Originally built in the late 1800s as a vaudeville theater and then seeing time as a German film theater in the 1950s, today Bogart’s stands as a portal to a world of live music. Six bars stand at the ready to keep rocking bodies hydrated, and three concert-viewing levels ensure pristine sightlines so that lead singers can have midconcert staring contests with anyone they choose.
The first Funny Bone location opened in 1982 and has spread infectious laughter ever since. Established stars such as Drew Carey and Jerry Seinfeld have graced the stage, as well as up-and-coming talents with fresh faces, fresh routines, and that fresh pine scent. The venue also plays host to a full-service bar, where patrons may steep their sorrows in calming brews, then ingest them triumphantly.
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 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 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.
Past the glimmering main lobby, past the Middle Eastern accents and hand-carved murals of the Egyptian Room, past the Victorian splendor of the Corinthian Hall, Old National Centre’s Murat Theatre continues the venue’s brand of elegance. Therein, row upon row of red-upholstered seats face a proscenium-style stage that entertains crowds with Broadway shows and musical acts. Overhead, the soft warmth of a chandelier ringed by a floral mural offsets the brilliance of the stage lighting and the performers’ flashlight-juggling routines.