A Christmas Carolin’ We Go

* Only one of the three local plays with “Christmas Carol” in the title can be described as dizzy and possibly hilarious. Not that the Blue Barn show featuring Jacob Marley (see review elsewhere on this page) isn’t full of droll humor and much more, and not that the famous Omaha Community Playhouse version isn’t a more heartwarming and uplifting display of stagecraft. But for sheer nuttiness it’s hard to beat the Circle Theater play with the out-of-breath title: The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild presents “A Christmas Carol.” It opens Thursday, Dec. 2, in the lower level of Central Presbyterian Church at 55th and Leavenworth. With apologies to the talented women in the previous cast, my most vivid memory of the play involves Jerry Onik in an oafish outfit that threatened to send me rolling on the floor. He’s replaced this time by David Sindelar, who’s likely to add his own brand of daffiness. The Farndale femmes are Sherry Fletcher, Natasha Kirk, Rose Glock and, as always, Laura Marr who co-founded the theater with director/husband Doug Marr. And of course there’s an ugly Christmas sweater contest. It runs through Sunday, Dec. 19, when there’s a 2 p.m. matinee. Thurs.-Sat. performances start with dinner at 7 p.m., curtain time at 8 p.m. Tickets are $23 with dinner, $13 for show only. * Sorry if you missed some of the finest acting of the season in the headiest new play, but The Vertical Hour closed Sunday after a two-weekend run. Ask anyone who caught the SkullDuggery Theatre production in its temporary home at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. It is must-see drama any time Paul Boesing tackles a meaty role and his brilliant portrayal of an English doctor (any further description would detract from the complexity of the character) must be ranked with his title role in Da for Brigit Saint Brigit. And LeAnn Tipler holds her own as the Yale professor exchanging insights, both geopolitical and personal, with the doctor who happens to be her fiancé’s father. Theater fans owe Andrew McGreevy a deep bow for bringing David Hare’s provocative play to Omaha, despite losing his lease on his latest SkullDuggery space. Thanks also to director Cindy Melby Phaneuf for a fascinating evening of theater. McGreevy has cancelled Trainspotting and made other changes in his theater’s busy schedule. He’ll be back at Pizza Shoppe Collective in January with a Neil LaBute script. Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to coldcream@thereader.com.

posted at 02:57 pm
on Wednesday, December 01st, 2010

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