On Stage

All’s busy and productive in Dayton’s theatre world

By Jacqui Theobald

Right now, March 15 – Auditions at the Dayton Playhouse – Tonight only! 

If you’ve always had a hankering to don knee breeches and a white wig and sing those memorable songs from 1776, the Musical, hurry to the Playhouse at 1301 E. Siebenthaler, 45401 at 7 p.m. tonight, March 15.

Twenty-four—count them, twenty-four—men ranging from late teens to 70 years old, many singing, some not, are sought for this classic show. Oh yes, there are two women: Martha Jefferson is 20-something and mezzo soprano, and Abigail Adams, 30 to 45, is soprano. Tina McPhearson directs, musical director is Ron Lindell and Allie Eder is choreographer. The show runs May 6-22. Bring 16 to 30 bars of music and dress comfortably. An accompanist will be provided.

For more information, please visit daytonplayhouse.com.

One weekend remains – “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife” 

Performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday matinee at the Dayton Playhouse will complete Charles Busch’s story of a stressed middle-aged New Yorker, Marjorie (Amy Taint). Despite having time and financial means, she sees her herself as mediocre, emotionally vulnerable. Her husband Ira is Matthew Lindsay. The requisite ‘flamboyant buddy,’ Lee Green is Tina McPhearson. Pam McGinnes as Frieda and Malcolm Casey as Mohammed complete the cast, directed by Matthew Smith.

Director Smith notes the fun of the script, crammed with laugh lines. He also notes the strength, talent and experience of his cast. “Working with seasoned actors is a special experience,” he says.

Chris Newman designed the elegant upper West Side apartment. Dawn Roth Smith is stage manager; Kathleen Carroll is enjoying doing costumes, with props by Heather Campbell Martin, light design by John Falkenbach and sound design by J. Gary Thompson. Jamie Pavlofsky helped out as Dialect Coach.

The play debuted off-Broadway in early 2000 and with good reviews it promptly moved to Broadway where it had a good long run. Linda Lavin was the original Marjorie and Tony Roberts played Ira with Michelle Lee as Lee. Later Valerie Harper, then Rhea Perlman had the lead. The playwright is best known for film comedy, but in this, his first stage effort, he was compared to the best of Neil Simon or Wendy Wasserstein. It’s a show that pops with fast one-liners and “wall-to-wall laughs,” as reviewed by The New York Times.

Not for children. Runs through March 20. For tickets or more information, please visit daytonplayhouse.com.

Town Hall Theatre for Children 

There’s a touch of Indian culture the weekend of March 24-26 with “Princess Savitri and Other Folktales of India.” The players are in grades second to sixth and have been learning about the stage and acting in their age appropriate Washington Township class. The show runs about an hour and is delightful for age 4 and up, including parents and grandparents and friends. All tickets are $8 day of show and for adults. If purchased early, five-dollar tickets for children 12 and under are available.

For tickets, or more information, please call 937.433.8957 or visit townhalltheatre.org. 

The Dayton Theatre Guild Announces Selections for 2016-2017 Season 

Play readers make suggestions, committees meet, the Guild’s spirit is considered and finally a season comes together!

“The Last Lifeboat” by Luke Yankee – Aug. 19-Sept. 4, 2016

We hear a lot of stories about the passengers of the Titanic. This is from the point of view of the managing director of the White Star Line, Joseph Bruce Ismay, who was on board the fatal voyage. He got into the last lifeboat, after assuring himself all women and children were off the ship. Afterward he was tortured by guilt and lawsuits.

“The Outgoing Tide” by Bruce Graham – Oct. 7-23, 2016

The play’s focus is on the problems and conflicts of making decisions regarding the final years of Gunner who has Alzheimer’s, wife Peg, their son, their summer cottage, with memories, flashbacks and ‘adult language.’

“The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin” by Steven Levenson – Nov. 18-Dec. 4, 2016

What happens when a white-collar-criminal has served his time and comes home to seek his family’s forgiveness and respect? Things get messy as he discovers there’s a price to pay as he upsets the new balance they managed in his absence. Adult language in this, too.

“Luna Gale” by Rebecca Gilman – Jan. 20-Feb. 5, 2017

What’s the right thing to do? It’s the experienced social worker’s dilemma when she encounters a young couple, druggies, whose baby is in the care of the super-righteous grandmother. Does rehabilitation matter? Who gets custody? The play debuted in 2014 at the Goodman in Chicago.

“The Elephant Man” by Bernard Pomerance – March 17-April 2, 2017

You probably know the classic play about the man with deformities who’s helped by a London doctor and found to be brilliant and charming. It debuted in 1979 and was recently revived on Broadway.

“Wonder of the World” by David Lindsay-Abaire – May 12-26, 2017

The playwright who brought us Kimberly Akimbo and Fuddy Meers now creates another large group of oddities including a clown therapist and an enormous jar of peanut butter. Adult Language.

Season tickets now available. To purchase tickets or for more information, please call 937.278.5993 or daytontheatreguild.org.

Remember – March 19 at 7 p.m. at Theatre Guild – Ohio Playwright’s Circle – Free

Short selections from new plays will be performed publically for the first. The scripts are from advanced students of Michael London’s Playwriting Class.

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

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

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