November 6, 2015

Dirty Dancing In Omaha

Every so often, a show comes to Omaha that has Girls Night Out stamped all over it.

The latest show to fall into this category is “Dirty Dancing.”

Johnny and Baby in the touring production of "Dirty Dancing." I have heard that Johnny is not shirtless the entire show. Sorry.

Johnny and Baby in the touring production of “Dirty Dancing.” I have heard that Johnny is not shirtless the entire show. Sorry.

I can say “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” to Mr. Wonderful and all I get in return is a blank stare.

Say the same thing to a girlfriend? Knowing smiles all around.

Which is why I’m excited that I’ll be making a Girls Night Out of seeing “Dirty Dancing” when it opens at the Orpheum Theater on Nov. 17. There will be singing along to the music with my group. I will have no problem belting out “Hungry Eyes” with fellow fans of the movie.

 

What’s it about

“Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage” really doesn’t need a description. If you’ve seen the movie, you know the plot. You know the characters – Johnny, Baby, Penny… they’re all there.

The staged production of "Dirty Dancing" was written by the same screenwriter who wrote the film.

The staged production of “Dirty Dancing” was written by the same screenwriter who wrote the film.

And you know the music and the dance scenes.

And you can quote every line from the movie.

019_DG_Tour_Square New Share Images 4

 

It’s pretty faithfully recreated for the stage. The same person who wrote the screenplay wrote this adaptation for the stage. The only difference, I’ve been told (Disclaimer: I work for Omaha Performing Arts, who is presenting this touring production, and thus, I have co-workers who’ve already seen the show and spilled the beans), is that there are added songs that the screenwriter couldn’t get into the movie but could get into this stage show.

"Dirty Dancing" is at Omaha's Orpheum Theater Nov. 17-22, 2015.

“Dirty Dancing” is at Omaha’s Orpheum Theater Nov. 17-22, 2015.

So, basically, if you didn’t like the movie (ahem, Mr. Wonderful), then you might want to pass on this show. If you did like the movie – if you obsessed about this movie – then you’ll want to snag a ticket soon.

Follow #DirtyDancingGNO on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook on Nov. 17 – I’ll be sharing fun Girls Night Out  moments throughout the evening along with some other fellow bloggers thanks to Omaha Performing Arts!

 

If you go

“Dirty Dancing”

When: Tuesday, Nov. 17, through Sunday, Nov. 22 (various times)

Where: Orpheum Theater, 409. S. 16th St.

Tickets: Get your tickets here.

Tip: Bring canned and non-perishable food items to donate to the Shine the Light on Hunger campaign benefiting the Food Bank for the Heartland. Look for the blue barrel in the Orpheum’s lobby.

 

Disclaimer: I was provided complimentary tickets in exchange for taking part in the #DirtyDancingGNO promotion. While I am an employee of Omaha Performing Arts, this post does not reflect any opinions of my employer – all thoughts expressed here are my own.

October 16, 2015

Kinky Boots Is Coming To Omaha

If you’re a child of the 80s, you know who Cyndi Lauper is. You know her music. You know her style.

Cyndi Lauper

If you loved her music then, Listen up. “Kinky Boots” is coming to Omaha’s Orpheum Theater next week and she wrote the score!

I haven’t seen it yet – YET! – but I’ve had her music in my head for the past month. I work for Omaha Performing Arts, the presenter bringing this Broadway touring musical to Omaha, so I’ve heard the songs from this show many, many times.

 

This one especially:

 

They’re fabulous. They’re so Cyndi. They’re so great, they won the Tony in 2013 for best score.

 

“Kinky Boots” was so well received in 2013, it took home six Tonys, including Best Musical. It’s that good.

 

And a warning for people who cry at musicals: One song made me ugly cry and I was just listening to the audio of it. When I hear it performed live, I think I’ll be a total mess.

 

What is “Kinky Boots”?

 

Photo5_KinkyBootsTour_PhotobyMatthewMurphy

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Inspired by true events, “Kinky Boots” takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.

The story is inspiring. I saw the movie, and was thoroughly entertained, so I’m pumped to see this live with Cyndi’s music.

 

If you go

Lola in the Broadway touring production of "Kinky Boots" is played by Kyle Taylor Parker. Photo by Matthew Murphy

Lola in the Broadway touring production of “Kinky Boots” is played by Kyle Taylor Parker. Photo by Matthew Murphy

“Kinky Boots”

When: Tuesday, October 20, through Sunday, October 25; performances are Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 1:30 and 7 pm..

Where: Omaha’s Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.

Tickets: Get tickets here 

   

Disclaimer: I’m an employee of Omaha Performing Arts, but I was invited to write this post as a blogger, not as an employee. So this does not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employer – they are my own. I’m being provided complimentary tickets to the performance in exchange for promoting the show.

