Her Plea to “Send More Sky”

No offense to directors intended, but I’m not usually influenced by their program notes.  This time, though, Susan Clement-Toberer grabbed me with three words that closed her comments on the new Blue Barn play, Silent Sky. She wrote, “Send more sky,” the plea from playwright Lauren Gunderson’s key character, Henrietta Leavitt, who searches […]

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Those Hills?

The Sound of Music first played the Orpheum Theatre a few years before we saw Julie Andrews as the movie’s Maria in 1965…and almost every year for the next half century.  And I’d interviewed the real Maria Von Trapp, so that up-close-and-personal impression of a tall, dignified woman with her gray […]

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Holiday Classic

Start with the songs from the greatest tunesmith in American history. He gave us not just the nostalgic title song and the others in this holiday musical now playing the Orpheum, but “God Bless America,” “Easter Parade” and hundreds more. And revisiting Irving is not even the best thing about […]

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Cabaret

Shakespeare wasn’t thinking Cabaret but got it half right when he suggested, “All’s well that ends well.” In the case of the Sam Mendes conversion of the Kander-Ebb-Masteroff musical into an aptly sleazy and decadent Berlin at the dawn of Nazi genocide, all’s well that both starts and ends well. Not […]

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Anticipation and Appreciation

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 really noticed before that adds to your appreciation of the musical. Both rewards were abundant in the […]

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Girl Power

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 nudity is so discreet that the “no front bottoms” demand by the least shy model (Jessie played by […]

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