It’s Going to be ‘Beautiful’

BROADWAY’S NEWEST SMASH HIT

BEAUTIFUL – THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL

TICKETS GO ON SALE DECEMBER 9 FOR OMAHA’S ORPHEUM THEATER PREMIERE APRIL 4-9

OMAHA, Neb. (November 16, 2016) – Producers Paul Blake and Sony/ATV Music Publishing have announced that the Tony® & Grammy® Award-winning Broadway hit Beautiful—The Carole King Musical, will make its Omaha Premiere at the Orpheum Theater, April 4 – 9, 2017 as part of Omaha Performing Arts’ Broadway Series. Tickets for the musical, about the early life and career of the legendary and groundbreaking singer/songwriter, go on sale December 9. To purchase tickets, visit TicketOmaha.com, call 402.345.0606 or visit the Ticket Omaha* Box Office inside the Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. Ticket prices start at $30.

“Carole King might be a native New Yorker, but her story of struggle and triumph is as universal as they come – and her music is loved the world over,” producer Paul Blake said. “We know that audiences throughout the country will embrace this show just as Broadway and London audiences have.”

Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her twenties, had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll. But it wasn’t until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice.  Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation. Beautiful features a stunning array of beloved songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil, including “I Feel The Earth Move,” “One Fine Day,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “You’ve Got A Friend” and the title song.

For more information and a video sneak peek, please visit www.BeautifulOnBroadway.com

www.beautifulonbroadway.com

www.twitter.com/beautifulonbway

www.ticketomaha.com

ABOUT OMAHA PERFORMING ARTS

Omaha Performing Arts is dedicated to providing the best Broadway, jazz, blues, dance, comedy, family and popular entertainment to the citizens of Omaha at the Orpheum Theater, Holland Performing Arts Center and beyond. As Nebraska’s largest arts organization, we also provide education opportunities and free community events to expand arts appreciation.  Ticket Omaha is our official ticket provider. We are grateful for support from the Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska Cultural Endowment, National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Omaha and Douglas County. We also rely on corporate sponsors, donors and foundations.

ABOUT BROADWAY ACROSS AMERICA

BROADWAY ACROSS AMERICA is part of The John Gore Organization family of companies, which includes Broadway.com and is operated by John Gore (Owner & CEO).BAA is the foremost presenter of first-class touring productions in North America, operating in 38 markets. Current and past productions include Beautiful, Chicago, Fiddler on the Roof, Finding Neverland, Million Dollar Quartet, Hairspray, On Your Feet!, The Producers, and Shuffle Along.  Broadway.com is the premier theater website for news, exclusive content and ticket sales. For more information please visit BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com and Broadway.com

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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.

‘Cabaret’ Coming to Orpheum Theater

“One of musical theatre’s GREATEST TRIUMPHS!” -Houston Chronicle

“Gutsy staging and bold characterizations! CABARET arrives like a KNOCKOUT PUNCH.”

– Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Five stars! WILLKOMMEN HOME. A Broadway jewel returns in all its glittering glory.”

– Time Out New York

“Truly unmissable! Even if you saw it last time, you are strongly advised – no, URGED – to return.”

-USA Today

ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY’S TONY AWARD® -WINNING PRODUCTION OF CABARET COMES TO OMAHA’S ORPHEUM THEATER OCTOBER 11-16

OMAHA, NEBRASKA (September 7, 2016) — Direct from Broadway, Cabaret, the musical masterpiece comes to Omaha’s Orpheum Theater. As part of their 50th Anniversary Season, the critically acclaimed and award-winning Roundabout Theatre Company is proud to present the National Tour of Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty) and Rob Marshall’s (Into the Woods and Chicago, the films) Tony Award®-winning production of Cabaret, playing Tuesday, October 11 through Sunday, October 16 at the Orpheum Theater as part of Omaha Performing Arts’ Broadway Series.

Tickets, starting at $30 each, 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.

John Kander and Fred Ebb, best known for their legendary musical, Chicago and Joe Masteroff’s Tony®-winning musical features some of the most memorable songs in theatre history, including “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time.” Cabaret is set in the infamous Kit Kat Klub, where the Emcee, Sally Bowles, and a raucous ensemble take the stage nightly to tantalize the crowd––and to leave their troubles outside.

