The history at Victoria Theatre stretches back to 1866, when the "Magnificent Edifice" was first built at First and Main Streets. Its halls have hosted entertainment luminaries of many eras, including Harry Houdini, Mark Twain, and Socrates during his I Know That I Know Nothing comeback tour. In 1975, it was named to the National Register of Historic Places, a list where the Italianate structure still resides well into the 21st century.
Today, the Victoria Theatre hosts performances by many of Dayton's arts organizations—including the Dayton Ballet—as part of a full slate of compelling entertainment choices. The Victoria Theatre Association's ongoing programs include the Premier Health Broadway Series, PNC Family Series, and Cool Films, as well as concerts, variety shows, and comedy sets.
The World Series of Comedy brings together a horde of more than 100 humorists from all over the country to compete for laughs and a grand prize of 37 weeks of work at comedy clubs across the nation. The competition gives audience members the pleasure of acting as judge and jury without the moral and legal gray areas of serving as executioner, allowing fans a say in which comics move on to the final showcase (panels composed of comedy bookers have the most influence in the judging process). Pick from 13 shows—three wild-card shows, eight preliminary shows, and two final rounds—each sporting a lineup of eight, 15, or, in the final showdown, three comics toiling for your approval. Call to reserve your tickets.
The DVIDA-certified instructors at Always Ballroom Dance Studio believe that dance can benefit anyone, and uphold a policy of total acceptance across experience levels. On the glossy scape of blond hardwood floors, they monitor shimmies in both private and group lessons, prepping couples for their wedding-dance debut or showcasing a stock of nightclub moves. Pupils needn't reserve a spot or have a partner to attend most group sessions?the studio provides everything down to airsickness bags for soaring spins, and accommodates diverse tastes with more than 20 dance styles on its syllabus. Special events such as lock-ins and Salsa Saturdays top off the swinging schedule.
Taste Creative Cuisine entertains eardrums and taste buds at the same time by presenting a menu full of contemporary twists on classic Southern cooking and regular sets of live jazz. Like carving a family chicken dinner with a laser-knife, the food roster modernizes mainstays of country-style dining. Fried chicken rests atop sweet-potato waffles, creamy aioli garnishes Cajun catfish sandwiches, and artichoke butter sauce adds flavor to cornmeal-breaded walleye pike. Handcrafted cocktails complement the Louisiana-fusion fare, as muted jazz trumpets, wailing saxophones, and standup comics keep audiences dancing and laughing into the night.
At Golden City Ballroom, students learn dances from the waltz to the rumba in a well-appointed studio. On its 2,400 square feet of suspended hardwood floors, students practice fancy footwork, double-checking their technique in wall-to-wall mirrors. They can also hit the same dance floor for LaBlast dance fitness classes, which incorporate the calorie-burning moves seen on Dancing with the Stars.
The first Funny Bone was born more than three decades ago after a comedy show left cofounder Gerald Kubach's sides aching so bad that he knew he had to get into the standup business. Now in more than 25 cities, the clubs have played host to such luminaries as Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, and Roseanne Barr. In Dayton, while patrons practice projecting their laughter toward the stage they can quash hunger by digging into a menu of pub fare.