30 ways to spend your April

It’s spring. That means baseball, theater, concerts and more.

Here are some of the best events happening this month around Dayton.

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April is a big month for the Dayton Dragons, which is launching its 20th season in the Midwest League and third year with manager Luis Bolivar. The Dragons open the home season in a game against the Bowling Green Hot Rods at Fifth Third Field, 220 N. Patterson Blvd., Dayton, at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 4. The team, which had a dismal 2018 record of 58 loses and 80 wins, managed to extend its record of 1,316 consecutive sold-out game in 2018, the longest streak in professional North American sports. Cost: $9 lawn tickets, $19 stadium seats. Call 937-228-BATS (2287) or visit www.daytondragons.com.

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The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will provide the musical accompaniment for the Dayton Ballet's "Sleeping Beauty: The Story of Briar Rose." The program, the company's final concerts of the season, is presented at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, Friday through Sunday, April 12 through 14. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $15-$73; $25 for a special Sensory Friendly matinee performance at 2 p.m. Saturday. Dayton Ballet Barre hosts its fundraiser The Sleeping Beauty Tea at Dayton Women's Club, 22 N. Ludlow St., Dayton at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 14. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.


Comic book creators and retailers will be participating in the annual Gem City Comic Con at the Dayton Convention Center, 22 E. Fifth St., Dayton, on Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28. More than 100 comic book professionals will be attending this year's event including Chris Bachalo, Brian Level, Ryan Bodenheim, Ray-Anthony Height and Kyle Hotz. Convention hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Early buyer admission at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Cost: $10 general admission per day. Early admission $15 at the door. Weekend passes are $20. Children 12 and younger admitted with paying adult. Call 937-416-3667 or visit www.daytonconventioncenter.com.


Jason Mewes built his career as the comedic foil to Kevin Smith in the actor-director's films like "Clerks" and "Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back." The longtime onscreen duo are currently shooting another film in the character's ongoing saga in "Jay & Silent Bob the Reboot." Mewes is also on the road doing live dates, including a one-night engagement at the Funny Bone Comedy Club, 88 Plum St., The Greene, Beavercreek, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11. Cost: $22-$45. Call 937-429-LAFF (5233) or visit www.daytonfunnybone.com.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam


The Contemporary, formerly Dayton Visual Arts Center, hosts its 25th-anniversary art auction in Sinclair Community College's Ponitz Center, 444 W. Third St., Dayton, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, April 26. Doors open at 6 p.m. Cost: $50 members, nonmembers $65 by April 25. All tickets are $75 at the door. In advance of the event, The Contemporary, 118 N. Jefferson St., Dayton, is hosting an Auction Preview Exhibition opening with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 5. Cost: Free. The preview is on display through Wednesday, April 24. Visit www.thecontemporarydayton.org.


His work as a nature photographer has taken Florian Schulz into the vast wilderness of remote parts in Africa, Mexico, Alaska and other locations. He'll discuss his adventures on the frozen tundra when Victoria Theatre Association presents "Florian Schulz: Into the Artic Kingdom," a National Geographic Live program at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, on Sunday and Monday, April 14 and 15. Show times are 3 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Monday. Cost: $29-$45. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.


Local punk legend Ed Pittman from Toxic Reasons, New Regrets and other bands is displaying another side of his creativity with a showing of his abstract paintings. The new exhibition opens at the Galleries of the Front Street Bldg., 1001 E. Second St., Dayton, with an artist reception from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, April 5. Pittman's work will be on display in the gallery at door C-D in building 100 through April 14, when it will be moved to a secondary space at Front Street. Call 937-331-9061 or visit www.frontstreetbuildings.com.


Omega Music, 318 E. Fifth St., Dayton, is hosting two major events in April. The record store was founded by Gary Staiger, whose children took over the reins when he passed away in 2010. The Oregon District shop celebrates its 36th anniversary at 6 p.m. Friday, April 5, with local groups Cricketbows and Widesnake. Altitudes & Attitude, a group featuring Frank Bello from Anthrax and Megadeth's David Ellefson, will perform live, present a free clinic and do an album signing. Omega Music hosts the international initiative Record Store Day, which returns to independently owned stores on Saturday, April 13. The store also Visit https://omegamusic.dayton.


After a delayed start, the crew behind Rockstar Pro Arena has relocated the operation from Third Street to the new venue Turnbuckles, 638 Watervliet Ave., Dayton. The Rockstar team, which has been hosting live wrestling matches and concerts since 2012, ushers in a new era with a live performance by Canadian pop-punkers Calling All Captains at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4. Makari, Better Anyway, Life in Idle and Children of Mana will also perform. Messer headlines a bill at 7 p.m. Friday, April 5, featuring guests BioGenesis and Secret Circle Society. Other musical acts on Turnbuckles' April schedule include Strawberry Girls on April 14, (hed) P.E. on April 23 and Koffin Kats on April 25. Visit www.turnbucklesandbrews.com.


