Left quad. Right quad. Lunge. A girls indoor soccer team warms up. From the safety of their suburban stretch circle, the team navigates big questions and wages tiny battles with all the vim and vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors. A portrait of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for nine American girls who just want to score some goals.
Arts & Entertainment
‘Les Miserables‘ is back…and this time it deserves an ovation. For most theater goers, Les Miz is a staple….the Chicago Tribune stating ‘One of the greatest musicals ever created!’ But with that kind of accolade comes expectation! This version, Cameron Mackintosh‘s production, hits the mark! Where many productions lag, this Les Miz is alive and laudable.
The story, mired in misery (hence the name), takes us from the ache of hunger and crimes, to the ideals of Revolution and redemption. This is my 5th visit to Les Miz. This time, I felt part of it, deep in the desire for Valjean‘s vindication; hopelessly rooting for Eponine‘s happiness and oddly caring about Javert‘s dilemma. Why? What made this Les Miz so unique….outside of the keen direction of Connor and Powell….in a word…a hugely talented cast! The best I’ve seen…frankly, ever!
From the rise of the curtain, the bellowing male voices capture you on a ride you will not leave until the company’s finale. The quintessential ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ is when the audience sits up, knowing the tune and respecting the incredible voice of Haley Dortch (@haleydortch) who simply takes Fantine to a place of believability. In Fantine‘s inevitable passing (there were tears) you were part off her pain. SO WELL DONE! (And it’s her national debut – WHAT?)
From there, Valjean‘s ‘Who Am I‘ sets us up for one of the strongest Valjean performances on record. It is Nick Cartell‘s (@nickcartell.com) blend of smooth vocals, and deep emotion….capped off with a heart-wrenching ‘Bring Him Home‘ ( A BIG WOW!)…that sustains throughout.
Of course, audiences fall in love with Thenardier and his wife in ‘Master of the House‘, providing the much needed comic relief….played by Matt Crowle (mattcrowle.com) and Christina Rose Hall…in all their goofy, giddy glory.
And, it is in that Broadway moment…the one we all know and love….’One Day More’ when you are convinced…this cast is magical! Their voices, their message in the Act One closer is riveting! Curtain closes, it’s been over 90 minutes…(Wait What?) In previous Les Miz performances, I have felt, like, ‘thats not the end?’ Not this time around. You are stoked for more!
Now, personally, I have to admit I have a love affair with the character of Eponine. We’ve all been there…unrequited love…but when I tell you that the vocals of Christine Heesun Hwang (chiseoni.com) are idyllic…I mean it. SHE WAS THE EPONINE I’ve waited for! ‘On My Own,’ the heart-ache put to music, garnered a palpable applause.
I could highlight each and every performer…even the kids are amazing! But I save one for last! Preston Truman Boyd (@prestonboyd)…yep,Javert! (Huh? JAVERT?) As my husband put it, “I never cared about Javert until this production.” Yep, that’s it. You care because his voice…so deep, rich and commanding… demands your attention and understanding. He is the villain that transcends his character.
I mean, on and on I go! But, I’m impressed this time. around! It’s easy to say, ‘Les Miz, yeah, I’ve seen it before….um…no you haven’t…not this Les Miz! The show is tighter, more cohesive and the cast much stronger! Get to it Dayton…’Do You Hear the People Sing?‘ You really should!!
You can catch one of the remaining performances at 7:30 pm, Thursday; 8 pm, Friday; 2 and 8 pm. Saturday; and 1 and 6:30 pm Sunday.
For tickets: daytonlive.org/
The acclaimed local band Bohemian Funk releases their “Roots” album with an epic party at The Brightside Music and Event Venue on Saturday, January 28th. This band makes Dayton proud, and everyone is invited to join in the celebration!
Bohemian Funk hit many people’s radars last spring when they won the Dayton Battle of the Bands competition. They were electrifying live and seemed to come out of nowhere. Who are these guys? the audience asked themselves. They formed in 2019, shortly before the pandemic hit, so they didn’t get the opportunity to play out much. What they did have time for was lots of practice and time to refine their signature look and sound. They were preparing for that kind of opportunity!