The North American Tour of Cabaret features the original Broadway direction by Sam Mendes and original co-direction and choreography by Rob Marshall. Tour direction is under the helm of BT McNicholl (Spamalot) and choreography is recreated by Cynthia Onrubia (Victor/Victoria). The design team includes set design by Robert Brill (Assassins), costume design by William Ivey Long (Chicago), lighting design by Peggy Eisenhauer (Ragtime) and Mike Baldassari (Nine), sound design by Keith Caggiano (The Radio City Christmas Spectacular) based on the original Broadway design by Brian Ronan with hair and wig design by Paul Huntley. Cabaret features orchestrations by Michael Gibson (The Boy From Oz), music supervision and vocal arrangements by Patrick Vaccariello (On Your Feet) and music direction by Robert Cookman (Legally Blonde). M·A·C. is the Official Makeup Partner for the production. Cabaret is based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood.

Roundabout Theatre Company’s acclaimed production of Cabaret first opened on Broadway on March 19, 1998 starring Alan Cumming and Natasha Richardson and won four Tony® Awards including Best Revival of a Musical. Cabaret went on to play on Broadway for six years and 2,378 performances before finishing its run on January

4, 2004. Cabaret returned to Broadway and the infamous Studio 54 with performances beginning March 21, 2014 with Alan Cumming reprising his Tony®-winning role as the Emcee. The production featured Michelle Williams, Emma Stone and Sienna Miller in the role of Sally Bowles and played 423 performances through March 29, 2015.

Cabaret premiered on Broadway in 1966 and won eight Tony® Awards, including Best Musical, in addition to the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, the Outer Critics’ Circle Award, the Variety Poll of New York Critics, and London’s Evening Standard Award. The original Broadway production played 1,166 performances.

Cabaret will play Omaha’s Orpheum Theater Tuesday, October 11, Wednesday, October 12 and Thursday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, October 14 at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, October 15 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 16 at 1:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

For more information on Cabaret go to http://www.ticketomaha.com or http://www.cabaretmusical.com http://www.roundabouttheatre.org. Follow ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY on Twitter: RTC-NYC and on Facebook. Follow Cabaret on Twitter: Cabaret_Musical and on Facebook.

A Night of Laughs with Ron White & Josh Blue

COMEDIAN RON “TATER SALAD” WHITE RETURNS TO OMAHA WITH SPECIAL GUEST JOSH BLUE

Saturday, July 9, 2016 Tickets On Sale Now!

Omaha, Neb. (June 20, 2016) – Comedian Ron “Tater Salad” White, best known as the cigar smoking, scotch drinking funnyman from the “Blue Collar Comedy” phenomenon returns to Omaha with his new stand-up show, Saturday, July 9, 2016 at 7:00 PM in Slosburg Hall at Omaha’s Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.

Comedian Josh Blue will open for Ron White at this performance. Blue is a winner of NBC’s Last Comic Standing. His 2011 special “Comedy Central Presents: Josh Blue,” received rave reviews from fans and critics alike. The special was named one of the best for that year on the Comedy Central Network. He has appeared twice on the “Ron White’s Comedy Salute to the Troops” and has been featured on a number of TV shows.

Tickets, starting at $46.75, are currently on sale through Ticket Omaha by phone at 402.345.0606, online at TicketOmaha.com or in-person at the Ticket Omaha office inside the Holland Performing Arts Center at 13th and Douglas Streets. This program is for mature audiences.

Ron White has achieved three Grammy® nominations, a Gold Record, two of the top rated one-hour specials in Comedy Central history, a book that appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List, and CD and DVD sales of over 10 million units.

Mannheim Steamroller is Coming for Christmas

MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER CHRISTMAS

By Chip Davis

Orpheum Theater

Thursday and Friday, December 22 and 23, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. (May 17, 2016) – Mannheim Steamroller will present the best the holiday has to offer this season. The group will perform live for two performances only at Omaha’s Orpheum Theater on Thursday and Friday, December 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets go on sale to the general public Monday, July 25 at 10:00 a.m. exclusively through www.TicketOmaha.com, (402) 345-0606, or at the box office located at 13th and Douglas streets. Ticket prices range from $38.25 to $78.25.

This year marks the 32nd anniversary of the Christmas tour and release of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, an album that revolutionized the holiday season music category.

Grammy Award® winner Chip Davis will direct and co-produce the tour performances with MagicSpace Entertainment. The show features classic Christmas hits from Mannheim Steamroller and dazzling multimedia effects in an intimate setting. The spirit of the season comes alive with the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller.

In addition to being a holiday tradition for many families, the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas tour regularly attracts repeat attendance from multi-generational guests and is one of the longest running tours in the music industry. This year’s tour includes many of the performances in a PBS special broadcast airing this year, “Mannheim Steamroller 30/40 Live,” featuring the group’s legendary concert.

Mannheim Steamroller has sold more than 40 million albums, 28 million in the Christmas genre. Their holiday albums have become synonymous with Christmas and consistently occupy top spots on Billboard’s Seasonal Charts every year.

