15 of the BEST events happening in April

Spring is here, and events season is kicking into high gear. Here are 15 can’t miss events in April.

>> 7 NEW Dayton restaurants that opened in March 2018


British theater producer Cameron Mackintosh has enjoyed a storied career spanning five decades. He has a lengthy resume, including three of the longest-running productions in theater history: “Cats,” “Les Misérables” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”

One of Mackintosh’s latest projects is a new update of “Phantom,” Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic musical. The North American tour of the show, opening at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, on Wednesday, April 11, features new choreography from Scotty Ambler and staging by director Laurence Connor.

Show times are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, with 2 and 8 p.m. shows on April 12. Cost: Tickets start at $26. "The Phantom of the Opera" is presented through April 22. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.

>> The Food at Lock 27: Pierogies, Asian pork sliders a 'must-try'


Dayton Ballet presents Ruby Jubilee, its 80th Year Celebration at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, Thursday through Sunday, April 19 through 22. The program features the premiere of a new piece by artistic director Karen Russo Burke, which is fitting for Dayton Ballet. Known as "The Company of Premieres," Dayton Ballet is one of the top three dance companies in the nation to produce and present new work. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. $14-$72. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.

>> 12 of the best restaurants in Dayton


While the Dayton Dragons didn’t win a championship in 2017, there was much to celebrate in a season that ended with a record of 71 wins and 69 losses and the team’s first appearance in the Midwest League playoffs since 2011.

The Dragons hope to better that outcome this season, which began this week. After a pair of road games, the team opens its 19th season at Fifth Third Field, 220 N. Patterson Blvd., Dayton, with a 7 p.m. game against the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Saturday, April 7. Cost: $9-$17. Call 937-228-2287 or visit www.daytondragons.com.

>> GAME DAY GRUB: 7 restaurants within walking distance of the Dragons Stadium


This season, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company has been celebrating its 50th anniversary with past program such as "Reunited" and the upcoming "Street Beats" on June 9. To insure the company continues to perform for years to come, DCDC hosts an annual fundraiser. "Soulstice: A Masked Affair," Dayton Contemporary Dance Company's masquerade gala, is presented at Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton, at 7 p.m. Friday, April 13. Cost: $150 per ticket. This price is not included in DCDC's season subscription. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.

>> This local brewery is releasing its first canned beer this week


In his coming-of-age tale "Brighton Beach Memoirs," Neil Simon explores the life of Eugene Jerome and his experiences growing up with his extended family in 1930s Brooklyn. Human Race Theatre Company's production of the play opens at the Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., Dayton, on April 5. Show times are 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday with special 7 p.m. show on April 8. "Brighton Beach Memoirs" is presented through April 22. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.

>> PHOTOS: Did we spot you celebrating Dayton’s 222nd Birthday?


The Dayton Jewish International Film Festival launches another season of cinema with a screening of "Bye Bye Germany" at Cinemark Cinemas, The Greene, 4489 Glengarry Dr., Beavercreek, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 17. The Dayton Jewish International Film Festival is presented on select nights through May 18. Screenings are presented at various locations including The Neon in Dayton and The Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs. Times vary. This year's selections include "Keep the Change" on April 19, "The Invisibles" on April 26 and "The Cakemaker" on May 2. Cost: Individual screenings are $9 adults, $8 students. Festival passes are $75. Call 937-610-1555 or visit www.jewishdayton.org.

>> The Dayton Jewish Film Festival is this month -- and this lineup should NOT be missed


The Latino Asian Native American Center (LANA) at Wright State University works to enhance the success of Latino students and the larger Latino community. To continue its mission, LANA presents Amigos Latinos Gala at the Nutter Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Fairborn, at 6 p.m. Friday, April 6. The fifth annual fundraiser includes Latino dishes, an awards ceremony and dancing to music from Son Del Caribe. Cost: $75. Registration deadline is March 30. Call 937-775-4789 or visit www.nuttercenter.com.