Bohemian Funk’s style is best categorized as Rock’n’Soul since they combine a contemporary interpretation of traditional rock’n’roll with nuances of gospel, alternative, southern rock, reggae, and blues. They have created a rich and diverse music collection with more than 40 unique songs they wrote and performed.
Since their big win at the Battle of the Bands, the 4-piece has been touring the Midwest extensively. While touring, the band was discovered by a talent scout while visiting Nashville, who introduced them to the Grammy award-winning producer and engineer Jeffrey Thomas. Working with musicians like Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones, Toto, Metallica, and many more, Jeff has a resume that is miles long. He became interested in the band right away. Jeff’s industry knowledge and rock music experience made the two an ideal match. The band started working with him to make their first debut album in June 2021 in his Nashville, Tennessee, facility, Stormbringer Sound. They released “Back Home,” the first song they had made with Jeff, in December 2021.
Bohemian Funk is comprised of Rocko Dalian (lead vocalist, guitarist), Patrick Arnold (lead guitar), and Graham Werts (drums). Casey Beasley (bass) is the newest member of the band, who joined in late 2021. They deliver a fantastic live experience with their stage presence, contagious energy, and expert musicianship at every performance.
“I am excited and proud to share this record with the world for many reasons but most of all I just want to give people a glimpse of light in their darkness because music has always been my light, my church, and my therapy,” Dalian shared with us. Drummer, Werts, continued, “You can expect greatness from us, and greatness is what we will give! I’m extremely thankful for the help we had throughout this whole experience and the love Dayton has shown in the process. This album release party is going to be one for the books!”
Join in the album release celebration – get all the details on how to go below!
HOW TO GO?
Event Name: “Roots” Album Release Party
Venue: The Brightside Music & Event Venue
Address: 905 E 3rd St, Dayton, Ohio
Date: Sat, January 28, 2023
Time: 7:00 PM Doors, 8:00 PM Show
Tickets Available at: https://bit.ly/3iyt4B3
Ticket Price: $15 advance which comes with an event poster! Or $25 at the door.
All ages welcome! No outside beverages, weapons or backpacks allowed in.
Set against the backdrop of 19th century France, LES MISÉRABLES tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption – a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. This epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history.
“Intentional Camera Movement” (ICM) is digital photography that combines color, texture, and form to create swirling and dizzying abstracts from out in nature. The subject matter captures tree foliage, water movements, and reflections as the camera is purposely moved around to achieve different results. Having the images printed on canvas further gives a painterly look and feel to the work.
Clairvoyance is defined as “the supposed power to see objects or events that cannot be perceived by the senses.” Village Artisan photographer Ryan Taylor uses the camera as his paintbrush and the landscape as his canvas to “bring the viewer closer to seeing something entirely new.”
Ryan’s solo show can be seen in the Village Artisan’s Lobby Gallery through February 28, 2023, during regular gallery hours. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
For Director Amy Askins, theater is part of her blood. The beloved local actress/director has taken on a new task…bringing fun theater to junior high students!
Askins, who has a rich history with dramatics, brings her experience, which stretches from Dallas to Dayton, to OAKWOOD Junior High!
‘There are 2 one-act comedies being performed by this really dedicated group of students. The first show, The Internet Is Distract…OH LOOK A KITTEN! By Ian McWethy, is funny but may hit close to home for parents of teens who battle the screen time epidemic-Zombie apps! Instagram break-ups! Micah is trying to finish her paper on The Great Gatsby but these darn devices are FULL of distractions – Amazon wants to sell all the things! Taylor wants her to play Knock Grandma On Her Butt! Can Micah overcome the struggle and make it to school on time?” (Sounds like something all parents know and can totally appreciate. UGH!)
‘The second show, All I Really Need To Know I Learned By Being In A Bad Murder Mystery by Werner Trieschmann, focuses on a hapless crew of actors just want to put on a show but must contend with an over-caffeinated director, a crazed accent coach, and nachos!’ (I think I have performed for that director!)
‘They have put so much time and love into these shorts and I cannot wait for the public to see just how amazing they are!’ Askins goes on.’All plays get to a point where they are ready for an audience…we are READY!’
BREAK A LEG KIDS! Thanks Amy!
