It’s a McGuigan Musical Anniversary

Yesterday and Today 2

Omaha, Neb.—The Omaha Community Playhouse (OCP) presents the 10th anniversary of Yesterday and Today the Interactive Beatles Experience Nov. 24 – Dec. 31, 2017 in the Howard Drew Theatre featuring Billy McGuigan and his brothers.

Yesterday and Today is an interactive Beatles experience featuring Billy McGuigan, his brothers, Ryan and Matthew, and a backing band of local musicians. The performers play all Beatles music, take audience requests and interact with the audience; no two shows are ever the same. The brothers started the show as a tribute to their late father who loved The Beatles and introduced his children to the band’s music. The McGuigan brothers now tour the country with Yesterday and Today to create the ultimate living tribute to their father.

Billy McGuigan and his brothers are back for the 10th consecutive year at Omaha Community Playhouse! This all-request Beatles tribute show will have you dancing in the aisles and singing along to every song. Share your stories and relive your memories with your favorite Beatles songs. No two shows are the same, and every show is a guaranteed exhilarating time!

Production: Yesterday and Today: An Interactive Beatles Experience

Credits: Featuring Billy McGuigan, Music Director Rick Avard, © 2007 By Rave On! Productions

Group Members  

Billy McGuigan   (Vocals/Guitar/Keyboard)

Matthew McGuigan     (Vocals/Bass)

Ryan McGuigan     (Vocals/Acoustic Guitar)

Tara Vaughan    (Keyboard/Vocals)

Jay Hanson     (Vocals/Lead Guitar)

Rich Miller     (Percussion/Vocals)

Show dates: Nov. 24-Dec. 31, 2017; Thursday–Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, 2 p.m. (Nov. 26 only) and 6:30 p.m. (No performances Thursday, Nov. 30 or Sunday, Dec. 24.)

New Year’s Eve performances: Two performances on Sunday, December 31 (No group discounts on New Year’s Eve)

7 p.m. $50 per person
10 p.m. $75 per person
Complimentary champagne punch and cake will be served prior to each performance with a champagne toast at midnight.

Tickets: Available now at the OCP Box Office, by calling (402) 553-0800 or online at www.OmahaPlayhouse.com or www.TicketOmaha.com. Single tickets start at $40 for adults and students. Tickets for groups of 12 or more are $35.

Sponsored by:   C&A Industries, Inc. and KMTV (media sponsor).

Location:  Omaha Community Playhouse, Howard Drew Theatre, 6915 Cass St, Omaha, NE  68132

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OCP Announces Summer Show

Omaha Community Playhouse Announces Summer Show
Girls Like Us: The Music of Carole King, Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell

June 15 – 25, 2017

Omaha, Neb.— The Omaha Community Playhouse will present Girls Like Us: The Music of Carole King, Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell as its summer show June 15 – 25, 2017 in the Howard Drew Theatre. Girls Like Us is inspired by the book of the same name by Sheila Weller and features performers Laura Freeman, Beckie Menzie and Marianne Murphy Orland.  Tickets for Girls Like Us go on sale to the public Tuesday, March 7 at 10 a.m. through the OCP box office.

The trio of performers banded together in 2010 for a humorous look at Broadway and roles they were never destined to play (Miss Cast) and found that not only did their voices blend but so did their senses of humor. Starting with the laughs and the harmonies, the ladies discovered that creating arrangements unique to them was something they all enjoyed. After reading Weller’s book Girls Like Us and discussing how Carly Simon, Carole King and Joni Mitchell had made such a huge impact on them and their artistry, Girls Like Us: The Music of Carole King, Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell was born.

The three women blend their unique performing styles into a delightful evening dedicated to showcasing the music and stories of three singers who dared to break tradition and become what none had been before them – female confessors in song, rock superstars and adventurers of heart and soul. Songs include: “Big Yellow Taxi,” “Natural Woman,” “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” “You’re So Vain” and more.

Production:      Girls Like Us:The Music of Carole King, Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell

Show dates:     June 15 – 25, 2017; Thursday–Saturday, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, 2 p.m.

Tickets:            At the OCP Box Office, by calling (402) 553-0800 or online at www.OmahaPlayhouse.com or www.TicketOmaha.com. Single tickets are $40. Tickets are $32 for current Omaha Community Playhouse subscribers and for groups of 12 or more.

Location:          Omaha Community Playhouse, Howard Drew Theatre (6915 Cass Street Omaha, NE 68132)

Billy’s Got a Brand New Show!!

