Blue Barn’s Christmas comedy sells out quickly


December 6th, 2012

Omaha, NE – The Blue Barn Theater is staging a comedy for the holidays, and the “choose-your-own-ending musical murder mystery holiday whodunit” is drawing sold-out crowds.

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Who Killed Santa? is a comedy that features iconic Christmas characters like Rudolph the Reindeer, Charles Dickens’ Tiny Tim, and of course, Santa. But, as the title suggests, the story is not as traditional. Santa gets killed, and the audience gets to vote on who killed him. “It’s funny to see the audience … each night they choose a different… character,” said Susan Clement Toberer, producing artistic director of the theater. Toberer said Tiny Tim and The Little Drummer Boy, who is also featured in the show, are the most likely to be voted as Santa’s likely killers. “Rudolph and the Snowman haven’t been voted on too often,” Toberer laughed.

“Who Killed Santa?” sold out faster than any production the Blue Barn Theater, which seats about 95 people, has staged apart from “Spring Awakening,” which was produced in May. (Courtesy photo)

Depending on the audience’s pick, the actors continue along one of four different story lines. Toberer said the play, which was written by Wisconsin playwright Neil Haven, is typical of the fun, funky and eccentric Christmas shows that Blue Barn is popular for. So popular in fact that Who Killed Santa? has sold out all of its shows. (Patient patrons can line up 45 minutes before the production to be placed on a waiting list.)

Toberer said audiences are drawn to the Blue Barn because it offers unique, progressive theater in Omaha. “We’re all a bunch of New York-trained actors that moved here 24 years ago,” Toberer explained, “and we bring truly the closest you can get to New York style Off-Broadway theater here in town. We do shows that nobody else does” locally, she said.

As the Blue Barn heads into its 25th year, Toberer said the theater has plans to raise funds for a new home on 10th and Pacific in Omaha’s Old Market. That’ll be the first new theater built in Omaha in several years, she said. Who Killed Santa? runs at the Blue Barn’s current home a couple blocks away on 11th and Jackson through December 16.

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