* It takes some creative planning to catch all seven theater openings originally scheduled in the week starting Thursday, Nov. 11, and that assumes you’ve already caught Brigit’s Julius Caesar , the Playhouse social comedy A Thousand Clowns and Bellevue Little Theatre’s The Philadelphia Story , my favorite as you’ll see elsewhere on this page. Noises Off at the University of Nebraska at Omaha poses no scheduling problems with its first-of-two preview performance next Wednesday, Nov. 17. It’s always good to catch this madcap comedy early, before the mayhem disables cast members. Look for a student-designed revolving stage. And the other seven can be cut to five if you don’t have toddlers who want to monkey around with Curious George Live at the Mid-America Center, or indulge in Veggie Tales Live! Sing Yourself Silly at the Bellevue Christian Center, Nov. 16 only. That leaves two very familiar stories that never fail to inspire, both opening in Council Bluffs. Chanticleer brings Atticus Finch back to stand tall in a Southern courtroom in To Kill a Mockingbird , the stage version of Harper Lee’s wonderful book. And Iowa Western Community College will permit us to dream the impossible dream with Don Quixote and his creator Cervantes in Man of La Mancha . Martin Scott Machitto directs a cast including non-student Joel Kreifels of Nebraska City in the title role. Add SNAP! Productions’ pill-popping parody, Valley of the Dolls (read more about it here next week), and it helps that the hot UNO Mavericks hockey team is on the road, freeing another night for play-going. * It also helps that one scheduled opening, The Vertical Hour , was delayed in another good news/bad news scenario for SkullDuggery Theatre. The bad news involved losing its lease after renovating the space downtown on 19th Street and then facing unexpected costs that prevented a planned move to 15th Street. The good news came from the fact that its ambitious season with an impressive lineup of directors included Dr. Cindy Melby Phaneuf for this drama. She’s on the faculty at UNO and arranged to move her play there when the other venues became unavailable. More about The Vertical Hour before its Nov. 17 opening. And one more piece of bad news: If you missed the final performance of The World Goes Round last Sunday, you missed one of the most appealing cabaret-style musical revues in a long time. In brief, Gordon Cantiello matched his earlier successes with the likes of Bee Hive and Smokey Joe’s Café , thanks to five local vocal talents. Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to coldcream@thereader.com.


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