*The burst of new theater openings was confronted last Friday with the first bad weather after an October and early November stretch that gave no excuse for missing even a minute of good stage artistry. Which is a prelude to confession: Chanticleer was holding two tickets for To Kill a Mockingbird, with talented Ron Hines as Atticus Finch, and I was ready to drive to the far side of Council Bluffs when I decided to let Max the Maniac (our normal predatory Airedale mix) out once before cooping him up for the evening. The patio was already covered with more than an inch of the snow that wasn’t supposed to arrive before midnight. And we’d just been talking about how many trees still were weighted with leaves, making them prone to dropping branches and causing power failures. Not to mention that Cox Cable will be happy to hear that the heavy white stuff was cutting us off from the DIRECTV satellites. So we missed that great dramatic moment when Atticus enters the courtroom to fight for justice, and we didn’t get even a peek at Boo Radley. Like Steel Magnolias coming later this season to the Omaha Community Playhouse, it’s one of those stories that always stirs emotions. So I stayed home and, sans television reception, listened to Mavericks hockey on the radio and shoveled snow that would have melted the next day. A phone call later from Bonnie Gill reported that a nice crowd made it to the community theater on Franklin Avenue, hopefully without any fender-benders on the way home. Ms. Gill filled in as director during the last week of rehearsals when husband Mark Manhart, the dentist devoted to drama, was under the weather. (No, not the snow, the personal kind.) Both Mark and Bonnie have time for other theaters after their long run with the Grande Olde Players ended, and she’ll direct Life with Father for Chanticleer later in the season. * When the weather was still nice last Thursday, Bette Swanson was reading The Reader in the Brazen Head before attending A Thousand Clowns at the Playhouse. We’d seen this pillar of the Bellevue Little Theatre the week before at the opening of its The Philadelphia Story . I didn’t spy on what she was eating, but I had the Clontarf Club with coleslaw before heading for SNAP! Productions opening of Valley of the Dolls. Love that club sandwich with slaw, but you can read elsewhere on this page that I loved that ridiculous parody even more. Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to firstname.lastname@example.org.