What: Oakwood Junior High Theatre presents two short comedies tonight Saturday, 1/21 at 7:00 in the OHS auditorium. 80 minutes.
Tickets ($8/$5) are available at the door or ahead of time at oakwood.hometownticketing.
‘In the Green’ a modern retelling of the Hildegard von Bingen story, is at the PNC Arts Annex this weekend. A forceful cast with a strong message, brings the deep and bold tale to life. One of the stars of the show ALLIE HAINES met with me to talk about the play….and the interview went something like this!
JS: Thanks for meeting with me to talk about this undertaking at PNC! Tell me about ‘In the Green!’
AH: It’s an enigma really. It’s a trip inward. You meet some very strong women faced with some deep traumatic experiences. But rather than searching somewhere around them, the search within themselves for strength and answers. It’s a fantastic musical by Grace McLean! And we are premiering in this region.
JS: So I understand it focuses on Saint Hildegard’s story. So it’s a religious tale? Or….
AH: Not really…no. It’s a spiritual journey. It’s a journey to healing and it’s a relevant tale even today. It focuses on women in a patriarchal world, finding their voice. Their inner-peace.
JS: And it takes place in the medieval time frame?
AH: I think it is devoid of time. It’s really beyond the typical why, what and when of musical retellings. I don’t feel this show spoon feeds any particular emotion…rather it lets you unwind your own insights through it’s widely arrayed songs and visual lessons.
JS: So, I know a bit about the Catholic religion. I understand the plight of Saint Hildegard (viewed as the founder of scientific natural history) and her mentor of sorts, Jutta von Sponheim. Are they the focus of the show itself.
AH: Yes, and no. I mean many know of the story and the Hildegard and Jutta…their bond as those who truly sought a community of women who were musical, artistic and free to express themselves. Along this journey, each has to find a way to deal with their own personal trauma. (PSA-there is reference to sexual assault in the show.) You see this healing through music and puppetry. It’s beautiful. It’s unique. It’s timeless.
JS: And you have a great cast to work with…and a new director?
AH: Adelyn Helms, Danielle Ruddy, Melissa Hall and Rachel Hertenstein are the other 4 women who make up the 5 woman cast. They are so strong and we have forged a sisterhood that has been the core energy of this piece. They are amazing! As for our director, Garret Young, he knocked it out of the park. Interestingly, he was the ‘male’ on set, and everyday he listened to us as we explained how these things feel to us as women. He would encourage us to go with those feelings.
JS: That’s what a great director does!! And this is no easy piece to direct….
AH: No, not at all. This is the kind of show that lends itself to personal insight and reflection. It may be one of the most important pieces we have done at TheaterLab. The feel is collaborative and intimate. It’s cutting-edge and yet, relatable.
JS: I am so intrigued by this!! I love when theater gets ‘artsy.’ Y’ know?
AH: Yes. Exactly. We poured our time and energy into this production. More-so, we poured our hearts and our souls into it as well. It’s really an important piece.
JS: I just love talking to you Allie! Y’know to this day, whenever we talk about La Cage people still say ‘the girl that played Jacqueline stole the show!’ It kind of makes me mad….BUT, it shows you have a range! And you are truly a gift to Dayton’s theater community!
AH: Awww….thanks Josh! Can’t wait to work in a play with you again soon! Now, get your tickets to ‘In The Green!’
JS: Got ’em!
***The Director’s Note About ‘In the Green’ follows below.
For tickets and more information got to https://www.daytonlive.org/events/in-the-green/
Showtimes at the Arts Annex are:
Friday 1/20 at 8pm.
Saturday 1/21 at 2pm and 8pm.
Director’s note: In late Fall of 2020, I became aware of a curious new musical. It was written by and starred Grace McLean, who delivered a jaw-dropping performance in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 just a few years prior. It recounted a story about a woman who locked herself away because the world became a place where she could no longer thrive and grow. The traumas that were visited upon Jutta von Sponheim by the world of men grew too much to bear, and she was no longer safe in the world outside. The only possible answer to her problems was isolation.
