It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas. . .At the OCP

A Christmas Carol Opens Friday at Omaha Community Playhouse

Omaha, NEA Christmas Carol opens this Friday, Nov 16, at the Omaha Community Playhouse.  The show will run in the Hawks Mainstage Theatre from Nov 16 through Dec 23.

It just isn’t Christmas without A Christmas Carol.  Experience Omaha’s favorite holiday tradition as Ebenezer Scrooge takes us on a life-changing journey filled with lovely costumes, exquisite music, beautifully crafted sets and special effects second to none.  Perfect for the whole family!

Tickets for A Christmas Carol are available at TicketOmaha.com or through the Omaha Community Playhouse box office by calling 402-553-0800 or visiting 6915 Cass St, Omaha, NE  68132. For more information, please visit www.omahaplayhouse.com.

Production:  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  Adapted by Charles Jones with musical orchestration by John J. Bennett.

Dates:  Nov 16-Dec 23, 2018 on the Hawks Mainstage Theatre (There are no performances on Nov 21 or Nov 22)

Show Times:  7pm on Wednesdays.  7:30pm Thurs-Sat.  2pm and 6:30pm on Sundays.

Tickets:  Tickets start at $40.  Prices may vary by performance.  Tickets available for purchase at the Omaha Community Playhouse box office, 6915 Cass St, Omaha, NE  68132, by phone at 402-553-0800 or online at http://www.ticketomaha.com.

Directors:  Kimberly Faith Hickman and Ablan Roblin

Choreographer:  Michelle Garrity

Featuring

Jerry Longe as Ebenezer Scrooge

Chris Berger as Bob Cratchit

Madison White as Tim Cratchit

Don Keelan-White as Jacob Marley

Lori Lynn Ahrends as Ghost of Christmas Past

Bob Gilmore as Ghost of Christmas Present

And a slew of Omaha’s finest theatrical talent!!

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Witness “An Act of God”

BLUEBARN THEATRE presents

First, he created the universe. Then, he conquered Broadway.  Now, he descends upon Omaha.

An Act of God

by David Javerbaum

November 23rd -December 16th, 2018

Thursday-Saturday at 7:30pm

Sunday 11/25 & 12/2 at 6pm | 12/16 at 2:00pm

Wednesday 12/5 and 12/12 at 7:30pm

 

About the play:

The supreme being Himself finally returns, and just in time for the holidays!

In this hilariously holy limited engagement, God graces the BLUEBARN stage

along with his angels, Michael and Gabriel.

He’ll answer the eternal questions. He’ll set the divine record straight.

He’s got ten new commandments… and He’s got jokes.

 

About the production:

    An Act of God features Ablan Roblin, Theresa Sindelar, and Raydell Cordell III. Directed by Susan Clement-Toberer, with dramaturgy by Barry Carman, costume design by Georgiann Regan, scenic design by Martin Marchitto, sound design by Bill Kirby, lighting design by Homero Vela, projection design by Bill Grennan, wing design by Halsey Onstage, and properties by Amy Reiner. 

The production is generously sponsored by Omaha Steaks.

Tickets: General Admission ($35) and Senior ($30) tickets are available via our website at www.bluebarn.org. Educator, Military, and BLUCrew tickets are available through the box office (402) 345-1576. For more information, visit: www.bluebarn.org/tickets/

Engage:

“The Giving HeARTS Tree” Campaign

It’s the 11th anniversary of BLUEBARN’s holiday partnership with ENOA (the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging). Ornaments bearing the names of local elders in need will be on sale on the Giving HeARTS Tree located in the lobby. Become an elf for the elderly. Proceeds go directly to fulfilling holiday gift needs for seniors in the community.

“Interview with a Heathen…er, Humanist”

December 2nd, Post-Show

It’s God vs. the godless, following our Sunday 6pm performance of An Act of God. In partnership with Omaha Metro Area Humanists Association, God (Ablan Roblin) interrogates Bill Newman, founder of O.M.A.H.A. What the hell is humanism?

How dare these humanists come up with their own ten commandments? The ingratitude! The sacrilege! Just joshing…join us for a lovely conversation on ethics and community outside of religious faith.

She Rocks! She Rocks, Indeed!!

