OCP Announces Auditions for ‘Little Shop of Horrors’

Omaha, NE–The Omaha Community Playhouse (OCP) is holding in-person auditions for Little Shop of Horrors at the Omaha Community Playhouse on December 3 and 4 and Latino Center for the Midlands on December 5. To schedule an audition, please visit the website here.

Through upholding high ethical standards, demonstrating respect for all and consciously working to provide diverse representation, OCP is committed to creating an inclusive and safe environment in which all community members feel a sense of belonging and does not discriminate in casting practices on the basis of an individual’s ethnicity, age, gender, physical and cognitive ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, country of origin or other factors. Omaha Community Playhouse is committed to diverse and inclusive casting.

Production: Little Shop of Horrors

Credits: Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman; Music by Alan Menken

Director: Stephen Santa

Choreographer: DJ Tyree

Music Director: Jim Boggess

Show Dates: April 14-May 7, 2023 Omaha Community Playhouse, Hawks Mainstage Theatre

Rehearsals: Begin February 26, 2023

Show Synopsis: Seymour, a nerdy store clerk at Mushnik’s flower shop, is thrust into the spotlight when he happens upon a new breed of carnivorous plant. But his newfound fame comes at a cost when Seymour discovers the sassy seedling has an unquenchable thirst for human blood. Ravenously fun, dripping with camp and nostalgia. Disclaimer: Contains mild adult content and language.

Auditions: Saturday, Dec. 3, 1-4 p.m. (Latino Center for the Midlands, 4937 S. 24th St., Omaha, NE 68107)

Sunday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St, Omaha, NE 68132)

Monday, Dec. 5, 6-9 p.m. (Omaha Community Playhouse)

Callbacks: Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, 6-10 p.m. (Omaha Community Playhouse)

Notes: Auditions are by appointment only. Please complete the audition form to schedule a time. When arriving to audition at the Playhouse, please enter through the Stage Door entrance on the West side of the building. Those auditioning should be prepared to spend 60-90 minutes at the audition.

Audition preparation: Two 32 bar songs – Pop, R&B, or Contemporary Musicals. Accompanist will be provided.

Roles: Click here for character breakdown.

Compensation: Onstage performers 19 and older for this show will be compensated $700 in total.

Contact: For more information, please visit omahaplayhouse.com.

After Two Years, SNAP! is Back with “The Last Supper”

Omaha, NE– The second event in the “SNAP! @ Large” Series is the stage version of the 1995 film The Last Supper. Adapted for the stage by the screenwriter himself, Dan Rosen, this play will have its Omaha premiere and will mark the first full production for SNAP! in two years.

The Last Supper is a dark and fiercely witty comedy set in a small Iowa town. The story follows a group of liberal grad students and their well meaning descent into murder.

Would you play God if you could? It’s 1921. You’re in a bar. In Vienna, Austria. You’re sitting across from a young man, his name is Adolf Hitler. He hasn’t done anything inherently evil. . . yet. But he will. You know he will. He might even start a world war, one day. So… Do you kill him? Do you kill him because you know you can save all those millions of innocent people? Do you kill him because, deep in your soul, you know you’re doing the right thing? It’s a question that has been posed by many, but what would happen if you and a group of friends actually decided to take a conviction so far that the lines of right and wrong get blurred? Would you play God if you could?

Directed by Todd Brooks and boasting a cast of veteran actors: Christopher T. Scott, Kerron Stark, Ethan Dragon, Roz Parr, Breanna Mack, Adam Bassing, Dennis Stessman, Randy Wallace, Kaitlin Maher, Jared Dominguez, JJ Davis, Mary Beth Slater, Don Harris and Chloé Irwin. The Last Supper is a funny and fascinating look at human nature, conviction, creative gardening, politics and hypocrisy of the highest sort. The production staff includes Brian Callaghan (Stage Manager), Sarah Kolcke (Set Design), Connie Lee (Costume Design), Daena Schweiger (Audio – Visual Design / Producer), Joey Lorincz (Lighting Design), Joey Hartshorn (Property Design), Gary Planck (Food Wrangler) and Seth Maisel (Fight Choreographer). The Last Supper will run for three weeks, from July 8 – 24, 2022 at Bellevue Little Theater located at 203 W. Misison Street. Ticket prices are $35 with discounts for students, military and seniors. Curtain times are 7:30 pm, Friday and Saturday; 2:00 pm on Sundays. The theater opens a half hour before showtime. For tickets or more information, the public is invited to visit www.SnapProductions.com.