With 19 gold, eight multi-platinum and four platinum-certified records, Chip Davis is among an elite group of artists that include U2, Jay-Z, and The Beach Boys with such certifications.

About Chip Davis and Mannheim Steamroller

From his longtime home in Omaha, Neb., Mannheim Steamroller creator Chip Davis makes innovative music inspired by the sounds of another age. This former teacher and jingle writer founded the music industry’s largest independent recording label, American Gramaphone, in 1974 when industry executives said Davis’ innovative 18th century instrumental rock sound would never sell. In addition to a Grammy Award®, Davis is largely credited with establishing the New Age music category. He went on to revolutionize the making and marketing of holiday music. His first Christmas album was released in 1984; the album’s success made Christmas records a “must do” for all music artists. With more than 40 million total records sold including 28 million Christmas albums, Mannheim Steamroller founder Chip Davis is the #1-selling Christmas music artist of all time. Davis, one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the music industry, offers a rich array of lifestyle products on www.mannheimsteamroller.com including hot chocolate, food, apparel and novelty items. His latest achievement is creating a cutting edge psychoacoustic technology that is being used in major medical institutions such as Mayo Clinic.

About MagicSpace Entertainment

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis is produced by MagicSpace Entertainment. The company is headed by Lee D. Marshall, Joe Marsh, John Ballard, Steve Boulay, and Bruce Granath and has been producing and presenting national tours, Broadway shows, concerts and museum exhibits worldwide for over 30 years. Consistently one of the top promoters in North America, MagicSpace Entertainment typically produces and presents more than 250 events in 75 cities per year. They have offices in Park City and Salt Lake City, UT. www.magicspace.net

It’s BAAaack: ‘Book of Mormon’ Returns to Omaha

OMAHA, NEBRASKA (May 11, 2016) – Back by popular demand, The Book of Mormon, returns to Omaha for a limited engagement Tuesday, May 31, through Sunday, June 5 at Omaha’s Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.

Tickets, beginning at $35 are available at the Ticket Omaha Box Office inside the Holland Performing Arts Center, 13th and Douglas streets, online at TicketOmaha.com; or by phone 402.345.0606. Group orders may be placed by calling 402.661.8516.

The Book of Mormon features book, music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone. Parker and Stone are the four-time Emmy® Award-winning creators of the landmark animated series, South Park. Tony® Award-winner Lopez is co-creator of the long-running hit musical comedy, Avenue Q. The musical is choreographed by Tony Award-winner Casey Nicholaw (Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Drowsy Chaperone) and is directed by Nicholaw and Parker.

The Book of Mormon is the winner of nine Tony® Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score (Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, Matt Stone), Best Book (Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, Matt Stone), Best Direction (Casey Nicholaw, Trey Parker), Best Featured Actress (Nikki M. James), Best Scenic Design (Scott Pask), Best Lighting Design (Brian MacDevitt), Best Sound Design (Brian Ronan) and Best Orchestrations (Larry Hochman, Stephen Oremus); the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical; five Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, the 2011 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Theater Album; four Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Best Musical, and the Drama League Award for Best Musical.

The Book of Mormon features set design by Scott Pask, costume design by Ann Roth, lighting design by Brian MacDevitt and sound design by Brian Ronan. Orchestrations are by Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus. Music direction and vocal arrangements are by Stephen Oremus.

The Original Broadway Cast Recording for The Book of Mormon, winner of the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, is available on Ghostlight Records.

The Book of Mormon will play at Omaha’s Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St., Tuesday, May 31, through Sunday, June 5, with performances on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

For more information, please visit http://www.TicketOmaha.com, or visit the official The Book of Mormon website: http://www.BookofMormonTheMusical.com. Follow The Book of Mormon on Twitter and on Facebook. Follow Omaha Performing Arts on Facebook: OmahaPerformingArtsorg; Twitter: @OPerformingArts or You Tube:  youtube.com/OmahaPerformingArts.

This ‘Phantom of the Opera’ Needs More Spirit

A disfigured genius falls in love with a chorus girl.  Taking her under his wing, he trains her voice so she can become the leading lady of the Opera Populaire.  When she falls in love with a childhood friend, the genius plots to keep her for himself at any cost.  This is the plot of The Phantom of the Opera, currently playing at the Orpheum Theatre.  It is written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Stilgoe, composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Charles Hart, and based off of a novel by Gaston LeRoux.

Phantom has long been my favorite musical.  Its moving story and haunting music never fail to sweep me into another world.  Even after 8 viewings of this show, it has not lost a bit of its magic.  Cameron Mackintosh’s reimagined production helps breathe a bit of new wonder into the 30 year old show with new sets and a few surprises.