World, Tara Vaughan has arrived and she is tearing it up at the Omaha Community Playhouse in her new show, Tara Vaughan’s She Rocks.

Produced under the auspices of Rave On Productions, Tara Vaughan’s She Rocks is a killer revue focusing on the legendary female artists and/or songwriters of the 60s-80s with a splash of the 90s and today thrown in for good measure.  In a thrilling night of rock and roll suitable for people of all ages and presenting artists of all eras, you’ll hear numbers from Linda Ronstadt, Heart, The Go-Gos, Fleetwood Mac, Sandie Shaw, Amy Winehouse, Sheryl Crow, and even an original tune written by Ms Vaughan herself.

Long known as a talented singer/songwriter (and the keyboardist & vocalist for the Rave On Productions), Ms Vaughan’s talent explodes in a stunning tour de force performance for this revue.  Tara Vaughan does not play music. . .she exudes it.  It’s as if the notes just come from the very depths of her soul and she then shares it with the audience with every fiber of her being and her incredible alto voice.

Kicking it off with the sweet, but melancholic “When Will I Be Loved?” by Linda Ronstadt, Ms Vaughan proceeded to demonstrate an unmatched versatility with an extremely diverse set that included the Sandie Shaw version of “Always Something There to Remind Me”, Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man”, Heart’s “Barracuda”, and Blondie’s “Call Me”.  But she could also slow it down with sensitive and moving songs such as a little Cass Elliot in “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie”, and Fifth Dimension’s “Wedding Bell Blues”.  However, I thought two of her best numbers in a night full of great ones were her take on Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” (a personal favorite song of mine) and her own original number written “in a similar vein of “You’re So Vain’”, “Blame it On My Youth”.

In between numbers, Ms Vaughan shared stories with the audience about the creation of the show, memories of her life, and gentle ribbing of her mother with a soft-spoken, almost shy stage presence that hooked the audience in from the first word.

The arrangement of the numbers gave the night’s music a familiar, but fresh feel and Ms Vaughan was epically supported by a powerful band which included Ryan McGuigan on keyboards, percussion, and backing vocals; Matthew McGuigan on bass and backing vocals (and a solo on The Supremes’ “Can’t Hurry Love”); Jess Errett on electric acoustic guitar and backing vocals (plus a solo with The Go-Gos “Head Over Heels”); Max Meyer, who provided some stellar solos on lead guitar, and Adam Stoltenberg on drums.  The night even included a guest appearance from Billy McGuigan who teamed up with Ms Vaughan to belt out Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”.

This is just a taste of what those of you lucky enough to have tickets to tonight’s sold out performance have in store for you.  And if you don’t have a ticket, don’t worry.  Tara Vaughan and She Rocks will return to the Omaha Community Playhouse in late June 2019 for a three week engagement.  Tickets go on sale November 20.  I promise you an experience you won’t forget and you will find that Tara Vaughan most.  Definitely.  Rocks!!!

Be Part of OCP’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”

The Omaha Community Playhouse is holding auditions for the upcoming production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time on Saturday, October 27 at 11 a.m. and Sunday, October 28 at 6 p.m. at the Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass Street, Omaha, NE 68132.

• Production: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
• Roles: Christopher, Siobhan, Ed, Judy, Ensemble (play multiple roles)
• Show Dates: January 18 – February 10, 2019
• Theatre: Howard and Rhonda Hawks Mainstage Theatre, Omaha Community Playhouse
• Rehearsals: Begin December 2, 2018
• Director: Kimberly Faith Hickman

SYNOPSIS
Winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Play, and based on the best-selling mystery novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time tells the emotional story of Christopher, a 15-year-old boy with autism, who sets out to solve the mysterious death of a neighbor’s dog. As he embarks on an incredible adventure to find answers, his perceptions of trust and reality are turned upside-down. With stunning design and innovative staging, this impactful story is a must-see!

AUDITION DATES
• Saturday, October 27 at 11:00 a.m.
• Sunday, October 28 at 6:00 p.m.

