren Stubbs), a catering waitress, helps him get a grip on love and marriage.

Popular music from the 1998 movie rock concert includes “Somebody Kill Me” and “I Wanna Grow Old With You.” The Tony-nominated original score was inspired by such ’80s icons as Cyndi Lauper, David Bowie, Boy George and Pat Benatar. Playhouse South Community Theatre has a big singing cast to recreate the 2006 Broadway hit. Jen Skudlarek directs with Jason Clark doing the musical direction. Music is by Matthew Sklar with book by Tim Heath and Chad Beguelin, who also created the lyrics. Lisa Glover doubles as choreographer and character Holly.

“The Wedding Singer” will run through Sunday, Nov. 23 at the Clark Haines Theatre, 3750 Far Hills Ave. in Kettering. For tickets and times, please call 1.888.262.3792 or visit playhousesouth.org.

Audition for ‘The Fantasticks’ at the Dayton Playhouse – Nov. 24 and 25, 7 p.m.

It will be a special day this winter if you are rehearsing and performing in “The Fantasticks,” a most durable and heart-warming tale and the longest running Off-Broadway show – at 42 years. “Try to Remember,” one of several touching melodies from Tom Jones’ lyrics and book and Harvey Schmidt’s music, is highlighted, along with “They Were You” and “Soon It’s Gonna Rain,” in this boy-girl love story told by a narrator. Eight characters, ranging from the very young couple to the father and one older man, are needed. Five are singing parts, one is all pantomime, two are aging actors, one specializes in stage deaths and the other spouts Shakespeare. This is a great opportunity for comedy and for seven men.

Ron Kindell is musical director and Mike Embree will choreograph. Matthew Smith will direct and has listed specific vocal ranges and role descriptions at thedaytonplayhouse.com.

Rehearsals begin Monday, Dec. 8 and the show runs Jan. 23-Feb. 8, 2015. The Dayton Playhouse is at 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave. in Dayton.

Dare to Defy brings ‘Nunsense’ to the Mathile Theatre – Dec. 5 and 6

Dayton’s newest theatre group is highlighting those singing, goofy nuns who are just as out-of-the box in this show as they were in its mid-’80s run (the second-longest Off-Broadway) or in the subsequent TV show. It’s broad musical comedy with an opportunity for solo turns by nuns with slightly unbelievable pasts – including a former circus performer, Mother Superior, who loves a spotlight more than managing the finances of the Sisters of Hoboken Parish. Her solution to disaster is to put on a show! Book, music and lyrics by Dan Goggin. Dawn Roth-Smith is the director, David McKibben is the music director, Haylee Dobkins is the choreographer and Mathys Herbert is the set designer.

“‘Nunsense’ is totally non-offensive, an all ages appealing show,” Dare to Defy’s Rebecca Norgaard said.

Dare to Defy presents “Nunsense” on Friday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Mathile Theatre in the Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St. For tickets and more information, please visit d2defy.com.

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

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

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