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Omaha Community Playhouse Summer Show
Billy McGuigan’s Rock Twist On Sale April 14

 

Omaha, Neb.— The Omaha Community Playhouse will present the world premiere of Billy McGuigan’s Rock Twist July 12 – 23, 2017 in the Hawks Mainstage Theatre. Tickets for Billy McGuigan’s Rock Twist go on sale to the public Friday, April 14 at 10 a.m. through the OCP box office.

Omaha favorite, Billy McGuigan, returns to the Omaha Community Playhouse stage with this new show. He is joined by the Omaha-based Steve Gomez Band to present rock hits with a big band sound and big band standards with a rock and roll sound.

Billy McGuigan as you’ve never seen him before. Classic rock tunes with a big band twist; big band standards with a rock and roll twist. Backed by a full horn section and an all-star lineup of Omaha’s finest musicians, Billy’s brand new show will have Playhouse audiences rocking like never before. Frank Sinatra? Check. The Beatles? Check. Harry Connick, Jr? Check. Billy Joel? Check! Fresh re-arrangements of rock and jazz standards performed as only Billy can. It’s rock with a twist.

Production:      Billy McGuigan’s Rock Twist

Show dates:     July 12 – 23, 2017; Wednesdays–Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. and Sundays, 2 p.m.

Tickets:            At the OCP Box Office, by calling (402) 553-0800 or online at www.OmahaPlayhouse.com or www.TicketOmaha.com. Single tickets are $40. Tickets are $35 for groups of 12 or more.

Location:          Omaha Community Playhouse, Hawks Mainstage Theatre (6915 Cass St, Omaha, NE)

The McGuigans Will be Rocking ‘Eight Days a Week’ at OCP

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SONY DSC

The holidays will soon be upon us and the populace will be thinking of turkeys, Christmas trees, and Yesterday and Today:  An Interactive Beatles Experience.

The supercharged concert series starring the McGuigan Bros (Billy, Ryan, and Matthew) begins its annual run at the Omaha Community Playhouse on November 25 and tickets are now on sale and selling fast.

If you have never seen Yesterday and Today:  An Interactive Beatles Experience, then you truly don’t know what you’ve been missing.  The McGuigans and their band (Tara Vaughan, Jay Hanson, and Rich Miller) present a night of high energy fun and entertainment with the music of the Beatles.  Even better, YOU get to pick the music.

This is no mere tribute band.  The music of the greatest rock group in history is augmented by the unique energy of the McGuigans and makes for an incredible night of good old-fashioned rock and roll.

Rock out to the classics or request an obscure number.  It doesn’t matter because this band knows them all.  But the choices are in YOUR hands.  It’s never the same show twice!

Buy a ticket and discover why the McGuigans and their band have been the city’s best musical act for the past 9 years and show no signs of slowing down.  If you love the Beatles, if you love rock and roll, if you love full blast fun, then go see Omaha’s hit holiday tradition, Yesterday and Today:  An Interactive Beatles Experience at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

Yesterday and Today:  An Interactive Beatles Experience runs at the Omaha Community Playhouse from Nov 25-Dec 31.  Showtimes are 7:30pm Thursday-Sat and Sundays at 6:30pm.  The Sunday show on November 27 will be a 2pm matinee performance.  Tickets cost $40.  On December 31, a double bill will be played at 7pm and 10pm.  Tickets for the 7pm show will be $50 and $75 for the 10pm show.  For tickets contact the box office at 402-553-0800 or visit www.omahaplayhouse.com or www.ticketomaha.com.  The Omaha Community Playhouse is located at 6915 Cass St in Omaha, NE.

Start Dreaming of a White Christmas

OMAHA IS GUARANTEED A WHITE CHRISTMAS!

The holiday classic skates into the Orpheum Theater November 15

OMAHA, NEBRASKA (October 18, 2016) — Everybody will get in the holiday mood when the stage production of the beloved musical IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS plays at the Orpheum Theater November 15 through 20, as part of the Omaha Performing Arts Broadway Series.

Tickets, starting at $30 each, are available by going online at TicketOmaha.com; by phone at 402.345.0606; or by going to the Ticket Omaha box office inside the Holland Performing Arts Center, 12th and Douglas. Groups of 10 or more may purchase tickets by calling 402.661.8516 or toll-free at 866.434.8587.

Omaha Performing Arts will honor the men and women of the armed forces, veterans and their families at the third annual Omaha Performing Arts’ Heroes’ Night at the Wednesday, November 16 performance of IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS. Gold Star and Blue Star Families – families who have lost a service member in the line of duty and Blue Star Families will be honored. Blue Star is the nation’s largest chapter-based military family support organization which strengthens military families and our nation by connecting communities and fostering leadership. Its members are military families from all branches of the armed services including National Guard and Reserve.