AUDITION LOCATION
Omaha Community Playhouse
6915 Cass Street
Omaha, NE 68132

AUDITION INSTRUCTIONS
• Those auditioning should enter through the west “Stage Door” entrance and proceed to the check-in table.
• Actors only need to attend one of the audition dates to be considered for a role.
• Those auditioning will be asked to read from the script provided at auditions.
• If special accommodations are needed, please contact Breanna Carodine prior to auditions at (402) 553-4890 ext. 164 or bcarodine@omahaplayhouse.com.

PLEASE 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 physical copy of a headshot or recent photo of yourself. Please note, photos will not be returned.

Blue Barn Announces Auditions for “Indecent” & “The Woodsman”

BLUEBARN THEATRE announces auditions for Indecent by Paula Vogel

Auditions will be held at The Bluebarn Theatre, 1106 South 10th St

Saturday, Dec. 1st from 12pm-4pm  &  Sunday, Dec. 2nd  from 12pm-4pm

Callbacks, if necessary, will be held on Saturday, December 8th from 12-4pm

Indecent runs March 21st, 2019 through April 14th, 2019. Rehearsals begin February 11th, 2019.

Company Members Needed

 The Stage Manager, Lemml– (M, 30-50).  

A wise fool who sees it all.

The Ingénues- (1F, 1M, 20-35).

All the brides, the grooms, the writers, the socialists, the believers.

The Primes- (1F, 1M, 35-55).

All the vamps, all the vice, the scarred and the schemers in their prime.

The Elders- (1F, 1M, 50+).

All the fathers, mothers, the sages and the fools at any age

The Musicians- (3 any gender, any age).

On violin! On accordion! On clarinet!

Performers who also sing and move and act with the troupe.

Preparation

Please present a classic or contemporary monologue under 2 minutes.

Be prepared to perform 30-60 sec  of “Ain’t We Got Fun” or a folk song of your choice, a capella.

Auditions will include prepared sides and cold readings. There may also be dance/movement elements at the auditions. Sides will be available on November 12th.

For more information, to request a copy of the script, or to schedule an audition, please contact Barry at bcarman@bluebarn.org .

*Indicate which roles you’d like to be considered for when scheduling your audition.

*If you are auditioning as a musician, please indicate which instrument(s)

you play when scheduling your auditions, and prepare a 32 bar solo.

About the play:

Inspired by the true events surrounding the controversial 1923 Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance—a play seen by some as a seminal work of Jewish culture, and by others as an act of traitorous libel. INDECENT charts the history of an incendiary drama and the path of the artists who risked their careers and lives to perform it. A glorious celebration of the power of theatre to harness the very best of the human spirit.

 

Auditions for The Woodsman by James Ortiz with Music by Edward Hardy and Lyrics by Jen Loring

Auditions will be held at The Bluebarn Theatre, 1106 South 10th St

There will be three sessions:

Session 1:  Monday, Dec 10th from 5pm-7:30pm

Session 2:  Monday, Dec 10th from 7:30-10pm

Session 3:  Tuesday, Dec 11th from 3pm-6pm

Callbacks will be held Tuesday, December 11th from 7:30-10

*Violinists will be auditioned from 6:30-7:30 on Tuesday, Dec 11th, those called back

will join the 7:30-10pm session with the actors immediately following.

The Woodsman runs May 16th, 2019 through June 16th, 2019. Rehearsals begin April 8th, 2019

Schedule your Audition with Barry Carman at bcarman@bluebarn.org.

 

Company Members Needed

7 Actors     1M and 1F (20s-30s), 1 F(20s-40s), 4 others (any age); 1 Violinist

To request a character breakdown with descriptions, possible doubling, and puppets, contact bcarman@bluebarn.org  

Casting note: The Woodsman is a wordless, physical, actor-driven ensemble that incorporates puppetry. All actors must be able to move well and fill physical shape with story, character and intention, and have strength, flexibility, and stamina. All actors are on stage for most of the 75minute show.

Preparation

Actors

Please prepare a one-minute classical monologue (Shakes, Moliere, Ibsen, Strindberg, etc), and 16 bars of a folk song in the style of the show to be sung a capella.

Come prepared to move; most of the audition will consist of an hour of exercises with other actors in ensemble work and imaginative storytelling.

