12 events to check out in Dayton this weekend



Halloween is only days away so that means there is no shortage of seasonally appropriate events like Dayton Ballet’s update of an enduring tale, TheatreLab Dayton’s “Sweeney Todd” and the massive costume street party on Fifth Street in the Oregon District. Of course, it’s not all about vampires, zombies and headless horsemen this weekend, with counter-programming like stand-up comedian Kathleen Madigan and French chamber ensemble Trio Karénine. Read on for more information on these and other Miami Valley events.

1. “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

When: 8 p.m. Friday; and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28 and 29

Where: PNC Arts Annex, 46 W. Second St., Dayton

Details: Philip Drennen’s dynamic performance as the titular barber in TheatreLab Dayton’s vocally strong production of “Sweeney Todd” validates the brilliant storytelling of composer Stephen Sondheim and librettist Hugh Wheeler. Menacing without overreaching, Drennen, in a transformative departure from previous roles and in excellent voice, confidently navigates Sweeney’s dark, murderous, vindictive and ultimately heartbreaking path, which often takes confusing detours under Mackensie King’s direction. Elsewhere: Melissa Hall, never missing a beat during the busy ensemble number “God, That’s Good!,” is firmly adoring and calculated as Sweeney’s accomplice Mrs. Lovett (I’d love to see her tackle this role again in 20 years); lovebirds Aidan McKeon (Anthony Hope) and Devin Fruscione (Johanna) are a vocally impressive pair (McKeon’s rendition of “Johanna” is beautifully heartfelt); Justin King (Judge Turpin) and Skyler McNeely (Beadle Bamford) bring contemporary flair to their treachery; and Brennan Paulin perfectly captures the over-the-top flamboyance of con artist Adolfo Pirelli. (Russell Florence Jr.)

Cost: $28-$43

More info: Call 937-228-3630 or visit daytonlive.org. Patrons are reminded of the following trigger warnings: blood/gore, death/murder, extreme sexual innuendos and a strobe light effect.



2. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28 through 30

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

Details: Artistic director Karen Russo Burke and Dayton Ballet are bringing a fresh approach to the classic tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horsemen. The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will perform a new score from composer Austin Jaquith.

Cost: $5 to $86

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

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

3. Hauntfest

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29

Where: East Fifth Street, between Patterson Boulevard and Wayne Avenue

Details: In the fall of 1985, Dayton’s historic Oregon District held its first Halloween celebration. Each year, on the last Saturday of October, vampires, zombies and other creatures roam East Fifth Street during Hauntfest. While that tradition was paused briefly due to coronavirus concerns, the street party is back again this year. Real or fake weapons are not permitted. Festivities continue until 1 a.m.

Cost: $10 in advance by October 28, $15 at the gate

More info: theoregondistrict.org/hauntfest



4. “R&J&Z (Romeo and Juliet and Zombies)”

When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28 and 29

Where: Blair Hall Theatre, Building 2, of Sinclair Community College, 444 W. Third St., Dayton

Details: As the title suggests, Sinclair Community College’s season opener is an entertaining if bloody blend of Shakespearean lore, zombie culture and campy comedy (think film spoofs such as “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun” trilogy). Directed by Gina Kleesattel and heightened with moody ambience by scenic designer Chris Harmon and lighting/sound designer Daniel Brunk, Melody Bates’ oddball account of what happened to the titular star-crossed lovers after death stirs all sorts of uniquely funny circumstances. “Double suicide and reanimation create a bond that’s hard to break,” says Juliet, enjoyably portrayed by Faeryn Bass opposite the equally admirable Tanner Henry as Romeo. As the lovers attempt to rekindle their romance while figuring out where their relationship actually stands, notable featured players give commendable performances including Charles Larkowski (a humorously steadfast Friar Lawrence, a voice of reason amid the chaos), Tracie Puckett-Knight (the villainous Apothecary who goes rogue), Deangelo Powell (a Mercutio with eyes for Juliet), Anna Senyk and Lizzie Salata (the underwritten Searchers on a mission to kill the zombies), Diesel Weatherly (compassionate Tybalt) and Gage Recker (loyal Balthazar). Gary Minyard’s fight choreography, Scott Kimmins’ props and Patrick Hayes and Tristan Cupp’s special blood effects are added bonuses. (Russell Florence Jr.)

