Love is in the air this February. But that’s not all.
Here are some of the best things to do this month near Dayton.
NOTABLE FEBRUARY EVENTS
1) TSUKIOKA YOSHITOSHI
Japanese artist Tsukioka Yoshitoshi was only 53 when he died in 1892, but he left behind some powerful work. Some of his compelling woodblock prints depicting a harrowing time in his country’s history are featured in “Samurai, Ghosts, and Lovers: Yoshitoshi’s Complete 100 Aspects of the Moon.”
The new exhibition opens at Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park N., Dayton, on Saturday, Feb. 22. “Samurai, Ghosts, and Lovers” is on display through May 3. DAI hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Cost: $15 adults, $10 seniors, groups and active military, $5 college students, free for DAI members and children 6 and younger. Call 937-223-5277 or visit www.daytonartinstitute.org.
2) DAYTON OPERA
Mezzo-soprano Ashley Dixon makes her Dayton Opera debut in the title role in “La Cenerentola (Cinderella).” The work, with music by Gioachino Rossini and libretto by Jacopo Ferretti, is presented at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, on Friday and Sunday, Feb. 28 and March 1. The cast also includes tenor Carlos Enrique Santelli and baritone Andre Chiang. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $30 to $98. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
3) FIGHT NIGHT
Each winter, Dayton History presents Fight Night, a fundraiser with a 1920s flair featuring everyday Daytonians in amateur boxing matches. The participants, most with no prior experience in the ring, train in advance with Jeff Brown of Brown Institute of Martial Arts. Fight Night is presented at Memorial Hall, 125 E. First St., Dayton, at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 29. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Call 937-293-2841 or visit www.daytonfightnight.com.
4) DAYTON BALLET
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Dayton Ballet is focused on romance. “Love Vignettes” features Septime Webre’s “Carmen” and “Butterfly Suite,” Karen Russo’s Burke’s ballet based on a story by John Luther Long. Dayton Ballet presents “Love Vignettes” at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 13 through 16. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $22 to $74. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
Dayton Contemporary Dance Company is pairing two older pieces with a newer one for its winter concert, “Retro/ACTIVE.” The program feature’s Abby Zbikowski’s “Indestructible” (2018), “On the Wings of Angels” (1996) by Warren Spears and Ulysses Dove’s “Vespers” (1986). DCDC presents “Retro/ACTIVE” at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 8 and 9. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $28 to $48. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
6) ADVENTURE SUMMIT
The 2020 Wagner Subaru Adventure Summit, co-presented by Wright State University and Five Rivers MetroParks, has an indoor triathlon, speakers, live acoustic music, a Great Lakes Brewing party with the pros from Wandering Griffin and more. The event is presented at Wright State University’s Student Union, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Fairborn, on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14 and 15. Featured speakers include Heather Anderson, Maureen Beck and Ryan Richardson. Adventure Summit hours are 5 to 11:30 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Cost: Free. Visit www.theadventuresummit.com.
7) DAYTON AUTO SHOW
Ford, Chevrolet, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are among the more than two dozen manufacturers showing new models at the Dayton Auto Show. The 2020 installment of the annual show is presented at Dayton Convention Center, 22 E. Fifth St., Dayton, Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 20 through 23. Show hours are noon to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $6 online in advance, $8 at the door ages 10 and older. Seniors and students with identification pay $6. Children 9 and younger are admitted free with a paid adult. Call 937-416-3667 or visit www.daytonconventioncenter.com.
8) BREWSTER AND SPIRITS
The latest Winter Brewster and Spirits is one of the hottest tickets of the new year. The sold-out sampling event at the Schuster Center’s Wintergarden, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, features offerings from Crooked Handle Brewing Co., Watershed Distillery, Branch and Bone Artisan Ale, Belle of Dayton and other local companies. Live music from Da Squad. Cost: Tickets are sold out. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
9) WE SHALL OVERCOME
“We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” commemorates the legacy of the late civil rights icon with a night of music. Damien Sneed is producer and musical director for a program featuring music by Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone and others. Victoria Theatre Association’s Projects Unlimited Attraction Series presents “We Shall Overcome” at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19. Cost: $22 to $32. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
10) THE CONTEMPORARY
Curator-in-residence Tess Cortes selected the work in the new exhibition, “Matter and Pattern.” The show, featuring female artists Britny Wainwright of Columbus, Daytonian Michele BonDurant and Sonya Berg Menges of Austin, Texas, opens at The Contemporary, 118 N. Jefferson St., Dayton, on Thursday, Feb. 27. The Contemporary hosts a Gallery Talk on March 6. “Matter and Pattern” is on display through March 28. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Cost: Free. Call 937-224-3822 or visit www.thecontemporarydayton.org.
