From Super Heros to Zombies

Molly Welsh has worn many different hats at the Great Plains Theatre Conference. She’s been a house manager, an actor, a location manager, a sound designer and a participating playwright. This year, she dons the playwriting cap once again as one of only two Nebraska playwrights chosen for the GPTC PlayLab readings (and the only playwright from Omaha). This is Welsh’s second play selected for Great Plains (her...

entered on 05/17/13 at 11:54 PM | read more »

Pushing the Artform and Connecting Communities

Now into it’s 8th year, the Great Plains Theatre Conference continues to evolve into one of the premiere theatrical experiences both locally and nationally. The conference gathers top national artists and playwrights that respond and give feedback to new works from across the country while also hosting workshops for emerging writers to help craft their voices. Equally important, Producing Artistic Director Kevin...

entered on 05/17/13 at 06:51 PM | read more »

Memphis Mama: Change Not Easy

Memphis, the city, means Beale Street, blues and soul food. Memphis the musical means white deejay airs black music and breaks the racial barrier.

And all that’s pre-Elvis, so you can see why Julie Johnson makes an impact every time she sings, “Change Don’t Come Easy.” She plays the mama of Huey, who visits the Beale Street underground, falls for a young black singer and the music performed there, and makes it...

entered on 01/02/13 at 08:46 PM | read more »

Big Stage News in 2012 Hits Later

Both on stage and in the wings, 2012 was well-booked with big news and memorable performances. The best news? One dire prediction that didn’t come true.

I worried that the year’s most ironic moment would come if Chanticleer’s Happy Days musical turned out to be the unhappy end of the Council Bluffs theater’s long history. Fortunately, good citizens, including the Iowa West Foundation, came through for the...

entered on 12/20/12 at 01:49 PM | read more »

It Takes a Team of Billy Elliots

“I’ve trained about 14 Billies ,” the interviewee says, and the number alone hints at the singularity of Billy Elliot the Musical  which opens at the Orpheum Theater Nov. 27.

So does Steven Minning’s title: supervising resident creative director. All shows have directors and many have traveling resident directors, but few require someone back in New York City while the company tours.

Right now, he’s training...

entered on 11/15/12 at 09:57 PM | read more »

Longe Is Artist Rothko in Much-Honored Play

Someone says “sizzling” and you half expect porn. Hear “thrilling” and you think of cliffhanger action.

But, when they’re modified by “intellectually,” you’re in for an evening of theater powerful enough to sweep all the drama awards just two seasons ago. More than one reviewer saw Red, the story of abstract expressionist Mark Rothko as he battles for his artistic soul with a devil of a big commission, and found...

entered on 09/14/12 at 05:23 PM | read more »

Omaha’s Andy Now in New Normal

Now that we’re seeing Andy Rannells daily in promos for The New Normal, don’t be a johnny-come-lately and say, “Yeah, he’s the Creighton Prep grad who starred in that big Broadway hit, Book of Mormon.

Maybe you saw him first during the London Olympics as NBC began pushing the new television sitcom. A clip showed Andy as Bryan Buckley with his male partner as both volunteered when asked, “Who is going to be the...

entered on 09/09/12 at 05:14 PM | read more »

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