On stage 4/21/15

A look ahead to spring theatre

By Jacqui Theobald

Photo: Dayton Playhouse presents Grease May 1-17

Dayton Theatre Guild’s “Criminal Hearts,” April 24-May 3, 2015

Jane Martin’s comedy will run for two more weekends at the Dayton Theatre Guild. In the unlikely role of ego-centric, neurotic, clueless-about-life Ata is multi-talented Katrina Kittle, a local theatre favorite. She plays a wife who wakes up (literally and symbolically) and finds her philandering lawyer husband has taken everything from their apartment, except the mattress she slept on.

She is awakened by someone climbing through the window, intending to rob her. But the robber finds it’s too late – it’s all gone. Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) performer Nabachwa Sensalo is Bo, described as a grifter. She is what she is and uses plenty of street language to establish herself as one cold hearted you-know-what, almost.

The two dissimilar women team up and are in cahoots with Robbie the get-away driver, Patrick Wanzer. Throw in Ata’s scumbag husband Wib, Jack O’Connor, a gun and a few plot twists and there’s “Criminal Hearts,” directed by Saul Caplan and produced by Debra Kent.

“Criminal Hearts” will run through May 3. Showtimes are Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. at the Carl D Phillips TheatreScape, 430 Wayne Ave. No one under age seven will be admitted. Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors and $ 11 for students. For tickets and more information, please visit daytontheatreguild.org or call 937.278.5993.

Grease rocks into Dayton Playhouse, May 1-17, 2015

Written in the 1970s, defining some teen culture of the ’50s, Grease is the ever-popular musical that manages to get audiences of all ages enthusiastically snapping their fingers and tapping their feet.

Director Tina McPhearson is excited about filling the Dayton Playhouse with youthful energy. The musical director is Brad Mattingly and the choreographer is Paige Hanshaw.

Grease was nominated for seven Tonys and has won four. It’s set at the mythic yet iconic Rydell High School, based on a real Chicago school. It opened there in 1972, moved briefly Off Broadway, then onto Broadway where it played three different theatres, racking up 3,388 performances by the time it closed in 1980 – a long-run record at the time. There was a movie version and performances all over the world, as well as several New York revivals.

The story follows ten working-class teens as they deal with coming-of-age challenges, universal issues for many.

The big cast includes Bobby Mitchum as Danny Zuco, Amanda Carter as Sandy Dumbrowski, Desmond Thomas as Kenickie, Kelli Locker as Betty Rizzo, Emily Church as Frenchy, Tyler Henry as Doody, Maximillan Santucci as Sonny Latierri, Allie Jackson as Marty, Naman Clark as Roger, Tori Kocher as Jan, Malcolm Casey as Vince Fontaine, Tyler Smith as Eugene, Andrew Spoon as Teen Angel, William Scarborough as Johnny Casino, Theresa Kahle as Miss Lynch, Melanie Barrett as Patty Simcox and Tamar Fishbein as Cha-Cha DiGregorio.

Grease runs for three weekends, May 1-17, with Friday and Saturday showtimes at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., at the Dayton Playhouse, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave. For tickets and information, please visit daytonplayhouse.com or call 937.424.8477.

Opportunity now to submit original art for FutureFest

Dayton Playhouse invites artists, regional or beyond, to donate art of any medium relevant to Comedy/Tragedy to be sold or auctioned. Submissions will be accepted now through July 6.

Artwork received before April 27 will be displayed at Dayton Playhouse and may be sold during the run of Grease. All submissions will be shown during FutureFest, including those previously purchased. All proceeds will help support the new play weekend, July 17-19 this year.

A kick-off FutureFest Gala is planned for the Crowne Plaza Hotel on July 16.  Participating artists will receive a free ticket to that party and also will be acknowledged in social media and the FF program.

For specifics, please visit daytonplayhouse.com, email dodieannl@yahoo.com or call 937.228.8635.

Tonight only:  “Heartbreak House” audition for Dayton Theatre Guild

Tuesday, April 21, 7 p.m.: Try for a part in a classic, satirical ahead-of-its-time, production.

Just the characters’ names give a clue that some humor never grows old.

George Bernard Shaw’s “Heartbreak House” is way more fun than the title might indicate, with 10 characters. The show begins with an 80-something retired sea captain, Captain Shotover, who wants to explode dynamite with his mind to attain tranquility, assisted by plenty of rum.

Lady Ariadne Utterword, 42, the captain’s youngest daughter, is home after 20 years. Under her surface dithering behavior there’s a competent organizer.

Mrs. Hesione Hushabye, the older daughter, has grown tired of being the responsible domestic hostess. She is married to Hector Hushabye, teller of not-quite-true tales.

Mazzini Dunn is a small, middle-aged man lacking in business savvy. Ellie Dunn, his idealistic daughter, is disappointed by love. Out of family duty, she’s now engaged to Boss Mangan. Her fiancée, Alfred (Boss) Mangan is a 55-year-old factory owner, and apparently rich.

Billy Dunn, though he has no relation to any of the other characters, is a pirate turned Heartbreak House burglar.

Nurse Guiness has been part of the household since the girls were small. She doesn’t hesitate to be frank and attempts to keep order.

Finally, Randall Utterword is Ariadne’s husband’s younger brother, who is very insecure.

Production dates: May 29- June 14, 2015. Patrick Hayes directs and asks those auditioning to bring calendar conflicts they may have from April 22 – May 14, a resume and head shot if possible for cold readings from the script. For questions, contact
kathy.mola@daytontheatreguild.org. Look for The Dayton Theatre Guild at 430 Wayne in the Caryl D. Philips TheatreScape and the illuminated sign on the building with parking lot behind.

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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