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DTC stages play centered around IRS office

Dayton Theatre Guild’s latest offering told the audience what we always knew - “It’s good enough for government work.” The latest play, The Cashier, took the audience into the thrilling world of an IRS office stuck in Bakersfield, California. The office was stuck in Bakersfield and the inmates, or office workers, were stuck as well.

Exploring the humdrum world of low expectations is a good idea. Another spectacular Guild set by Blake Senseman provided the background. Good direction by Sarah Gomes made the series of vignettes flow easily. Some of the area’s finest actors gave the stereotypical office drones their all.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Sometimes the finest ingredients fail to make the soufflé rise. This was one of those times.

Such stars as Craig Roberts and Natasha Randall, Duante Beddingfield, Cheryl Mellen and John Spitler gave stunning performances. The play, however, stunned the audience into theatrical lethargy.

Somehow, even when each scene ended with a well-delivered joke, the total effect was not lost, but never found. Interesting sidebars: The entire cast of the IRS office never changed clothes, humdrum to the extreme. Craig Roberts long-distance fiancée seen phoning from New York had a fabulous wardrobe. Three of the most attractive actors had the briefest of flashes on stage. Heather Gorby never left the “phone booth” of her Manhattan apartment. Heather Atkinson and Mark Jeffers made miniature cameo appearances. Slightly longer was the title role, the blind cashier of the IRS building lunchroom, played by veteran Bert Staub.

To sum it up, it was good theater but a badly flawed play. Good theater, particularly with using the riches of the Guild’s limitless supply of talent, makes for good entertainment.

Schwartz Musical Scholarship Competition

The Annual Stephen Schwartz Musical Theatre Scholarship Competition, held annually at the Loft Theatre, is a local dose of “reality TV.” It is an elimination contest with all of the bells and whistles, except being “thrown off the island.”
The final ten contestants have survived elimination from a group of more than 60 entrants. Each of them sings two selections, one a Schwartz song and the other a new song chosen for them by the panel of judges.

The contestants are from colleges – WSU and one from Baldwin-Wallace - and high schools which included one Miami-bound student from Oakwood. Nerves were dispelled by the genial master of ceremonies, Jake Lockwood. He used charm, humor and clever cajolery to introduce each of the hopefuls.

Schwartz’ musicals, such blockbusters as Godspell and Pippin, are fraught with many “patter songs”, the favored genre of today’s musical theater. Clever and witty, they do lack the electric musical appeal of past immortal musicals. Personally, I miss leaving a musical with the songs ringing in my ear.

The contestants were handsome, charming and replete with talent. Unfortunately, many needed the boost of a microphone and lacked the projection to even fill the Loft Theatre without that ever-present electronic aid.

There were winning performances. The college division was won by Jason Slattery. The high school laureate was James Blanchard with Oakwood’s Annabeth Kane as runner-up.

Dayton Chamber Music Society

The Dayton Chamber Music Society, venerable, tasteful and tireless, produces multiple programs each season. To be a member of the society, you must declare your instrument, or, in my case, your desire to be a listener.

The performing artists are the membership, plus the listeners. The programs are varied and customarily very good. Dr. John Remick serves as program chairman. For the April concert, he mixed the harp, piano and soprano voice into an interesting and exciting musical buffet.

Held at the Patterson Homestead Museum, the sophisticated audience was treated to the harp virtuosity of Stephanie Llacune, the piano excellence of Dr. Vincent Philipps and the vocal charm of Susan Guina.

Stephanie is a harp soloist and teacher. She plays second harp with the Dayton Philharmonic and many private events. Dr. Philipps is an anesthesiologist who spent years at Cincinnati Conservatory prior to Medical school. Susan is a nurse-educator in active practice. All three display professional talent along with their professional lives. Triple Bravi to these wonderful artists.

9th Annual Dayton International Jewish Film Festival

The ninth annual Dayton International Jewish Film Festival is a carefully selected potpourri of films with some Jewish connection. Israeli films join those of Europe and America. The selection process, nearly a year of committee work, brings an exciting assortment.

The festival began with Arranged at the Dayton Art Institute. It features eleven films at The Neon Movies, the Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs and Temple Israel, and continues through May 3rd

Arranged was one of the best films we have seen this year. The program is full such of engaging hits. Ticket information is available by calling 937-853-0372.

With free popcorn, it is a slice of heaven.


