TONIGHT: Human Race Theatre opens area premiere of ‘Airness’

The cast of the Human Race Theatre Company's production of "Airness."
Caption
The cast of the Human Race Theatre Company's production of "Airness."

Credit: SCOTT J KIMMINS

Credit: SCOTT J KIMMINS

Award-winning play spotlights world of competitive air guitar

The Human Race Theatre Company continues its 35th anniversary season with the area premiere of Chelsea Marcantel’s comedy “Airness,” opening tonight, Oct. 22, at the Loft Theatre.

Drew Vidal (Facebender) and Allison Kelly (Nina) in the Human Race Theatre Company's production of "Airness."
Caption
Drew Vidal (Facebender) and Allison Kelly (Nina) in the Human Race Theatre Company's production of "Airness."

Credit: SCOTT J KIMMINS

Credit: SCOTT J KIMMINS

According to the Urban Dictionary, “airness” is the extent to which an air guitar performance transcends the medium and becomes a higher form of artistic expression. Marcantel uses this launching point to focus on young Nina, who is guided through the world of air guitar competition by a group of misfits. She soon learns the “six pillars” on which she will judged: artistic merit, originality, feeling, technical ability, charisma and the elusive quality of airness. Ultimately, the play is about “bring true to yourself, letting go of your inhibitions, accepting people for who they are and finding the Rockstar locked deep inside yourself.”

“We have had our eyes on this play since it rocked the 2017 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville,” said Human Race artistic director and founding member Kevin Moore. “It went on to win the American Theatre Critics Association’s New Play Award in 2018. This story of an underdog triumphing – with the help of a community of fellow underdogs – is a perfect way to spend an evening in the theatre.”

“Airness” is directed by Jamie Cordes, who previously helmed the Human Race’s “Lizzie” and starred as the titular barber in the troupe’s “Sweeney Todd.” The cast features Human Race returnees Andrew Ian Adams (“Avenue Q”) as Golden Thunder, Allison Kelly (“Red-Blooded All-American Man”) as The Nina, James Roselli (“Play it By Heart”) as The Announcer, Zack Steele (“Mame,” “Sweeney Todd”) as Shreddy Eddy, and Drew Vidal (“The Glass Menagerie”) as Facebender, along with newcomers Reanne Acasio as Cannibal Queen and Rasell Holt as D Vicious.

For more details, visit humanracetheatre.org/shows/airness.

In related news, the Human Race has announced two additional shows to complete its 2021-2022 season at the Loft Theatre. Katie Forgette’s comedy “Incident at Our Lady of Perpetual Help,” a nostalgic family tale set in 1973, will be presented April 14-May 1, 2022. Christian Duhamel and Ed Bell’s musical “My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend,” a story of a twenty-something actress befriending an eighty-something millionaire who loves Shakespeare and Dallas BBQ, will be presented June 16-July 3, 2022. Single tickets are on sale for both productions.

HOW TO GO

What: “Airness”

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

When: Through Nov. 7; Tuesdays through Sundays

Cost: $17-$53

Tickets: 937-228-3630 or humanracetheatre.org

FYI: In addition to wearing masks, all audiences must show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test.

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