STAGE NOTES: 5 arts stories with Dayton connections

For the first time in nearly 40 years, La Comedia Dinner Theatre in Springboro has scheduled an eight-show season.

The 2023 lineup, a mix of familiar titles and local premieres, consists of the southern gospel comedy “Steeple People” (Jan. 19-Feb. 12), the 2004 Broadway musical adaptation of “Little Women” (Feb. 16-March 26), Anthony Shaffer’s 1971 Tony Award-winning Best Play “Sleuth” (March 30-May 7), Jimmy Buffet’s jukebox musical “Escape to Margaritaville” (May 11-June 18), Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” (June 22-Aug. 6), “The Church Basement Ladies”-esque musical comedy “Just Desserts” (Aug. 17-Sept. 17), the 2018 musical adaptation of the 1993 comedy “Grumpy Old Men” (Sept. 21-Oct. 29), and the holiday return of “Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical” (Nov. 2-Dec. 30).

“We haven’t done an eight-show season since 1985,” said La Comedia owner and producer Joseph K. Adkins. “We have a good audience base supporting us and we also wanted to do shows we hadn’t done before. So, six of the eight shows are making their La Comedia debuts. For many years we did six shows and then expanded to seven shows about five years ago, so we thought we would try eight shows that have smaller, shorter runs. We think we have a nice variety of shows in 2023. People want to get out and see theater. So, we feel now is the time.”

Season subscriptions are on sale now at 50 percent off the regular price. Single tickets will go on sale Aug. 22. For more information, visit lacomedia.com.

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Dayton Live updates

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Applications are now being accepted for Dayton Live’s Teen Usher and Ambassador Program. The program immerses teens ages 14 to 18 into the performing arts experience.

“They’ll be giving back to the community through volunteering,” said organizers in a media statement. “Plus, they’ll have access to top-notch performances and be a part of a community where all are welcome and accepted.”

Application period closes Sept. 16. For more information, visit daytonlive.org.

Daughter of Harrison Township couple performs at Carnegie Hall

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

The Cincinnati Youth Choir, featuring 44 members under the direction of Robyn Lana, performed June 13 at New York’s famed Carnegie Hall. Kennedi Grayer, who attends Mason Middle School, was among the participants of the “Songs of Renewal” concert. She is the stepdaughter of Earl White, the daughter of Geneá G. White of Harrison Township and the daughter of Ricardo Grayer of West Chester. Kennedi has been singing with Cincinnati Youth Choir for the past three years.

Stivers grad leads publicity for acclaimed documentary

Cinetic Media senior publicist Rachel Allen, a Dayton native and Stivers School for the Arts graduate, is leading national publicity for “Fire of Love,” an acclaimed documentary currently screening at The Neon in downtown Dayton.

The visually stunning account about married French volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft has been called “the date night documentary we need right now” by Vogue. The film was also a hit earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival.

“Fire of Love” continues Aug. 22 and Aug. 23 at 3 p.m. at The Neon, 130 E. Fifth Street. For more information, visit neonmovies.com.

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Carroll grad writes new play about racial tensions

Chicago-based playwright Josh Brewer, a Carroll High School graduate, has written a new play entitled “Buried Deep: The Lynchburg Pools,” which had a buzzworthy run at Endstation Theatre Company in Lynchburg, Virginia, June 24-July 3.

Brewer’s drama uncovers the July 1961 desegregation and closing of Lynchburg’s three public swimming pools, stemming from Black residents choosing to swim in the whites-only pools. All three pools eventually closed and were filled in with dirt by 1968. Jumping between the past and present, the play interweaves news articles and court rulings quoted verbatim. The characters are based on the real-life Lynchburg residents involved in the incident.

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