Jutta’s hard-nosed piety serves as the perfect obstacle to our central character, Hildegard von Bingen, as she seeks to unpack her own trauma while being locked away against her will for 30 years. History remembers Hildegard fondly as a patron saint of music, literature, and medicine in the Catholic tradition. Even in her fractured mental state, we see her natural curiosity about connecting in harmony with the world around her, despite being trapped inside a sparse prison cell. The central action of the play becomes thus: what happens when an unstoppable force, divinely attuned to the natural world, meets an immovable object in one Jutta von Sponheim?
We cannot know what these two visionary women actually discussed or endured during their years locked away together, but McLean has imagined a world that is both wildly fantastical and blisteringly real. Our characters explore and celebrate the power of the divine feminine apart from patriarchal society. Their delicate harmonies are juxtaposed with primal, guttural grunts as the women confront the harsh realities of their pain.
This play serves as an important reminder of the healing power of connection, which remains as important as ever in our world today. Throughout our characters’ healing conversations, I hope audiences can gain some perspective about their own difficult situations. After all, as Hildegard von Bingen herself once wrote:
“We cannot live in a world that is not our own, in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening, to use our own voice, to see our own light.”
No matter where you are on your own journey, even if you are terrified of the monumental task set out before you, I hope you feel emboldened to seek out your own light.
Toby and Mia are graduate students with a bright future ahead of them: a baby on the way and a college coaching job for Toby. But when Toby stumbles across a secret that threatens to derail their future, he and Mia must decide between honesty and loyalty, and whether doing something wrong is the only way to do what’s right. Inspired by the Penn State sexual abuse scandal, For the Loyal is an emotional and thought-provoking play.
Friday, Jan. 20 and Saturday, Jan. 21 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Jan. 22 at 2 p.m. The show runs through Jan. 29.
Stories start at 7:00
More than 35 million people around the world have experienced the smash hit phenomenon that is BLUE MAN GROUP and now it’s your turn! BLUE MAN GROUP returns to Dayton for a limited engagement on their new North American tour. It’s everything you know and love about BLUE MAN GROUP — signature drumming, colorful moments of creativity and quirky comedy — the men are still blue but the rest is all new! Featuring pulsing, original music, custom-made instruments, surprise audience interaction and hilarious absurdity, join the Blue Men in a joyful experience that unites audiences of all ages.
The students of the Wright State Motion Picture program are premiering their thirteen documentaries, ranging from Lego stores to funeral homes. Doors open at 7 pm, the show will begin at 7:30, there will be a Q&A with directors afterward, and a short intermission.
Free Admission (first-come, first-serve on the evening of the show), but cash donations are greatly appreciated and will go toward the program.”
Clifton – Directed by Mason Perry
Summary: Clifton is a documentary about rock and roll. Centered around the days leading up to the First Annual Mockball, local Cincinnati band, Saving Escape, talks about the process of throwing on the show and the collaboration within the community that’s pushing Cincinnati’s music scene back into the spotlight.
About Mason: My name is Mason Perry, I’m from Piqua, Ohio. I plan to specialize as a Director of Photography. One of my favorite films that have inspired me is Inglourious Basterds. I chose my documentary subject because I’m a concert photographer for some of the bands in Cincinnati. After being a part of that scene for a few years and through meeting various people I’ve seen how they’ve grown and really pushed what a DIY music scene should be, and I wanted to showcase that around one of the biggest events of the year and how it benefits them.
the neon rainbow – Directed by Nic Studer
Summary: the neon rainbow is a short documentary by Nic Studer about the Dayton LGBT Film Festival and its creator, Jonathon McNeal. Jonathon discusses what the festival is, why it is so important to the Dayton community and the LGBTQ+ community, along with the history of the festival and some of the best moments in all its time!
About Nic: My favorite movies are Halloween (2018), Twister, Poseidon, and Scream (2020). I want to become a writer, director, and producer of the next big horror movies. In the long run, I want to be able to own and operate my own production company to give other creators the chance to bring their visions and stories to life.
It’s Homemade – Directed by Jazz Jefferson
Summary: The infamous Bill’s Donut Shop (commonly referred to as Bill’s) is open and has been thriving for 63 years. The married couple Bill and Faye Elam Opened Bill’s in 1960. Over the years, Bill and Faye have established a business built on community and handcrafted donuts. As a result, Bill’s received numerous awards including, but not limited to, Dayton Best of Contest and a shout-out on Ellen. In 1955 Jim and Lisa Elam took over the business and carried out their parent’s legacy. At last, this documentary, It’s Homemade, goes in-depth about the community and success Bill’s Donut Shop has achieved over the years.
