With TAG Awards putting last season to a close, the Omaha theatrical community starts work on what looks to be another outstanding year for local theatre. One of the first shows of that year opens this weekend with the Omaha Community Playhouse’s production of Sirens by Deborah Zoe Laufer.
Fans of the 21 & Over programming should find Laufer’s name a familiar one. Her play End Days, about a dysfunctional family experiencing the apocalypse with the help of Stephen Hawking, Jesus, and a young Elvis impersonator, was a hit a couple of seasons ago.
This year, we get a full production of a Laufer play that was featured at the 2010 Humana Festival in Louisville, Kentucky. Playhouse Resident Director Amy Lane leads a group of seasoned veterans that include Ablan Roblin, Judy Radcliff, and Noah Diaz (he’s in everything!) along with newcomer Regina Palmer.
Sirens revolves around one-hit-wonder songwriter Sam (Roblin) whose determination to find his next hit song has put strain on his marriage to his original muse, Rose (Radcliff). When they take a cruise for their anniversary, Sam jumps overboard after hearing those most amazing song coming from a video-solitaire playing Siren (Palmer). The Siren attempts to help Sam reconnect with his wife before all is lost.
Knowing the comedic chops of this cast, it’s not a stretch to think this show will be a hilarious start to Playhouse’s season at the Howard Drew Theatre.
The Playhouse aforementioned 21 & Over series also kicks off next Monday, August 19th with a reading of Exit, Pursued by a Bear by Lauren Gunderson and directed by Steve Hartman. The play is an offbeat look at domestic violence as the lead character Nan looks to take total revenge, artistically and emotionally, on her good-for-nothing husband Kyle with the help of her friends Simon, Sweetheart, and some fresh venison.
Later on in the month, The Rose Theater will open Knuffle Bunny directed by Susann Suprenant. The show details a father and his preverbal young daughter, Trixie, as they attempt to find her lost stuffed animal, Knuffle Bunny. Over the course of the show, father and daughter learn to communicate with one another while Dad does battle in a laundromat with oversized clothes that know Kung Fu.
If that last sentence doesn’t get you to take your young ones to see this show, I don’t know what will.
Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to firstname.lastname@example.org