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BRAVO! September 2009

Omaha Performing Arts: Quite A Show!

Now in its fifth season at the Holland Performing Arts Center and the Orpheum Theater, Omaha Performing Arts brings world-class artists Yo-Yo Ma, Pilobolus and the next Broadway blockbuster Legally Blonde The Musical to Omaha.  Serving more than 1.2 million visitors – including nearly 120,000 students - Omaha Performing Arts is rapidly developing a reputation as one of the country’s most vital performing arts institutions.

The Omaha Performing Arts 2009-2010 season opens October 23 at the Holland Center with widely acclaimed group Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues playing a thrilling blend of pristine symphonic arrangements and gritty Chicago blues. Prior to the performance, patrons will have a chance to purchase drinks and appetizers – and enjoy fun pre-show activities. “Corky’s group is just outrageously fun, and the music they play is exhilaratingly good,” said Joi Brown, vice president of programming and education.

On Sunday, November 1, 2009, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas opens at the majestic Orpheum Theater, direct from the Broadway stage. This marks the launch of the national tour, which is sure to shine a positive national spotlight on Omaha and its thriving arts community. White Christmas is a cozy showstopper with songs that are catchy and familiar, plus lavish sets, vibrant costumes and exciting choreography sure to put any family in the holiday spirit. “The nice thing about White Christmas is that I get a chance to do everything. There’s ballroom, there is that real 50s jazz – what we call 50s theater jazz, there’s of course tap. It really runs the gamut,” said Randy Skinner, choreographer for the show when it was on Broadway. Irving Berlin’s White Christmas will be in Omaha November 1-7.

Also in November, Herb Alpert of the Tijuana Brass and his talented wife Lani Hall, a frontrunner of the bossa nova movement, will perform at the Holland’s Kiewit Hall. With eight Grammy® awards and 30 gold and platinum records between them, their legendary chemistry has wowed audiences from coast to coast. 

“Herb Alpert and Lani Hall are two of my personal favorites,” said Joan Squires, president of Omaha Performing Arts.  “I remember my parents listening to ‘Whipped Cream and Other Delights’ and ‘Taste of Honey,’ and I can’t wait to hear selections from their new album in the hall.”  

On December 4, another can’t-miss seasonal show – Holiday Classics with Jane Monheit – will come to the Holland Center’s acoustically acclaimed Kiewit Hall. Monheit’s marvelous voice recalls Ella Fitzgerald, and has established her as one of the jazz world’s foremost vocalists. Her seasonal standards will provide a relaxed, romantic backdrop to the rush of the holiday season.

Omaha Performing Arts offers a bold line-up of artists all season long at the Holland’s Kiewit Hall and Orpheum Theater. They also offer unique programming with their nightclub series, the 1200 CLUB, at the casually sophisticated Scott Recital Hall. Located inside the Holland Center, the 1200 CLUB offers a relaxing way to spend an evening, with table seating, and drinks and food available for purchase.

This season, the 1200 CLUB’s intimate setting is perfect for artists like Lucie Arnaz. She performs on Valentine’s Day, presenting a smoky selection of Broadway, pop, and Latin hits. Another highlight at the 1200 CLUB comes on December 11 with Gary Mauer and Elizabeth Southard. On stage, they were the star-crossed lovers in Phantom of the Opera. Off-stage, they are a delightfully talented husband-and-wife team. It is sure to be a romantic winter evening of Broadway standards by the best in the biz.

Essential to Omaha Performing Arts’ mission is offering compelling educational and community involvement programs, including Master Classes & Workshops and the dynamic Student Matinee Series. Special performances geared just for schools give students an opportunity to experience a wide range of performing artists and ensembles.

This season, Omaha Performing Arts’ Student Matinee Series kicks off with Spanish Harlem Orchestra – a spirited salsa set with Afro-Cuban tempos and Latin Jazz.  Other fine performances in this series are: Shaolin Warriors, Cantus, Phonk by ScrapArtsMusic and Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana. Better yet, the Student Matinee Series is affordable with tickets priced at $4 each.  

Tickets for the Omaha Performing Arts 2009-2010 season are currently on sale with prices starting as low as $19. Omaha Performing Arts also offers patrons the opportunity to create their own season for maximum flexibility and value with Pick 4 or More. By selecting four shows – whether it’s a performance by cello superstar Yo-Yo Ma in March or an evening of Midwestern musings from Garrison Keillor in May – patrons can save at least 15% and enjoy great performances at great prices.

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