SNAP! is Back and Needs Some Guests for Supper

SNAP! Productions Proudly Announces Auditions for:

The Last Supper
by Dan Rosen

Auditions for The Last Supper will be held at HR Block (7013 Maple) on April 24 @ 1:00 pm and April 25 @ 7:00 p.m. Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script.

Rehearsal Dates: May 23 – July 7, 2022

Production Dates: July 8 – 24, 2022
Friday / Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

Production Location: Bellevue Little Theatre

COMPENSATION
Onstage roles for this production will be compensated $300 in total.

Video only roles for this production will be compensated $100 in total.

SYNOPSIS
The Last Supper follows a group of liberal-minded roommates and their well-meaning descent into murder. After a dinner party goes wrong and their guest ends up unexpectedly slain after a violent political debate, the group decides that this can be their way of changing the world and making a difference…one unreasonable conservative at a time.

Unless noted in the script, all roles are open to all ethnicities.

The show will be directed by Todd Brooks.

For a list of roles and downloadable sides please visit our website
www.snapproductions.com

Blue Barn Gets Back to the 80s with ‘Heathers: The Musical’

Heathers - Press Photo

BlueBarn Theatre Presents:  Heathers the Musical

The BLUEBARN Theatre is proud to present the regional premiere of Heathers: the Musical with book, lyrics, and music by Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy.

BLUEBARN Associate Artistic Director Randall T. Stevens directs with Producing Artistic Director Susan Clement-Toberer, with set design by Martin Scott Marchitto, lighting design by Carol Wisner, costume design by Wesley Pourier, sound design by Craig Marsh, and properties design by Amy Reiner.

Shows run May 19 – June 19, 2016; Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday June 5, June 12, and June 19 at 6 p.m.

Single tickets for Heathers: the Musical are $30 for adults; and $25 for students, seniors 65+, TAG members, and groups of 10 or more.

Heathers: the Musical is generously sponsored by Kate and Roger Weitz, and Dr. Merlyn Knudsen and James Davis.

About HEATHERS: THE MUSICAL

The darkly delicious story of Veronica Sawyer, the brainy and beautiful misfit who hustles her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique at Westerberg High: the Heathers. But before she can get comfortable atop the high school food chain, Veronica falls for the dangerously sexy new kid, J.D., who plans to put the Heathers in their place – six feet under.

About the stars of HEATHERS: THE MUSICAL

Heathers: the Musical showcases the talents of many newcomers to the BLUEBARN stage. The large cast is led by Roni Shelley Perez (Jesus Christ Superstar, Omaha Community Playhouse) as “Veronica” and Andy Augenbaugh as “J.D”, who are both making their BLUEBARN debut. Rounding out the stellar cast is Nick Albrecht, Matt Bailey, Katy Boone, James Delage, Aaron Ellis, Joey Galda, Sarah Gibson, Thomas Gjere, Matthew Hansen, Natalie Hanson, David Jesik, Lauren Krupski, Aguel Lual, Laurel Rothamel, Samantha Simpson, Robby Stone, Mallory Vallier, Kelsi Weston, and MacKenzie Zielke.

About the PLAYWRIGHTS, Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy co-wrote the stage musical Reefer Madness – the Musical , which won many awards. He coproduced and co-wrote the movie adaptation of “Reefer” which won an Emmy Award. Other TV credits include “Desperate Housewives,” “Defiance,” “Reaper,” “Ed,” “Hellcats,” “Caprica.”

Laurence O’Keefe wrote Legally Blonde – the Musical (Tony nomination, Best Score; Olivier Award, Best Musical). Off-Broadway: Bat Boy – the Musical (Lortel Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk nominations for Best Music/Lyrics), The Explorers’ Club, Cam Jansen (Drama Desk nomination, Best Book), Sarah, Plain and Tall. Film/TV: “Defiance,” “The Daily Show,” “Johnny & The Sprites,” “Make ‘Em Laugh”.

ABOUT THE BLUEBARN THEATRE

The BLUEBARN Theatre has been bringing professionally-produced plays to area audiences since 1989. Since its inception, BLUEBARN has produced over 100 plays and has established itself as Omaha’s professional contemporary theatre company. Striving to bring artistically significant scripts and professional production values to Omaha and the surrounding region, BLUEBARN is known for high-quality entertainment and the fearless pursuit of stories that challenge both theatre artists and patrons.

