* More theater lovers have attended those “21 and Over” evenings at the Omaha Community Playhouse each month, organizer Amy Lane reports. And the Live Karaoke Broadway Night at Jan. 5 at 7:30 p.m. should bring an even bigger crowd than the 100 or so in the past. Note that it’s a Wednesday, not the usual Monday. More important, it falls in the post-holiday gap before new productions open later in January. And those with songs in their hearts will be asked to email their plans so music director Jim Boggess doesn’t start from scratch with whatever lands on his piano. One surprise to me, and to director-in-residence Lane, was that a simple one-night reading of a play, even without admission charged, still requires full royalty payments. So far, nightly donations have come close to covering fees, usually around $100. We’ll report more about these “21st century plays for a 21st century audience” later, but it’s still experimental in the amount of staging that goes beyond reading from a music stand. For example, the recent treatment of Mauritius by Theresa Rebeck featured some staged combat, probably fighting over a valuable postage stamp if one recalls a synopsis of the play. It winds up late in the spring with that Tony-winning drama, August: Osage County . * We saluted theater volunteers in this space last week, ending with the show going on at the Playhouse despite nasty weather. And so it did, but not without a few no-shows. Stage manager Steve Priesman (featured on this page) appreciated that stage crew members who couldn’t make it called early enough to ease adjustments. It wasn’t quite as easy in the costume department where the Christmas Carol cast was short a few dressers. (One assumes they still managed to get dressed.) Down in the Old Market, the Blue Barn was sold out Saturday night, so still had a good crowd of 50 or so for Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol. Callers saying they’d stay home were invited to use their tickets for the Sunday afternoon show. * If you haven’t seen Camille Metoyer Moten on stage since her award-winning role in the Playhouse musical, Ragtime, that’s because she hasn’t recently done any theatrical roles. But she’s been busy doing cabaret with accompanist David Murphy. Last week, she was singing the Downtown Rotary Club, closing with a Murphy composition that makes one of the season’s most common wishes: “I want a simpler Christmas this year.” Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to firstname.lastname@example.org.