Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre Announces 2023 Season

Arrow Rock, MOArrow Rock Lyceum Theatre has announced its 2023 season.

The Addams Family
June 9-23

Book by MARSHALL BRICKMAN and RICK ELICE
Music and Lyrics by ANDREW LIPPA
Based on Characters Created by Charles Addams

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious, and spooky—and now they are the stars of a hilariously ghoulish musical! Storm clouds are gathering over the Addams family’s mansion as Gomez faces every father’s nightmare: his daughter, Wednesday, the ultimate princess of darkness, has fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family. And if that wasn’t upsetting enough, Gomez must do something he’s never done before– keep the secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents. One thing is certain: the Addams family will never be the same.

Beautiful–The Carole King Musical
June 30-July 9

Book by Douglas McGrath
Words and Music by Gerry Goffin & Carole King, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil
Music by Arrangement with Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Orchestrations, Vocal and Incidental Music Arrangements Steve Sidwell
Originally Produced on Broadway by Paul Blake, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Mike Bosner

Before she was hit-maker Carole King — she was Carole Klein, a spunky, young songwriter from Brooklyn with a unique voice. Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of one woman’s remarkable journey from teenage songwriter to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. From the string of pop classics Carole King wrote for the biggest acts in music, to her own life-changing, chart-busting success, Beautiful takes you back to where it all began—and takes you on the ride of a lifetime. Featuring over two dozen pop classics, including “You’ve Got a Friend,” “One Fine Day,” “Up on the Roof,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” and “Natural Woman,” this crowd-pleasing international phenomenon is filled with the songs you remember—and the story you’ll never forget.

State Fair
July 21-30

Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Book by Tom Briggs and Louis Mattioli
Based on the screenplay by Oscar Hammerstein II and the Novel by Phil Stong

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s only musical written directly for the screen is now a Broadway musical! Set against the colorful backdrop of an American heartland tradition, State Fair travels with the Frake family as they leave behind the routine of the farm for three days of adventure at the annual Iowa State Fair. Mom and Pop have their hearts set on blue ribbons, while their children Margy and Wayne find romance and heartbreak on the midway. Set to the magical strains of an Academy Award-winning score and augmented by other titles from the Rodgers and Hammerstein songbook, State Fair is the kind of warmhearted family entertainment only Rodgers & Hammerstein could deliver!

Laughter On the 23rd Floor
Aug 18-27

By Neil Simon

A love letter to his early career as a TV writer on Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows alongside the likes of comedy legends Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks, Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor follows the roller coaster antics of a not-your-average 1950s writers’ room, as they frantically attempt to please their larger-than-life boss. Frantically scrambling to top each other with hilarious gags while battling with studio executives who fear the show’s humor is too sophisticated for Middle America, the writing and fighting of the team expose the social and political undercurrents of the 1950s.

The Mousetrap
Sept 8-17

By Agatha Christie

From the Grand Dame of mystery, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap holds the world record for the longest running production, mesmerizing audiences for more than sixty years. Monkswell Manor welcomes a group of strangers in the midst of a snowstorm and on the heels of a murder in town. It soon becomes clear that the killer is among them, and the strangers grow increasingly suspicious of one another. A police detective, arriving on skis, interrogates the suspects: the newlyweds running the house; a spinster with a curious background; an architect who seems better equipped to be a chef; a retired Army major; a strange little man who claims his car has overturned in a drift; and a jurist who makes life miserable for everyone. When a second murder takes place, tensions and fears escalate. Will the identity of the murderer be revealed before they strike again?! The Mousetrap’s riveting plot will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish!

Bright Star
Sept 29-Oct 8

Music, Book & Story by Steve Martin
Music, Lyrics & Story by Edie Brickell

Inspired by a true story and featuring the Tony®-nominated score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Broadway’s Bright Star tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s. When literary editor Alice Murphy meets a young soldier just home from World War II, he awakens her longing for the child she once lost. Haunted by their unique connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past—and what she finds has the power to transform both of their lives. With beautiful bluegrass melodies and powerfully moving characters, Bright Star unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion. An uplifting and nostalgic theatrical journey that holds you tightly in its grasp, Bright Star is as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful.

Shooting Star

Alice Murphy is the tough as nails, hard nosed editor of a literary magazine who takes an aspiring writer, Billy Cane, under her wing.  But. . .if you only knew her story.  And know it you shall once you watch Bright Star which is currently playing at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

This show has had quite the odyssey.  It was just getting ready to open at the Playhouse in March 2020 before things took a turn.  Finally, it was set to open in January 2022 when the pandemic again caused a delay due to a new surge in infections.  But, at long last, it has opened and, believe me, it was well worth the wait.  It may be getting a shortened run, but this show deserves to be seen whether you come in person or stream it.

