Warren Francke

Operation Crucible at the Brigit Saint Brigit does justice to an awful time in history when the English people stood strong and heroic against a brutal enemy. more

Oct 24, 2016 3:22 PM Stage

All's well that end's well more

Oct 20, 2016 2:20 PM Stage

If you liked past stage or film versions of Mel Brooks’ The Producers, you’re likely to love the Omaha Community Playhouse treatment. If you weren’t that crazy about it before, you’re still likely to love the Playhouse treatment. There’s s... more

Jun 1, 2016 3:50 PM Stage

When a cult movie becomes Heathers: the Musical and one managed to not join the cult, one brings some skepticism to opening night at the Blue Barn Theatre. I mean, seriously, a musical where a high school kid in a black trench coat starts... more

May 27, 2016 7:47 PM Art

Much of the excitement in revisiting a great classic like Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera comes from anticipation of the most familiar favorite moments. But there’s also the hope of new discoveries, something you hadn’t real... more

Apr 25, 2016 11:13 PM Art

You might expect, given the fame of the film that preceded the play, the most memorable moments in Calendar Girls at the Omaha Community Playhouse to involve the middle-aged ladies undressing for their fund-raising photos. Instead, the nud... more

Apr 25, 2016 9:49 PM Art

For the millions of us who keep revisiting The Phantom of the Opera and the thousands who’ll see it again on its 12-day return to the Orpheum Theater, the magic begins with those ominous organ chords. It continues with such haunting songs ... more

Apr 8, 2016 4:56 PM Arts

The first 150 little girls who showed up for the opening of Cinderella got silver tiaras to go with their fluffy dresses. It’s all very adorable but not necessarily promising to a reviewer whose favorite shows are seldom the stuff that brin... more

Mar 15, 2016 4:01 PM Art

It’s hard to tackle Caroline, or Change, the powerful Tony Kushner musical, head-on. So forgive me for slipping into it sideways. A week ago, it got a rave review by the daily’s Betsie Freeman. That was promising but not conclusive given t... more

Feb 26, 2016 5:49 PM Arts

On a warm weekend in February, with no storms to urge huddling at home, Omaha was blessed with theatrical riches the likes of which we haven’t seen in years. I’ve written with enthusiasm about Frost/Nixon at the Blue Barn and the powerful ... more

Feb 26, 2016 5:36 PM Arts

Newsies is the perfect antidote for musical theater fans who were disappointed recently by Dirty Dancing. The one with dancing in its title offered minimal dance variety, tediously repeating the style of its opening number.   The Disney s... more

Feb 17, 2016 10:31 PM Arts

Frost/Nixon made my first visit to the new Blue Barn Theatre memorable for many reasons worth ranking roughly in order of their impact. First, not Frost despite an appealing performance by Aaron Zavitz as the Brit talk show host, but Nixon... more

Feb 8, 2016 3:48 PM Arts

The male usher smiled when I handed him the ticket and suggested that my gender would leave me massively outnumbered in the audience. At intermission, it’s not unusual to see a long line outside the women’s restroom, a shorter one for the ... more

Jan 25, 2016 8:27 PM Arts

Hilary, we hardly know ye. And now Hilary Adams is gone in only her second season as artistic director of the Omaha Community Playhouse. “Dismissed” was the verb in the daily’s lead sentence. If the Family Feud game show polled people on “... more

Dec 17, 2015 10:22 PM Arts

When Billy McGuigan asked, “How many virgins here tonight?”, a few hands went up and nobody shouted, “None of your business.” He wasn’t wondering about their sex life. Just checking the full house to see how many were attending his Yesterd... more

Dec 1, 2015 2:23 AM Art

New director Hilary Adams promised to honor the traditional treatment that Omaha Community Playhouse audiences expect when they see the 40th anniversary production of A Christmas Carol. Put it another way: What would Charles Jones think of... more

Nov 21, 2015 3:05 AM Art

The promise “You’ll have the time of your life” headlines a piece of Dirty Dancing publicity, and the daily’s GO section hyped expectations before the musical’s Orpheum opening by insisting, “It’ll be the ‘Time of Your Life’ and then some.”... more

Nov 19, 2015 9:08 PM Art

Blend blue-collar Brits with drag queens wearing the title’s Kinky Boots and you get a musical rousing enough to both win a Broadway Tony and a packed house at the Orpheum. This writer didn’t completely share the enthusiasm shown by the au... more

Oct 24, 2015 12:48 AM Arts

Beertown was so ponderously bad in the early going that I thought of ducking out at intermission.  So what kept me from leaving the Omaha Community Playhouse? Well, there’s the problem of writing a review. And there’s the slim hope that th... more

Oct 16, 2015 9:25 PM Arts

Joe Coots was in Baltimore when we talked, but Kinky Boots was headed here so he was busy lining up Orpheum tickets for his Omaha cousins. The musical that swept six Tony awards two years ago and arrives in Nebraska Oct. 20 isn’t the first... more

Oct 8, 2015 12:17 AM Art

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