Huge season of shows announced by DPAA: ‘South Pacific’, an updated ‘Nutcracker’ and more



Mark your calendars: Dayton Live will announce its 2024-2025 Premier Health Broadway in Dayton Series on Thursday, Feb. 29.

Organizers plan to reveal the news to the general public on social media sometime Thursday evening. Last year’s announcement was an in-person event held at the Schuster Center complete with a backstage tour.

If you’re curious about the shows you’ll see next season at the Schuster, it’s best to consider which shows were booked across our region this season. Cincinnati’s slate included “MJ: The Musical,” “Disney’s Aladdin,” “Beetlejuice” and “Six,” while Columbus secured “Moulin Rouge!,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Company” and “Come From Away.” Odds are we’ll see some sort of combination of these titles (”MJ” and “Six” are the strongest bets) with hopefully a surprise or two in the mix. Stay tuned.

Here’s what else you should know right now:

Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s 2024-2025 season

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera, Dayton Philharmonic) has assembled a very promising 2024-2025 season. Here are five shows I’m looking forward to:

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific” (Sept. 21-22, 2024): Last season the DPO partnered with Wright State University’s School of Fine and Performing Arts for an outstanding tribute to Stephen Sondheim. I’m expecting another knockout collaboration as Joe Deer directs Dayton Opera artists and Wright State students in a concert staging of such timeless classics as “There is Nothing Like a Dame,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair” and “A Wonderful Guy.”

Broadway By Request (Nov. 2, 2024): This DPO SuperPops tribute to Broadway invites the audience to choose the songs! Due to what may or may not be available to DPO regarding orchestration, I recommend audiences go into this concert with a Golden Age sensibility (“Hello, Dolly!,” “My Fair Lady,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “West Side Story,” “The Music Man,” etc.) instead of leaning into the 21st century (such as “Hamilton”). Just keeping it real.

“The Nutcracker” (Dec. 13-22, 2024): Dayton Ballet Artistic Director Brandon Ragland will choreograph the world premiere of the company’s new production of this holiday tradition. Costumer Lyn Baudendistel and scenic designer Ray Zupp will return to create another magical world for audiences to enjoy.

“Requiem” (March 14-15, 2025): DPO Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman has prepared a very topical and timely Masterworks concert centered on Joel Thompson’s “Seven Last Words of the Unarmed,” which is inspired by the final words of seven Black men: Trayvon Martin, Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., Amadou Diallo, Michael Brown Jr., Oscar Grant III, John Crawford III, and Eric Garner. Following the concert there will be a talkback moderated by Rev. Joshua Ward of Omega Baptist Church.

Ann Hampton Callaway (May 3, 2025): Tony-nominated actress/vocalist will join the DPO for a SuperPops concert featuring an evening of standards made famous by such artists as Barbra Streisand, Carole King, Patti LuPone and Michael Feinstein. I’m also hoping she’ll sing her jazzy, snazzy title song from the CBS sitcom “The Nanny.”

Right Now with Russell spotlights arts and entertainment news every Friday and as news arises. From the latest in local arts to the latest in film, music, TV, awards season and other hot button topics, the goal is to fill you in on what’s new in order to satisfy your entertainment cravings. He can be reached at

About the Author