Mormon Highlights a New Broadway Season

The announcement of the new Broadway season for Omaha Performing Arts has all the makings of another successful year with the only questions being a couple of unknown shows. While I’m a big fan of the Will Ferrell/Zooey Deschanel Christmas movie, I’m not familiar with Elf The Musical (they made it into a musical? Of course they did.) nor Million Dollar Quartet, a jukebox musical featuring the works of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash. 

Continual fan-favorite Wicked will no doubt sell out fast, as will the 9-time Tony winner The Book of Mormon. Mormon is of particular interest to this writer. It will be interesting to see how a show labeled as “an Atheist love-letter to religion” will be accepted in the more conservative Midwest. Having seen the show, I can say that audiences of all faiths and perspectives will be too busy laughing to be offended.

As for War Horse, if you have any assumptions about this show based on the Steven Spielberg film adaptation, you can go ahead and put them to bed. While the movie version might have used real animals and great cinematography to decent effect, you will be astounded at the phenomenal puppetry on display bringing the horse to life. The show is a perfect example of how spectacle can enhance rather overtake an audience’s theatrical experience.

Speaking of spectacle, don’t forget about Disney’s The Lion King opening this weekend at the Orpheum Theatre. If you’re looking for an Omaha connection to the show, look no further than Scar (played by Timothy Carter). About 8 years ago, Carter was putting his talents on display with the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival in Richard III and Merry Wives of Windsor. Carter recalled his fondness of our city saying, “I remember the great audiences, some of the biggest audiences I’ve ever performed for, some nights about 5,000 people in the park there in Omaha.”

If you’re not checking out the Broadway scene this weekend, there’s still plenty to see. Blue Barn continues its run of A Behanding in Spokane. This writer finally had a chance to see the production and there’s plenty to love about the show (especially Raydell Cordell III who stands out among a very talented cast).

Speaking of stand out performances, Noah Diaz will no doubt be a name popping up come awards season after his turn in Clybourne Park at SNAP. He single handedly sparked energy into the first act of the show which the rest of cast fed off of. The momentum carries into the second act, which is one of the better theatre experiences you’ll have all season.

Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to coldcream@thereader.com

 

posted at 08:58 pm
on Monday, March 11th, 2013

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