September 10, 2015

Competitive Wine Tasting For A Cause

Do good and drink wine.

Now there’s a philanthropic idea I can stand behind.

Allow me to introduce you all to Bacchanalian Society of Omaha. They throw competitive wine tastings that benefit local nonprofit organizations.

bacchanalian

The Fall 2015 Gathering is coming up – Oct. 8 – and they invited me to attend so you guys can hear about it. Twist my arm, right?

 

Here’s the lowdown

1. All Bacchanalian events raise money for a different charity. They try to vary between different types of causes, but all directly serve Douglas, Sarpy, and/or Pottawatamie counties. The Fall 2015 Gathering benefits the Literacy Center

2. Prices to fundraisers are kept low to attract younger do-gooders and the rest of us who’d love to be more charitable but can’t afford the price of $100+ gala tickets.

 

About Competitive Wine Tastings

Photo courtesy The Bacchanalian Society of Omaha

Photo courtesy The Bacchanalian Society of Omaha

 

I was intrigued by this too, so I asked Katy Spratte, Bacchanalian Society of Omaha Vice President, to give first-timers a primer on what to expect and some tips for bringing the winning wine.

  1. Teams of 1, 2 or 3 people bring three bottles of the same wine fitting the event’s theme. For the Fall 2015 Gathering, white blends will be featured.
  2. Two of those bottles are bagged (to hide what they are) for the tasting; the third is set aside for the winner.
  3. Every attendee gets a set of voting cards, three green for the wines they like, and one red for the one they don’t. 
  4. Start tasting some of that wine, y’all.
  5. Vote.
  6. The teams that brought the five highest ranked wines divvy up each team’s third unopened bottle.
  7. The lowest ranked wine will be returned to the team that brought it.

 

Tips to winning this thing

  1. Look for wines with mass appeal. Think smooth and mellow stuff.
  2. Since we’re talking whites here, make sure you chill your bottles before the competition.
  3. Wines have ranged from $4 a bottle to $100… most expensive doesn’t always mean better. Katy said the last winner of a white theme (2014’s “West Coast Whites”) won with an $8 bottle purchased at Cubby’s in the Old Market.
  4. Local or Midwestern wines haven’t fared well at past events, so consider that when making a purchase.

 

Spirit World in Aksarben and Corkscrew in the Blackstone District are offering 10% off for all “bach” attendees who purchase their competition wine there; just mention Bacchanalian Society of Omaha.

 

If you go

Bacchanalian Society of Omaha Fall 2015 Wine Gathering

When: Thursday, Oct. 8; doors open at 7 p.m. and bottles popped at 7:30.

Where: Hot Shops Art Center, 1301 Nicholas St.

Cost: Early birds can register as individuals for $20; price goes up to $25 later. Teams of 2 or 3 can register for $57. Register here

August 3, 2015

#35Adventure Update: Yoga On Water

For those of you keeping track at home, I’m about a month into my #35Adventure.

The 35 Adventure

 

The first item checked off my list was to try stand-up paddleboard yoga. That sounds rather daunting to try right out the gate, amiright? How many of you have even tried stand-up padleboarding let alone tried to combine it with some interesting poses? Me neither.

I was surely going to fall in, knowing how unbalanced I am just walking down a sidewalk.

Yet, there I was on a hot Sunday evening in July, willingly climbing on to a paddleboard outfitted with slip resistant yoga mat on it. The Neighborhood. Offshore invited me to try out one of their classes at Lake Cunningham, and they seemed to have confidence in a newbie like me out there.

Standup paddleboards on the shore of Lake Cunningham in Omaha.

Standup paddleboards on the shore of Lake Cunningham in Omaha. The one on the left is outfitted with a yoga mat and anchor.

Initial feelings: Nervous. Totally unsure of myself. And flustered, because I had arrived late to class and had to paddle on my knees on my own to meet the group, and I didn’t anticipate floating so far from where I dropped anchor so I wound up right in the middle of the circle between the instructor and the class. So many thoughts in my head for a yoga session.

And slowly, those thoughts started to drift away. I felt unsteady still but there was now some confidence that if I moved slow enough, I’d stay on the board.

I noticed the breeze. I relished letting my fingers dip into the water during certain poses.

My view during The Neighborhood. Offshore yoga class.

My view during The Neighborhood. Offshore SUP paddleboard yoga class.

And then an amazing things happened: I stood up.

Sounds pretty basic, but think about it. Our instructor told us for the move, we had to get from being on all fours, to standing, and the only trick to it was to fully commit. Just get up and stand.

And I did. And I didn’t fall.

I felt like a badass.

That’s the only description I can come up with.

Not very yoga-like, this new attitude, but it did set the mood for Warrior 2 pose.

By the end of the one-hour session, I was standing up on the paddleboard, navigating my way back to shore. All I needed was a cool theme song playing as I neared shore.

