Opera Omaha is welcoming the public to two free events this week leading up to the April 19 opening of “Bluebeard’s Castle.”
A Tuesday wine and cheese reception at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, 724 S. 12th St., will feature stage director Andrew Eggert and scenic designer Julia Noulin-Merat, discussing the design process for “Bluebeard’s Castle.” The reception begins at 6:30 p.m. and the talk is at 7.
Friday, conductor Hal France will speak at a reception at Joslyn Castle, 3902 Davenport St. France will play recorded excerpts from the score and discuss what’s behind Bartok’s operatic masterpiece. Nils Haaland, who will narrate the opening of the opera, also will appear.
Cast announced for Playhouse’s ‘Wizard’
Sally Neumann Scamfer will play the Wicked Witch of the West and Charlotte Hedican is Dorothy Gale in the Omaha Community Playhouse production of “The Wizard of Oz,” which opens May 31 and runs through June 30.
Noel Larrieu, Kevin Olsen and Noah Diaz will play the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow, respectively, and Dawn Buller-Kirke is Glinda the good witch. Don Keelan-White was cast as the wizard, and Jerry Van Horn is Uncle Henry.
Twenty-five more actors fill the children’s and adult ensembles.
UNL’s Dawes to share poetry at Kaneko
Kwame Dawes will read from his poetry at noon Wednesday at the Kaneko-University of Nebraska at Omaha Library, 1111 Jones St.
Dawes, a native of Ghana, spent most of his childhood and early adult life in Jamaica. He writes poetry, fiction, nonfiction and plays. His writing reflects the rhythms of Jamaica and reggae, he said.
His book “Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius” remains an authoritative study of the lyrics of reggae superstar Marley. Dawes was lead singer for a reggae band, Ujamaa.
The free reading is part of the monthly Wednesday Words, co-sponsored by the Nebraska Arts Council. The bring-your-lunch readings feature award-winning writers from Nebraska. Dawes is a professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
‘Invisible War’ looks at rape in military
The Hope Advisory Council and the Domestic Violence Council will present a screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary feature “The Invisible War” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Aksarben Cinema, 1067 S. 67th St.
Tickets are $15. A panel discussion will follow the screening.
“The Invisible War” talks about an epidemic of rape within the ranks of the U.S. military and how it is frequently mishandled, tolerated or covered up by officers. Profound personal and social consequences are also documented.
Mini-musical ‘Noah’s Ark’ at schoolhouse
An original mini-musical, “Noah’s Ark,” will be presented downstairs in the Old Avoca Schoolhouse at 2:30 p.m. April 14. Light refreshments will follow the performance.
David Seay wrote the lyrics and Deborah Greenblatt the music, which includes blues, Cajun, calypso, tango and other genres. Instrumental accompaniment will include violin, guitar, harmonica, bouzouki and more.
Avoca, Neb., is in southern Cass County on the 13C spur, a mile south of Highway 34. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and students. Information: 402-275-3221 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Theaters bring Manet exhibit to Nebraska
Exhibition, a series showcasing the world’s greatest fine-art exhibits, will bring “Manet: Portraying Life” to the big screen at local movie theaters.
The Manet art exhibit, which is getting rave reviews at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, will get an on-screen tour at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Oak View 24 and Village Pointe in Omaha and at the Lincoln Grand in Lincoln. It is the first exhibition devoted to Edouard Manet’s portrait work, showcasing more than 50 works.
For ticket information, contact the theater or go online to fathomevents.com.
Grace’s Chorale offers free spring concert
The Grace University Chorale, returning home from a seven-city spring tour, will present a free concert this afternoon.
The 4 p.m. concert at First Covenant Church, 201 N. 90th St., showcases 38 voices from the private Christian university in Omaha.
The program includes selections from Fauré’s “Requiem,” “The Gaelic Blessing,” “Crucifixus,” “Pilgrim’s Hymn” and more. The concert’s theme is “Christ the Alpha and Omega.”
• “42nd Street,” Papillion-La Vista Community Theatre, 2 p.m. April 20 and 21 and 7 p.m. April 22 at Papillion South High School, 10799 Highway 370 in Papillion. Show runs July 11-14 and 18-20. Information online at plvct.org.
• “V of Geese,” Shelterbelt Theatre, 3 p.m. April 20 and 7 p.m. April 22 at the theater, 3225 California St. Show runs July 11-Aug. 4. Information: 402-341-2757.
• “Leaving Iowa,” Bellevue Little Theatre, 7 p.m. April 14 and 15 at the theater, 203 W. Mission Ave. in Bellevue. Show runs May 31-June 16. Information: 402-214-3963 or email email@example.com
— Compiled by Bob Fischbach