Bring Back Laura Marr in “One for the Road”

Paris Letter Runing, Hairspray Coming

Blame me and everyone else who writes about theater. We missed the boat on encouraging you  to see the funniest play of the season. It closed last weekend, and that means you also missed the best comedic performance in many a season.

The play was Willie Russell’s One for the Road at the Circle Theatre, and the performance was Laura Marr’s portrayal of a pretentious woman who turns into a side-splitting drunk. And that doesn’t mean she overshadowed three other stellar turns by Stephanie Anderson, Ben Birkholtz and David Sindelar.

Ask a whole table full of theater fans who saw it on the same night: Sherry Fletcher, Anne Shaughnessy, Melissa Jarecke and M. Michele Phillips, among others. (And don’t overlook Michele’s far different success in directing The Paris Letter, the SNAP! Production running through April 1. It makes effective use of flashbacks, thanks to narration by Randy Vest, in a cast including Connie Lee, Eric Grant-Leanna, Michal Simpson and the surprisingly mature 18-year-old, Noah Diaz.)

But you can still catch the SNAP! drama. If you want to see the Circle Theatre comedy, then beg and plead with Doug and Laura Marr to bring it back next season. Or next month. Or next week.

Meanwhile, I’ll apologize for all of us who should have done a better job of spreading the word amidst a flurry of theater openings.

That won’t be a problem with Hairspray, the musical coming to the Omaha Community Playhouse in May. We were lucky enough to sit next to its director, Susie Baer Collins, at another great 21 & Over staged reading, Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker, with memorable performances by Christina Rohling, Laura Leininger, Mark Thornburg, Doug Hayko and Bailey Newman.

Susie was full of enthusiasm after 175 auditioned for Hairspray, a record turnout except when youngsters are clamoring for roles in Annie. She called 65 back over three days and they left her laughing so hard “my face hurt.”

The only bad thing about her “surfeit of riches,” was having to say “No, thank you to so many incredible people.”

Speaking of 21 & Over and incredible people, Amy Lane’s series of staged readings is sponsored by Omaha Steaks, which also heavily supports the Blue Barn. And Fred and Eve Simon, who have some influence on Omaha Steaks, are now co-chairs of trustees for the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival.

I’ll be surprised if they don’t end up backing those new “adventurous” offerings of the Playhouse such as August: Osage County.

Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to

posted at 04:31 pm
on Sunday, March 18th, 2012


(We're testing Disqus commenting (finally!); please let us know if you have trouble.)

comments powered by Disqus


« Previous Page

Business Suits and Raves

            The unique design of Enron by Lucy Prebble at the Omaha Community Playhouse blends the worlds of Realism and Absurdism. In one moment, the show is meticulously dissecting the ins and outs...

more »

‘Les Miz’ Dominates TAG Awards

The night belonged to Les Miserables at the 47th Annual Theatre Arts Guild Awards, honoring the past season’s outstanding accomplishments in Omaha area theatre. The winner for Best Musical, Les Miz...

more »

Director Thompson Talks About “Abby”

            The Shelterbelt Theatre’s latest production entitled Abby in the Summer by A.P. Andrews is going into its final two weekends. Director Beth Thompson took some time to answer some...

more »

TAG Nominations Highlight This Year’s Best Efforts

            Last week, I had the pleasure of announcing the nominations for the 47th Annual Theatre Arts Guild Awards accompanied by my partner in crime Ablan Robin. It was a great chance for members...

more »

Playhouse Honors Volunteers and Red Theater is Under the Radar

            - Awards Season kicked off last week when the Omaha Community Playhouse held its annual volunteer awards night.

            The night was highlighted by Carl Beck and Susie Baer Collins...

more »

Advanced Search