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Fantasticks Steam Punked

If the steampunk concept draws you to The Fantasticks at the Omaha Community Playhouse, well and good. It’s interesting and appealing.

But it shouldn’t overshadow the more surprising accomplishment of director Carl Beck and his cast. They’ve given us far and away the best treatment of this record-setting 52-year-old musical that I’ve ever seen.

And that includes some very good productions, a half dozen of...


‘Post-emerging’

If it’s true it takes a village to raise a child, then likewise an entire arts community is required to raise one of its own to maturity and prominence.

All established artists in the Metro area, regardless of medium, style or genre, have one thing in common: before they “made it” in the market place they struggled in that ubiquitous role of an emerging artist, not quite ready for primetime player waiting for...


<p>  Art by Bart Vargas.</p>

Vargas at Barley’s…Fred Simon opens Susan Hart…NET airs show on KANEKO…

On a four-year Omaha hiatus, recent University of Minnesota MFA graduate Bart Vargas is back residing and creating in Council Bluffs. After a whirlwind international tour of exhibitions, he just got a gig instructing art at Metropolitan Community College, will be an official mentor for The Kent Bellows Studio and Center for Visual Arts and is now exhibiting nine of his recent works that have never been shown...


Barn’s Improbable Rise to 23-Year Triumph

As a founder, he once called the mere fact of its existence “a fluke.” Now Kevin Lawler calls the Blue Barn Theatre “an incredible source of joy.”

And he’s “blown away” by the high-quality work of his successor, Susan Clement-Toberer, as producing artistic director. His only problem? “It just kills me” that his work scheduleA deprives him of time to play the doctor In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) on the...


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