Omaha, NE.– The Omaha Community Playhouse will offer free online streaming of entertainments by local composers J.Isaiah Smith, starting May 15, and Tim Vallier, starting May 22.
The music events follow popular reception of two videotaped performances from Playhouse archives. The plays by local playwrights bowed online April 17 (Eminent Domain by Laura Leininger Campbell) and April 24 (Recommended Reading for Girls by Ellen Struve).
As with the earlier plays, each music event will have a Friday evening streaming debut. All four events will remain available for streaming for an indefinite period after the initial offerings. They serve to entertain Playhouse patrons at a time when social distancing makes gathering at the theater impossible. Go to omahaplayhouse.com to access links to all four events.
What A Kid Did With A Piano
Streaming Premiere: May 15, 2020 | 7:30 p.m. (available for streaming after)
This 90-minute presentation features the original music of J. Isaiah Smith, with performances by Smith, Mackenzie Zielke, Scott T. Vandentop, Breanna Francesca Carodine, and Jordan Smith. Mark M. Kurtz accompanies on piano and Jordan Smith on drums.
J. Isaiah Smith wrote a musical titled Kings, Queens, and Unruly Peasants, which is featured in the show, along with several stand-alone songs and conceptual shows. He debuted What A Kid Did With A Piano at the Holland Center. In July 2019, Smith remounted a version of the show for one night at the Playhouse.
Smith, a popular performer in Playhouse musicals, appeared as Coalhouse Walker Jr. in Ragtime, Lord Farquaad in Shrek and Cosmo Brown in Singin’ in the Rain.
One Way to Mars
Streaming Premiere: May 22, 2020 | 7:30 p.m. (available for streaming after)
One Way to Mars, a 75-minute musical audio drama by Tim and Mallory Vallier, follows Natalie, a neuroscientist and mother. Natalie isinvited to embark on a pioneering one-way trip to Mars. But to take part, she must leave everything on Earth behind.
The cast includes Leanne Hill Carlson as Natalie; Steve Krambeck as her husband, Clark; and Thomas Gjere as James, Natalie’s former colleague (and former lover), who invites her to Mars. Christi Leupold and Dustin Smith play multiple roles. Daena Schweiger directs.
This is the Valliers’ reimagining of the classic Scottish ballad “The Daemon Lover.” Both works share themes of romance, tragedy and adventure.
Tim Vallier wrote the music and designed sound, with book and lyrics by Mallory Vallier. The script will be onscreen as the original music plays, or you can just close your eyes and enjoy listening.
Tim Vallier has composed instrumental music for several recent Playhouse non-musicals, including Native Gardens, A Raisin in the Sun, and Sweat.