TOP EVENTS GUIDE: Comedy, music and more this week



Lots of laughs, lights this holiday week

From holiday festivities and classic films to stand-up comedy and disco, here are notable events across the Miami Valley this week.

Credit: Jim Noelker / Staff

Credit: Jim Noelker / Staff

1) Dayton Holiday Festival

Virginia Kettering once had a vision of a holiday celebration that was open to all children in the Miami Valley. She made it a reality when she founded Dayton Holiday Festival in 1972, and true to her goal, it is now the region’s premiere celebration.

Dayton Holiday Festival returns to Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton at 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26. It includes signature attractions like the Grande Illumination tree lighting at 7:55 p.m. followed by Dayton Children’s Parade Spectacular in Lights at 8 p.m. It also features horse-drawn wagon rides, live entertainment and Uno’s Pizza with Santa. Cost: Free.

The downtown celebration also marks the official opening of downtown holiday staples the Tikes Shoppe, Wintergarden Wonderland and Virginia Kettering’s Holiday Train Display. Call 937-224-1518 or visit

2) David Sedaris

Next year marks the 30th anniversary of National Public Radio’s broadcast of David Sedaris’ breakthrough essay, “Santaland Diaries.” Three decades later, he continues to entertain audiences as a bestselling author and in-demand public speaker. Sedaris’ latest book, “A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003-2020),” was published in October. He returns to town for An Evening with David Sedaris, a night of stories plus a book signing and audience Q&A at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1. Cost: $41 to $58. Call 937-228-3630 or visit

3) Scythian

Dayton has long been welcoming territory for genre-defying act Scythian, which is a regular headliner at the annual Celtic Festival. More recently, it has made The Brightside, 905 E. Third St., Dayton, something of a regular stop. Scythian, who was last at the downtown venue for two nights in July, returns for a Black Friday party at The Brightside at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for general admission tickets. VIP early access, reserved seating and meet-and-greet from 5:30-6:15 p.m. Cost: Advance tickets are $25 for general admission and $50 for VIP. Call 937-410-0450 or visit

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

4) The Legendary Lights of Clifton

It’s no secret the Legendary Lights of Clifton is a yearly tradition for many local families. However, it’s always boost to get outside recognition such as the honor of receiving one of USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards in 2020. The massive holiday display, which now features more than four-million lights illuminating the mill, the gorge, the riverbanks, trees and bridges at Clifton Mill, opens for the season on Friday, Nov. 26. The Legendary Lights of Clifton is open daily from 6-9 p.m. through Thursday, Dec. 30, except for 6-8 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 25. Gates open nightly at 5 p.m. Cost: $10, free for children 3 and younger. Call 937-767-5501 or visit

5) Zach Williams

Zach Williams was riding high as the hard-partying frontman for southern rock act the Reformation but that life was unsustainable. The Arkansas native changed his path in 2012. He dissolved the group, reaffirmed his faith in God and turned his focus to contemporary Christian music. The Dove and Grammy-winning singer is currently on his I Don’t Want Christmas to End Tour with special guest Anne Wilson. Williams performs Hobart Arena, 255 Adams St., Troy, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Cost: $20.50 to $61.50. Call 937-339-2911 or visit

6) DeRay Davis

Since launching his acting career nearly 20 years ago, DeRay Davis has had small roles in films like “Barbershop” and “School for Scoundrels” and television shows like “Entourage” and “Empire.” Since 2018, the actor-comedian has been a regular on the FX drama, “Snowfall.” Davis returns to town for a special engagement at the newly reopened Funny Bone Comedy Club, 88 Plum St., Suite 200, The Greene, Beavercreek, Friday through Sunday, Nov. 26 through 28. Show times are 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9:45 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. Cost: Rather than single tickets, the Funny Bone is offering $70 for two-person table, $90 two-person VIP table, of two, $140 for four-person table, $180 four-person VIP table. Call 937-429-5233 or visit



7) A Century of Cinema

Auctioneer, businessman and all-around Miamisburg legend Doug Sorrell is the driving force behind “A Century of Cinema,” a new film series supported by a grant from Culture Works. Twice a month, he hosts a screening of a classic film and shares stories, photos, film clips and more at Plaza Theatre, 33 S. Main St., Miamisburg. December is dedicated to Marilyn Monroe with

“Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” on Wednesday. Dec. 1 and “Some Like It Hot” on December 15. Show time is 7 p.m. Cost: $5. “A Century of Cinema” focuses on the films of Clint Eastwood in January and Katharine Hepburn in February. Call 937-530-8013 or visit



8) Black Box

Things have been going well for the newly expanded ownership group since the reopening of Black Box Improv Theater, 518 E. Third St., Dayton, on Oct. 1. The downtown venue, which had been dark since March 2020, now offers shows Wednesday through Saturday. Two shows are offered each night beginning at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Weekends offer early shows with Low Hanging Fruit on Friday and Reverse Mortgage on Saturday and each one is followed by a special show at 9 p.m. Cost: $5 Wednesday, $10 Thursday, and $15 Friday and Saturday. Visit

9) Silent disco

Ever have a night of dancing with friends dashed because nobody can agree on one style of music? Level Up Productions has a solution to that conundrum with three color-coded stations at its silent discos. During its Black Friday event at Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton, at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, KimL will be spinning EDM on the green station, with ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s from Sexbox on blue and modern hip-hop from John Chapel on red. Cost: $10 presale, $15 the day of the event. The silent disco is 21 and older. Cover starts at 8 p.m. Call 937-424-3870 or visit

10) Jerrel Beamon

Courtyard Lounge, 320 W. National Road, Englewood, has a growing reputation for its focus on regional musical acts. However, the venue’s management is expanding its focus with something a bit different: a big night of stand-up comedy at 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27. Headliner Jerrel Beamon will be joined by an array of area talent, including Travis Charles, Kevin Ruppert, Holly Shock and Wyatt Lutz. The venue is 21 and older. Cost: $10 at the door. Call 937-836-9511 or visit

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

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