TOP EVENTS OF THE WEEK: Holiday shows, a funk concert and more

"Cirque Dreams Holidaze," which New York Daily News called a "delicious confection of charm, sparkle and talent by the sleigh load,” will be presented Dec. 20-26 at Victoria Theatre in Dayton.
caption arrowCaption
"Cirque Dreams Holidaze," which New York Daily News called a "delicious confection of charm, sparkle and talent by the sleigh load,” will be presented Dec. 20-26 at Victoria Theatre in Dayton.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

1) “Cirque Dreams Holidaze”

“Cirque Dreams” has been mixing Broadway-style musical theater with contemporary circus performing since 1993. The company continues to deliver high energy-themed shows such as “Jungle Fantasy” and “Unwrapped” featuring acrobats, singers, dancers, gymnasts, jugglers and other performers.

The Projects Unlimited Star Attractions series presents the seasonal show “Cirque Dreams Holidaze” at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, Monday, Dec. 20 through Sunday, Dec. 26. New York Daily News called the production a “delicious confection of charm, sparkle and talent by the sleigh load.”

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon Friday and 6 p.m. Sunday, with 2 p.m. matinees Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. There is no performance on Saturday, which is Christmas Day. Cost: $35 to $85. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.daytonlive.org.

caption arrowCaption
STRAIGHT NO CHASER will perform Dec. 22 at the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton.

STRAIGHT NO CHASER will perform Dec. 22 at the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton.
caption arrowCaption
STRAIGHT NO CHASER will perform Dec. 22 at the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton.

2) Straight No Chaser

The nine members of Straight No Chaser engaged with fans through online streaming during the pandemic but were itching to perform live. The chart-topping a cappella group, which recently released a deluxe edition of its album, “Social Christmasing,” returned to the road for the Back in the High Life Tour in late October. Straight No Chaser performs at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 22. Cost: $34.50 to $62.50. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.daytonlive.org.

caption arrowCaption
Countess Winfrey soars through the air in DCDC's presentation of "The Littlest Angel."

Credit: MICHAEL GREEN

Countess Winfrey soars through the air in DCDC's presentation of "The Littlest Angel."
caption arrowCaption
Countess Winfrey soars through the air in DCDC's presentation of "The Littlest Angel."

Credit: MICHAEL GREEN

Credit: MICHAEL GREEN

3) “The Littlest Angel”

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company presents a reimagined version of “The Littlest Angel,” an adaptation of Charles Tazewell’s beloved children’s book. The updated holiday classic will be held at the University of Dayton Kennedy Union Boll Theatre, 300 College Park, Dayton, on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 17 and 18. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Cost: $25. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.daytonlive.org.

caption arrowCaption
The Original Lakeside, which has its ’70s hit, “Fantastic Voyage,” featured in a current television commercial for Allstate Insurance, performs inside the Schiewetz Auditorium at the Masonic Center in Dayton on Sunday, Dec. 19.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The Original Lakeside, which has its ’70s hit, “Fantastic Voyage,” featured in a current television commercial for Allstate Insurance, performs inside the Schiewetz Auditorium at the Masonic Center in Dayton on Sunday, Dec. 19.
caption arrowCaption
The Original Lakeside, which has its ’70s hit, “Fantastic Voyage,” featured in a current television commercial for Allstate Insurance, performs inside the Schiewetz Auditorium at the Masonic Center in Dayton on Sunday, Dec. 19.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

4) Lakeside

Sadly, Lakeside vocalist William Selby passed away in October but his brother, Thomas, and other longtime members like Stephen Shockley and Fred Alexander are keeping the iconic funk band’s music alive. The group was last in the area in September 2019 for a performance alongside the Ohio Players and other funk acts in a fundraising concert at Rose Music Center in Huber Heights that raised more than $100,000 for survivors of the Memorial Day tornadoes. Now, the Original Lakeside is returning to the area for a concert inside the Schiewetz Auditorium at the Masonic Center, 525 W. Riverview Ave., Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Cost: $50 to $85. Visit daytonmasonic.live.

caption arrowCaption
Families continue to enjoy the animated scenes at the Schuster Center’s Wintergarden. This is the woodland scene. Submitted photo.

