TheatreLab Dayton presents ‘big, flashy and funny’ musical ‘Something Rotten!’ at Victoria



TheatreLab Dayton encourages audiences to join them on a journey to the Renaissance as the troupe presents Karey Kirpatrick, Wayne Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell’s 2015 Tony Award-nominated musical comedy “Something Rotten!” May 20 and 21 at the Victoria Theatre.

In this kooky tale of family, romance, jealousy and betrayal which hilariously jabs musical theatre conventions, playwrights/brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom find it difficult to attract the masses due to the sheer popularity of William Shakespeare. In an attempt to surpass the Bard, Nick visits a soothsayer who tells him he should write something called a “musical.” Ultimately, he and Nigel decided to create the musical “Omelette,” which causes a stir and increases the Bard’s curiosity about his forward-thinking contemporaries.

“When we were putting together this season, we knew we really wanted to bring a piece that brought true joy to the stage,” said Mackensie King, TheatreLab artistic director. “The last two years have had so much loss and we wanted to really lean into the laughter that we could bring back. We have asked our ensemble members to send us lists of shows they are interested in and this one was on a few lists. It actually brought in so many new people that we at TheatreLab have not worked with before, which makes this show incredibly special.”

Earlier this season, TheatreLab Dayton delivered a splendid production of “Cabaret” directed by Philip Drennen, the troupe’s executive director. Drennen echoes King’s sentiments regarding casting while viewing “Something Rotten!” as proof that the troupe can showcase many layers.

“Our resident artists as well as local actors, including a number of Wright State students, are really getting to showcase their comedic chops,” he said. “TheatreLab can do intimate and thought-provoking but we also wanted to take a swing at big, flashy and funny.”



The cast is led by principals Zach King as Nick Bottom, Desmond Kingston as Nigel Bottom, Brent Hoggatt as Shakespeare, Abby Hoggatt as Bea, Julia Brosas as Portia, Tyler Smith as Nostradamus, the aforementioned Drennen as Brother Jeremiah, Justin King as Minstrel, Riley Steen as Shylock, and Neal Duiker as Lord Clapham. Ensemble members include Ben Smallwood, Ronald Woodland II, Dustin Schwab, Kara Hancock, Abby Kress, Adelyn Helms, Taylor Greny, Kendra Lodewyk, Sam Evans, Bella Marcigliano, and JD Robinson.

“What I love so much about this show is the ability for the audience to just dispense reality and laugh,” said director Angie Thacker. “If you love theater, you will get all the references and it makes the jokes even funnier. This show is full of costumes, dance and fun. It’s an old-school Broadway spectacle with fresh, current humor. I hope people will walk away feeling like they were able to escape the drudge of the real world for just a couple of hours.”

Performances are 8 p.m. Friday and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are priced at $18-$63. For tickets or more information, visit The Victoria Theatre is located at 138 N. Main St., Dayton.



Dayton Philharmonic Director Neal Gittleman to Retire in 2027

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) announced May 10 that Dayton Philharmonic Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman has outlined a five-year course ahead for his retirement from the podium of the Dayton Philharmonic in 2027.

“Although I am not quite ready to hang up my baton, I understand how critical it is to have succession planning in place within our performing arts organization,” said Neal Gittleman, in a release. “I love my job, I love the amazing artists with whom I have the privilege to work, and I love the dedicated team of staff, supporters, and audience members who make it possible for me to do this work that I love every day. I’d prefer to retire from conducting the orchestra a little too soon than one second too late. I’ve always tried to do this job at 100 percent commitment, and I don’t ever want to be in a position—physically or emotionally—where I feel that can’t do that.”

Over the next five years, Gittleman will continue to lead the DPO in programming and performances, as he has for nearly the last three decades in Dayton. At the conclusion of this 2021–2022 season, he will celebrate his 27th season at the helm of the Dayton Philharmonic. Further, with the historic merger of the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera and Dayton Philharmonic into the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance in July 2012, his conducting duties over the last 10 years have also included frequent performances with the Ballet and Opera.

“Neal has been a pillar and an anchor in the Dayton arts community for a quarter century,” said Patrick J. Nugent, President and CEO of Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, in a release. “He has brought the Dayton Philharmonic to an enviable level of professional and musical excellence, and he has been a major force in bringing the Alliance together and shaping it into a single, integrated organization working together toward the shared purpose of inspiring as many people as possible to fall in love with the live performing arts. Countless concertgoers whom I have met since my arrival in Dayton have told me over and over what a deeply inspiring cultural leader Neal has been for them and for our entire Dayton community.”

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Gittleman graduated from Yale University in 1975. He continued his musical studies with the eminent teachers Nadia Boulanger and Annette Dieudonné in Paris, Hugh Ross at the Manhattan School of Music and Charles Bruck at both the Pierre Monteux Domaine School and the Hartt School of Music, where he was the recipient of the Karl Böhm Fellowship. In 1984, he was the Second Prize Winner of Geneva’s Ernest Ansermet International Conducting Competition, and, two years later, he was awarded Third Prize at the Leopold Stokowski Conducting Competition in New York City. In 1989, he was selected for the American Conductors Program at the American Symphony Orchestra League’s annual conference in San Francisco. In May 2014, he was awarded a 2014 Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio for Community Development and Participation. Under his direction, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra has received the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music nine times.

The DPAA Board will begin a national search for Gittleman’s successor.

About the Author