Listen

News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV

member station

Desert Companion

2015 Fall Culture Guide: Theater & Dance

waterbythespoonful.jpg

Water by the Spoonful
Courtesy UNLV's Black Box Theatre

Nevada Conservatory Theatre's Water by the Spoonful at UNLV's Black Box Theatre

Visual arts | Music | Theater & Dance | Literature & Ideas | Family, Festivals & Food

A big-deal poet comes to town. Offbeat musicians unite for an evening. Artists show their work, actors emote onstage: fall will be chockablock — that’s right, chockablock! — with culture. Our smartly curated guide will help you make the most of this autumn bounty.


 

{09|10 through 10|03

Younger, hungrier … and they can sing!

If any camp classic was begging to be made into a Vegas musical, Showgirls is it. The 1995 so-terrible-it’s-wonderful movie has beget Showgirls the Musical, sure to feature abundant locals-only winks and nods on the dirty business of pretty dancing. (HK) 5 and 8p, Onyx
Theater, 953-16B E. Sahara Ave., $20, onyxtheatre.com

 

{09|11-27

Support comes from

Clybourne Park

Bruce Norris’s Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatic comedy comes to town at yet another moment when Americans can use a reminder of race’s role in the country’s development. The first act, set in 1959, has a black family moving into a white neighborhood; the second, 50 years later, shows gentrifying whites moving back in. (HK) 2 and 8 p.m., Las Vegas Little Theatre main stage, $21-$24, lvlt.org

 

{09|12

Dia des los vivos

Contrary to popular belief, Mexican Independence Day is September 16 (not May 5). Celebrate this year by watching Ballet Folklorico Martha Luevanos, the original Mexican troupe, perform dazzling traditional dances from the Tarahumara Native Aztec people and Michoacan region. (HK) 6 p.m., Winchester Cultural Center, $7, 702-455-7340

 

{09|18-27

Water by the Spoonful

Two networks intersect inthis 2011 play: an online community for drug addicts and a traditional family. At the center is Elliott Ortiz, returning from Iraq to his Philly neighborhood broken in body and spirit. Playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes won a Pulitzer Prize for this meditation on human connections. Nevada Conservatory Theatre. (HK) 2 and 8 p.m., UNLV Black Box Theatre, $16.50, unlv.edu/nct/r

 

{10|10

Princess, bright and dark

Will dashing Siegfried release beautiful Odette from the curse put on her by evil Von Rothbart? Or will the princess be damned to life as a swan, forever under the sorcerer’s spell? Find out in the Russian Grand Ballet’s performance of Tchaikovsky’s classic, Swan Lake.  (HK) 7p, Henderson Pavilion, $10 and up, 702-267-4849

 

{10|11&18

Toe jam

Seven times, Nevada Ballet Theatre and Cirque du Soleil have fused their respective forms into an acroballetic feast for the eyes and ears. For the eighth time, this year, the companies have created A Choreographer’s Showcase of completely new acts.  (HK) 1p, Mystère Theatre, Treasure Island Hotel & Casino, $25 and $45, nevadaballet.org

 

{10|15-31

Monster moll

In She Kills Monsters, playwright Qui Nguyen doesn’t just pull back the curtain on the world of fantasy role-playing games; he brings it to life on stage through the story of Agnes Evans, who discovers her recently deceased teen sister’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook. (HK) 5p and 8p, Onyx Theatre, $20, onyxtheatre.com

 

{10|15-11/01

The tinker calls

Given the experimental mandate of theater company A Public Fit, not to mention the title of this show (A Summons From the Tinker to Assemble the Membership in Secret at the Usual Place), not to mention its source material (a trial scene in the 1931 thriller M), this full production ought to make for a wild evening. (SD) 8p, tickets and location TBA, apublicfit.org

 

{11|06-22

Changing face

What happens when an Asian-American playwright, who’s been a vocal critic of casting white actors to play Asian characters, accidentally casts a white actor to play an Asian character in one of his own plays? In David Henry Hwang’s semi-autobiographical play Yellow Face, the director covers it up by insisting that the actor’s ancestry as a Jew from Siberia qualifies him. (HK) 2p and 8p, Las Vegas Little Theatre Black Box, $10-$15, lvlt.org

 

{11|07-08

Tchaikovsky, Rodgers and Gershwin walk into a bar…

To the live accompaniment of the Las Vegas Philharmonic orchestra, Nevada Ballet Theatre presents a triptych of George Balanchine’s best-known works. A Balanchine Celebration begins with the acclaimed Russian choreographer’s first American ballet, Serenade, set to Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C. Then, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue switches gears to Broadway composer Richard Rodgers, who included this Balanchine ballet in the musical comedy On Your Toes, which he created with Lorenz Hart. The finale cracks open the American Songbook with an energetic and uplifting dance tribute to George Gershwin. (HK) 7:30p and 2p, The Smith Center, $29 and up, nevadaballet.org

 

{11|13-22

The dissident is here

For its season opener, Sin City Opera presents Gian Carlo Menotti’s first full-length opera, The Consul. The tragic story of a woman trying to leave an unidentified totalitarian country to join her fugitive husband won Menotti the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for music. (HK) 2p and 7p, Winchester Cultural Center, $15, sincityopera.com

 

{11|13

Pitching a Fitz

A quartet of dances pay homage to Ella Fitzgerald in The Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater’s Simply Ella, a one-night-only performance that includes Alvin Ailey’s “Night Creatures” and “Feeling Good” with live singing by Clint Holmes and Reva Rice. (HK) 7:30 p.m., The Smith Center, $35-$125, lvdance.org

ella.jpg

The Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater’s Simply Ella
Courtesy The Smith Center

The Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater’s Simply Ella

 

{11|19 through 12|13

Remote control

Pulled not only from headlines, but also from local reality, the one-woman drama Grounded by George Brant follows a military fighter pilot who’s been reassigned to operate drones from an isolated facility outside Las Vegas. (HK) 2p and 8p, Art Square Theatre, $16-$20, cockroachtheatre.com

 

{12|03-13

The ghosts of Christmas presence

Whatever cultural flavor you use to spice up your December, Charles Dickens’ tale of Ebenezer Scrooge can enhance it. The holiday spirit prescribed in A Christmas Carol — giving, receiving, togetherness — adds a little heart-warmth to any celebration. (HK) 2p and 8p, UNLV Judy Bayley Theatre, $27.50 and up, unlv.edu/nct

 

{12|04-13

Warts and all

The City of Las Vegas’ culture department offers this all-ages family gem: A Year With Frog and Toad, the musical rendition of the Frog and Toad children’s story brought to life by The Rainbow Company Youth Theatre. (HK) 2p and 7p, Charleston Heights Arts Center, $5, artslasvegas.org

 

{01|07-24

Parallel lines

Cockroach Theatre eases audiences into the New Year with a lesson in quantum mechanics, Nick Payne’s 2012 play Constellations, which enacts string theory by showing the infinite possible outcomes of a love story between a bee keeper and a — you guessed it — theoretical physicist. (HK) 2 and 8 p.m., Art Square Theatre, $16-$20, cockroachtheatre.com

 

{01|14-30

Bitch scrap

It’s been satirized with various dolls — from Woody and Mr. Potato Head (his plastic ear on the floor beside his chair) to Mr. Blonde and Officer Nash Barbies — but this treatment of Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 crime film goes for something a little different: gender reversal. The Onyx Theatre’s production of Reservoir Dolls presents the original story with an all-female cast. (HK) 5 and 8 p.m., Onyx Theatre, $20, onyxtheatre.com

 

{02|12-22

Good for the goose

All women are two-timing sluts! All men are cheating scum! Or are they?... Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart gives his answer in Cosi Fan Tutte, an identity-swap comedy about two sisters put to the test by their fiancées. (HK) 2 and 7 p.m., Winchester Cultural Center, $15, sincityopera.com

 

{02|12-28

Scout’s honor

A kinder, gentler Atticus Finch (than the one lately unveiled in Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman) defends a man wrongly accused of rape in Christopher Sergel’s theatrical adaptation of Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Told from Finch’s daughter Scout’s point of view, the play, presented here by the Nevada Conservatory Theatre, exposes absurd adult attitudes about race. (HK) 2 and 8 p.m., UNLV Judy Bayley Theatre, $27.50 and up, unlv.edu/nct

 

{02|23-28

Bridges to somewhere

A tousled, whiskered traveling photographer; an undersexed Iowa housewife; a camera; some picturesque scenery; four days alone in the country. What could happen? Romance! That’s what, in the musical Bridges of Madison County, based on the Robert James Waller novel of the same name. (HK) 2 and 7:30 p.m., The Smith Center, $29-$129, thesmithcenter.com

 

{02|25 through 03|13

Malice in wonderland

Cockroach Theatre brings Jennifer Haley’s creepy near-future thriller, the Nether, to Las Vegas next spring, reminding everyone that the Internet isn’t just for porn; it’s also for addiction, abuse and virtual crime. Prepare for tough issues to be tackled in this exploration of people’s online lives. (HK) 2 and 8 p.m., Art Square Theatre, $16-$20, cockroachtheatre.com

 

{03|04-20

Electric heal

Hmm … what to do, what to do with Thomas Edison’s recent invention of electricity? If you’re a late-19th century physician examining a woman with hysteria, the answer should be obvious: Use it to power a vibrator for her “treatments.” In the Next Room, by award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl, probes all sorts of taboos about women, medicine and sexuality. (HK) 2 and 8 p.m., Las Vegas Little Theatre, $20-$24, lvlt.org

 

{03|10-13

Disaffected truth

Before film director Richard Linklater made it famous with his film adaptation, Suburbia was Eric Bogosian’s play about shiftless 20-somethings in the early ’90s. A central trio of friends haunts the parking lot of a convenience store, trying to get drunk, high, laid — any way out of the cycle of inertia and malaise that keeps them trapped there. Other characters drop by, including a former high school mate and semi-famous rocker, whose success pours lighter fluid on the fire of their rage. Violence gives way to tragedy as the play ends with an unexpected twist. (HK) 2 and 8 p.m., Black Box Theatre, $16.50, unlv.edu/nct

 

{04|08-17

Fur, baby

Plenty of people have fantasized that, with enough love, the beast living under their roof, who leaves beard clippings in the sink and cleans his ears with his car keys, could be turned into a charming prince. Unfortunately, Disney beat them to the rights; fortunately, they can see their fantasy played out in the traveling Broadway adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. (HK) 2 and 7:30 p.m., The Smith Center, $30-$135, thesmithcenter.com

 

Back to top

If you’ve enjoyed this read, wait until you get your hands on a bunch of these reads from contemporary voices mining the good stuff from Las Vegas — all laid out in a gorgeous design experience. Subscribe. It comes to your house. For real!

More Stories

Bombitty
Desert Companion
Feature
Waitress
Desert Companion
Feature
Desert Companion
Feature