With that being said, it also breaks my heart to admit that this was also the weakest rendition of the show I have seen to date.

Not that the show is bad.  The music, singing, and choreography were as strong as ever.  But there was a lack of connection between many of the primary performers and their words making it feel like they were simply going through the motions.  The end result being that a show where every prior production ranked a superior from me gets a mere OK on this go-around.

Part of this problem is not the fault of the actors.  While the Orpheum is a beautiful, archaic theatre well suited to a play like Phantom, its acoustics are a black hole for sound.  Many of the performers did what they could to overcome this problem, but their efforts could only go so far.  Others needed to do a better job of projecting.

Laurence Connor’s direction is passable.  The scene changes are excellently executed and some of the staging is truly magical.  However, he failed to get the best performances out of his cast and his staging of the play’s climactic final scene utterly robbed it of its tragic beauty.

The Really Useful Theatre Group took a big risk in casting Chris Mann in the title role.  Best known for being a finalist on The Voice, Mann, if the program is correct, has no prior acting credits.  Mann truly makes an effort and, for an inexperienced actor, has a truly potent sense of body language.  But his inexperience shows in his inability to capture many of the subtle nuances of the character, though he does show a brilliant flash or two throughout the night.

His singing is absolutely fantastic and he clearly knows how to interpret a song.  His beautiful tenor nailed the emotional beats of The Music of the Night and he was utterly mesmerizing as he entranced Christine during his solo in Wandering Child.

Katie Travis was one of the few performers equally as strong on the acting side as on the singing side.  She understood that a musical is more than just the singing.  It’s about being able to act through the songs, as well.  Ms Travis has a very young look which lent itself well to the role of Christine Daae.  She is utterly believable as the young girl torn between her mysterious benefactor and her young lover.  Her simple hugging of the Phantom at the play’s climax nearly broke me in two.

Ms Travis also has a glorious soprano that is so pure and clean.  She nearly brought down the house in her first solo, Think of Me, and proceeded to do so in Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again.  Ms Travis’ singing and accurate acting choices made for a well rounded performance.

Jordan Craig played Raoul, the Vicomte de Chagny, Christine’s love interest.  Craig is a very, very good singer.  His powerful, well measured baritone was a pleasure to listen to in his signature solo, All I Ask of You.  But his acting was almost non-existent.  I didn’t get the sense of any true emotional commitment to the role as Craig would appear on stage, sing, and then not have any sort of reactions to the events swirling around him, even in scenes where Raoul was in mortal peril.

David Foley and Edward Staudenmayer brought some welcome comedy relief in the roles of Firmin and Andre, the new owners of the Opera Populaire.  The roles are not huge, but each managed to create well developed characters with Foley’s business minded Firmin and Staudenmayer’s more artsy Andre.  These two men were arguably the strongest performers of the night with their deft comic timing and ability to overcome the difficulties of the Orpheum’s acoustics.  Staudenmayer does need to be careful with his humor as he went slightly over the top on a couple of occasions.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention several outstanding cameo performances in the evening’s production.  Victor Wallace stole his scenes as the uncouth Joseph Buquet who makes the fatal mistake of poking fun at the Phantom.  Morgan Cowling is a charmer as Christine’s loyal and gutsy friend, Meg Giry.  Michael Thomas Holmes was hysterical as the ill-tempered musical director, Monsieur Reyer.

Scott Ambler’s choreography was always a joy to watch especially in Masquerade.  Dale Rieling’s musical direction never failed to impress in a night of flawless instrumentation from his orchestra.  Paul Brown’s sets were pieces of artistic majesty from the stage of the Opera Populaire, to the graveyard where Christine’s father was buried, to the dank lair of the Phantom.  Maria Bjornsen’s costumes were extremely elegant with the flowing gowns for the ladies and the fine evening wear for the men.

There is a reason why The Phantom of the Opera still holds audiences in the palm of its hand even after 30 years.  The music and story are timeless with rich roles in which actors can sink their teeth.  While the night’s entertainment was pleasant enough, I have seen and will see better productions than this current run.  Ultimately, the failure to connect with their roles by many of the actors made this simply an average show.

The Phantom of the Opera plays at the Orpheum Theatre through May 1.  Performances are Tues-Thurs at 7:30pm.  Fri-Sat at 8pm and Sundays at 7pm.  There are also matinees at 2pm on Sat and 1:30pm on Sunday.  Tickets range from $150 to $50 and can be obtained at TicketOmaha or by visiting the box office at 13th and Douglas Streets M-F from 10am-5pm and Sat from Noon-5pm.  The Orpheum Theatre is located at 409 S 16th St in Omaha, NE.