I don’t know what it is about bluegrass musicals, but they really get a hold on me.  The scores tend to be fun and emotional and the storytelling seems to be of an unusually high quality and this show is no exception.

While this show is co-written by famed comedian Steve Martin, don’t expect the slapstick comedy that made him famous.  Martin and his writing partner, Edie Brickell, churned out a very sophisticated, mature piece of entertainment that will have you laughing, cheering, crying, and maybe even your blood boiling at certain points.  In the hands of this talented cast and crew, your appetite for satisfying entertainment will be thoroughly satiated.

If there was any good that came out of such a long delay for the show, it is that it allowed Roxanne Wach the opportunity to make certain she had everything just right for the production.  Her directing is splendid.  No false note is struck.  Her actors know how to emote and perform through the songs instead of just singing them.  Her guidance of the actors is dead on target.  Every emotional beat is true and every nuance of the story is completely analyzed and excavated.

The ensemble of this show has been one of my favorites to watch.  They created an entire world by always being in the moment.  Nobody ever stood around.  They were always busy with vital pieces of business that just fleshed out the story’s reality so beautifully.  And their harmonies?  Oh, heavenly!

Some truly wonderful supporting performances come from Mike Markey whose bosslike mayor clearly has ice water in his veins with some of his heinous and monstrous actions to keep a grip on his legacy and power; Kevin Olsen provides some terrific humor as a snotty, struggling writer; Analisa Swerczek is sweet as a bookstore owner whose friendship with Billy Cane blossoms into love; Mackenzie Zielke is stellar as a hard drinking party girl with a lustful eye on Billy.

If I’m sure of one thing about Angela Jenson Frey’s portrayal of Alice Murphy is that it will make her a top contender for this season’s Fonda-McGuire prize.  Frey nails the role of Alice in both the present and the past.  In the past, her Alice has a bit of an arrogant air about her as she’s fully aware of her intellect and that she’s built for bigger and better than her little town of Zebulon and she joyously engages in verbal jousting with her paramour, Billy Ray Dobbs.  But she also has a heart of gold.  In the present, she has the toughness needed for an editor and a bit of a shell due to her painful past, but still retains her goodness and decency.

Her angelic alto easily batted all emotional pitches out of the park.  Some of my favorite numbers of hers were the heart tugging “I Can’t Wait”; the tragic “Please, Don’t Take Him”; and “So Familiar/At Long Last” which had me shedding real tears by its end.

Jay Srygley is truly a good man as Jimmy Ray Dobbs.  He loves his father, but disagrees with his pursuit of power.  He is kind and honorable and his love for Alice is palpable.  And, man alive, has Srygley got a youthful tenor.  He also wields it well, whether it’s the toe tapping “Whoa, Mama”; pointedly arguing with his father in “Firmer Hand/Do Right”; or sadly pining for what might have been in “I Had a Vision”.

Matt Karasek is spot on as Billy Cane.  Karasek has the drive of youth with Billy’s determination to make it as a writer and the folksy manners and politeness of a well brought up small town country boy.  He also has a fine tenor voice best displayed in “Bright Star” where he dreams about making it big or making you laugh out loud when he drinks for the first time in “Another Round”.

The handling of the score by Jennifer Novak Haar and her band is nothing short of genius.  Not only do they play it perfectly, but they infused some real soul into it.  You won’t just hear the music.  It’s going to reach inside of you and shake your soul.  Jim Othuse has designed a, for him, surprisingly bare bones set.  Bits of furniture and modest backgrounds slide and drop in to change locales from the magazine office to the simple home of the Canes and the occasional outlines of trees for a romp in the woods.  Tim Burkhart & John Gibilisco supply subtle sounds that enhance the story while Julian Adair adds some wonderful choreography.  Her dancers are always in step and on beat and two of the best numbers are the hoedown in “Whoa, Mama” and the rambunctious moves in “Another Round”.  Lindsay Pape’s costumes always suit the characters and the times from Alice’s sunny yellow dress in her youth to Daddy Cane’s overalls and the three-piece suit indicating the wealth and power of Mayor Dobbs.

The cast seemed to be holding back just a bit, but I think that was due to having waited so long to perform.  After the standing ovation they justly earned, I think the floodgates of their energies have been opened and they are really going to start turning up the heat.

I truly can’t say enough good things about this show.  It’s beautifully acted and splendidly sung and you will lose yourself in it.  Give this cast and crew its due and see it.

Bright Star runs at the Omaha Community Playhouse through Feb 13.  Showtimes are Wed-Sat at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm (bonus show at 6:30pm on Feb 13) both live and streaming.  Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased by calling 402-553-0800, visiting www.omahaplayhouse.com, or at the box office.  The Omaha Community Playhouse is located at 6915 Cass Street in Omaha, NE.