A 15% discount on tickets has been extended to all members of the military for the Tuesday and Wednesday evening performances of IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS. Military members must use the promo code GOLD when purchasing tickets through Ticket Omaha. The promotion is not valid after November 16.

A private reception will be held for Gold Star and Blue Star Families, and a color guard will present the colors before the start of the performance as the audience sings the National Anthem.

IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS tells the story of two showbiz buddies putting on a show in a picturesque Vermont inn owned by their former Army general. The now successful Broadway partners become romantically involved with two sisters also staying at the inn. The show is the perfect opportunity for lots of dancing, singing, romance, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written, including “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep,” “Happy Holiday,” “Sister,” “Blue Skies” and the unforgettable title song. IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS promises to be a merry and bright experience for the entire family!

The stage production is based on the Paramount Pictures film, written for the screen by Norman Kransa, Norman Panama, and Melvin Frank.  It starred Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen.

Performances will be at the Orpheum Theater located at 409 S 16th St in Omaha, NE on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Nov 15-17 at 7:30pm; Friday, November 18 at 8pm; Saturday, November 19 at 2pm and 8pm; Sunday, November 20 at 1:30pm and 7pm.

For more information on IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS, go to www.ticketomaha.com or visit www.whitechristmasthemusical.com

 

Home for the Holidaze

“CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE”

AN ICONIC HOLIDAY STAGE SPECTACULAR

300 COSTUMES, 20 ACTS & 30 PERFORMERS LIGHTS UP THE ORPHEUM THEATER

3 SHOWS ONLY DEC 6, 7 & 8

DIRECTED AND CONCEIVED BY CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED DIRECTOR NEIL GOLDBERG TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY, SEPT. 16 AT 10AM!

OMAHA, NEBRASKA – (September 13, 2016) — CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE lights up the 2016 holiday season with its iconic holiday stage spectacular at the Orpheum Theater, December 6, 7 & 8 for three unforgettable performances presented by 35 Concerts and Olympia Entertainment. Tickets go on sale Friday, September 16 for this show that’s not to be missed….it’s a Cirque show…Broadway musical…holiday spectacular…and family show all in one. From the creators of the groundbreaking Broadway hit CIRQUE DREAMS JUNGLE FANTASY, CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE is “so full of energy it could end our dependence on oil” according to the New York Daily News and “a delicious confection of charm, sparkle and talent by the sleigh load.” The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle raves, “even the Grinch would be impressed with this Christmas wonderland.” “Stuffed with so much holiday cheer and audacious acts, Scrooge would exit with a big ol’ smile on his face,” hails the Erie Times News about this “Broadway-worthy spectacle.” “The perfect way to come in from the cold, forget the holiday stresses and find the magic of the season” proclaims The Oakland Press. Don’t miss this international sensation that “Dazzled…at The Kennedy Center” according to the Washington Post.

Tickets, starting at $35 each, go on sale Friday, September 16. They are available online at TicketOmaha.com, by phone at 402.345.0606; or at the Ticket Omaha* Box Office inside the Holland Performing Arts Center, 12th and Douglas. Groups of 10 or more may purchase tickets by calling 402.661.8516 or toll-free at 866.434.8587.

In CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE, Broadway director Neil Goldberg re-imagines the holiday season with over 300 costumes, 20 acts and 30 performers from 12 countries showcasing an endless variety of imaginative, heart-pounding and gravity-defying feats you have to see to believe. Experience gingerbread men flipping mid-air, toy soldiers marching on thin wires along with snowmen, icemen and penguins, balancing, jumping and spinning in disbelief. The show celebrates the most wonderful time of the year with singers, choreography and exciting production numbers. Performers and costumed ornament characters twirl, bounce and soar through the air to original music and seasonal favorites brought to life within a stage setting of gigantic gifts, colossal candy canes and 30-foot towering trees & soldiers creating a larger than life wonderland of amazement.

Says Creator/Director Goldberg, “Cirque Dreams Holidaze celebrates our brand with its more than 20-year tradition of spectacular family entertainment presented in hometown cities across the country. There aren’t enough shows today where mom and dad can bring the kids and grandparents, make it a date night, fun time for teens and entertain so many generations with…’how did they do that’, ‘wow’ and ‘amazing’. This holiday celebration is a gift for everyone.”

CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE is affordably priced from $35 – $65. There will be three shows at the Orpheum Theater, Tuesday, December 6, Wednesday, December 7 & Thursday, December 8. All performances are at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available at the Ticket Omaha box office, at TicketOmaha.com or at (402) 345-0606.