A pair of new shows open at Rosewood Gallery at Rosewood Arts Centre, 2655 Olson Dr., Kettering, on Monday, April 15. “Self Starter” is a video installation by Toledo-based Michael Arrigo, whose work explores the cultural interface between technology and relationships. In “Writ on Water,” Kasey Ramirez of Fayetteville, Ark., uses printmaking to explore issues relating to climate change in a series of dark, foreboding landscapes. Cost: Free. Rosewood hosts an artist reception and gallery talk from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 10. Both exhibitions are on display through May 18. Call 937-296-0294 or visit www.playkettering.org.



Cameron Mackintosh presents "Les Misérables," a Tony Award-winning musical adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel by Alain Boubill and Claude-Michel Schönberg. The Victoria Theatre Association's Premiere Health Broadway Series event opens at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, on Tuesday April 2. "Les Misérables" runs through Sunday, April 7. Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, with 2 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday. Cost: $46-$145. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.

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Kate finds herself in an unlikely love triangle when her husband Greg brings home Sylvia, a street-smart stray he found in the park. That situation sets up the drama and laughs in A.R. Gurney's "Sylvia." The Human Race Theatre Company's production of the play opens at the Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., Dayton, on Thursday, April 25. Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $14-$42. "Sylvia" is presented through May 12. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.


In her play "Nice Girl," Melissa Ross explores the bleakness of middle age as four suburbanites maneuver life in the 1980s. Debra Kent directs Dayton Theatre Guild's production of the Ross play, which opens in the Caryl D. Philips TheatreScape, 430 Wayne Ave., Dayton, on Friday, April 19. 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. Cost: $20 adults, $18 seniors and $13 students. "Nice Girl" runs through May 5. Call 937-278-5993 or visit www.daytontheatreguild.org.


In his novel "Fahrenheit 451," Ray Bradbury imagines a dystopian future where it is illegal to read books and firemen burn reading material rather than extinguish such blazes. Mike Taint directs a stage adaptation opening at X-Act Theater, 45 E. Second St., Xenia, on Friday, April 5. Show times are 6:30 p.m. opening night gala. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday, March 14. Cost: $17 general admission, $14 seniors and students, $7 children. $20 opening night gala fundraiser. "Fahrenheit 451" runs select weekend days through Sunday, April 14. Call 937-372-0516 or visit www.xeniaact.org.


Zoot Theatre Company, the Dayton-based puppetry troupe, explores love and friendship in a unique relationship between a young girl and a bird in “Hope Takes Flight.” Victoria Theatre Association presents the Discovery Series program at PNC Arts Annex, 46 N. Ludlow St., Dayton, on Wednesday, April 10. Show times are 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Cost: $5. Call 937-228-7591, ext. 3039.



Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights, launches a new season of concerts with hard rockers Whitesnake, bringing its Flesh & Blood world tour to the venue at 7 p.m. Monday, April 29. Doors open at 6 p.m. Special guests the Black Moods will also perform. Cost: $23.50-$59. Upcoming concerts at Rose Music Center include Chicago in a sold-out performance on May 5, Brian Wilson presents Pet Sounds on June 18 and Sugarland on July 19. Call 937-228-2323 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.


The Beatles’ classic album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” gets a symphonic makeover by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, on Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28. The Rockin’ Orchestra Series concert, “Sgt. Pepper’s Complete,” also features the rock band Classical Mystery Tour. Show times are 8 p.m. Saturday, April 27. Cost: $32-$102. The DPO presents a Classical Connections Edition of the concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 28. Cost: $9-$44. Call 937-228-2323 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.


Ruben Studdard was getting comparisons to Luther Vandross long before the Alabama-based singer won the second season of "American Idol" in 2003. The Grammy-nominated artist has finally embraced his destiny in a touring show dedicated to the late vocalist. Victoria Theatre Association's Universal 1 Credit Union Vic150 Music Series presents Ruben sings Luther at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4. Cost: $42.50-$65.50. Call 937-228-2323 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.


