Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Omaha Christmas Traditions - Old & New

I welcomed December with two very Christmas-esque events. On Saturday night my parents, Cooper and I went and saw A Christmas Carol at the Omaha Community Playhouse. It's a show that I hadn't seen in about ten years and one that Cooper actually worked on back in the late 90's (he did lighting and sound. Oh, and he was also one of two people who sat underneath Scrooge's bed to move it around the stage). 

We went and ate at Mark's in Dundee first which was absolutely delicious. Sometimes I forgot how good that place is. Here's a picture of dessert - a chocolate caramel torte which was seriously one of the best desserts I've had at a restaurant ever. Also that's my dad's spoon diving into it, he couldn't even wait three seconds for me to take a goddamned picture.

After dinner we headed to the playhouse where not much had changed from my last visit. I only took a few photos since they don't allow photography during the production. 

Ok, so the production itself wasn't the best thing in the world. Sure, there were some laughs but mostly they were cheap slapstick moves. Now before you call me a Scrooge, overall it was a good-hearted production and the children in the audience seemed to really enjoy the Christmas splendor which was cute. 

Also, we just so happened to be at the 1,001 show which is crazy. Can you believe that this production has been running for that long? Sure the actors, sets, and audience have changed over the years, but the message behind the story will always remain the same - be kind and helpful to others when they're in need and redemption is possible, but you have to want to be a better person. 

images from a google image search

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention we were sent home with a loaf of Christmas bread from Rotella's which I guess made a fine reward for spending two hours at the theater. Sometimes I just don't think the theater is for me. Well, at least these "classic" productions. I find my mind constantly wandering, thinking, "who are these people and what do they do in 'real life'?" It's incredibly distracting. There were a few things that were changed about the show that I was unsure about. For instance, when Marley's ghost appears to Scrooge for the first time in person he is now accompanied by a group of small zombie imps. Is this a reaction to  the current zombie phenomenon? Has The Walking Dead really affected our culture that much? Or were there just some extra kids they needed to find roles for? I left with many unanswered questions, and of course that loaf of bread.

Then on Sunday morning I popped over to the Holiday Market in Aksarben. The event was coordinated through the Omaha Farmer's Market meaning the usual suspects from summer were out and about selling their homemade foods and goods. 

When I arrived outside of the event tent the smell of roasted, cinnamon laced nuts filled the air. Nothing got me in the holiday mood on this 60 degree day quite like that welcoming, spiced smell. There was a older gentleman sitting outside as well who was wailing on a harmonica (is that the right term?) so I decided to sit there and listen to him before I entered the packed tents. 

As I walked through the tents it was nice to see so many different people interacting with these local artists and food artisans. They walked around with their giant rolls from Parthenon and lined up at Erick's Enchiladas stand for the free samples. I even walked away with a little holiday present for Mr. Bebop. A chevron patterned collar from Mazzy Co. 

I feel so lucky that we live in a community which takes the time and money to help organize and fund events like these which help people support local arts and businesses. It's so important during the holidays to get off your computer and get out and shop at your local boutiques. Without your patronage all of these great events and people will disappear.

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