Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to summer. Good thing most of you get an extra day off, as there’s no shortage of things to do.
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Here are our top 10 best bets for a weekend of fun:
Steve Martin retired from stand-up comedy in 1981 to focus on his burgeoning film career, which worked out well for him. However, somewhere along the way he felt the pull back to the stage. In 2010, the California native won a Grammy Award for his first all-music album, “The Crow: New Songs for the 5-String Banjo.”
Today, Martin tours frequently as a banjo player. He is out this summer on the tour for An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life. The show, with comedic actor Martin Short, features musical numbers, film clips, conversations and jokes. ‘
>>HOW TO GET TICKETS: Steve Martin and Martin Short are coming to town
Martin and Short perform at Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights, at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 26. Doors open at 7 p.m. Cost: $63-$107. Call 937-228-2323 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
2) SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) [REVISED]
For the irreverent comedy “The Complete Works of Williams Shakespeare (abridged) [revised],” co-creators Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield drew from the Bard’s most indelible work. Human Race Theatre Company’s production of the stage mashup opens at the Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., Dayton, on Thursday, May 31. “Shakespeare (abridged) [revised],” directed by Aaron Vega, is presented through June 17. Show times 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with 2 p.m. matinees on Sunday. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
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Today, Christian rock is a top-selling segment of the music industry. However, that wasn’t the case when Stryper formed in 1983. Thirty-five years later, the band continues to deliver its hard rock gospel. In April, the California-based group released its 12th studio album, “God Damn Evil” (Frontiers Music). Stryper performs with special guest Kix at BMI Speedway, 791 E. Main St., Versailles, at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 26. Doors open at 5 p.m. Cost: General admission tickets are $25 in advance, $35 day of show. Call 937-526-9547 or visit www.bmikarts.com.
4) HERITAGE DAY
The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra century baseball and No Regrets Barbershop Quartet are just some of the attractions during Heritage Day. The annual old-fashioned patriotic celebration is presented by Dayton History at Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton, on Sunday, May 27. Heritage Day runs from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Cost: Free for Dayton History members and children younger than 3, $8 adults, $7 seniors (60 and older), $5 military and students and children (3-17). Call 937-293-2841 or visit www.daytonhistory.org.
5) SIDESHOW 13
Each year at this time, Sideshow showcases a veritable smorgasbord of local music and art and this year is no exception. The annual festival features more than 40 visual artists, such as Christine Gaffney, Matthew Reynolds, Tara Moore, Tom Gilliam, Jackie Wagner and Chris Corn, displaying paintings, photographs and mixed media.
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More than 40 musical acts are on this year’s bill, from hard rock and blues to indie rock and Americana. Performers include the New Old-Fashioned, Sharon Lane, Far From Eden, Mandy Jewell, the Repeating Arms and XL427. Sideshow 13 is presented at the Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton, on Friday and Saturday, May 25 and 26. Festivities begin at 5 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday. Visit www.yellowcabtavern.com.
>>Sideshow 13: This weekend’s free art and music festival the biggest yet
6) THE VIEW
“The View: Juried Landscape Exhibition” opens in Rosewood Art Gallery, 2655 Olson Dr., Kettering, on Wednesday, May 30. The 24th annual group show, presented by Rosewood Arts Centre, features contemporary and traditional approaches to the form. “The View” is on display through July 6. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. An artists’ reception for the exhibition will be held in Rosewood Art Gallery from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 31. Visit www.playkettering.org/gallery.
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7) YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU
Family dynamics, manners and the meaning of life are just some of themes playwrights Moss Hart and George S. Kauffman explored in “You Can’t Take it With You.” Kylee Pauley directs Xenia Area Community Theatre’s production of the 1936 Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy, which opens at X-Act, 45 E. Second St., Xenia, on Friday, May 25. “You Can’t Take it With You” runs weekends through June 3. Show times are 6:30 p.m. opening night, 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sunday. No show on Friday, June 1. Cost: $17 general admission, $14 seniors and students. $20 for the opening night gala fundraiser. Call 937-372-0516 or visit www.xeniaact.org.
8) KETTERING CHILDREN’S CHOIR
For its spring concert, “The Lilt of the Irish,” Kettering Children’s Choir will be joined by instrumental Irish trio Changeling and the Celtic Academy of Irish Dance. The program features music from Ireland and British Isles, including two world premiere compositions by Timothy P. Cooper. “The Lilt of the Irish” is presented at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 30. Kettering Children’s Choir is comprised of more than 200 members, ages 8 to 18, from 30 area communities. Cost: $12 adults, $8 students and seniors. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
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Godfrey was still attending college when he went from cracking jokes in front of his teammates on the football team to entertaining audiences in comedy clubs. While stand-up is his main focus, he also works frequently doing commercials, voice work on cartoons and acting in film and television. His credits include “Stephen Universe,” “The Mr. Men Show,” “Upload” and “Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter.” Godfrey returns to the area for a run at the Funny Bone Comedy Club, 88 Plum St., The Greene, Beavercreek, through Sunday, May 27. Show times are 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $17-$47 Friday and Saturday, $12-$42 Sunday. Call 937-429-LAFF (5233) or visit www.daytonfunnybone.com.
10) ROCK THE DOCK
Tony Herdman, the organizer of the annual Hog Jam festival, is launching a new concert series on Saturday, May 26. Rock the Dock, at The 804 Bldg., 804 E. Monument Ave., Dayton, from 3 to11 p.m., features Brooks Daugherty, a Nashville-based singer and a graduate of Centerville High School. Alex Speller opens the show. The new monthly series will be held the last Saturday of the month through September. Cost: Free. Proceeds benefit Breast Wishes. Call 937-608-0319.