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Peppi returning to his proper place at La Casa Pizzaria
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Peppi returning to his proper place at La Casa Pizzaria

The hotel in Omaha's Blackstone district is thought to be the original home of the sandwich.

About six months after being injured, Peppi is ready to greet pizza fans again.

The happy-go-lucky, mandolin-playing icon greeted customers on a large sign at La Casa Pizzaria for 63 years before a garbage truck tipped him over last November.

His injuries were non-life-threatening, but he’s been in the shop ever since. Workers gave him a makeover, repainting him, repairing his metal and replacing his neon lights.

On Monday, he will return to his longtime home at the corner of 45th and Leavenworth Streets, and the sign declaring “I’ll be back” will disappear, according to a press release.

Omaha Girl Scouts prepare virtually for online fundraiser

Omaha Girl Scouts have been working with local artists on Zoom to create artworks that will be sold online later this month.

The girls and the artists usually create their works in person for artVenture, the Scouts’ annual fundraiser, but the pandemic prevented that.

Instead, they collaborated virtually on small pieces that then were mailed to widely known area artists, who fashioned them into finished works for a silent auction.

The artists also made their own original works for the sale, said Shannon Peterson, marketing director for Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska.

Girls and artists from other states were able to participate because it’s online, she said.

The virtual auction will start on April 22 and will wrap up on April 24 with a livestreamed event at 7 p.m. on Facebook. People who attend can purchase tasting boxes featuring beer, wine, mocktails, appetizers and snacks.

And the dessert? Girl Scout cookies, of course.

Registration information is at bit.ly/artVenture2021.

Now serving: PappaRoti’s signature coffee buns

A coffee shop and bakery chain that has locations worldwide now is open in Omaha.

PappaRoti launched business this week at 723 N. 114th St., in the Miracle Hills Shopping Center. It’s known for its signature buns, especially the coffee-caramel bun, and also serves fresh juices, smoothies and milkshakes, among other drinks.

The first PappaRoti opened in Malaysia in 2003 and now has more than 400 outlets. Others in the United States are in Michigan and Illinois.

Hours in Omaha are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

‘The Drawer Boy’ opens at Omaha Community Playhouse

Another play with only a few actors is now on the Hawks Mainstage at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

The theater revamped its original season to meet pandemic safety guidelines. The previous mainstage show, “The Last Five Years,” had only two cast members.

“The Drawer Boy,” by Michael Healey, features Olivia Howard, Erik Quam and Mark Thornburg.

It’s the story of a young actress who moved in with two aging bachelor farmers in rural Ontario to get inspiration for her play. One suffered a traumatic brain injury in World War II and he finds solace in hearing the others retell stories. The actress includes one of the stories in her play and changes each of their lives forever.

Masks are still required at the Playhouse and all groups of family and friends will be seated at least 6 feet apart. The play also will be available for streaming on April 16. Tickets start at $36 and prices vary by performance. Visit omahaplayhouse.com for more information.

Opera Omaha offers writing workshop

If you have a poem inside that’s dying to get out, Opera Omaha has an event that may just coax it to emerge. Pat McEvoy, a core teaching artist with the Nebraska Writers Cooperative, is presenting a free, hourlong workshop this month on writing poetry that can be set to music.

The virtual workshop will include prompts to help writers and a pen-and-paper session. Participants also will share their works for discussion. It takes place at 7 p.m. April 20 and is free on Zoom. No previous writing experience is necessary.

The company also is bringing back Opera to Go concerts in May and June. The short performances were held last year in alternative venues such as Turner Park and the parking lot of the Gotta Be Me nonprofit. For more info on the workshop and the concerts, visit operaomaha.org.


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Betsie covers a little bit of everything for The World-Herald's Living section, including theater, religion and anything else that might need attention. Phone: 402-444-1267.

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