11) ANAND VARMA
Anand Varma has taken a unique approach to his nature photography. He uses his degree in interactive biology from the University of California Berkeley to employ a scientific look at his animal subjects. National Geographic Live presents “Anand Varma: Beauty and the Bizarre” at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, on Sunday and Monday, Feb. 23 and 24. Showtimes are 3 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Monday. Cost: $29-$45. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
Soul Fire Productions presents Rhapsody-N-Soul at PNC Arts Annex, 46 N. Ludlow St., Dayton, at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14. The lineup of spoken word artists includes David Matthews, Hsanni Scott, Ronnie Williams, Latisha Denis and Lauren Proper. The gala evening also features hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, dancing and a meet-and-greet with Williams. Cost: $38. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
1) THE COLOR PURPLE
“The Color Purple” is such an iconic American story it’s hard to believe Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel was first published in 1982. It was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film in 1985 and a Tony-nominated stage musical in 2005. The Broadway revival won two Tony Awards in 2016. Victoria Theatre Association’s Projects Unlimited Star Attraction Series presents “The Color Purple” at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14 and 15. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Cost: $26 to $99. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
2) GLORIA: A LIFE
Human Race Theatre is known for staging new works and that mission continues with “Gloria: A Life.” Playwright Emily Mann’s biographic drama about Gloria Steinem was first performed in 2018. Human Race Theatre’s production of the play opens at Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., Dayton, on Thursday, Feb. 27. “Gloria: A Life” is presented through March 15. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with 2 p.m. matinees March 1, 8, 15. Cost: $16 to $42. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
3) THE KING AND I
As writers of musical theater, Rodgers & Hammerstein composed some of the most enduring songs of the 20th century. Their collaborations include now classics like “Oklahoma” and “South Pacific.” “The King and I,” based on a novel by Margaret Landon, opens at La Comedia Dinner Theatre, 765 W. Central Ave., Springboro, on Thursday, Feb. 20. “The King and I” is presented through April 5. Showtimes are 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. For the buffet, arrive 90 minutes to two hours before showtime. $63-$74 adults, $30 children 11 and younger. Call 937-746-4554 or visit www.lacomedia.com.
4) ALMOST MAINE
“Almost Maine” by John Cariani is a unique production with nine short stories exploring love and loss amongst the inhabitants of a remote small town. Springboro Community Theatre’s production of the play opens at Springboro Performing Arts Center, 115 Wright Station Way, Springboro, on Friday, Feb. 28. “Almost Maine” is presented weekends through Sunday, March 8. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $10. Call 888-262-3792 or visit www.borotheatre.org.
5) THE WOLVES
“The Wolves,” Sarah DeLappe’s play about a women’s indoor soccer team, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2017. Wright State University Theatre’s 45th season continues with a production opening in WSU’s Festival Playhouse, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Fairborn, on Thursday, Feb. 6. “The Wolves” is presented through Sunday, Feb. 16. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with 2 p.m. matinees Feb. 9, 15 and 16. Cost: $25 adults, $23 seniors 60 and older, $15 WSU and high school students. Call 937-775-2500 or visit www.wright.edu/tdmp.
1) BERT KREISCHER
Bert Kreischer was host of the Travel Channel’s “Bert the Conqueror” for three seasons and has produced more than 300 episodes of his weekly podcast, “The Bertcast.” His stand-up specials “Secret Time” and “The Machine” are currently streaming on Netflix. Kreischer brings his Berty Boy World Tour to the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1. Cost: $42.75 to $62.75. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
2) MARLON WAYANS
Marlon Wayans had siblings who were well-known comics and he was a successful actor in film and television but he didn’t make the move to stand-up until 2010. Not surprisingly, he was a natural and continues to tour comedy clubs when he’s not shooting projects like the forthcoming feature films “Respect” and “On the Rocks.” Wayans returns to town for a special engagement at the Funny Bone Comedy Club, 88 Plum St., The Greene, Beavercreek, Friday through Sunday, Feb. 14 through 16. Showtimes are 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $35 to $45. Call 937-429-LAFF (5233) or visit www.daytonfunnybone.com.
3) NATE BARGATZE
Nate Bargatze’s early work was partly inspired by his father, who worked as a clown before becoming an in-demand magician. The comedian’s first one-hour special was “Full Time Magic” and his debut comedy album was “Yelled at By a Clown.” The comedian’s latest one-hour special, “The Tennessee Kid,” premiers on Netflix on March 26. Bargatze brings his “Good Problem to Have” tour to Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22. Cost: $35 to $149.75. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
Actor-comedian Godfrey has appeared in films like “Soul Plane” and “Zoolander” and television programs like “Lucha Underground” and “Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunger.” Godfrey returns to the area for a run at the Funny Bone Comedy Club, 88 Plum St., The Greene, Beavercreek, Friday through Sunday, Feb. 7 through 9. Showtimes are 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $15 to $47 Friday and Saturday, $12 to $45 Sunday. Call 937-429-LAFF (5233) or visit www.daytonfunnybone.com.
5) HEYWOOD BANKS
Heywood Banks is no stranger to local comedy fans. The stand-up comic and singer of absurd songs like “Toast” and “Never Trust a Puppet” has been coming to town regularly since the mid-1990s. Banks returns to Wiley’s Comedy Club, 101 Pine St., Dayton, on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21 and 22. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and 7:15 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Cost: $20. Call 937-224-5653 or visit www.wileyscomedy.com.