As one of the youngest of 12 kids, Martin Sexton grew up in Syracuse, N.Y. absorbing the diverse sounds from his older siblings. While they all enjoyed music, he was the only one to pursue it professionally. The singer-songwriter's debut, "In the Journey," was released in 1992. His tenth studio album, "Mixtape of the Open Road" was released in 2015. Victoria Theatre Association presents Sexton in concert at PNC Arts Annex, 46 N. Ludlow St., Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11. Cost: $38. Call 937-228-2323 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

5) LIL’ ED

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials signing its record deal with Alligator Records. The group made its label debut with its second album, "Chicken, Gravy and Biscuits" in 1989. Alligator released the band's most recent album, "The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials" in 2016. The blues act performs at Sorg Opera House, 63 S. Main St., Middletown, at 8 p.m. Friday, April 26. Doors open at 7 p.m. Cost: $20. Proceeds benefit Sorg's renovation fund. Visit www.sorgoperahouse.org.


The surviving members of the pioneering Gem City band Brainiac from the 1990s perform at Brightside, 905 E. Third St., Dayton, at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, April 20. This rare show is presented in conjunction with the local premiere of Eric Mahoney's new Brainiac documentary. Doors open at 8 p.m. Cincinnati group Lung opens the show. Other upcoming concerts at Brightside include Nth Power on Tuesday, April 9, Ellis Paul on April 14 and This Must Be the Party with Ernie Johnson on April 19. Visit www.thebrightsidedayton.com.

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While Yngwie Malmsteen isn't currently on tour, the electric guitar virtuoso is flying into town to make up a canceled gig from July 2018. Malmsteen, whose latest album is "Blue Lightning," performs with local opener idiedtrying at Oddbody's Music Room, 5418 Burkhardt Road, Dayton, at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 13. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Cost: $40. Other upcoming concerts at Oddbody's include Altitudes & Attitudes on Friday, April 5 and Charlie Farley on Thursday, April 11. Visit www.oddbodys.com.


Waynesville Music's Guitar Series has a new home. The second annual event opens with a performance by Japanese fingerstyle guitarist Hiroya Tsukamoto at Town Hall Theatre, 27 N. Main St., Centerville, at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 6. Cost: $15 in advance, $20 day of the show. Other concerts in the series include West Coast blues and ragtime performer Mary Flower on May 3, National Thumbpicker's Hall of Fame member Parker Hastings on June 8 and rocker-turned instrumental musician Spencer Elliott on July 13. Call 513-897-0602 or visit www.waynesvillemusic.com.


The Jazz & Beyond Series, which launched a new season with the Classic Jazz Stompers on March 14, continues with Kick-N-Flava. The local group, which presents a fusion of jazz, R&B, and funk, performs at Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4. Cost: $8 nonmembers, free members. The Jazz & Beyond Series continues with Duante Beddingfield on July 11. Call 937-223-5277 or visit www.daytonartinstitute.org.


The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra has invited choral groups from Baptist churches, Jewish synagogues and Islamic traditions to participate in Unity Through Harmony. The community concert of International sacred music is presented at Dayton Masonic Center, 525 W. Riverview Ave., Dayton, at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 7. Cost: $10. Call 937-228-2323 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.


The Kettering Children's Choir presents "A Celebration of Flight" at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 17. The spring concert features the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, guest vocalist Felita LaRock, Beavercreek Brass, Stephen Wright, the great-grandnephew of the Wright brothers and Neil Armstrong's son, Mark. Cost: $12 adults, $8 seniors, students and military. Call 937-228-2323 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.


Andy Gabbard of Buffalo Killers will be presenting two very different shows at Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton, in April. First on the schedule is a return of Road Eyes, the local musician's tribute to the music of Neil Young & Crazy Horse, at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 13. Doors open at 7 p.m. Cost: $9 in advance. Gabbard debuts his new band, the Cool Ranchers, at 10 p.m. Friday, April 19, during a release show for "Cedar City Sweetheart," his fourth solo release and first collection of original country songs. M. Ross Perkins and Age Nowhere will also perform. Cost: $7 in advance $10 at the door. Call 937-424-3870 or visit www.yellowcabtavern.com.


Johnny Iguana founded the Claudettes as a piano and drums duo in 2011. However, the Chicago outfit has been on a roll since it expanded to a quartet in 2016. The Claudettes, which recently wrapped recording on the follow-up to the 2018 album, "Dance Scandal in the Gymnasium," performs at Peach's Grill, 104 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs, at 10 p.m. Saturday, April 6. Cost: Free. Call 937-767-4850 or visit www.peachsgrill.com.


Jayne Sachs took a break from performing during her recovery from cancer but she is back in action. Today, the local singer commutes regularly to Nashville where she works as a staff songwriter. She also recently reformed her group, the Jayne Sachs band, for a concert at Sorg Opera House, 63 S. Main St., Middletown, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Cost: $15. Proceeds benefit Sorg's renovation fund. Rob Hoffman & the Influence will also perform. Visit www.sorgoperahouse.org.

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