The numbers are in from The Lion King’s run at the Orpheum Theater and the figures are staggering. The return four-week run grossed $5,621,022 at the box office and played to more than 79,000 people.  The final tally not only broke the Orpheum Theater’s house record but also is became the highest-grossing theatrical production in Omaha history. The previous record holder: $5.5 million… by The Lion King in 2007. The only difference was that 2007 production had 37 performances to reach that mark, this year’s run only needed 32. With Book of Mormon, War Horse, and Wicked all coming to the Orpheum next season, it will be interesting to see if any of those productions can knock the King off its throne.

Those who were fortunate enough to make it down to the Blue Barn Theatre this past weekend to catch William Luce’s Bronte starring Jill Anderson were certainly not disappointed. I saw the show in 2011 at the Joslyn Castle and was expecting a similar experience this time around. Instead, Anderson used the intimacy of the Blue Barn’s 86-seat playing space to its full advantage.  Lighting was subtle but effective and the Anderson’s portrayal of Charlotte Bronte reflected as such. Where previously Anderson played Bronte with grander gestures and louder tone in order to fill the playing space of the Castle, this Bronte was much more effective in her subtlety. The change in tone brought a delicacy to the famed author that properly reflected her writing: sharp, perceptive, clever, and artful.

The show also brought a firm reminder for all patrons that can’t be stated enough: remember to turn off your cellphones folks. Trust me, you never want to be ‘that guy’ who’s enjoying a piece of theatre when all of the sudden your Bruno Mars ringtone interrupts a performance. It’s a no-win situation for all involved.

Keep an eye out next week for a couple of world premieres in the theatre scene. Omaha Community Playhouse will be presenting A Night with the Family by Matthew Ivan Bennett and Shelterbelt Theatre will be premiering local author Beaufield Berry’s Psycho Ex-Girlfriend.

Don’t forget to head down highway 75 and check out Bellevue Little Theatre’s production of Sugar, a musical based off the classic comedy Some Like It Hot. The production will be Bette Swanson’s last as producer after 27 years at the theatre.

Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to

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