Finally. . .’Bright Star’ Will Shine. . .at the OCP

Omaha, NE.– The Omaha Community Playhouse (OCP) production of Steve Martin’s and Edie Brickell’s Bright Star will open Friday, February 4, 2022. The show will run in the Hawks Mainstage Theatre through February 13 with performances Wednesdays through Sundays. Tickets are on sale now starting at $25 with prices varying by performance. Tickets may be purchased at the OCP Box Office, 6915 Cass St., Omaha, NE 68132, by phone at (402) 553-0800 or online at OmahaPlayhouse.com.

STREAMING PRODUCTION

The Omaha Community Playhouse will offer an online streaming production of Bright Star in the coming weeks. Additional details will be released on OCP’s website and social media pages as they become available.

SYNOPSIS

Nominated for five Tony Awards®, written by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell and inspired by real events, Bright Star is a story of enduring hope woven through time and set against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Young teenager Alice Murphy is devastated when her infant son is ripped away. But 20 years later, a young man enters her life and ushers in an unexpected glimmer of hope. With a Grammy®-nominated bluegrass score that will seep into your veins, Bright Star is as much a musical experience as it is a journey of the heart.

Directed by: Roxanne Wach

Cast

Angie Frey as Alice Murphy
Matt Karasek as Billy Cane
Dan Wach as Daddy Cane
Analisa Swerczek as Margo
Derek Bonin as Max
Charlotte Hedican as Florence
Roz Parr as Edna
Kevin Olsen as Daryl
Mackenzie Zielke as Lucy
Peggy Holloway as Mama Murphy
Cork Ramer as Daddy Murphy
Mike Markey as Mayor Dobbs
Jay Srygley as Jimmy Ray
Craig Bond as Stanford
Mike Shelton as Dr. Norquist
Also featuring: Trey Butler, Angeline Kay Crowe, Brittney Thompson, Amanda Vyhnalek, Tom Westman

OCP Announces Auditions for ‘Sweat’ and Musical Auditions for 95th Season

Auditions for Sweat by Lynn Nottage
Thursday, May 2nd at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 4th at 1:00 p.m

Those auditioning should enter through the west “Stage Door” entrance and proceed to the check-in table downstairs.

Show Dates: August 16 – September 15, 2019 in the Howard Drew Theatre

Director: Susie Baer Collins

Rehearsals: Begin approximately mid June 2019

Description: Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, SWEAT is a head-first dive into working class America. A three-time Tony Award® nominee, SWEAT follows a group of steelworkers whose steady march toward the American dream is uprooted by economic change. As their sense of security slowly unravels, jobs and relationships are left in the wake. Punctuated with lively humor, SWEAT goes to the heart of what it means to be human—both good and bad—when fear and uncertainty take hold. Disclaimer: Contains adult language and violence.

Roles:

Evan, African-American, forties

Jason, white American of German descent, twenty-one / twenty-nine
Chris, African-American, twenty-one / twenty-nine
Stan, white American of German descent, fifties
Oscar, Colombian-American, twenty-two / thirty
Tracey, white American of German descent, forty-five / fifty-three
Cynthia, African-American, forty-five / fifty-three
Jessie, Italian-American, forties
Brucie, African-American, forties

Notes:

Those auditioning will be asked to read from the script provided at auditions

What to Bring:

All contact information, personal schedules and a list of rehearsal conflicts with which to fill out an audition form.

To expedite the check-in process – please bring a recent photo if you have one available. Please note, photos will not be returned.
2019/2020 Season Musical Auditions
Adult (16 or older) auditions:
Saturday, June 15th at 11 a.m.
Sunday, June 16th at 6 p.m.
Youth (under 16) auditions:
Saturday, June 22nd at 11 a.m.
Actors interested in Annie, The Rocky Horror Show, A Christmas Carol, Once, Bright Star and The Color Purple should plan to attend. Actors should enter through the main lobby on the south or east side of the facility.

Once will include actors playing instruments. If you are interested in this specific musical and have an instrument, please bring the instrument with you and be prepared to play 16 bars of music of your choice. You may also accompany your own singing audition if you prefer.

Actors please be prepared with the following:

  • Sheet music with 16 bars ready to sing (an accompanist will be provided)
  • ONCE the musical will include actors playing instruments. If you are interested in this specific musical and have an instrument, please bring the instrument with you and be prepared to play 16 bars of music of your choice. You may also accompany your own singing audition if you prefer.
  • There will be a dance audition, so actors should be dressed to move (no boots, sandals, flip-flops, etc.)
  • You will be asked to fill out an audition form, please have all necessary contact information and schedules available to complete the form.
  • A recent photo to attach to your audition form. Please note, the photos do not need to be professional and will not be returned.
*Audition dates are subject to change
Location:  Omaha Community Playhouse (6915 Cass St, Omaha, NE)