The stage is a world of entertainment


(L-R) Paige Jacobs, Elisha Chamberlin, Amber J. Smith, and Justin Lampkins from the ensemble cast of the Sinclair Theatre production of “Blood at the Root.”
Photo: Patti Celek

By Tim Smith

“Blood at the Root”
Sinclair Theatre
Sinclair Theatre tackles a controversial yet timely subject when they present “Blood At The Root” by Dominique Morriseau, for 5 performances only, April 11–15 in Sinclair’s Black Box Theatre, building 2 on the downtown Dayton Campus.

The play, directed by Chris Harmon, is inspired by a racially divisive true-life incident. The Jena Six were six black teenagers in Jena, Louisiana who were convicted in the 2006 beating of Justin Barker, a white classmate at Jena High School. Interlocking prejudices are laid bare, and the story screams for improved communication
between us all.

The cast includes S. Francis Livisay, Justin Lampkins, Elisha Chamberlin, Paige Jacobs, Amber J. Smith, Chelsey Hall, Karley Holdeman, Christopher Goetz, Deshawn Christian, and Valkyrie Williams.

As a BFA theatre student at the University of Michigan, writer Dominque Morriseau was disheartened by the type and number of acting roles available to her, so she began writing them and has quickly become one of the hottest playwrights of her generation. She is perhaps best known for her 3-play cycle “The Detroit Project” and is executive story editor on Showtime’s “Shameless.” Her play “Pipeline” opened to critical acclaim last summer in New York’s Lincoln Center. She is a two-time winner of the NAACP Image Award.

Performances are at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday with 8 p.m. performances on Friday and Saturday, ending with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. General admission tickets are available online now for $10 each at: www.sinclair.edu/tickets. ASL interpreted performances on April 12, 14 & 15.

“Wait Until Dark”
Xenia Area Community Theatre
Suspense and chills will be in the air when the Xenia Area Community Theatre (X*ACT) presents “Wait Until Dark” from April 6 through April 15.

The play was written by Frederick Knott (the playwright responsible for the earlier woman-in-distress thriller “Dial M for Murder”), and first appeared on Broadway in 1966. Most people remember the 1967 film adaptation starring Audrey Hepburn.

The plot concerns Susy Hendrix, a blind Greenwich Village housewife who becomes the target of three con-men searching for the heroin hidden in a doll which her husband Sam unwittingly transported from Canada as a favor for a woman who has since been killed. Susy must spend the remainder of the drama outwitting her tormentors and attempting to gain the upper hand, in spite of her visual impairment.

This production, directed by Tony Copper, will have an opening night gala on April 6, then runs through April 15. For tickets or more information, call 937.372.0516, or visit
info@XeniaACT.org.

“Phantom of the Opera”
The Schuster Center
The Schuster Center will present “Phantom of the Opera” as part of their Premier Health Broadway Series from April 11 through April 22. This new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s award-winning play was conceived by Cameron Mackintosh. The Schuster Center performances are part of a brand new North American tour. “Phantom of the Opera” opened on Broadway on 1988, and is one of the longest running shows in Broadway history. By 2012, it had surpassed 10,000 performances and earned multiple Tony awards.

This production has been lauded as “bigger and better than ever before” and features a new scenic design by Paul Brown, Tony Award-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Tony Award winner Paule Constable, new choreography by Scott Ambler, and new staging by director Laurence Connor. The production boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier. The beloved story and score, with songs like “Music of the Night,” “All I Ask of You,” and “Masquerade” will be performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this Phantom one of the largest productions now on tour.

The Phantom of the Opera will be presented at The Schuster Center’s Mead Theatre, 1 W. 2nd St., Dayton from April 11 through April 15. For tickets and more information, visit
performingartscenterdayton.com.

“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”
Brookville Community Theatre
Brookville Community Theatre takes on a musical comedy with its presentation of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” The play by Jeffrey Lane is based on the film of the same name with Michael Caine and Steve Martin, which was in turn a remake of an earlier film, “Bedtime Story.”    

Lawrence Jameson makes his lavish living by talking rich ladies out of their money. Freddy Benson more humbly swindles women by waking their compassion with fabricated stories about his grandmother’s failing health. After meeting on a train, they attempt to work together, only to find that this small French town isn’t big enough for the two of them. They agree on a settlement: the first one to extract $50,000 from a young female target, heiress Christine Colgate, wins, and the other must leave town. A battle of cons ensues that will keep audiences laughing, humming and guessing
to the end!

This production is directed by Jen Bell, with a book by Jeffrey Lane and music and lyrics by David Yazbeck. The play runs from April 19 through 29. For tickets, call 937.833.3531, or visit brookvillecommunitytheatre.com.

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Tim Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Smith at TimSmith@DaytonCityPaper.com

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