About Jazz: Hello everyone! I am Jazmyn Jefferson, majority of people call me Jazz. I was born and raised in a small town located in Northwest Ohio. At Wright State University, I chose to direct as my specialty. I also have an interest in sound design. Films that I enjoy and have sparked inspiration include, The Incredible Hulk, The Black Panther, Parasite, Dumb and Dumber, and Training Day. I consider myself a donut enthusiast. Therefore, I chose Dayton’s local donut shop, Bill’s Donuts Shop, to be the subject of my documentary. Lastly, I wanted to understand Bill’s success and discover why their donuts are so tasty.
Summary: The reason I chose my dad as my subject for my documentary is because I thought it would be interesting to hear about a veteran’s experience in the military and some of his achievements. I also wanted to add a little bit of comedy to lighten the mood of the topic, so I made a fake advertisement in the beginning and kind of treated it like a mini podcast.
About Morgan: My name is Morgan Johnson. My dad served in the Air Force, so we moved around a lot until he finally retired in Ohio. I plan to specialize in editing, it’s something I really enjoy and hope to get better at.
Empathy’s Not Dead – Directed by Grace Loechinger
Summary: What does it take to handle life’s greatest tragedies? ‘Empathy’s Not Dead’ takes a peek inside the casket to learn more about the mortuary business and those who make their livelihood working with the deceased. This documentary focuses on the Routsong Funeral Home, a family-owned business that has been helping to honor the dead and comfort the bereaved for over a century.
About Grace: I grew up in Rhode Island and have spent the last several years living in Ohio. As I continue my education in WSU’s Motion Pictures program, I plan to specialize in writing and directing. I am inspired most by films that take dark subject matters and put creative, comedic, or juxtapositional twists on them, showing the concepts in a new light. This is, in part, what inspired the documentary “Empathy’s Not Dead”, which focuses on a local funeral home and explores what it takes to manage grief and tragedy.
Everything is Fine – Directed by Trevor Seech-Hrvatin
Summary: Ever since she was a kid, Tallulah Swasey wanted to be a musician. Follow her story from her first band to her current, Grumpy Plum, and all the hardships along the way.
About Trevor: My name is Trevor Seech-Hrvatin, I grew up in Mentor, Ohio, a town about 30 minutes outside of Cleveland. I want to specialize in writing and directing, my favorite director is Wes Anderson and some of my favorite films are “Fantastic Mr.Fox”, “Empire Strikes Back”, and “Jojo Rabbit”. I chose Tallulah Swasey, and her band Grumpy Plum, to be the subject of my documentary because I am personally inspired by her commitment to making art no matter what is thrown at her.
Bagged and Boarded – Directed by Rob Bicknell and Chloe Sinkhorn
Summary: Bagged & Boarded is an exploration of the local comic book market, as well as a look into the comic book industry as a whole. We talked to four different shops across Dayton to learn how each of them have been affected by recent changes and challenges. The result is an eye opening insight into one of America’s most enduring hobbies.
About Rob: My name is Rob Bicknell, and I am from Centerville, in the south part of Dayton. I am focusing on writing and directing. Some of my favorite movies are Raiders of the Lost Ark and Mad Max: Fury Road. I made Bagged & Boarded because I noticed a disconnect between the popularity of comic book characters onscreen, and the printed works that inspired them. Therefore, I decided to take the temperature of the industry, at least on a local level, to see how things like COVID and the aforementioned movies have affected business and readership.
About Chloe: My name is Chloe Sinkhorn and I am from the great city Akron, Ohio. I specialize in cinematography and screenwriting. I love big adventure movies like: The NeverEnding Story and Pirates of the Caribbean, but my all time favorite film is, How to Train Your Dragon. I chose to make a documentary on comic books because I recently started reading them and I wanted to learn more about them.