Surreal ‘The Feast’ is Mirthfully Macabre

All meat in the world has mysteriously rotted forcing the populace into compulsory vegetarianism.  A dinner party awaits a delayed guest and the other participants are getting. . .hungry!!  This is the framing device for The Feast by Celine Song and currently playing at the Shelterbelt Theatre.

Note that I use the term framing device as opposed to plot because the story of this play is rather nebulous.  Ms Song’s script starts out incredibly strong as it focuses on the famished partygoers and their dysfunctional relationships appear to be the thrust of the tale.  Towards the play’s climax, the story begins to veer into the surreal before taking a left turn into the nonsensical.  A telling monologue attempts to tie up the peculiarities of the story, but the lack of centrality somewhat weakens the show.  With that being said, the play’s surefire direction and steady acting greatly neutralize a good deal of the story’s shortcomings.

Noah Diaz is truly becoming a force to be reckoned with on the directing scene.  His staging is incredibly sharp with a particularly nice touch of the actors already being on stage during the pre-show playing party games.  This added a vital bit of realism to the production and was able to pull the audience into its world before the dialogue began.  Diaz also has a well coached cast who gave sterling performances and picked up cues at the drop of a hat.

Diaz also played the role of Rhett, a friend of the party’s hostess and her husband.  Diaz is blessed with that mysterious x factor that makes for great acting.  Always perfectly believable, Diaz’s Rhett is a sickly, smarmy prig.  Diaz plays the role with a charming insincerity as he constantly inquires about how much longer the hostess’ husband will be simply because he wants to eat or politely fighting with his wife before they “make-up”.  Rhett’s wife claims Rhett always wants what he can’t have and one of the play’s more surreal scenes reveals the reason Rhett behaves this way. This grants Diaz the opportunity to play a brilliantly tragic moment which engenders great sympathy for Rhett.  Diaz is a little young for the role, but had to step into the part when the original actor needed to withdraw very late in the rehearsal process.

Mary Kelly is darling as Wendy, the hostess.  As the stereotypical 1950s housewife, Ms Kelly’s Wendy is quite solicitous in looking after the wants of her guests and constantly checking in with her husband to find out when he will arrive so she can serve dinner.  However, Ms Kelly gets to turn the stereotype on its head during her dark asides when she becomes a demented Betty Crocker.  She talks about her fantasies of eating people due to her desire for some meat, passionately describing how she would prepare the entrée.  Ms Kelly also gives her Wendy a bit of a lascivious nature as she secretly pines for her husband’s stepbrother.

Leanne Hill Carlson strikes all the right notes with her depiction of Sam, Rhett’s wife.  Sam is a selfish, petty woman who lives life below the bellybutton because she’ll sleep with and kiss anything with a pulse that isn’t her husband.  This type of role could be a real scene chewer, but Ms Hill Carlson always remains grounded in a very effective performance.  The fact that Sam’s selfish nature is a façade that covers a bitter truth permits Ms Hill Carlson to add some wonderful and crucial dramatic heft to the character.

Beau Fisher soars in his Omaha theatre debut as Xander, a scientist and the stepbrother of Wendy’s husband.  Fisher impresses as the hyper-intellectual Xander who is more content experimenting on animals than he is engaging with other people.  I was especially impressed with the subtlety of Fisher’s performance as he manages to hint at a lusting towards Sam as well as having a keen grasp of what’s going on around him despite his isolationist tendencies.  Fisher’s descent into madness towards the play’s finale is one of the show’s funniest moments.

Brennan Thomas gives a nicely understated performance in the uncredited role of Francis, Wendy’s husband.  In spite of his limited stage time, Thomas is able to bring some beautiful nuance to Francis who is tasked with explaining the meaning, or non-meaning, behind the play’s plot.

The technical aspects of this show were some of the strongest I have seen this season.  From the clever and surprisingly complex cardboard set of Sharon Diaz, to the nearly living lights designed by Joshua Mullady, to the wonderfully appropriate mood music of Hannah Meyer, and the always apropos sounds of Shannon Smay, this show will be a treat for your eyes and ears.

Despite the oddities of the script, Ms Song does accomplish a very difficult task which is to make a dark comedy truly funny.  Most dark comedies rely on the story being funny due to acts of cruelty, but this show uses genuine humor and leaves the darkness to bolster the show’s more serious moments.  While the plot may be “love it or hate it”, the show’s directing, acting, and technical aspects will be certain to hold the audience’s interest.

