Omaha Performing Arts brings world-class entertainment to its two distinct but complementary venues. Built in 1927 as a vaudeville palace, the fully remodeled Orpheum Theater evokes the gilded concert halls of Europe with magnificent chandeliers; gracefully vaulted ceilings; and intricate, decorative metalwork. The newly built Holland Performing Arts Center surrounds the action with modernist elegance, featuring clean, geometric lines and a lobby with floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The main Peter Kiewit Concert Hall's gently curving shoebox design ensures clear sightlines and comfortable feet, and organically placed wooden panels sharpen the acoustics and bestow the space with a warm glow.
At Pizza Shoppe Collective, guests don’t just have to rely on their food to feel good. That’s because the restaurant features a second identity as a space for local artists and non-profits, fostering an artistic and communal feel that pervades the stage and connected restaurant. Before catching a show or event, clients can split one of the house’s signature pizzas loaded with ingredients that emulate the flavors of Cuban sandwiches, slathered barbeque, and classic Italian dishes. Outside of pizzas, the chefs incorporate a full menu of sizzling oven-toasted subs, traditional pastas, and an expansive wine and beer list that offers the perfect pairing or a very complex eye exam.
When it was originally built as the Riviera in 1927, The Rose Theater played host to vaudeville skits, stage acts, and feature films in opulent surroundings of murals, oriental rugs, and a ceiling decorated with electric stars and clouds. However, the stock-market crash of 1929 forced the theater’s sale, bouncing it from owner to owner until Rose Blumkin and her family saved it from a giant wielding a wrecking ball as a mace. Renovated to its former glory, the theater is now a place where professional stage productions and drama courses give children the chance to enjoy and participate in the arts of the stage.
When the Joslyn Art Museum opened in 1931, more than 25,000 people lined up to see the exhibits. It had taken three years of construction and $3 million to create the splendid art-deco building, which was inlaid with more than 38 types of marble imported from around the world. The force behind this enormous effort was philanthropist Sarah Joslyn, who had the building built in honor of her late husband. But instead of standing front and center, Sarah quietly mixed in with the crowd. "I am just one of the public," she said to people who recognized her.
Sarah truly viewed the museum as a gift to the people of Omaha. And for more than 80 years, they've cared for it like one. With the 58,000-square-foot addition addition of the Walter & Suzanne Scott Pavilion, a sculpture garden, and other enhancements, the museum has grown with time. Visitors today find more than 11,000 works of art inside, with collections and exhibitions that include pieces of ancient Greek pottery, Renaissance and Baroque paintings by Titian and El Greco, and Impressionist works by Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Claude Monet.
After admiring the peasant portraiture of 19th-century French realist Jules Breton, guests can cartwheel over to a collection of 18th- and 19th-century American artwork, which includes portraits by James Peale and landscape images by Thomas Cole. Pieces from the 20th century from artists such as Grant Wood transition visitors into viewings of more contemporary works or attempts to find a 3-D Magic Eye picture in Jackson Pollock's Galaxy.
Round-Abouts Restaurant's signature 3-inch Rounds—featuring a fluffy, homemade crust—conceal savory fillings such as cheese steak, roast beef, or pepperoni with pizza sauce ($2.25 each). Combo meals cater to hunger-pang decibel levels with a choice of up to three pies with a drink and a side of green salad, fruit salad, a cup of soup, or chips ($5.50–$8.25). For a more angular entree, sandwich fixings such as pulled pork and chicken salad nestle into fluffy ciabatta buns ($2 for half; $3.50 for whole). Sweet-teeth can delve into 1.5-inch yo-yo dessert pies, which pervade mouths and unlicked fingers with chocolate and fruit treats.