“Beauty and the Beast,” Ralston Community Theatre, Ralston Performing Arts Centre, 8969 Park Drive, Friday through July 28. Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $20 adults, $18 students and senior citizens. Information and reservations: ralstoncommunitytheatre.org or 402-898-3545.
A Disney musical based on a classic French fairy tale, this is the story of a prince who is turned into as beast by an enchantress as punishment for being selfish and mistreating others. He can become human again only if he earns the love of the young woman he has locked up in his castle, but time is running short. It’s a charming and beautiful show, with humans playing inanimate objects in clever costumes. Alan Menken wrote the music, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice wrote the lyrics and Linda Woolverton wrote the book.
Todd Uhrmacher is directing the Ralston production, with music direction by Chris Ebke.
“Into the Woods,” Papillion-La Vista Community Theatre, SumTur Amphitheatre, 11691 S. 108th St., Friday through July 20. Showtimes: 8 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Tickets: $18 VIP, $14 reserved, $10 general admission. Information: plvct.org.
Suzanne Withem is directing this production of the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical based on fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault. It features main characters from “Cinderella,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Rapunzel” and “Jack and the Beanstalk.” The quest of a baker and his wife to start a family ties the story together.
Liz Stinman is music director.
“The Pirates of Penzance,” Lofte Community Theatre, opens July 20. Information: lofte.org or 402-234-2553.
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This complete guide of local music, movies, dining and entertainment will have you weekend ready.
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"Aladdin" grabs you from the moment the curtain rises on a stage filled with brilliant color. This show requires performers to be expert vocalists, athletic dancers and comic actors, and, for the most part, this touring cast is up to the challenge. Read more
"Return to Niobrara," deals with issues that unfortunately are as pertinent today as they were when Chief Standing Bear sued General George Crook in the 1870s: human rights, racism and stereotypes, among others. It's undoubtedly one of the best shows of the past year. Read more
Despite a lack of scenery and trims to the script, this production of "South Pacific" had a lot of heart and energy. Read more
What a story "I and You" is, complete with an ending that stunned everyone in the premiere-night audience. And what a group of actors, directors, designers and technicians the theater has chosen to tell it. Read more
"Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" is a raw, honest play, performed by actors who understand that. If you're used to rainbows and bluebirds, it will rattle you. But nonetheless, it is a worthwhile production. Read more
"Of Mice and Men" is a faithful version of John Steinbeck's legendary novella, with a fine cast of actors, fabulous music evocative of the period and a theater space ideal for the 11-member cast. Read more
"The Doll-Maker’s Gift" looks at the impact of pogroms on Russian Jews in the early 1900s. But it has more to say about kindness and hope, helping adults and children alike believe that the world may just hold more good people than bad. Read more
There isn’t a dud in the cast of "On Your Feet." The touring musical about Gloria and Emilio Estefan has lots of energy, a bit of heart and enormous appeal. Read more
The story behind "The Bridges of Madison County" isn't any more compelling than it ever was. But the Playhouse show, with its first-rate vocal work, acting and production values, is undeniably stunning. Read more
"Come From Away" is a warm and witty look at the generosity of a Canadian town to stranded jet passengers during 9/11, and inspires one to be a more generous, caring person. Read more
"One Man, Two Guvnors" was ably directed, features a supporting cast every bit as special as the lead actor and captures the best of British comedy in a side-splitting production. Read more
"Dragons Love Tacos" is aimed squarely at kids. It has an uncomplicated and somewhat repetitive kooky story that doesn’t move too fast. Though I found my mind wandering at times, I derived my joy from seeing the kids' reactions. Read more
"Men on Boats" tells a historical story in an innovative way, and the direction and acting are superb. But figuring out the underlying message was a bit challenging. Read more
"The Woodsman" is everything theater can be. It doesn't need elaborate or expensive embellishments or more than an hour and change to tell a warm, fully realized and absolutely irresistible story. Read more
"Miss Saigon" has some absolutely breathtaking music, and cast members of the touring Broadway show have some absolutely breathtaking voices. The show's subject matter is still relevant today, and it doesn't pull any punches. Read more
"Ragtime" offers a portrait of immigration that contradicts some of the narratives today. It's been my experience in this job that the Playhouse always saves its season-best for last. That's true again this year. Read more
Actor Joey Galda is a stitch as the evil Miss Trunchbull in this stage version of Roald Dahl's "Matilda." The rest of the cast, including kids, is pretty special, too. It also has probably the best set I've seen all year. Read more
Omaha South High School is using profits from "West Side Story" toward building a visual and performing arts addition on the south end of its campus. The diverse, well-acted, timely production is proof that the money will be well-spent. Read more