10 great things to do in Dayton this weekend



A musical salute to Aretha Franklin, an excellent presentation of an acclaimed drama, diverse musical offerings and an exhibit dedicated to the legacy of Paul Laurence Dunbar are among the top events to keep in mind this weekend across Dayton.

1. ‘R.E.S.P.E.C.T.: A Celebration of the Legendary Queen of Soul’



When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24 and 25

Where: Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton

Details: Dayton Live presents “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.: A Celebration of the Legendary Queen of Soul,” featuring classic songs from Aretha Franklin. The unique dramatic tribute concert started in Australia and was revamped for an American audience by director Christina Sajous in 2022. “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.” has a full band and four designated hosts, YahZarah, Meghan Dawson, Terrell Foster-James and Chela Faulkner, who sing Franklin hits and provide details on the singer’s life and work. (Don Thrasher)

Cost: $25-$89

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

2. ‘The Laramie Project’



When: Through Feb. 26; 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Herbst Theatre of the Creative Arts Center at Wright State, 3640 Col. Glenn Hwy., Fairborn

Details: Wright State University acknowledges the 25th anniversary of the death of gay college student Mathew Shepard, murdered on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming. This acclaimed drama, written by Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project, is presented in collaboration with WSU’s Office of LGBTQA Affairs.

Under the excellently fluid and varied direction of Josh Aaron McCabe and the expert dialect coaching of Deborah Thomas, an impressively versatile cast of eight actors portray dozens of roles. Ni-Ni Denker, a dignified Moises Kaufman at the outset, brings gentle sensitivity to Dennis Shepard and gay resident Harry Woods but is also adept conveying the cool, laidback persona of McKinney’s anonymous friend and the frank homophobia of rancher Murdock Cooper. The outstanding Matthew Shanahan, making great use of the Herbst space as guided by McCabe, captivates and connects as colorful limousine driver Doc O’Connor, concerned bartender Matt Galloway and the fiery Reverend Fred Phelps. Danny Dobbins absolutely charms as inquisitive theater student Jedadiah Schultz yet is fittingly brooding as Andrew Gomez, a prisoner who shares reflections of McKinney. Zavi Odetta terrifically embodies the frustrations of Muslim student Zubaida Ula, the fear within gay University of Wyoming faculty member Catherine Connally, and the emotional complexity of Dr. Cantway, the emergency room doctor who simultaneously treated Shepard and McKinney. Julia Hoff delights as Romaine Patterson, Matthew’s close friend, and brings heartfelt urgency to her portrayal of Aaron Kreifels, who found Matthew tied to the fence while on a bike ride. Spencer Lucas Hall is firmly grounded in such authoritative roles as Father Roger Schmit and the Mormon Teacher. Sydney Freihofer brings wonderfully earthy familiarity to Reggie Fluty, the policewoman who was the first to arrive on the scene and treat Matthew. The vibrant Elaine Mueller is equally earthy in her primary role as Marge Murray, Reggie’s mother.

Cost: $5-$15

More info: 937-775-2500 or visit www.wright.edu/theatre

3. Polish Symphony



When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24 and 25

Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton

Details: Dayton Performing Arts Alliance presents the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra’s “Tchaikovsky’s Polish Symphony.” Guest pianist Spencer Myer will perform “Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor” by Frédéric Chopin. The program also features “Overture” by Grazyna Bacewicz. Janina Fialkowska was originally scheduled as the special guest but was unable to travel from Europe after a recent surgery. (Don Thrasher)

Cost: $14-$68

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

4. DIVA Jazz Orchestra



When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25; doors open at 7 p.m.

Where: Beavercreek High School, 2660 Dayton-Xenia Road, Beavercreek

Details: Jazz drummer and band leader Sherrie Maricle brings the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, a 15-piece all-female ensemble, back to the Miami Valley. This ticketed concert is part of the two-day Weekend of Jazz at the school and is open to the public. There will also be free student performance with Beavercreek Band Night from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Friday and the School Jazz Band Festival from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. (Don Thrasher)

Cost: Reserved seats are $25 adults, $20 students k-12 and seniors 65 and older

More info: 937-490-9010 or www.weekendofjazz.org

5. ‘Visual Voices 2023′



When: Through March 31; Artist Reception: 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26

Where: EbonNia Gallery, 1135 W. Third St., Dayton

Details: Titled “In Praise of Dunbar: Yesterday and Today,” the exhibit showcases art inspired by Paul Laurence Dunbar’s literary works or aspects of his life that speaks not only to yesterday but to the social concerns of today.

More info: bingdavisartstudio.org

6. Jeremy Short



When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25

Where: Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton

Details: Kentucky-based singer Jeremy Short is currently on the road spreading his goodtime hippy blues vibes, with dates in Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Illinois. His album, “Happy Trees,” was released by Fat Cave Records on January 13. Dayton-based Grateful Dead tribute I Dig Pig will also perform. (Don Thrasher)

Cost: $7 in advance, $10 day of show

More info: 937-424-3870 or www.yellowcabtavern.com

7. Maxim Lando

Credit: Chris McGuire

Credit: Chris McGuire

When: 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26

Where: UD’s Sears Recital Hall, Jesse Philips Humanities Center300 College Park, Dayton

Details: University of Dayton’s ArtsLIVE season 2022-2023 presents acclaimed young classical pianist Maxim Lando, currently attending The Julliard School while touring.

Cost: Free for UD students, $18 general admission, $15 seniors 60 and older and UD alumni, $10 UD employees and retirees, $5 youth and students younger than 21.

More info: 937-229-2545 or udayton.edu

8. Pub Sing

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25

Where: Dublin Pub, 300 Wayne Ave., Dayton

Details: Travel back to 1572 and join others from the Ohio Renaissance Festival. Costumes are welcome. Please leave large props, weapons, hoop skirts, etc. at home.

More info: www.dubpub.com

9. The Gem City Mardi Gras Threauxdown

When: 5-11:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25

Where: The Brightside Music & Event Venue, 905 E. Third St., Dayton

Details: Food, vendors, live New Orleans-inspired music, a line parade and more.

Cost: $15

More info: https://www.thebrightsidedayton.com/

Credit: Archive Photos

Credit: Archive Photos

10. Dayton Dinner Theater: ‘Dazed and Confused’

When: 6-9 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26

Where: The Brightside Music & Event Venue, 905 E. Third St., Dayton

Details: Before the screening of the 1993 comedy starring Matthew McConaughey, enjoy dinner from Brock Masterson catering. During dinner there will be live music and a soundtrack presentation featuring acts such as The University of Dayton Jazz Ensemble and acclaimed musician/producer Denny Wilson. Dessert will be served during intermission. There will also be trivia and a costume contest.

Cost: $35

More info: https://www.daytondinnertheater.com

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