The Feast plays at the Shelterbelt through May 8.  Performances are Thurs-Sat at 8pm and Sundays at 6pm.  The final Sunday performance will be at 2pm.  Tickets cost $15 for adults and $12 for students, seniors (65+) and T.A.G. members.  Sunday tickets are $12.  For reservations contact the Shelterbelt at 402-341-2757, or by e-mail at boxoffice@shelterbelt.org, or their website at www.shelterbelt.org.  The Shelterbelt is located at 3225 California St in Omaha, NE.  Due to some sensitive subject matter, The Feast is recommended for mature audiences.

Powerhouse Performances Punch Up Petty Play

“These people are monsters!” shouts Annette.  Thus sums up the play God of Carnage which kicked off the Blue Barn Theatre’s 25th season whose theme is “Over the Edge”.

God of Carnage is a dark comedy about 2 couples (Michael & Veronica and Alan & Annette) who meet in the apartment home of Michael and Veronica (an absolutely gorgeous retroesque set designed by Martin Scott Marchitto) to discuss an altercation that occurred between their sons.  An altercation that resulted in the son of Michael & Veronica getting some teeth knocked out by the son of Alan & Annette.

Although the conversation starts civilly enough, the behavior of the characters slowly devolves until they act like little more than children themselves.  Dark comedies are often tricky to pull off as the comedy usually follows a wanton act of cruelty and callousness and this play is no exception.  One such example occurs when the high strung Annette projectile vomits (quite viscerally) due to the tension of the situation and her anger with her disinterested, arrogant husband, Alan, who seems more concerned with the people on the other end of his cell phone than with his own family.

The script is somewhat weak, being one note in nature, having no real arc, and an ending that is flat as a pancake.  That said, the weakness is somewhat alleviated by the interesting psychological questions it poses.  Is civility a mask we as a society wear?  How are we any different than animals?  Are we nothing more than overgrown children?

The play is also bolstered by the nice pace director Susan Clement-Toberer cuts and the excellent performances she has coached from her actors.

As Annette, Jill Anderson undergoes the greatest devolution in the play.  She begins as a overwound socialite whose posture is so ramrod straight, one would think the rod up her back has a rod up its back and slowly transforms into a drunken, overwrought child who is unhappy with her loveless marriage to a domineering husband who only lets her do “woman” things.  Her drunken rants and despising of tulips are some of the highlights of this show.

Ablan Roblin plays Annette’s husband, Alan.  Of all the characters, Alan is the only character who really does not change over the show.  His selfishness and arrogance is apparent from the start as he constantly excuses himself to speak to colleagues about a cover-up regarding the dangerous side effects of a blood pressure drug his company produces solely to reap the most profit out of it.  I don’t envy Roblin’s difficulty in playing such a non-evolving character, but he presented the coldness of Alan quite well.

Jerry Longe gives an restrained performance as  Michael.  Starting off as a laidback man trying to keep the peace between both parties, he makes a startling transformation declaring, “I’m a Neanderthal!” with a complete change in voice and body language.  On the turn of a dime, Michael removes the façade of Mr. Easygoing and reveals himself to be a hard drinking, cigar smoking, racist thug who rather enjoys digging into people with his barbed tongue.

Theresa Sindelar plays Veronica, a writer with an obsession for Africa.  Ms. Sindelar does a wonderful job foreshadowing the revelation of Veronica’s true colors.  Veronica is clearly an intellectual who delights in using fifty dollar words in her vocabulary to prove her intelligence.  At first, she seems to be trying to engineer an amiable middle ground between the two couples, but is really more interested in ripping her son’s attacker a new one, more concerned with her books than the health of her guest, and sitting on her high horse declaring, “I am better than everyone in this room!”

In the end, I believe the humor comes from the audience’s recognition of our own childish sides in these 4 pathetic people and how ridiculous we can become we when blow minor things grossly out of proportion.

God of Carnage runs through October 18 at the Blue Barn Theatre located at 614 S 11th St in Omaha, NE.  Showtimes are 7:30pm, Thursday-Sat and 6pm on Sundays.  (Note:  There is no show on Sept 29.)  Ticket prices are $25 for adults and $20 for students, TAG members, seniors (65+), and groups of ten or more.  For reservations or information, call 402-345-1576.