The requested block type (Excerpts Plus) does not exist. Please re-activate the block plugin or child theme if you wish to use this block again.

Razzle Dazzle

Tony Award-winning musical is a smash at the Omaha Community Playhouse

By Brandon Geary

Mayhem as entertainment has always been a bit baffling, but I’ll be darned if it doesn’t work like a charm every single time. “Chicago” the musical is riddled with bullets, greed, revenge, and general nastiness and is also one of the most popular Broadway musicals of all time.
Currently playing at the Omaha Community Playhouse, this show is ridiculously ambitious. To pull off the cabaret-style antics and the over-the-top musical numbers requires scale and spectacle a lesser community theatre wouldn’t dare attempt to produce. We should be unbelievably grateful we live in a city with a community playhouse so devoted to excellence. They did the play massive justice by pushing the boundaries of what someone might expect from a hometown cast and crew, which is truly nothing new for them.
The lighting was expertly crafted and executed, the music was masterfully performed and the acting was extraordinarily superb. With a musical of this sort, precision is paramount in order to manage all the split-second subtleties that serve to color a really marvelous world. Every minor joke and major plot shift hits its mark spot-on and nary a facial expression was frivolous or misplaced.
The two leading ladies, Melanie Walters and Kirstin Kluver, were boundless in exuberant pomp and glorious, mischievous energy. The closing number requires the two of them to see the show out by merely dancing through the finale. They exuded such a powerful ease and pleasure that the audience shot to their feet the moment the two women exited the stage. It was a fantastic display of true skill and vivacious fun.
This was characteristic of the entire show. There was not a moment of sluggish pace the whole evening. It was unmitigated entertainment.
Due to some on-stage violence and unsavory sexual material this musical may not be appropriate for young children but is incredibly delightful for adults.

Wild West Show

Joslyn opens new photography exhibit
By Edward Watkins

The American West has long been the subject of many artists. Perhaps the most notable artist was Ansel Adams, whose works extensively documented parks such as the Grand Canyon, the High Sierra and other national parks before they were impacted by tourism.

But by the 1970s, American photography underwent a paradigm shift from natural landscapes to the contemporary surroundings of urban and suburban developments.
This new movement is the focus of “American Landscape: Contemporary Photographs of the West,” a new exhibition at the Joslyn. The exhibit was developed by the Joslyn’s new chief curator Toby Jurovics.

“We all have this desire for wilderness and open space. We also live in an industrialized society. It places a lot of demands on resources. How do you build in this kind of dialogue about industry and exploration and settlement?” Jurovics said.

Jurovics has long had an interest in the American West starting with his first display in 1993.

“As a curator or historian most of us tend to gravitate towards a particular field. It has to be something you feel passionate about,” Jurovics said. “I’ve always been interested in landscape and the environment. There are several great narratives you could look to in American art and one of them is the West.”

The event showcases more than 80 pieces from 14 contributing artists. Notable examples include works from Mark Ruwedel, who focuses on the railroads’ impact on landscape, and John Fitch, who focuses not on naturally-occurring landscapes but interior shots of period-specific buildings. Other exhibits utilize tintype, a form of photography that creates a direct positive on sheets of iron metal in place of traditional canvas.

“It’s about trying to find photographs that are thematically consistent and create a seamless dialogue in the gallery,” Jurovics said. “A lot of landscape work has become overtly political, and while I agree with it, I think in the context of an art museum what I was interested in was finding work that seeks a balance between those two poles,” Jurovics said.

Though this is his first exhibition as chief curator at the Joslyn, Jurovics has held more than 60 events at various museums including the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Princeton University.

“I’ve never been more relaxed before a major exhibition,” Jurovics said. “We have a great staff here and we’re ahead of the game which is a nice position to be in. It’s always exciting to have an exhibition open, but by the time it’s on the wall you’re already thinking about your next show as well.”

In the end, Jurovics hopes the exhibit, like all of the displays at the Joslyn, will leave a lasting impression on those who come to see it.

“I think we have the same goal for any show no matter what the theme,” Jurovics said. “We hope that you will see something in the museum that will either delight or inspire or cause you to think or reflect seriously about something. It’s something you take out of the museum with you.”