Brigit’s killing Julius C.

Friends, Omahans, countrymen, lend me your ears: Brigit’s killing Julius C. at the Downtown Space this weekend. And director Cathy Kurz has Mark Scott in the title role of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. If that doesn’t stoke your theatrical fires it’s because you didn’t see him in Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre’s A View from the Bridge as Eddie Carbone. It ranks with Bill Hutson’s performance in M. Butterfly and several by Norm Filbert and Scott Kurz as my all-time favorites by male leads. And the other big roles are also promising: Andrew McGreevy as Mark Antony (he gets to utter the famous line paraphrased at the top of this column), Jeremy Earl as Brutus (yes, he whose betrayal prompts that other famous line, “Et tu, Brute?”) and John Hatcher as Cassius. Add the likes of Laura Leininger, Ashley Spessard, Kelcey Watson, Eric Grant-Leanna, Eric Griffith, Mary Kelly and others for a cast as talent-laden as we may see this season. Brigit will do it in the traditional Roman period with the flavor of medieval theater created by scenic artist Craig Lee, who once painted for the Omaha Community Playhouse but now enjoys a national reputation. It runs Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Saturday, Nov. 13. Tickets are $22, $18 for seniors, students, military. Call 502.4910 or visit bsbtheatre.com. Rob Baker did something in A Thousand Clowns at the Omaha Community Playhouse that I’ve seldom experienced so overtly before. He made me want to apologize to Murray, the lead character played by Nick Zadina. It’s easy to be entertained by, but also a bit irritated with, this unemployed, fun-loving uncle of a 12-year-old nephew played by Ben Adams. The play blends comedy, social commentary and strong emotions with surprising performances, especially by Patricia Lilyhorn as the insecure psychologist. But you think Murray should go back to work as a kiddie show writer and save his nephew from a foster home. Then comes Baker as Leo Herman, who hosts the show as Chuckles the Chipmunk. He delivers an absolute knockout of a performance as a preposterous, self-loathing man who pleads for approval. If it seems to share some kinship with Baker’s old standup comic character, Rob Noxious, or his Uncle Jocko in Gypsy, it soars above all its predecessors, leaving Baker dripping with sweat and the audience limp with laughter. And I wanted to apologize to Zadina for even thinking his character should go back to work for this pathetic monstrosity. Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to coldcream@thereader.com.

posted at 07:40 pm
on Saturday, November 06th, 2010

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