Families continue to enjoy the animated scenes at the Schuster Center’s Wintergarden. This is the woodland scene. Submitted photo.
caption arrowCaption
Families continue to enjoy the animated scenes at the Schuster Center’s Wintergarden. This is the woodland scene. Submitted photo.

5) Dayton attractions

There is still time this holiday season to bundle up the family and head downtown to take in the festive lights, decorations and attractions. You can drive through the interactive Downtown Jingle Lights on Main and Third streets and Monument Avenue through January 1. Annual favorites are back as well, including the Rike’s Holiday Windows and Virginia Kettering’s Holiday Train Display. Rike’s Holiday Windows, inside the Schuster Center Wintergarden, Second and Main streets, Dayton, is on display through Dec. 31. Viewing hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. The train display inside Stratacache Tower, Second and Main streets, is on view through Jan. 2 and can be seen from inside or outside the building. Call 937-224-1518 or visit www.downtowndayton.org.

6) Riff Raff

Riff Raff, the often-controversial rapper from Texas, has released a handful of albums, including his 2014 debut, “Neon Icon,” and 2020′s “Vanilla Gorilla.” However, he is better known for his off-the-wall performances. The flamboyant figure is currently out on the Dats Right Tour, with a dozen dates in December on the East Coast and in the Midwest. This outing includes Riff Raff’s return to Oddbody’s Music Room, 5418 Burkhardt Road, Dayton, on Saturday, Dec. 18. Doors open at 9 p.m. Cost: $25 general admission, $75 VIPI meet and greet. Visit facebook.com/oddbodys.

ExploreFunk survivors Lakeside roll into Dayton

7) “Scrooge”

INNOVAtheatre presents Leslie Bricusse’s musical version of “Scrooge.” The update of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” opened at Sorg Opera House, 63 S. Main St., Middletown, on Thursday, Dec. 16. The production is directed by Denise Schnieders and Aaron Washington and has musical direction from Matthew Kuntzman and choreography by Washington. “Scrooge” runs through Sunday, Dec. 19. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with 3 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday. Cost: $25. Visit sorgoperahouse.org.

8) Miss May I

It has been more than a decade since Miss May I came roaring out of Troy to turn the modern metal scene on its head. While the group recently had some European dates pushed back to late 2022, it is still full steam ahead. In addition to recording new material, the group is hitting the road hard in the United States in the spring. Before that, Miss May I ends the year with two dates, one in Florida and another at The Brightside, 905 E. Third St., Dayton, on Friday, Dec. 17. Hollow Front, Greyhaven and Obsidian Mind will also perform. Doors open at 7 p.m. Cost: $20. Call 937-410-0450 or visit www.thebrightsidedayton.com.

caption arrowCaption
Actor-comedian Hank Denson, who started the campaign Pay Teachers More Money, performs at Wiley’s Comedy Club in Dayton on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 17 and 18.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Actor-comedian Hank Denson, who started the campaign Pay Teachers More Money, performs at Wiley’s Comedy Club in Dayton on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 17 and 18.
caption arrowCaption
Actor-comedian Hank Denson, who started the campaign Pay Teachers More Money, performs at Wiley’s Comedy Club in Dayton on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 17 and 18.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

9) Hank Denson

Hank Denson has performed in countless comedy clubs, appeared in feature films like ‘Barbershop 3″ and been a regular on morning television in his hometown of Atlanta. However, nothing quite caught on like Pay Teachers More Money, his campaign, online and IRL, to fairly compensate educators. It made him not only a spokesman for the cause but opened up new stand-up possibilities. Denson performs at Wiley’s Comedy Club, Dayton, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 17 and 18. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and 7:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Cost: $15. Call 937-224-5653 or visit wileyscomedy.com.

ExploreMajor production company chooses Dayton to build headquarters and film studios

10) ‘70s twofer

The Guess Who and Orleans share very little sonically but both acts harken back to simpler times. The roots of the Guess Who stretch back to the mid-1960s in Winnipeg, Manitoba, while Orleans formed in Woodstock, NY in the early ‘70s. The bands are sharing a double bill at BMI Speedway, 791 E. Main St., Versailles, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18. Doors open at 5 p.m. Cost: $40 in advance, $50 at the door. Premium seating available for an additional $25 or add $50 for a single band VIP package. Call 937-526-9547 or visit www.bmikarts.com.

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at donthrasher100@gmail.com.

About the Author