Fall is the live theater fan’s favorite time of year…at least it is for me. The 2018-2019 season starts at most theater. If you need help narrowing down what to see, or have no idea where to even start, let me share with you the shows I think are the best to see through November. Here are my top fall shows to see in Omaha.
Let’s begin with theater:
Omaha Community Playhouse
Top Pick: “Fun Home” opens this weekend and runs through Sept. 18. It’s a five-time Tony Award winner, and one I heard A LOT about when I was working at Omaha Performing Arts. It’s about a woman exploring her childhood playing in her family’s funeral home and discovering her own sexuality. It’s not for kids, by the way.
For the kids: “Shrek The Musical” runs Sept. 14 through Oct. 14. I’ve seen the Broadway tour with my son and it’s a fun one. It has the familiar characters and full of jokes. The only thing to note, and I don’t know how it will be done locally, but the dragon scared my kiddo back in the day. Just FYI.
Related post: Guide To Raising A Theater-Goer (includes tips on judging age-appropriateness of a show.
Omaha Performing Arts
So many shows! How to pick a favorite?
Top Pick: “The Phantom of the Opera” is a classic and if you haven’t seen it, you’ve got to catch the Broadway tour of it when it’s at the Orpheum Theater Nov. 21 through Dec. 2. The set is lush, the music is phenomenal and the acting, and the story is captivating. Definitely a good date night option. Second place goes to Bill Murray, Jan Vogler & Friends and the “New Worlds” on Sept. 30. It’s probably more music than literature, but come on, it’s Bill Murray.
For the kids: iLuminate is a dance troupe you may have seen on “America’s Got Talent.” The twist is they’re in glow-in-the-dark suits. They perform on Oct. 6 at the Orpheum Theater. Second runner-up is the “Wild Kratts 2.0!” on Nov. 16. The real life Kratt brothers will be on stage, and it’s good show if your kid is a fan.
Top Pick: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Favorites” is a black light puppet show that was popular when it first was performed in the metro. See it again, or for the first time, Sept. 28 through Oct. 14. It’s just a smidge over an hour, so it’s good for all ages.
Theater honorable mentions
- – “Big Fish: The Musical,” Bellevue Little Theatre, Sept. 14-30
- – “Circle Mirror Transformation,” Blue Barn Theatre, Sept. 27 through Oct. 21
You might be interested in have a post-show treat. Check out my guide to the best places to get dessert or snacks after going to the theater. I include Midtown and downtown Omaha suggestions.
Moving on to live music, here are few concerts and performances I think you all would love.
Top Pick: With or without kids, the show to see for those a reluctant to go to a symphony show is “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets™ in Concert.” The orchestra plays the score while the movie plays on a big screen. Imagine what that sounds like? Fantastic, I tell you. Two chances to see it: Nov. 24 and 25.
For the kids: I’ve written about the Omaha Symphony Family Series before, and I cannot emphasize it enough that you should take your kids to at least one show. And if it’s just one show, make it their annual Spooktacular. It’s fun, kids can dress up (the musicians do too), they can enjoy pre-show activities in the lobby, and it’s music they will recognize. The show is Oct. 22 at a kid-friendly time of 2 p.m. (and it’s short).
Omaha Performing Arts
Top Pick: If it was acceptable, I would put it all in caps lock: Go see Black Violin on Oct. 4 at the Holland Center. The talented Kev Marcus and Wil B. perform a blend of classical and hip hop music that is so cool, so outstanding, that I dare any of you to go and not like it. Plus, this show is great for families as much as it would make a great date night.
Top Pick: I’ve been to my fair share of operas thanks to a previous career in reviewing shows for a newspaper. Opera is hard to go to if you’re first-timers, so when Opera Omaha puts on something like Opera Outdoors, consider it an open invite to hear opera’s greatest hits in a casual setting. The absolutely FREE event is Aug. 24 at Turner Park at Midtown Crossing.
Music honorable mentions
This category is tough because who knows what you all are into. Country? Pop? Christian rock? I’ll just picks some concerts that seriously age me:
- – Smashing Pumpkins, Aug. 20, CenturyLink Center Omaha
- – Counting Crows & +Live+, Sept. 23, Stir Concert Cove
- – Ray LaMontagne, Oct. 22, Holland Performing Arts Center
- – Cursive, Nov. 18, The Waiting Room
- – John Prine with special guest Conor Oberst, Nov. 17, Holland Performing Arts Center
Stay in the know
Get more posts like this delivered straight to your inbox twice a month. Subscribe to the FREE e-newsletter here.