1) WYCLEF JEAN
Wyclef Jean was already blending different musical influences into his songs with his breakthrough hip-hop act the Fugees in the early 1990s. Given that history, it’s no surprise the artist-producer is still kicking against the confines of the rap genre. Recently, he has been doing special engagements titled “A Night of Symphonic Hip-Hop.” Jean joins the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra for a performance at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8. Cost: $32 to $102. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
2) RONNIE MILSAP
It has been more than 50 years since Ronnie Milsap launched his music and at the age of 77, he still records and performs regularly. The six-time Grammy Award-winning singer’s latest album, “The Duets,” was released in early 2019 and he is currently working on a still-untitled follow-up. Milsap performs at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27. Cost: $49 to $79. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
3) SIMON & GARFUNKEL STORY
Simon & Garfunkel was one of the most successful acts of the 1960s. While both singers are still active, they have shared a stage together infrequently since the early 1970s. The Simon & Garfunkel Story, a multimedia concert experience, was conceived to appeal to fans of the iconic duo. Victoria Theatre Association’s Projects Unlimited Star Attraction Series presents the Simon & Garfunkel Story at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9. Cost: $45 to $66.50. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
4) WILL DOWNING
It has been more than 30 years since the self-titled debut of Will Downing, often referred to as the Prince of Sophisticated Soul. His latest album, “Romantique, Pt. 1,” was released in November. Downing is coming to town with Pieces of A Dream for “A Night Out” at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29. Cost: $58 to $70. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
5) CARL ALLEN
Jazz drummer Carl Allen has never been shy about sharing his admiration for Art Blakey. More recently he has been celebrating the life and work of the longtime leader of the Jazz Messengers with a special tribute show marking the 100th anniversary of the late drummer’s birth. Carl Allen’s Art Blakey Centennial Band performs in the University of Dayton’s Sears Recital Hall, 300 College Park, Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5. Cost: $18 general admission, $15 UD alumni and seniors, $10 UD employees and retirees and $5 youth and non-UD students. UD students are admitted free but tickets are required. Visit www.udayton.edu.
6) CLASSIC ALBUMS LIVE
Classic Albums Live has made several trips to the Miami Valley for live presentations of full albums by famous acts. For this season of Universal 1 Credit Union’s VIC150 Music Series, the group is scheduled for a trio of concerts. For the second of the three shows, Classic Albums Live is presenting Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28. Cost: Tickets start at $25. The next show from Classic Albums Live is a presentation of “Led Zeppelin II” on May 29. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
Piano prodigy Gavin George is the special guest for the next Masterworks Series concert from the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. “Beethoven’s 6th and Mozart” is presented at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21 and 22. The program includes Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 21” and Beethoven’s “Sixth Symphony,” also known as his “Pastoral Symphony.” Cost: $12 to $66. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
8) STORM LARGE
Many music fans know Storm Large for her work as vocalist for Pink Martini, but she is also a solo singer and works frequently as a guest artist with other bands and orchestras. The singer-actor-writer from Oregon brings her cabaret-style show to town for an adult evening of entertainment at PNC Arts Annex, 46 N. Ludlow St., Dayton, at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6. Cost: $75. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
9) STAINED GLASS CONCERT
While the Schuster Center is the primary home of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, maestro Neal Gittleman and the musicians under his direction also take the show to other locales. One of the DPO’s community initiatives is the Stained Glass Concerts Series presented in area churches. The next such performances is at Margaret’s Episcopal Church, 5301 Free Pike, Trotwood, at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9. Cost: Free. The Stained Glass Concert series continues with a March 29 concert at New Season Ministry in Huber Heights. Cost: Free. Call 937-224-3521 or visit https://daytonperformingarts.org.
10) COLLA VOCE
Colla Voce has a very special focus, specializing in music written for trombone, piano and voice. The chamber group is comprised of Brazilians Amanda Aparicio (vocals) and Hugo Pinheiro (trombone), Olivia He (piano) from China and Americans Bradley Kerns (trombone) and David Seder (trombone). Colla Voce performs in Wright State University’s Schuster Hall, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Fairborn, at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4. Cost: Free. Visit www.wright.edu.
11) DAYTON JEWISH CHORALE
Cantor Jenna Greenberg leads the 30 vocalists that make up the Dayton Jewish Chorale, which formed in 2015. The group is presenting “A World of Jewish Music,” a program featuring music from Uganda, Italy and other countries, at the PNC Arts Annex, 46 N. Ludlow St., Dayton, at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9. Cost: $18 general admission, $50 patron priority seating, $75 VIP patron priority seating. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
12) DAYTON MUSIC CLUB
Dayton Music Club presents “Celebration of Sacred Music and Church Musicians” at Fairmont Presbyterian Church, 3705 Far Hills Ave., Kettering, at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16. This program features Kristen Kosey (piano, organ) with Music Menagerie Vocal Ensemble, Lindsay Baker and Deborah Courtney. Cost: Free. Visit www.daytonmusicclub.org.