Violinists

We are looking for a dynamic and intuitive player, who can play the exhilarating passages with bravado but won’t tire from the tedious passages. Should be able to adapt to the ambience of every scene. Must be an experienced team player, adept at their part with a command/ knowledge of all other vocal parts.

To request audition passages, contact bcarman@bluebarn.org.

To hear the music, go to https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7fEXlXPYpdCm27MYOUL0OE . 

About the Play

Based on the forgotten writings of L. Frank Baum, Strangemen Theatre Company’s THE WOODSMAN gives this darkly beautiful, haunting, and heart-breaking story new life through original music, physical storytelling, and innovative puppetry. A re-imagined tale of the origin of Baum’s “The Tin Woodman of Oz.”

“She Kills Monsters” Opening at OCP

Omaha, Neb.–She Kills Monsters is opening this week at the Omaha Community Playhouse. The show will run in the Howard Drew Theatre from Friday, October 12 through Sunday, November 4, 2018.

Thrilling audiences with equal parts costume and combat, She Kills Monsters is a coming-of-age dramatic comedy play riddled with 90s pop culture and all things Dungeons & Dragons. Agnes Evans finds a notebook left behind by her deceased younger
sister containing a game scenario for the fantasy game Dungeons & Dragons. As Agnes delves into the world of D&D, she comes to discover more about the sister she often misunderstood.
Tickets for She Kills Monsters are available at OmahaPlayhouse.com or through the Omaha Community Playhouse box office by calling (402) 553-0800 or visiting 6915 Cass Street, Omaha, NE 68132. For more information, please visit www.omahaplayhouse.com.

SPECIAL EVENTS
Women’s Stage Combat Workshop
The Omaha Community Playhouse will hold a special Women’s Stage Combat Workshop to celebrate the opening of She Kills Monsters. This women-only workshop will be held on Sunday, October 14 at 12:30 p.m. at the Omaha Community Playhouse and will be taught by Amy Elizabeth Schweid—fight choreographer for She Kills Monsters.

Participants are encouraged to stick around after the workshop for the 2 p.m. matinee performance of She Kills Monsters. Cost for the workshop is $15 and includes a drink ticket. Costumes are encouraged, but not required, for this female empowerment
workshop. Register at https://tinyurl.com/ocpworkshop.

Production: She Kills Monsters
Production Dates: October 12 through November 4 in the Howard Drew Theatre
Show Times: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 2:00 p.m. Sundays
Tickets: Tickets starting at $30 for adults and $18 for students; Prices may vary by performance.  Tickets may be purchased at the Omaha Community Playhouse box office at 6915 Cass Street, Omaha, NE 68132, by phone at (402) 553-0800 or online at OmahaPlayhouse.com.
Written By: Qui Nguyen
Director: Beth Thompson

Cast

Catie Zaleski – Agnes
Chloe Irwin – Tilly
Kaitlin Maher – Narrator
Thomas Gjere – Miles
Riley Perez – Lilly
Jaiden Lindsey – Kaliope
Brendan Brown – Chuck
Kevin Goshorn – Ocrus
Carrie Beth Stickrod – Vera/Farrah
Ava Burk – Evil Tina
Amanda Overfield – Evil Gabbi
Will Rodgers – Steve
Jake Parker – Monster Ensemble
Ben Battafarano – Monster Ensemble

 

An Unusually Rocking Fairy Tale

Resized_DSC_0858It’s the show that lovingly lambasts fairy tales.  A surly ogre named Shrek reluctantly comes to the aid of the fairy tale characters banished to his swamp by evil Lord Farquaad solely to regain his isolation.  Farquaad’s price for removing the characters from Shrek’s swamp is for Shrek to rescue Princess Fiona from a tower guarded by a fire-breathing dragon so Farquaad can marry her and become king.  But love may be blooming between the princess and the ogre when they find they have far more in common than they realize.  It’s Shrek the Musical with book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire and music by Jeanine Tesori and it currently plays at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

What I am about to say is a lie.  Something that isn’t true.  Shrek the Musical is the most insipid piece of juvenile garbage ever to disgrace a stage and should be shunned by every man, woman, and child.

