Greg Smith appears as Miss Fleeta Mae Bryte during a dress rehearsal of Precious Heart at the Dayton Theatre Guild in Dayton, Tuesday, February 2, 2010.
Photo: MediaMoments.com/ Peter Wine
Dayton OH – January 13, 2011
We all know how unpredictable weather can be this time of year in Dayton.
One day it’s 70 degrees, the next day you have a foot of snow on your yard (true story from the blizzard of 1978.)
While most years aren’t that dramatic, it doesn’t make sense to push your luck and wait until next week for the last weekend of Ravenscroft at the Dayton Theatre Guild. Go this weekend.
We remember the original weekend of the recently reprised Precious Heart that was nearly snowed out during it’s only weekend last February. (Part of the reason, no doubt, that it was brought back as a part of this season.)
Director Debra Kent, in a DTG podcast for the show, says she fell for this play by Don Nigro early, “I really loved the script the first time I read it.”
Kent describes the show as an “English murder mystery, comedy; it has all these wonderful elements.”
It seems appropriate that the show is brought to the Guild stage during this time of year, though as the description on their web page points out that the drama begins on “a snowy night in December 1905.”
Playwright Nigro’s use of language also intrigues Kent. “I think the playwright really did some interesting things with the language.”
Robb Willoughby plays lead character Inspector Ruffing who “is called to a remote English county manor house to investigate the death of Patrick Roarke. He becomes involved in the lives of five alluring and dangerous women who lead him through an evening of contradictory versions of Patrick's demise.
In the podcast Willoughby notes, “I don’t get to leave the stage,” adding “that alone was challenging, and is challenging.”
But “his search for truth,” though is what Willoughby finds “most compelling” about the lead character.
“His reason, his logic, and his approach to the situation that he’s set in, and everything that he does is in search for the truth.”
As you might imagine, when you have “five alluring and dangerous women,” there are soon “contradictory versions of Patrick's demise,” leading to an evening of drama and comedy for the audience.
And don’t be shocked to learn that there’s a surprise ending. (And no, we’re not giving any hints right now.)
Performance times vary over the three-week run of the show. During this first week they have an 8pm show on Friday and Saturday and a Sunday show at 3pm.
During the second and third weeks, you’ll find a show Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 5pm and Sunday at 3pm.
Tickets are $18, with discounts for seniors and students. There’s also a discount for buying your ticket at the door, but only advance ticket holders have a seat for sure.
First timers will find the Dayton Theatre Guild’s Caryl D. Philips TheatreScape at 430 Wayne Avenue, near downtown Dayton and around the corner from the Historic Oregon District.
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