On Stage 9/15/15

Back to school, back to Broadway

By Jacqui Theobald

Photo: Emma Kowatch and Caleb Curby in Cedarville Community College’s production of “Father of the Bride” photo: Scott Huck

Merrily We Roll Along, Sept. 18-27

It’s Stephen Sondheim’s music and lyrics, and that’s really the most significant thing you may need to know as Merrily We Roll Along opens the Beavercreek Community Theatre Main Stage series. George Furth adapted the story from a 1934 play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart.

Matt Owens directs the musical that traces the fall and rise of several show biz pros from the present (in the play, 1976) backwards to 1957 and their early efforts and hopeful beginnings. Each of the seven decreases in time is called a transition. If you think about it in a more conventional time progression, the early efforts and eventual successes have taken a toll on their personal lives with messy relationships, too much alcohol and emotional disappointments. It’s a classic be-careful-what-you-wish-for tale.

Owens says, “I like the challenges of Sondheim’s subtle, nuanced, complicated music. He and the cast of 17 have focused on doing it justice. Jenn Clark worked with the singers. Judy Mansky conducts. Couldn’t confirm Jenn and Judy’s names.

Beavercreek Community Theatre presents Merrily We Roll Along Sept. 18-27. Times are 8 p.m. Fridays, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. BCT is located at 3868 Dayton-Xenia Rd. For tickets and more information, please visit bctheatre.org or call 937.429.4737. 

Time remains to catch the Carousel!

Two more weekends to jump on Carousel at the Playhouse. The voices are marvelous. At a pre-opening music rehearsal, director Brian Sharp listened attentively to conductor Ron Kindell work with singers on the finale, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” “That’ll bring a tear,” Sharp says.

Please visit daytonplayhouse.com or call 937.424.8477 for ticket and time information.

Collegiate stages go back to school

Wright State University—“The Great Gatsby,” Sept. 24-Oct. 4

The last week of September takes us all the way back to the ‘20s with the opening of “The Great Gatsbyat Wright State University’s Festival Playhouse. W. Stuart McDowell directs, with Taylor Benjamin, WSU student, assistant director. Opening Sept. 24, the big show, adapted by Simon Levy from the much admired F. Scott Fitzgerald 1925 novel runs through Oct. 4.

It is the only dramatization approved by the Fitzgerald estate and this production celebrates 90 years since the novel was first published.

Wright State University presents The Great Gatsby at 7 p.m. Sept. 24, 30 and Oct. 1; 8 p.m. Sept. 25, 26, Oct. 2 and 3; and 2 p.m. Sept. 27, Oct. 3 and 4.  For tickets and more information, please visit wright.edu/theatre-dance-and-motion-pictures or call 937.775.2500.

Cedarville University—“Father of the Bride,” Oct. 1-11

Whether you fell in love with the charming old novel by Edward Streeter or related much too easily with the Spencer Tracy-Elizabeth Taylor movie or the Steve Martin-Kimberly Williams-Diane Keaton remake, the story and the stage version, by Caroline Franck, never grow old. All the things that can go wrong often do, predictably, while dad has to “grow up” and let go of his little girl.

Rebecca Baker, director, notes this is a family-friendly choice, delighting intergenerational audiences: “The students are having fun with the teasing and open exchanges, frustrations and real support and strengths in the family.”

The creative Professor Robert Clements and his scenic design students worked with  Baker to create the comfortable, flexible, sunny interior.

Cedarville University presents “Father of the Bride” Oct. 1-11 at Cedarville University, 251 N. Main St. in Cedarville. For tickets and more information, please visit cedarville.edu/ticketinfo or call 937.766.787. 

Sinclair Community College—The Wiz, Oct. 9-17

Do you ever wonder what that classic old faker, the behind-the-curtain Wizard of Oz would think of the contemporary Wiz, with its wonderful high-energy rock, gospel and soul music? Imagine he kicks up his heels and joins more than 40 on stage with 19 musicians, a huge production on the Blair Hall Theater stage, Building Two.

Chris Harmon directs and David McKibben is musical director. Harmon sounds ecstatic about his talented collaborators: Rodney Veal does the choreography. He’s the host of TV’s “The Art Show.” He’s also Stivers School for the Arts’ artist-in-residence dancer and is bringing ensemble dancers from Stivers and four ballet students from South Dayton Dance Studio for the Emerald Ballet. Many Sinclair theatre faculty members are involved in the complex production. Kathleen Hotmer takes on the enormous challenge of costuming the large production. Be sure to check out the rest of the production staff as well as the experienced and varied cast.

Book by William F. Brown. Music and Lyrics by Charlie Smalls.

From the story “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum.

Sinclair Community College presents The Wiz Oct. 9-17. For showtimes and tickets, please visit sinclair.edu or call 937.512.2808. Take note of the $10 tickets on Throwback Thursday with 7 p.m. curtain.


Love, respect, memories and history were the stars when the Dayton Theatre Guild threw itself a 70th birthday party at the end of August. Fred Blumenthal talked about beginnings in 1945, and many determined participants who started and sustained the organization. Nabachwa Ssensalo, new to the Guild this year, shared a fresh and delightful impression. Many others were acknowledged with humor and an occasional tear. The Guild boardroom has been dedicated to the late Ralph Dennler whose voice and contributions were vast. Like our other community theatres, volunteers, including the incredibly hard working board members, perform uncountable unseen tasks. As they spoke, it almost seemed they’d created a new breed of stand-up comedians and storytellers.

Auditions Auditions Auditions—Sept. 21 and 22

Tryouts for “The Diary of Anne Frank” at the Dayton Playhouse are set for 7 p.m. at the Dayton Playhouse, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave. Jennifer Lockwood, director, is proud of the strong production staff she has assembled. The play runs Nov. 6 to 15. Important specific information about the 10 characters needed and audition selections online at daytonplayhouse.com.


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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