The Artifacts Beneath Us – Directed by Cayden Whitman
Summary: ‘The Artifacts Beneath Us’ explores the process of finding Native American Artifacts (specifically stone tools like arrowheads), their importance to history, and what preserving them means to both myself and collectors.
About Cayden: My name is Cayden Whitman and I grew up an hour north of Wright State near the city of Bellefontaine. I plan to specialize in Cinematography. I have been inspired by many films, including all the Star Wars and Lord of The Rings movies, but my favorite film is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I chose my documentary subject because I wanted to share my passion for history and Native American artifacts with others, and because it is an aspect of history that I feel is not as appreciated as it should be.
Dayton Metro Library, in partnership with Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA), is offering free tickets to three upcoming performances of 85th Diamond Anniversary at the Victoria Theatre on Friday, February 10, 7:30-9 pm, Saturday, February 11, 7:30-9 pm, and Sunday, February 12, 2:30-4 pm.
85th Diamond Anniversary is a celebration of the Dayton Ballet’s 85th season and the 95th year of the Dayton Ballet School. This repertory program honors Dayton Ballet founders and includes a collection of beautiful ballets showcasing the physicality and virtuosity of the company of dancers who call Dayton Ballet their home.
Fifty tickets per show will be available on a registration basis, with a maximum of six seats per party. Seat locations will vary and can be picked up at the box office prior to each performance. While DPAA will try to seat groups together when possible, that’s not guaranteed. Tickets have no cash value and cannot be exchanged for other seats or performances.
- Registration for the Friday, February 10 performance begins Wednesday, January 11, 8 am.
- Registration for the Saturday, February 11 performance begins Thursday, January 12, 8 am.
- Registration for the Sunday, February 12 performance begins Friday, January 13, 8 am.
The Victoria Theatre is located at 138 North Main Street, Dayton. For a detailed description of this performance and to register for a chance to receive free tickets, visit DaytonMetroLibrary.org/Programs, and search for the program title, “85th Diamond Anniversary.” Additional questions may be directed to the Library’s Ask Me Line at 937.463.2665.
This groundbreaking Obie-winning Off-Broadway smash also won multiple awards for its hit film adaptation. It tells the story of “internationally ignored song stylist” Hedwig Schmidt, a fourth-wall smashing East German rock ‘n’ roll goddess who also happens to be the victim of a botched sex-change operation, which has left her with just “an angry inch.”
Trigger Warnings: discussion of sexual assault, transphobia, foul language, and substance abuse.
If purchasing a VIP ticket, please arrive to the theatre 10 minutes prior to house open as you will have early seating and a Hedwig swag bag.
Produced and presented by TheatreLab Dayton.
Hammered: A Thor & Loki Play As Thor struggles with the stress of final exams, his brother Loki finds himself under a different sort of pressure. Neither are beneath pranks in the endless competition for their parents’ favor. But underneath all the thunder and mischief, these two Princes of Asgard discover a bond that will last millennia. Mirror of Most Value: A Ms. Marvel Play Kamala attempts to boost Ms. Marvel’s fledgling super hero profile by writing her own fan fiction. But when building a fandom becomes an obsession, Kamala’s schoolwork and relationships begin to suffer. To become the Jersey City hero of her dreams, Kamala must learn to accept herself just as she is – imperfections and all.
Sit back, relax and let us make you laugh with fun made up right in front of you. We may take inspiration from a personal story, an interview with an audience member, or simply a one word suggestion but no matter what the source, the end result is the same- fun! Then make sure to stick around and see what special show we have planned for the second half of the night! It’s for sure the best way to spend your Saturday night out with friends! We NOW HAVE A BAR!! You can get your alcoholic drinks from are bar and order pizza from The Pizza Bandit at Yellow Cab Tavern!
Donnell can currently be seen in his own Netflix Special, Donnell Rawlings: Too Soon, which was produced by Dave Chappelle. Other notable credits include the highly anticipated HBO series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, BET’s The Twenties, Black Ma/a Family on STARZ, and of course, as Dez the Barber in Pixar’s award-winning film Soul. Donnell is also known for his role on HBO’s The Wire, Neflix’s series The Degenerates, and he makes regular appearances with on The Joe Rogan Experience. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Donnell was honored with the Redd Foxx Award from