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Such a Night

It started with Jeff Opt and an idea.  What if he could pull together some of the talented musicians in the Dayton area and recreate the celebrated concert film The Last Waltz?  In late 2012, Jeff put the wheels in motion to make it happen.

Jeff was one of the original contributors to the development of the Yellow Cab Tavern, and the Yellow Cab became the home base for developing the show.  The musicians gathered there weekly to rehearse and work on the production.  In February 2013, the show Such a Night: The Last Waltz Live premiered to a sold old crowd at the legendary Dayton jazz club, Gilly's.

With the show's success and the camaraderie that was fostered, it seemed like a foregone conclusion to put the show on again.  For the next several years, the show moved to the main auditorium at the Dayton Art Institute and consistently sold out two nights right around Thanksgiving.  In addition, the show had successful runs at some regional festivals and in Cincinnati.

After a few years at DAI, the show attracted the attention of the Dayton Philharmonic conductor, Neal Gittleman.  Neal and Jeff hatched a plan to bring the show to the Schuster Center and to backed by the orchestra.  After weeks of collaboration and tuning the arrangements, the show was a huge success, both artistically and in popularity. The show was sold out and had the largest audience in the pops series history.

Like so much of the world, the pandemic shut the show down for a few years.  Upon it's return in 2022, Such a Night restarted the annual tradition of community, charity and celebration.  In 2023, the show is moving to the venerated Victoria Theatre, a storied venue that has housed theatrical and musical productions in Dayton for decades.

Over the years, the lineup of the core band, horns and guests has morphed and changed, but remains a popular showcase for some of the best Dayton has to offer.  The show has become an annual tradition for many who come back year after year to enjoy the celebration.  

From its inception, one of the cornerstones of the show has been to raise money for local charities and institutions, including WYSO, the Dayton Foodbank, the Dayton Art Institute and more.  Such A Night continues with its tradition to give something back to the community.

Photos courtesy of Chris Corn

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