Cost: $15-$18

More info: Visit www.sinclair.edu/tickets



5. Kathleen Madigan

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28

Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton

Details: Like many stand-up comics, Kathleen Madigan learned to diversify. She has produced more than 100 episodes of the “Madigan’s Pubcast.” She also did the YouTube series “Storytime with Kathleen” where she read books in installments such as “Tanya Tucker’s Nickel Dreams.” Madigan’s latest stand-up special, “Bothering Jesus,” was released in 2016. She is currently on her Do You Have Any Ranch? Tour.

Cost: $34.75 to $59.75

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



6. Trio Karénine

When: 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30

Where: University of Dayton, Sears Recital Hall, Jesse Philips Humanities Center, 300 College Park, Dayton

Details: University of Dayton’s ArtsLIVE season 2022-2023 presents Trio Karénine in a Vanguard Legacy Concert. The award-winning ensemble, which formed in Paris, France in 2009, features Charlotte Juillard (violin), Louis Rodde (cello) and Paloma Kouider (piano).

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; season tickets are available

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



7. “Musicology”

When: 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29 and 30

Where: Ponitz Sinclair Conference Center, 444 W. Third St., Dayton

Details: Dayton Contemporary Dance Company presents “Musicology,” a vignette-style program dedicated to Prince, at Sinclair Community College. This dinner theater show is a collaboration between DCDC musical director Deron Bell and Debbie Blunden-Diggs, DCDC’s chief artistic and producing director.

Cost: $66.50 to $71.50

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



8. Silent Disco

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28

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

Details: Slip into a pair of wireless headphones and dance the night away during Spooky Silent Disco. Three different DJs, each with its own distinct channel and musical focus, will spin Halloween appropriate songs.

Cost: $10 in advance, $15 day of event

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



9. David Crone

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29

Where: Arbogast Performing Arts Center, 500 S. Dorset Road, Troy

Details: Even while majoring in electrical engineering in college, David Crone indulged his urge to perform by minoring in theater. After working as a software engineer and executive for a Fortune 500 company, he felt the pull of the stage. Today, Crone is a professional ventriloquist, which brings him to the area for a Fall “Fun” Raiser for Tipp City Arts Council.

Cost: $5 to $30

More info: 937-418-8392 or www.arbogastpac.com



10. Candlelight Concert

When: 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30

Where: Masonic Center, 525 W. Riverview Ave., Dayton

Details: Fever, which books events internationally, recently started bringing some of its unique performances to the Dayton area. The next show features StringSource in a Haunted Evening of Halloween Classics, a Candlelight Concert featuring songs by Franz Schubert, Bernard Herrman, Danny Elfman, Michael Jackson, Mike Oldfield and others.

Cost: $25 to $65

More info: feverup.com

11. Brimstone Haunt

When: 7 p.m. to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays through October 29

Where: 525 Brimstone Road, Springboro

Details: Haunted Hayride and Zombie Assault are among the scary options available at Brimstone Haunt. The Halloween attraction, which opened on Sept. 16, also has a Forgotten Forest, Psychosis and Dead Shot Paintball.

Cost: Haunted Hayride $18, Forgotten Forest $17, Psychosis $11, Zombie Assault $7 and Dead Shot Paintball $11; combo tickets online are $30 or $50 for Fast Pass.

More info: springborohauntedhayride.com



12. “The Rocky Horror Show”

When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, October 28 through 30

Where: Sorg Opera House, 63 S. Main St., Middletown

Details: Babies, don’t you panic. INNOVAtheatre’s production of Richard O’Brien’s “The Rocky Horror Show,” breezily directed by Richard Lee Waldeck, is a totally feel-good, interactive experience delivering loads of naughty fun. Cole Kessler, full of camp-tastic attitude, delightfully dominates as Frank ‘N’ Furter, filling O’Brien’s iconic rock tunes with passionate zest. T.J. Montgomery (Brad Majors), Averi Astaire (Janet Weiss), Norman A. Moxley II (Rocky), Davis Byrd (Riff Raff), Nicholas Brown (Eddie), Amber K. Todd (Magenta), and Jason Lakes (Dr. Scott) are among the standouts in featured roles. Waldeck’s rock concert lighting design and Judy Mansky’s first-rate band keep spirits high as well. (Russell Florence Jr.)

Cost: $25-$30

More info: innovatheatre.com

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