10 great things to do in Dayton this weekend

A thought-provoking comedy, a long-running festival, an enchanting ballet, and the opening of a new art gallery are among notable events to keep on your radar this weekend.

1. ‘Barbecue’

When: Through April 30; 8 p.m. on April 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29; 2 p.m. on April 23 and 30; and 7 p.m. on April 25 and 26

Where: Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., Dayton

Details: Cincinnati native Robert O’Hara’s jaw-dropping, mind-blowing and purposefully outlandish comedy is a refreshing reminder that vulgar loudmouths coping with various addictions deserve their humanity to be examined just as much as anyone else. Director Eboni Bell Darcy’s rip-roaring cast sizzles in the play’s hilarious, no holds barred, pearl-clutching, taking-Dayton-theater-to-new-levels-of-Black-truth-telling regional premiere courtesy of the Human Race Theatre Company. Portraying two parallel families – one white, one Black – the actors seamlessly navigate O’Hara’s bold, non-linear exploration of identity, race, pop culture (think Whitney Houston as the inspiration for the uppity multihyphenate in Act 2) and family dysfunction with a provocative sting that is much more than the “white trash” and ghetto stereotypes that might feel offensive to some and brave to others. The rollicking plot centers on a desperate, goofy intervention at a picnic shelter (excellently designed with naturalistic appeal by Tamara L. Honesty) but the zaniness serves as a defiant example of how far a family will go to save their own, a mission superbly interpreted with earthy attitude, exasperation and grit by Burgess Byrd and Darlene Spencer as eldest sibling Lillie Anne. The humorous, believably bonded talents of Josh Aaron McCabe and Rico Romalus Parker as James T, Lisa Stephen Friday and Marva Williams-Parker as Adlean, A.J. Baldwin and Mierka Girten as Marie, and Erin Eva Butcher and Oluchi Nwokocha as Barbara keep spirits high as well. In addition to the importance of representation in contemporary theater, this play effectively illuminates the universality of embracing differences and provides a finale ingeniously satirizing the ethnic identicalness of the Academy Awards (just ask Angela Bassett). Ultimately it is clear the Human Race, nearing the conclusion of Season 37, is in its redefining era. After all, once you’ve mustered the courage to successfully produce “Barbecue” there’s no turning back. I say full steam ahead.

Cost: $10-$53

More info: 937-228-3630 or humanracetheatre.org

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

2. Sugar Maple Festival

When: Friday, April 21 from 5-10 p.m., Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., and Sunday, April 23 from noon-5 p.m.

Where: Downtown Bellbrook

Details: The 43rd annual Sugar Maple Festival returns with events and activities including a beer garden, pancake breakfast, dog show, live music, children’s activities, the Sweetheart Contest, 5K race and parade.

Cost: Free

More info: www.sugarmaplefestival.com

3. ‘Peter Pan’

When: Friday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 23 at 2:30 p.m.

Where: Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St., Dayton

Details: Dayton Ballet will present choreographer Septime Webre’s version of the familiar, family-friendly and whimsical tale.

Cost: $20-$90

More info: 937-228-3630 or www.daytonlive.org



4. Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers

When: Friday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m.; doors open at 7 p.m.

Where: Clifton Opera House, 5 Clay St., Clifton

Details: Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers have been on a roll that’s not slowing down. The award-winning bluegrass group just wrapped its twice-yearly Industrial Strength Bluegrass Festival. Now, Mullins, a second-generation musician and broadcaster, is on the road with the Radio Ramblers supporting the new album, “Let Time Ride.” (Don Thrasher)

Cost: $20

More info: 937-342-2175 or www.villageofclifton.com



5. Wright State Spring Dance Concert

When: Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m., Friday, April 21 at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 22 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 23 at 2 p.m.

Where: Festival Playhouse of the Creative Arts Center at Wright State University, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Fairborn

Details: Wright State University’s Spring Dance Concert spotlights ballet, jazz and modern dance. The program features work from Wright State Dance faculty and guest choreographers. There will also be guest performances by partner companies Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II and Dayton Ballet II.

Cost: $5-$20

More info: 937-775-2500 or https://liberal-arts.wright.edu/fine-and-performing-arts/box-office-and-current-season

Credit: Blooming Horizons Photography

Credit: Blooming Horizons Photography

6. Wizards in the Round

When: Friday, April 21 at 7 p.m.

Where: Trolley Stop, 530 E. Fifth St., Dayton

Details: Amber Hargett hosts Wizards in the Round, an eclectic evening of songs and stories with nine very different local songwriters. Harold Hensley, Nathan Peters, Sam King, Seth Gilliam, Eric Cassidy, Kevin Milner, Seth Canan and Brian Hoeflich are scheduled to perform. (Don Thrasher)

Cost: Free

More info: 937-461-1101 or trolleystopdayton.com

7. Black Palette Art Gallery

When: Friday, April 21; the ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 11 a.m., and the opening reception will be held from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Normal gallery hours are Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Black Palette Art Gallery, 1139 W. Third St., Dayton

Details: The debut of Black Palette Art Gallery in the historic Wright Dunbar neighborhood opens with an exhibition devoted to the works of prominent Dayton artist James Pate, who co-owns the gallery with entrepreneur Shola Odumade.

Cost: Free

More info: Visit www.blackpaletteartgallery.com



8. Earth Day music

When: Saturday, April 22 at 7 p.m.

Where: Mother Stewart’s Brewing, 102 W. Columbia St., Springfield

Details: Brenna Myers musical project Once A Pine is among the local acts performing at this free Earth Day show. The bill also includes XL427, the indie pop-rock band of Andy Ingram of Poptek Records and up-and-coming solo artist Serin Oh. (Don Thrasher)

Cost: Free

More info: 937-717-0618 or motherstewartsbrewing.com

9. Vintage Market Days

When: Friday, April 21 through Sunday, April 23 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Where: Greene County Fairgrounds, 120 Fairground Road, Xenia

Details: Vintage Market Days features 125-plus vendors showcasing vintage, vintage-inspired, furniture, home decor, boutique clothing, handmade treasures, jewelry, art, garden, live music and food trucks.

Cost: $5-$15

More info: www.vintagemarketdays.com

10. Time Warp Prom

When: Saturday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: McLin Gym of Wright State University’s Nutter Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Fairborn

Details: The Time Warp Prom is a night of high-energy dancing to the great retro dance music of the ‘80s, contests, pictures and crazy dances.

Cost: $30

More info: www.mix1077.iheart.com

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