Theatre news and reviews
By Brian P. Sharp
Human Race delivers over Memorial Day
The Human Race Theatre Company is presenting Right Next to Me, a musical by Gregg Coffin. This form of Right Next to Me is different from the workshop production that was shown in 2009.
This show tells us the story of a young military widow played by Maria Couch who, a year after her Marine Major husband, played by resident artist Jamie Cordes, was killed in Iraq, is not able to cope with the loss until his brother, played by Jim Poulos, leads her on a journey that transforms her.
At first, Poulos seems to bully her into joining him on a trip to scatter her husband’s ashes at places he had requested, places that were important in his life and their life together. But, once she starts on the journey, joined by her best friend, played by Dana Mierlak, we see her husband “looking on.” Her life begins to come back together as she revisits their first meeting, their honeymoon and other life events.
Right Next to Me runs through June 12 at the Loft Theatre. Tickets are available through www.humanracetheatre.org or by calling Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630. Active duty military personnel with Wright-Patterson AFB IDs may purchase tickets for half price.
Dayton Playhouse announces FutureFest final six
FutureFest, the nationally recognized festival of new works, will be presented July 29 to 31 at the Dayton Playhouse. This year, the Playhouse will host David Finkle, Helen Sneed, Eleanor Speert (all from New York City), Robert Koon (from Chicago Dramatists and a 2002 FutureFest finalist) and D. Lynn Meyers (from Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati), who will all serve as adjudicators for the weekend festival. After hundreds of submissions, the play-reading committee narrowed the scripts down to 12 finalists, which were then sent to the final play-reading committee that together narrowed them to six. Three that will be fully staged and three that will be performed as staged readings.
Those six plays are:
Allegro Con Brio by Nelson Sheeley, Dayton
Drawing Room by Mark Eisman, New York
The Haven by Richard Etchison, Maryland
Jinxed by Stacey Luftig, New York
Roosevelt’s Ghost by Michael Feely, California
A Woman on the Cusp by Carl L. Williams, Texas
Weekend Passes (which include an opening reception, six shows and dinner on Sunday) for FutureFest are $90. Passes can be purchased by calling the box office at (937) 424-8477. Single tickets will be available July 1 for $17 each performance. The Dayton Playhouse at 1301 E. Siebenthaler Avenue in Dayton.
West Region of OCTA
(Ohio Community Theatre Association) Festival
The West Region of OCTA has announced that it will hold its annual festival, which highlights performances from the participating theatres of the West Region, on July 10 at the Beavercreek Community Theatre. The winners will be invited to move on to a statewide competition, which takes place Labor Day weekend in Independence, Ohio.
Tickets purchased by July 1 are $18 or $25 at the door. Reservations can be made through the West Region website at www.octawest.org or by calling Richard Brock at (937) 546-0495
The Mystery of Edwin Drood takes the stage in Beavercreek
Come see the production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood at the Beavercreek Community Theatre as they transform their stage into the Music Hall Royale. The production, which is a show within a show, will be presented from June 10 to June 19, at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays.
A hilariously funny Victorian musical troupe takes the stage for its flamboyant rendition of an unfinished Dickens mystery. It’s the story of John Jasper, a Jekyll-and-Hyde choirmaster portrayed by Jonathan Berry. He is madly in love with his music student, the fair Miss Rosa Bud, played by Bethany Reid Locklear. She, in turn, is engaged to Jasper’s nephew, young Edwin Drood, portrayed by Amy Leigh. The title character disappears mysteriously one stormy Christmas Eve. Since Dickens died before he could finish writing the mystery, the musical troupe turns to the audience during each performance for a conclusion to the mystery of what happened to Edwin Drood.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $11 students and senior citizens, and can be reserved online at www.bctheatre.org or by calling (937) 429-4737. Beavercreek Community Theatre is located within the Lofino Adult Enrichment and Cultural Arts Center at 3868 Dayton-Xenia Road in Beavercreek.
Dayton Playhouse YouTheatre presents Crazy For You
The Dayton Playhouse will present its YouTheatre musical production of Crazy For You, June 23-26. Shows are at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Returning YouTheatre Director Natalie Houliston has brought together a talented team of area folks to work with nearly 30 high schoolers involved with this year’s production.
Tickets may be purchased at www.daytonplayhouse.org or by calling the box office at (937) 424-8477. Performances will take place at the Dayton Playhouse, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave. in Dayton.
Young at Heart Players present Southern Comforts
Young at Heart Players (a theatre group for “seniors” that are truly young at heart) embarks on their second decade with the production of Southern Comforts by Kathleen Clark featuring Barbara Jorgensen and Greg Smith. The group has no “home” so you never know where or if they will have a performance space from one season to the next. Southern Comforts is a show about people needing change in order to feel alive and others who are terrified of undoing the peace they have established. Watch as two people find a second chance at love.
Southern Comforts will run June 10 to 12, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Performances will take place at the Dayton Theatre Guild on Wayne Avenue in Dayton. Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.daytontheatreguild.org or at the door. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors or students.
Reach DCP theatre critic Brian P. Sharp at Theatre@DaytonCityPaper.com.