Tag Archives: Other Peoples’ Dogs

Ways to Warm up your Weekend

February 22, 2018 by

PICK OF THE WEEK—Saturday, Feb. 24: Yeah, baby. Feeling nostalgic for 1960s London? OK, probably not, but you should still experience Perfect Pour: A Craft Cocktail Competition at Slowdown, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Your favorite bartenders will be showing off their significant skills, competing to make the best gin cocktails you’ve ever had. We’re not talking about your momma’s G&Ts here, this is quality stuff. You’ll also get the chance to bid on local art and listen to music from the Beatles tribute musicians, the Come Together Band. All this fun isn’t just so you get to use the word “shag” again. It’s to raise money for the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. Ticket sales were extended, so get yours here.

Thursday, Feb. 22: Need a little pop of happiness in your life? Then catch The Shineys at the Harney Street Tavern Thursday night at 9 p.m. These women are known for powerhouse harmonizing and catchy ukulele beats. They come fierce with both original songs and unique takes on several covers. Forged from the fires of their respective troubled times, their music is a surefire pick-me-up to get you over the dreariness of the work week and ready for the weekend. But don’t take our word for it. Head downtown, grab a Manhattan, and listen to them tell you all about it. Find out more about the duo here.

Friday, Feb. 23: Lent is all about the fish. But it doesn’t have to be. Save a Fish, Eat Pasta! Lenten dinners at St. Stanislaus Church start this Friday and last through March. If fish just isn’t your thing but you still want the camaraderie of eating Friday night dinner with a group of like-minded fun seekers, get to St. Stans tomorrow. Enjoy pasta, Orsi’s pizza, and/or handmade pierogis. And of course, beer. Get there by 5:30 and skip the dinner planning. Learn all about it here.

Friday, Feb. 23 and Sunday, Feb. 25: More music, because music heals and with all the sickness going around, who doesn’t need a little healing? Matt Whipkey is just the kind of soul-healing, unabashed rock and roll to get you back on your feet. Literally. You can see his always-energetic performance at Reverb Lounge, starting at 9 p.m. on Friday (with Stephen Sheehan) and 6 p.m. on Sunday (with Charlie Ames), just in case you miss it the first time around. Or if you just want to see an encore performance. Get more info here.

Saturday, Feb 24: Music fans, you heard right. Country music singer and songwriter Dylan Schneider is going to be at the Bourbon Saloon this Saturday. This rising star is on tour and he’ll be right here in Omaha this weekend. This fan fanatic is breaking out on his own and you can be there to see him live. Get more information and your tickets here now, because they’re going fast!

Photo contributed by: Omaha Public Library

Sunday, Feb. 25: Is there a more relaxing way to end the weekend than by reading to a dog? Well, sorry adults! The Read to a Dog at the Omaha Public Library event is really more for the children. Take the kids to the Milton R. Abrahams branch and let them learn to read by entertaining the incredible registered therapy dogs graciously brought in by their owners. Plus, who’s to say you can’t read along? To find out more about this puptastic experience, bound on over here.

Nils Haaland

August 23, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Stage and voice actor Nils Haaland has assembled an array of roles. He’s played Pupcake, the precocious, rambunctious, and lovable puppy companion of Strawberry Shortcake. He’s also played infamous Nebraskan serial killer Charles Starkweather.

Haaland is a founding member of the Blue Barn Theatre. He studied acting at the State University of New York (SUNY) with fellow Blue Barn founders Kevin Lawler and Hughston Walkinshaw. Sitting down at a large table at the Blue Barn, Haaland said his acting career started around age four, when he performed in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

He also remembers portraying one of the children killed in the play Medea.

“I was not a very good slaughtered child,” Haaland says. “In a very somber moment, the audience sort of erupted in laughter because I was kind of fidgeting around.”

At SUNY Haaland studied under acting coach George Morrison, whose pupils include Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, Edie Falco, and Stanley Tucci.

After Haaland graduated from SUNY, he lived in Staten Island with Hughston Walkinshaw. Kevin Lawler called Haaland and asked if he would be interesting in starting a theatre company in Omaha. Haaland weighed the options: starting a theatre company in a city with a noticeably cheaper cost of living, or continue to plug away in New York.

NilsHaaland2“It’s really beneficial to be there (in New York), but you’re really at the mercy of so many factors,” Haaland says.

“To be able to determine your own art … that sounded well worth the journey.”

Since the late 1980s, Haaland has acted at both the Blue Barn and the Omaha Community Playhouse. He also was a voice actor for DIC Entertainment, whose animated shows include Inspector Gadget, The Real Ghostbusters, and Strawberry Shortcake. When it came to voice auditions, Haaland said following one’s first impulses was key to landing a role.

“To try to do a horse whinny, or a mountain lion roar, or a dinosaur roar…with a British accent…who might be a little morose.”

Haaland’s work has gone beyond acting into screenwriting. He currently is working with writer Amy Biancolli, helping her develop a sitcom tentatively titled Other Peoples’ Dogs.

Haaland has also been known to come up with a name or two, such as the Blue Barn Theatre.

While at SUNY, Haaland was supposed to present an acting piece to the class. He was totally unprepared. He gave an on-the spot monologue in front of the class. When he finished, the professor asked him about the piece. Haaland said it was called the “Blue Barn” play. Susan Clement-Toberer, who is now producing artistic director of the Blue Barn, was in class at the time.

“I knew he was lying,” Clement-Toberer says over the phone as she was in the middle of rehearsals for the play Heathers.

Hence, when there came a time to pull an acting miracle out of thin air, it was known as “Blue Barning” to the founding members. But Clement-Toberer said the name also reflected the general spirit and Haaland’s contributions to the Blue Barn.

“It’s kind of a way of creating a spur of the moment, organic experience,” Clement-Toberer says. Encounter

Visit bluebarn.org for more information.