Truthfully, this show is an out and out joy.  I can’t remember the last time I felt so energized by a play.  Lindsay-Abaire wrote a script that not only well translates the film to the stage, but one that I also believe surpassed the source material on nearly every level.  He even adds a subtle theme of racism and judging books by their covers that adds a surprising amount of heft to the production.  His lyrics and the rock operaesque score by Ms Tesori will have you laughing and bopping and pining for the next number.

Kimberly Faith Hickman’s direction is simply exquisite.  Not only did she guide the cast to superb performances without a weak link in the lot, but she also brought a phantasmagorical staging to the show.  Yes, that is indeed the right word as there was something otherworldly about the staging.  The entire theatre was used to tell this story and I mean the ENTIRE theatre.  Stage, orchestra pit, aisles, rows, you name it.  It was all fair game to share this tale.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cast as on as this cast was tonight.  Every single member brought their A game to the table and created a production that has instantly vaulted into my top ten list.  Some standouts among the standouts were Kerri Forrester whose presence devoured the theatre and whose mighty voice thrilled the crowd with her take as Dragon in “Forever”; Maddie Smith who delights as Young Fiona as she pines for her Prince Charming in “I Know It’s Today”; and J. Isaiah Smith who gleefully chews the scenery as Lord Farquaad.

Jordan Smith triumphs as Donkey, the wise-cracking sidekick of Shrek.  Smith strikes a perfect balance between being the loyal friend and the hyperactive annoying chatterbox that just might test the patience of saints.  His tenor voice is stupendous and he excelled in numbers such as “Make A Move” and “Don’t Let Me Go”.  He completed his triple threat with his fluid and nimble hoofing which was made all the more impressive as he was doing it with hooves.

Mackenzie Dehmer makes for an absolutely perfect Fiona.  She ain’t your ordinary fairy tale princess.  She’s temperamental.  She’s high-strung.  She’s got a singing voice that can literally make birds explode.  She can be sweet, but also incredibly crude and crass as she happily engages Shrek in belching and farting contests.  Ms Dehmer possesses a deadly alto which can inflect ultra competiveness in “I Think I Got You Beat”, be excessively cheerful and caffeinated in “Morning Person”, or just flat out rock out in “I’m A Believer”.

I’m going to steal a descriptor from a friend and say that Steve Krambeck “ogre”achieves as Shrek.  Krambeck manages to capture the many layers of Shrek from his outer hide of irritability and crabbiness to his inner core of sensitivity and loneliness.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard Krambeck’s tenor in finer form than tonight as he managed a combination of hopefulness and sadness in “Who I’d Be” as he confesses to wanting to be a hero, despite being destined to being an ogre and the beautiful “When Words Fail” as he sweetly tries to work out a way to tell Fiona he loves her.  He handled the difficult Scottish accent well, though it did weaken at a few points, especially when he sang.

Lindsay Pape’s costumes set a new bar with spot-on reproductions from the film for Shrek, Fiona, and the other fairy tale denizens and beautifully creative outfits such as Donkey’s furry bodysuit.  Paul Pape’s prosthetic for Shrek was brilliant as it was built around Krambeck’s face and allowed him to emote with both face and eyes.  Tim Burkhart and John Gibilisco crafted some truly unique sounds, especially for the “emissions” battle between Fiona and Shrek.  Melanie Walters supplied some stunning choreography especially with the company numbers of “What’s Up, Duloc?”, “Make A Move”, and “Freak Flag”.  Jim Othuse’s sets will take you from a quiet forest to a lonely tower to a dragon’s lair to the castle of a would-be king.  His lights will give you beautiful sunrises and romantic forest evenings.  Jim Boggess and his orchestra truly score with this score as they not only played it perfectly, but you could hear the fun they were having as well.

If you miss this show, you truly don’t know what you’re missing.  It’s fun.  It’s memorable.  It has something for the whole family with jokes aplenty for the adults and cartoony enough for the kids.   And it even teaches a little something about accepting yourself and the uniqueness of others.

Shrek the Musical performs at the Omaha Community Playhouse through Oct 14.  Showtimes are Wed-Sat at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm.   Tickets start at $42 and can be purchased at www.ticketomaha.com or at the Omaha Community Playhouse box office.  Contact the box office at 402-553-0800.  The Omaha Community Playhouse is located at 6915 Cass St in Omaha, NE.