For more information, visit: www.TicketOmaha.com or www.cirqueproductions.com.

There’s Nothing Funny About this Joke

In my reviews I’ve often said that I become concerned when a story is changed from one medium to another as something is usually altered or lost in the translation which waters down the story’s original intent.  But every now and again, a translation comes around that shows great reverence for the source material and maintains its original beauty.  Batman:  The Killing Joke is just such a translation.

This film version of Alan Moore’s legendary graphic novel stays true to Moore’s gritty tale almost word for word and manages to add a little something as well thanks to a well written screenplay by Brian Azzarello.  Azzarello added a lengthy monologue to bolster the character of Batgirl/Barbara Gordon and extend this story to theatrical length.

Let’s get something straight from the beginning.  Though this is an animated film, it is not for children.  The film carries an R rating due to its dark and grim thematic elements.  For those of you unfamiliar with the tale, the story centers around the Joker’s desire to prove that all it takes is one bad day and someone can be driven as mad as he is.  He attempts to prove his point by psychologically torturing Commissioner James Gordon.  This torture involves the brutalization of his daughter, Barbara.

Two points have long fascinated me about Moore’s story.  The first was the painstaking care he took in showing that Batman and Joker are simply two sides of the same coin.  Joker is given an origin story in this film in which he had one bad day which drove him stark, slavering buggo.  Batman also had a bad day which made him what he is.  The difference is that he didn’t break and he used that bad day to fuel a greater good.  This is what makes their war so mesmerizing.

The second is that Moore actually delves into a rare area:  the humanity of Batman and Joker.  Batman’s humanity is somewhat taken for granted as he is a hero.  But this story takes it one step further as he tries to reach out to Joker and genuinely rehabilitate him to get them off their doomed road.  Prior to this story, Joker’s humanity had never been touched on.  But this tale shows that somewhere within this beast exists a kernel of decency long buried by tragedy.

Bringing these ideals to light would be incredibly difficult if not for the amazing talents of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill.

If voice actors could be nominated for Oscars, Mark Hamill would easily earn a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his take on the Clown Prince of Crime.  Hamill has always managed to keep the role fresh and original despite having voiced the Harlequin of Hate on and off for the past 22 years, but he rose to unprecedented heights in this film.

In this go-around, Hamill finally gives us a truly vile and merciless Joker with a guttural voice and truly malevolent laughter.  As scary and disgusting as he is, Hamill manages to make us feel some pity for the Joker as we view his life as a failed comedian before his transformation.  But Hamill’s crowning achievement occurs near the end of the film as the Joker considers Batman’s offer of help.  If there is any doubt that Mark Hamill is the best of the Jokers, this interpretation will wipe them all away.

A Joker is only as good as his Batman and Kevin Conroy also comes out all guns a blazing with his essaying of the Dark Knight.  Like Hamill, Conroy has also played his iconic role for the better part of two decades and brings all of that experience to this film.  The nuance Conroy can put into a rasp is truly astounding as you can hear Batman’s sincerity as he pleads with the Joker to let him help, his concern and care for Barbara, and his anger when he hunts the Joker.

Tara Strong gives a strong and dignified take in the role of Barbara Gordon/Batgirl.  For her crimefighting is an adventure and thrill, not a lifelong mission as it is for Batman and her voice reflects that zest.  The character of Batgirl generated quite a bit of controversy due to a moment that takes place between her and Batman in the prologue.  You’ll know it when you see it, but I thought it made perfect sense in the universe of this Batman as the incident was referenced in a previous film.  Rather than weakening the character, I thought it humanized her and helped her understand Batman better when she faces her own abyss.

Ray Wise is paternal and noble as Commissioner Gordon.  The love he has for his daughter is palpable as is his agony when he suffers from the Joker’s tortures.  Yet he also manages to be a pillar of strength, demanding that Joker be brought in by the book to prove that the way of law and order works.

Director Sam Liu does good work in keeping the pace of the story going as well as tying the rather disparate prologue together with the core story.  Wes Gleason’s voice direction is nothing but aces, especially with the stellar work by Hamill and Conroy.  I also appreciated that the animators did not try to mimic Brian Bolland’s artwork for the film.  Rather they came up with animation that evoked memories of that work, but managed to be an original take as well.

Batman:  The Killing Joke is the movie for which Batman fans have been pining for years.  It’s been a long wait, but it was certainly worthwhile as we get a story completely faithful to the core material and with all the pathos and nuance intact.