>> Billy Bob Thornton is coming to town, and here’s how to see him


"At Wits End" was the title of the column by Erma Bombeck, which was first published in the Dayton Journal Herald in 1965 before going on to nationwide popularity in syndication. Sisters Allison Engel and Margaret Engel adapted some of the writer's more enduring pieces into the one-woman play, "Erma Bombeck: At Wit's End." Human Race Theatre Company's production opens in the Philips Creativity Center, 116 N. Jefferson St., Second Floor, Dayton, on Friday, April 20. Human Race Resident Artist Jennifer Joplin stars as Bombeck. Cost: $25. "Erma Bombeck: A Wit's End" is presented through May 13. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.

>> This iconic Dayton music venue has been sold -- again


Dayton Visual Arts Center hosts its 24th annual DVAC Art Auction at Sinclair Community College, Ponitz Center, 444 W. Third St., Dayton, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, April 27. More than 100 original works by local artists will be up for bid during the casual gala fundraiser featuring music, food and a wide selection of original, locally produced art. A new offering this year is mobile bidding, which allows interested parties to bid via text message or e-mail. Cost: $50 members and $65 nonmembers in advance, $75 at the door. Call 937-224-3822 or visit www.daytonvisualarts.org.

>> PHOTOS: Did we spot you at the DVAC Art Auction 2017?


"Tick, Tick…Boom!" is an autobiographic musical from Jonathan Larson, the Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning composer of "Rent." Dare to Defy Productions presents the play in Schuster Center's Mathile Theatre, Second and Main streets, Dayton, on Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14. "Tick, Tick…Boom!" will also be staged on Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday with a special 2 p.m. matinee on April 14. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.

>> Live music events in and around Dayton in 2018


Student groups from University of Dayton performing arts in music, dance and theater will be showcasing their talent during Celebration of the Arts. "Lift Every Voice" is presented at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, on Wednesday, April 4. Performances begin at 8 p.m. while the art exhibition in the Schuster's Wintergarden is open to viewing at 6 p.m. Cost: Admission is free but tickets are required. The Celebration of the Arts is part of the Stander Symposium, which recognizes academic excellence. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.

>> 8 things you'll love about new Canal Street Arcade and Deli


Each year at this time, high school juniors and seniors start making plans for the spring ritual known as prom. But why should the kids get all the fun? That's the concept behind the Time Warp Prom, the long-running adult party hosted by Mix 107.7. The Time Warp Prom returns to the Nutter Center's McLin Gym, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Fairborn, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 14. The annual '80s-themed dance featuring live music from Stranger transports attendees on a musical journey back to the simpler days of MTV, synth pop and hair metal. Cost: $33. Call 937-228-2323 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

>> PHOTOS: Dayton Adult Prom 2018


"Journey to Oz" is a new stage adaptation of L. Frank Baum's tales of the Land of Oz . The participatory play gives audience members an opportunity to play munchkins, winkies, crows and flying monkeys. Victoria Theatre Association presents this Morris Furniture Company Family Series show at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, on Saturday and Sunday, April 7 and 8. Show times are 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Sunday's show is Sensory Friendly Performance designed for children with an autism spectrum disorder. Cost: $16 Saturday, $15 Sunday. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.

>> Put on your ruby red shoes -- Oz is coming to Dayton


This month marks five years since Metaphorically Speaking began dazzling audiences with a live mix of spoken word poetry, performance and music. To celebrate the occasion, the local group presents "I Love Sex and Poetry" at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 28. Performers include Ace Metaphor and Jay Martinez. Cost: $38.30 to $88.30. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.

>> Did you know Dayton's got one of the longest-running Slam Poetry nights in Ohio?


The art gallery at Rosewood Arts Centre, 2655 Olson Dr., Kettering, has a pair of solo art exhibitions on Monday, April 16. "Fungal Impressions" features unique sculptures by Virginia Kistler while Kim Rae Taylor's "Arbitrary Language" is comprised of works fusing painting with collage. 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. Cost: Free. An artist reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 19. "Fungal Impressions" and "Arbitrary Language" are both on display until May 18. Call 937-296-0294 or visit www.playkettering.org.

About the Author