8 noteworthy shows to see in October

In addition to frightful fare in time for Halloween, you’ll find two productions spotlighting the legacies of iconic Black musicians on area stages in October.

“Charlie Parker’s Yardbird”

Oct. 7 and 9, Dayton Opera

Daniel Schnyder and Bridgette A. Wimberly’s work has been described as “a powerful expedition into the mind, heart and personal purgatory of the jazz genius.” 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton. $5-$100. 937-228-3630 or daytonperformingarts.org.

“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

Oct. 20-29, TheatreLab Dayton

TheatreLab Dayton executive director Philip Drennen stars as the titular vengeful barber in Stephen Sondheim’s dark musical masterpiece. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays at the PNC Arts Annex, 46 W. Second St., Dayton. $28-$43. 937-228-3630 or daytonlive.org.

ExploreCouple’s show mixes Broadway tunes, own love story

“R & J & Z (Romeo & Juliet & Zombies)”

Oct. 21-29, Sinclar Community College

Inspired by Shakespeare and modern zombie films, “R & J & Z” reportedly pushes the boundaries of theatrical humor and horror in its depiction of the star-crossed lovers. 7 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Blair Hall Theatre, Building 2, 444 W. Third St., Dayton. $15-$18. sinclair.edu/tickets.

“Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery”

Oct. 21-30, Beavercreek Community Theatre

This comic adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic “The Hound of Baskervilles” finds Sherlock Holmes investing the deaths of the male heirs of the Baskerville line. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays at Beavercreek Community Theatre, 3868 Dayton-Xenia Rd., Beavercreek. $13-$16. 937-429-4737 or bctheatre.org.


Oct. 23, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra

The DPO’s annual family-friendly, costumed delight will feature music by John Williams (“Jurassic Park”) and Camille Saint-Saëns (“The Carnival of the Animals”). 3 p.m. at the Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton. $26. 937-228-3630 or daytonperformingarts.org.


Oct. 27-Nov. 13, Human Race Theatre Company

This world premiere comedic thriller by Marcia Kash and Douglas E. Hughes has been described as “a bit of ‘Clue,’ and a bit of ‘Knives Out,’ and a lot of fun.” 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays; and 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., Dayton. $10-$53. 937-228-3630 or humanracetheatre.org.

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

Oct. 28-30, Dayton Ballet

Dayton Ballet artistic director Karen Russo Burke choreographs this new retelling of Washington Irving’s tale of the Headless Horseman and other familiar characters featuring an original score by local composer Austin Jaquith. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton. $16-$86. 937-228-3630 or daytonperformingarts.org.


Oct. 29-30, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company

DCDC opens its 54th season with this dinner theater salute to Prince fashioned by Debbie Blunden-Diggs, DCDC chief artistic and producing director, and Deron Bell, DCDC musical director. 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Ponitz Sinclair Conference Center, Building 12, 444 W. Third St., Dayton. $71.50. 937-228-3630 or daytonlive.org.


Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati opens season with powerful ‘Sweat’

For theater-lovers, there’s nothing more satisfying than a powerful drama, a stellar cast and a welcoming theatrical space. Those elements all come together in Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s season opening production of “Sweat,” which runs through Oct. 9 at its newly renovated venue.



The play, written by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, revolves around a group of factory workers in Reading, Pennsylvania in the year 2000, when their mill is in danger of closing. The Dayton connection is Charlie Cromer, who grew up in Yellow Springs, and is the son of well-known actor and retired Wright State University professor, Bruce Cromer. He’s terrific in the role of Jason.

The Cincinnati Public Library has also assembled materials for readers of all ages inspired by the themes in “Sweat.” Librarians recommend books ranging from a child’s picture book, “Goodnight Racism,” to “The Fight to Save the Town” by Michelle Wilde Anderson. It’s a great collaboration and one other theaters and libraries might want to adopt.

For tickets or more information, visit ensemblecincinnati.org. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is located at 1127 Vine St.

By Meredith Moss

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