Get into the groove: Music and laughs on tap for weekend

Seven-time Grammy Award-winner Gladys Knight, known as the Empress of Soul, performs at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Sunday, Aug. 22. CONTRIBUTED
Seven-time Grammy Award-winner Gladys Knight, known as the Empress of Soul, performs at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Sunday, Aug. 22. CONTRIBUTED


Gladys Knight at the Fraze on Sunday

1) R&B at Fraze

Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering has concerts coming up showcasing two generations from the legendary R&B roster of Motown Records. Seven-time Grammy Award-winner Gladys Knight, known as the Empress of Soul, was on the Detroit record label from 1966 to 1973. She is performing at the outdoor venue at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 22. Cost: $35 to $75 in advance, $40 to $80 day of show.

Nearly two decades after Knight left for even greater success with Buddha Records, Boyz II Men signed to Motown, which had relocated to Los Angeles in 1972. In April 2021, the vocal group from Philadelphia celebrated the 30th anniversary of its double-platinum debut album, “Cooleyhighharmony.”

Boyz II Men performs at Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 25. Cost: $35 to $65 in advance, $40 to $70 day of show. Call 937-296-3300 or visit

2) African American Cultural Festival

The 13th annual Dayton African American Cultural Festival is presented at Island MetroPark, 101 Helena St., Dayton, on Saturday, Aug. 21. There are five distinct areas, the African Village, the Black Authors Pavilion, the Health Pavilion, the Main Stage and the Youth and Millennial Stage. Festival hours are noon to 8 p.m. The two-day celebration at Island MetroPark continues with the Gospel Explosion on Sunday, Aug. 22. Live performances are presented from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Cost: Free. Call 937-715-5121 or visit

ExploreNew area brew pub breaks ground

3) Johnny Mathis

Like so many performers, Johnny Mathis’ planned 2020 and 2021 tour dates were impacted by COVID-19. That included a concert in Dayton originally scheduled for March 2020, which was one of the first local touring shows impacted by the shutdowns. The show date was rescheduled several times, but the time has finally arrived for Mathis to bring his 65 Years of Romance Tour to the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26. Special guest Brad Upton also performs. Cost: $42 to $122. Call 937-228-3630 or visit

4) Morning’s at Seven

Paul Osborn’s stage adaptation of “Morning’s at Seven” premiered on Broadway in 1939 and had successful Broadway revivals in 1980 and 2002. Dayton Theatre Guild is mounting its own production of the comedy about four sisters coping with smalltown life. “Morning’s at Seven,” the first show of the 2021-2022 season, opens at the Caryl D. Philips TheatreScape, 430 Wayne Ave., Dayton, on Friday, Aug. 20. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday opening weekend, and 8 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday the following weekends. This show runs through Sept. 5. Cost: $21 adults, $19 seniors and $14 students. Season tickets are available. Masks are required inside the theater. Call 937-278-5993 or visit

5) Cirque Fatale

Cirque Fatale: Burlesque Revue is putting its own unique spin on the back-to-school season with “Burlesque University: Back 2 School ReVue.” The show, set in 1995, adds some vaudevillian flair to life on the campus of Wiggle & Shake University. Cirque Fatale presents “Burlesque University” at The Brightside, 905 E. Third St., Dayton, at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20. Cost: $30 to $35 individual tickets, $150 to $175 for a table of four. The Diamond Lounge is $250. Visit

6) Train

This summer, in advance of select concerts, Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights, is hosting pre-show parties such as a free cookout. When multiple-Grammy-Award-winners Train perform on Thursday, Aug. 26, the venue is hosting a pre-concert winetasting for ticketholders 21-and-older on Rose Music Center’s main concourse. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Special guests Vertical Horizon will open the show with a 7 p.m. set. Cost: $23.50 to $113. Call 513-232-6220 or visit

7) La Comedia

Royal intrigue and devious plots drive the action in “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.” The musical comedy by Steven Lutvak and Robert L. Freedman opens at La Comedia Dinner Theatre, 765 W. Central Ave., Springboro, on Thursday, Aug. 19. Show times are between 12:30 and 12:45 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Sunday, and between7:30 and 7:45 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Doors open two hours before show time. The buffet opens at about 11:15 a.m. for matinees and 6:15 p.m. for evening performances. Cost: $65 to $76 adults, $35 children 11 and younger. This production runs through Sept. 19. Call 937-746-4554 or visit

ExploreAmber Rose is trending! 3 reasons why Dayton has the best one

8) Comedy show

This summer, Jay “Big Jay” Lewis and Mope Williams have been traveling together on the “We Ain’t Done Wild’n Yet Comedy Tour.” The comedians bring the show to Wiley’s Comedy Club, 101 Pine St., Dayton, for performances on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 20 and 21. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and 7:15 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Cost: $20 general admission. As is the industry standard, Wiley’s has a two-item minimum purchase per guest and an 18% gratuity will be added to all checks. Call 937-224-JOKE (5653) or visit

9) Porchfest

When TRSS Drum Corp begins performing in the streets of St. Anne’s Hill in Dayton at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, that signals the beginning of Porchfest. The annual outdoor music festival presented by The Collaboratory features an eclectic array of local talent performing on the porches and patios of participating residents of the historic neighborhood. The lineup runs the gamut from roots rockers the New Old-Fashioned and the Latin dance of the Dayton Salsa project to the hip-hop of Jeremy Street & Fatty Lumpkin and singer-songwriters like Sharon Lane, Dan Raridan and Kyleen Downes. Music continues at select locations through the historic neighborhood from 2-6:45 p.m. Cost: Free but artist donations are appreciated, especially coming out of the pandemic. Visit

10) Spass Nacht

Kettering Sister City Association is once again hosting Spass Nacht, a celebration of the long-running relationship with Steyr, its sister city in Austria. The Austrian Festival, returning to Lincoln Park Civic Commons, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering, on Thursday, Aug. 26, features food, drinks and music. The Schnapps Band performs at 6 p.m. Spass Nacht hours are 5:30-9:30 p.m. Cost: Free. Pets and coolers are not permitted but lawn chairs are encouraged. Call 937-296-3300 or visit

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at