Oakwood flutist to solo with MVSO

Oakwood resident and flutist Kathy Murphy will be the featured soloist with the Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra at its May 2 and 3 concerts. As winner of the Clark J. Haines Concerto Competition, Kathy will be performing the “Suite Antique” for flute and orchestra by John Rutter. The annual concerto competition honors the late Clark Haines, who served as a conductor for the MVSO as well as many other area performing groups.

Kathy Murphy is by profession an engineer, holding bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical and mechanical engineering, respectively. The flute, however, has been a passionately pursued interest since childhood. Raised in Connecticut, Kathy studied with Leslie Frankel of the Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra.

She sat first chair in the Connecticut All-State Band as a high school senior and played four years with the Norwalk Youth Symphony, then considered one of the best youth symphonies in the nation. Kathy most recently studied with Jane Berkner of the Akron Symphony (OH), capping her studies with solo recitals in 2000 and 2001.

Relocating to Dayton in 2004 brought with it delightful and expanded musical opportunities. A recital performance of Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp with Bolivian National Symphony principle harpist and former Oakwood resident Jessica Schaeffer in 2006, as well as a performance of John Rutter’s choral masterpiece “Magnificat” as part of an orchestra made up of DPO strings and Band of Flight winds have been highlights. Kathy renewed formal study of the flute with Dr. Christopher Chaffee of Wright State University in September 2008.

She is a member of the Kettering Civic Band, plays for church and weddings, and does musical theatre pit orchestra work for the Dayton Playhouse, Sinclair Community College and local high schools. She also tutors flute as a volunteer in the Oakwood elementary schools and teaches privately.

The MVSO, under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Kohlenberg, will present Felix Mendelsson’s Overture for Winds, John Rutter’s Suite Antique, and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. Concerts will be held on Saturday, May 2 at 8 p.m. at Epiphany Lutheran Church in Centerville (6430 Far Hills Avenue, Centerville 45459) and Sunday, May 3 at 3 p.m. at Shiloh Church (5300 Philadelphia Dr., Dayton 45415). Tickets are $10 for Adults, $8 for Seniors and $5 for Students, and may be purchased at the door. Full concert details can be found at the orchestra’s website,

Art exhibit at Brown Oak Studio

An art exhibit by two local artists are on view at Brown Oak Studio, 860 Brown St. Oil paintings by Pam Adams are on display. Colors glow with Adams’ color sensibility and one will become quickly absorbed in the serene depictions of the artist.

Along with Adams will be color photographic works by Toshio Tamaki. Travel abroad to the special places Toshio has visited and see the glorious scenes his eye has captured.

Also available are the assorted antiques and hand-painted furniture pieces of Linda Staley. Hand-crafted cards, jewelry and one-of-a-kind items also adorn the studio.

Unchained III opens May 1

Link Gallery, 519 East Fifth Street, in The Oregon Arts District and home to a group of Dayton’s most notable artists, is celebrating its First Anniversary with a group exhibit featur-ing all of the artists that the gallery represents.

It will include an impressive collection of paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, prints, mixed media, and blown glass.

Link Gallery Hours: Thursday and Friday 12-4 and 5–7 p.m Sat. – 3-7 p.m.

Blizz’Art Competition – Call for entries

Oakwood’s Canadian Sister City, Outremont, is asking for young Oakwood residents (ages 11-18) to submit two-dimensional works of art for Outremont’s annual international Blizz’Art competition. Many prizes will be awarded, and works of art
will be on display from June 18-28.

Qualified students wishing to submit a work of art must register with the Oakwood Sister City Association before April 28th by sending an e-mail to with the following information: name of school, student’s name, date of birth, address, phone number, technique(s) used, medium(s) used, and title or subject. Please write Blizz’Art in the title of your message. Artwork must be submitted by May 15th for inclusion in the show.

Call for entries – The View 2009

Rosewood Gallery in Kettering, Ohio, announces a call for entries for The View 2009, A Landscape Competition-a juried exhibition created as a showcase for Ohio artists presenting traditional or contemporary views of landscape or land imagery, environmental themes and world issues. Entries must be original works in any media (2-D or 3-D), completed within the last four years, and not exceeding 60 inches in width. Jurying will be done from slides and digital images. Work previously exhibited at Rosewood is not eli gible. Completed entries (slides or CD, entry form and non-refundable check of $20. for up to 3 works), will be accepted through May 15, 2009. An entry form is required, and are also available on the Rosewood Gallery website,


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