One hour and my confidence got a big boost.

If only all of my adventures ended like this, right?

 

If you want to try this adventure for yourself, here are the details:

The Neighborhood. Off Shore 

Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga

1 hour SUP Yoga (group session) – Cost is $30 and includes a half-hour of paddleboarding after the one-hour class. All equipment provided. Private group sessions are available. Details.

Paddleboard rentals are $12/hour; get a monthly membership pass and you can get free rentals every Tuesday.

What to expect: Most people in my class wore yoga attire for hot weather, or like me, shorts and a tank over a swimsuit. You’re welcome to get in the water to cool off during the class, as one woman did, or after, as I did. Bring along a water bottle. You’ll be provided a waterproof case for you phone, if you want to bring that. You know you want to take a badass selfie after class.

Who to bring? I did this solo and didn’t mind it one bit. Yoga’s a pretty introspective thing to begin with. This class also is a good girls’ day activity. I could see couples renting a paddleboard each for an active date.

 

More #35Adventure News

I checked off another item off the list: Visit The Mystery Bookstore. Not exactly an “adventure” adventure, it was something I’ve been meaning to do for – wait for it – SEVEN years. Maybe longer. Long ago, I asked the freelance book reviewer at The Daily Nonpareil where she found her mysteries, many were from small publishers. Her answer was The Mystery Bookstore,  1414 S. 13th St. It’s a small local store with new and used books, and friendly cats. I fell out of my mystery phase, but if I get back into it, I know I’ll return. I did buy a couple chapter books for the kids.

 

The third item checked off my list: Riding the indoor Ferris wheel at Scheels, 17202 Davenport St. This was a fun one to do, since I took my 3-year-old with me. Strange it took this long to ride it, it’s only 50 cents a ride. Totally worth $1 to see Mooch’s smile.

I also decided to add a couple more items to the list – I only had 20 when I first published it, leaving room for things I knew I didn’t know about yet. So, I’ve added:

21. Try an escape room adventure

22. Try soccer golf

23. Try bubble soccer

April 7, 2015

Girls Night Out To Mamma Mia

“Mamma Mia” is one of those Broadway shows that have been around for decades and every time you meet a woman who hasn’t seen it, you’re a little surprised. But they’re out there, so I’m guessing when the Broadway touring production stops in Omaha April 24-26, there will be pockets of newbies having a ball watching it for the first time.

 

"Mamma Mia" runs April 24-26 at Omaha's Orpheum Theater.

“Mamma Mia” runs April 24-26 at Omaha’s Orpheum Theater.

I’ll be there on opening night. Omaha Performing Arts, who is my employer and the presenter of this show along with Broadway Across America, asked me and a few bloggers to write about the show before it comes to Omaha. I’ve seen it once already and I have a few opinions on it, so I agreed to it.

 

What you need to know about “Mamma Mia”

"Mamma Mia" is about friendship and the bonds between mothers and daughters.

“Mamma Mia” is about friendship and the bonds between mothers and daughters.

  1. It really is a great girls night out show. This is one you’ll want to see with friends, your sister, your mom…anyone but your husband. I took Mr. Wonderful to see this bright, cheerful musical when I was a young newspaper reviewer who always wanted her beau to accompany her to shows no matter what. He kinda dampened my fun (not once would he join in with me in singing “Dancing Queen”). He’s not the target audience; it just wasn’t what he’d call a good time. While he rolled his eyes, all around me groups of women were laughing, dancing, having a ball. Lesson learned.
  2. It’s all ABBA music. You probably already know this. The creators faithfully kept the ABBA songs whole and managed to write a musical around them. It’s not a jukebox musical, but a traditional musical whose story is moved forward each time someone sings a song. It’s a fun time if you enjoy an ABBA song or two (or the whole catalog); it’s a drag if you don’t. Haters gonna hate.
  3. There is a plot to the musical. It’s not complex, and its meaning will seem more profound if you have had a drink before the show, but there’s still a nice storyline to it. It’s about mother-daughter bonds, the bonds between friends, and getting older (but not getting old).

Which circles me back to why this is a great girls night out show: No guy can relate to the difficult but profoundly meaningful relationship that is the mother-daughter relationship.

 

What guy wouldn't want to see a musical with ABBA music that focuses on female friendships? I mean, really.

What guy wouldn’t want to see a musical with ABBA music that focuses on female friendships? I mean, really.

Maybe I’ll see you there on April 24! I won’t be there with my husband.

 

If you go

“Mamma Mia”

When: Friday, April 24, through Sunday, April 26. Performances are Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 1:30 and 7 p.m.

Where: Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.

Get tickets 

Tip: Do not wait to get your tickets! Tickets are selling well and will not get any cheaper.

 

August 19, 2014

Celebrating At Hiro 88 With Sushi, Cupcakes

The Omaha Bloggers Network – #blogomaha – celebrated its first birthday over the weekend.

