On Stage

Two incredible ladies and a talking house plant

By Jacqui Theobald
Photo: [l to r] Desmond Thomas and Zach King in thePlayhouse South production of “The Little Shop of Horrors”; photo credit: Rob Breving

No matter what the weather may be when you decide to take in a stage play while anticipating spring (and this IS Ohio after all), the community theatre scene is predicted to be warm and fuzzy, funny or maybe a little vampirish.

“Rapunzel Lets Down Her Hair” at Washington Township’s Town Hall Theatre 

More local creativity will be highlighted, ahem, in “Rapunzel! Rapunzel! – A Very Hairy Fairy Tale!,” written by Cincinnati-based composing duo, Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman. It is described as a musical with a “Shrek-like” take on the tangled story. DayTony award winner Chris Harmon directs professional and adult actors performing with young people.

The 90-minute show, a regional premiere, is scheduled March 1- 17. For specific dates and times check townhalltheatre.org or call 937.433.8957. Advance tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for students and seniors and $10 for children aged 4-12. All tickets purchased at the door are $15.

Town Hall Theatre is offering a very personal community service opportunity. Partnering with Square One Centerville Salon, March 1-19 to make a contribution to Locks of Love, the cast challenges audience members to donate 10 inches of hair. The goal is to raise awareness for this non-profit that provides well-fitted hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. More details about the organization and the best way to get the haircut correctly go to volunteer@locksoflove.org.  Call 937.433.4900 to make an appointment.

“Little Shop of Horrors” at Playhouse South

A down and out flower shop has a talking plant, perhaps not a vampire, but definitely hungry for blood. Audrey II snarls, “Feed me!”  It also offers a sort of Faustian deal and sings R&B. As Audrey II grows larger, the spin on 1950s sci-fi movies whirls faster. Three urchins act as a classic girl group, describing the action, and encouraging the not-too-bright main characters.

Jenni Cypher directs the 1980s show, one of the longest running Off-Broadway shows ever with book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken. Musical Director is Jim Brown.  It was also a movie, directed by Roger Corman and starring Steve Martin. To find out if anyone survives the very hungry Audrey II you’ll want to get ticket information and directions at playhousesouth.org. Feb. 22, 23 March 1, 2, 8, and 9 at 8 pm., Feb. 24 at 2 p.m.

The Cypher family has deep roots at Playhouse South, having met there in 1995 and been married for 14 years. For this show, Kurt is the plant’s puppeteer and set designer while Jenni directs. She cautions the script contains mature language and themes. It couldn’t be too shocking, since their daughters – ages eleven and nine – are fulfilling a school requirement for a fine arts component and getting to learn about backstage tasks and to help out there.

“Thoroughly Modern Millie” at Dayton Playhouse

She’s not exactly a spring chicken, Millie, but she will be dancing and singing March 1-17 at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays at the Playhouse. The Julie Andrews-Mary Tyler Moore 1967 movie became a Tony award winning Broadway show in 2002. Millie’s adventures are set in the 1920s, complete with flappers doing the Charleston and it is the charm of that period that makes her so durable. Millie and her girl friend, their boyfriends and, of course, a villain are joined by a large ensemble performing in a thoroughly modern staging directed by Richard Croskey with Musical Direction by Ron Kindell. Go to daytonplayhouse.com or call 937.424.8477 for ticket information and directions.

More theatre news

Auditions for “Retreat from Moscow” will be held Saturday, Feb. 16 and Sunday, Feb. 17, each at 2 p.m. at the Playhouse, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave. Dodie Lockwood directs the William Nicholson script (he wrote “Shadowlands”). Not so lighthearted as the musicals listed here, “Moscow” does shed light on what happens when a husband decides to be truthful about his 33-year marriage and the effect on his wife and son. The cast includes the couple, Edward and Alice both in their late 50s. He’s easy-going. She’s frustrated and combative. The mid-30s son, Jamie, is torn between the parents and also has his own problems. All the characters will be encouraged to have a slight British accent. Actors new to the Playhouse may want to bring a resume. Performances are scheduled April 12 through April 21. For additional information, email the director dodieannl@yahoo.com or call 937.228.8635.

Scholarship available for local college students 

The Len Roberts Scholarship is being offered by Culture Works to college juniors or seniors in recognition of Mr. Roberts’ career as a businessman with a passion for the arts. Candidates must be enrolled full-time at one of the following schools: Antioch, Cedarville, Central State, University of Dayton, Urbana, Wilberforce, Wittenberg or Wright State. Priority will be given to majors in business, engineering and art, however all majors with a 2.0 GPA may apply. For detailed information go to daytonfoundation.org or call 937.222.0410.


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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