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BRAVO! Dec 2009: The Arts in Omaha

Makers of the Season Bright

(page 2 of 3)

Omaha Community Playhouse

Like turkey with all the trimmings at your parent’s house and great-aunt Ruby’s fruitcake, A Christmas Carol at the Omaha Community Playhouse is a holiday staple.  Now in its 34th year, it’s the perfect anecdote for the bah humbugs.  According to Betsye Paragas, Marketing Director for the Omaha Community Playhouse, Dickens’s classic tale of redemption “is very important to people who are bringing their children to see the production they saw as children.”  Though sets and costuming has been freshened in recent years, its basic formula remains steadfast.  “We are very, very cognizant of tradition,” acknowledges Paragas.  “This city demands it.”  A Christmas Carol continues on the Main Stage through December 23.

The Howard Drew Theater is the venue for the interactive Beatles show Yesterday and Today.  It stars Billy McGuigan who has previously wowed Playhouse patrons with his take on Buddy Holly in Rave On.  Says Paragas: “Billy McGuigan always come back as a Christmas present to the Playhouse.”  Yesterday and Today runs December 4 though 31.

For more information, contact the box office at 553-0800 or visit www.OmahaPlayhouse.org.


The Durham Museum

Durham Museum is home to Omaha’s largest indoor Christmas tree, the focal point of the museum’s Christmas at Union Station celebration.  The forty-five foot beauty may be the initial draw for visitors to the Durham this holiday season, but there is much more to captivate those who walk into the art deco building.  The Ethnic Holiday Festival will be held on December 4 and 5.  Featuring ethnic food and entertainment from around the globe, the festival highlights how the various cultures of our world celebrate the holidays.  Music, dance, crafts and traditional dress showcase each ethnic group.  In conjunction with the weekend long festival is the Ethnic Tree Exhibit, which runs until January 3.  Each tree in the exhibit was decorated by local ethnic community groups to represent its country of origin.

Family nights with Santa will be held on December 1, 8 and 15 from 6-8.  Children can crawl up on Santa’s lap and tell him what they hope to find under the tree come Christmas morning.  Storytelling, holiday crafts and music add the festive setting. 

The Omaha- Council Bluffs Miniature Guild has created a Christmas Miniature Exhibit, running through January 3.  There will be diminutive medieval castles and rooms representing classic books. 

For more information, call 444-5071, or visit www.durhammuseum.org.


Joslyn Art Museum

If you only think of Joslyn as a destination for exemplar visual arts, think again.  Its atrium is an ideal setting for performing arts.  Each December, Joslyn hosts “Holiday Under Glass.”  Local choral groups, vocalists, bell choirs, perform over the lunch hour in the museum’s center atrium. The space an airy feel, and when it snows outside, it feels like you are at a concert in a snow globe.  It is a glass ceiling of a good kind.

Treat yourself to the latest exhibit.  One featuring contemporary art, The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States, runs through December 13.  Also showing throughout the month of December is Wizards of Pop: Sabuda & Reinhart.  Or revisit one of your favorite permanent displays.  Cue up at the café for lunch, take your tray to one of the tables in the atrium, and relax to the sounds of the season.  Performances are as follows: December 2: Creighton University Chamber Choir, December 4: Papillion- La Vista High School Vocal Music; December 9: The University of Nebraska at Omaha Choir and Chamber Orchestra; December 11: St. Wenceslas Catholic Handbell Choir; December 16: Bellevue High School 12; and December 18: Central High School Singers and Bel Canto.

For more information, call or visit www.joslyn.org.

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