Representatives of Omaha Bloggers Network met at Hiro 88 on Aug. 17, 2014 to celebrate a year of #blogOmaha. Photo courtesy Joanna at Makingmine.com

Representatives of Omaha Bloggers Network met at Hiro 88 on Aug. 17, 2014 to celebrate a year of #blogOmaha. Photo courtesy Joanna at Makingmine.com

We celebrated at Hiro 88 in the Old Market – timing it nicely with their Sunday Happy Hour. I’ve been there during a weekday Happy Hour and loved the chill vibe (and the inexpensive food and drinks).

The Hiro 88 location in the Old Market.

The Hiro 88 location in the Old Market.

The restaurant provided the sushi for us to sample – boat loads of delicious sushi. Cooked sushi. Raw sushi. Vegetarian sushi. Cream cheese filled sushi.

A boat of sushi.

A boat of sushi.

I love trying new foods, so I went right for the new-to-me rolls like Hiro’s Crunch Roll and the Spider Roll (first time trying fried soft shell crab). I’m usually content with the sushi standards like tuna rolls, but that Hiro’s Crunch Roll was fantastic.

There were a few in our group who shied from the raw fish. For them, they were satisfied with the variety of pickled vegetable rolls and avocado and cucumber rolls.

Sushi selections at Hiro 88 in the Old Market of Omaha.

Sushi selections at Hiro 88 in the Old Market of Omaha.

There were also other appetizers on the happy hour menu – I’d recommend the crab rangoon and edamame (salted soybeans in the pod). If you bring kids here, those two are easy foods to introduce to them first.

Crab Rangoon at Hiro 88.

Crab Rangoon at Hiro 88.

And, being Happy Hour, some of us ordered cocktails off the Happy Hour menu. I tried the mango mojito. Not bad, but I think next time I’ll stick to a regular mojito or a Kirin beer. I’m not as frou frou with my drinks as I thought I was.

My mango mojito and a few of my Happy Hour companions, Lauren from  curtainandpen.com and Leslie from momontherocks.com.

My mango mojito and a few of my Happy Hour companions, Lauren from curtainandpen.com and Leslie from momontherocks.com.

A birthday party isn’t complete without a sweet dessert at the end. CupCake Omaha provided the delicious treats.

CupCake Omaha, located in the Old Market, helped us celebrate with a selection of their tastiest creations.

CupCake Omaha, located in the Old Market, helped us celebrate with a selection of their tastiest creations.

It was hard to choose. But not really. I always go with chocolate. (list of all of their cupcakes)

CupCake Omaha's Oreos Cookies & Cream cupcake.

CupCake Omaha’s Oreos Cookies & Cream cupcake.

This Oreo cookies and cream cupcake had a delicious, not-too-sweet filling. I recommend it. Be forewarned, it is messy to eat. I’d cover my kids with a drop cloth before letting them eat one of these.

I ended up bringing a salted nut roll cupcake home to share with my husband. I didn’t want to share it. It was that good.

 

If You Go

Hiro 88

Where1308 Jackson St. and 3655 N. 129th St. (the original location)

Connect: Website Facebook Twitter

 

CupCake Omaha

Where: 501 S. 11th St.

Connect: Website Facebook Instagram

 

History of #blogOmaha

When I started thinking about blogging, long ago, I didn’t know of many Omaha-based bloggers. I certainly didn’t know any of them personally.

I began my homework: Pinning links to different Omaha-based blogs as I stumbled across them – it took some “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego” sleuthing to find some of them (Curious what I found? Here’s the Pinterest Board of Omaha Bloggers). Then, one day in the summer of 2013, Erin from Her Heartland Soul (back then, she was Girl Gone Veggie) contacted me – and the Omaha Bloggers Networks began to take shape.

One day in August 2013, a small group of ladies gathered at Ingredient at Midtown Crossing to put faces to blog names. We had some mommy bloggers, foodie bloggers, fitness bloggers, makeup bloggers and humor bloggers. Many were seasoned bloggers; others were like me – just figuring things out.

The group has grown! There are more than 100 in our social network – find a sample of who’s out there at OmahaBloggers.com.

Long ago, I’d read that it didn’t pay to be competitive among bloggers. That if we lifted each other up, we’d all benefit. So, I’ve tried to be mindful of that – sharing opportunities when I could, sharing tips, encouraging others. And it has paid off. I’ve gotten so much from the group, growing as a blogger and as a person.

I’m not going to lie, though, it is hard not to compare myself to others in the group. There are seriously talented writers among the Omaha bloggers, incredible photographers, social butterflies with huge followings … and they all motivate me to do better.

More From Oh My! Omaha:

Omaha Food Trucks – An Introduction

Fall Foods In Omaha Restaurants

Girls Night Out In Omaha