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Desert Companion

My Space: Myron G. Martin

martin.jpg

Myron G. Martin
Photography by Lucky Wetzel

The personal and the professional — all of it entertaining — mingle in the office of The Smith Center’s boss

Go to Symphony Park, through The Smith Center’s stage door, and up a beautiful elevator — this brings you to the corner office occupied by Myron G. Martin, president and CEO of the world-class performing arts center. He has been involved with the center since the beginning, leading the team that would create the facility that’s brought to town many Broadway-caliber musicals, classical concerts, intimate jazz shows and performances of nearly every kind.

In this office rich with entertainment history, have a seat at the table —  in one of the brown leather chairs in which performing legends have also sat — and discuss Martin’s memorabilia crowding the credenza designed by David M. Schwarz, architect of The Smith Center.

1   Randy Travis’ signed guitar To everyone at The Smith Center, What a pleasure. One of the best sounding rooms we’ve ever worked. God bless, Randy Travis. Before opening night, Travis performed a concert just for the men and women who built The Smith Center. “It was our way of saying thank you. And to fully appreciate that, you have to understand that when The Smith Center was built, we were in a recession. There weren’t a lot of good-paying construction jobs. The Smith Center had something like 3,600 high-paid construction jobs, and these people really cared about what they did and took a lot of pride in this building,” Martin says.

2   Sheet music On March 10, 2012, Jennifer Hudson closed the center’s opening night by singing “Take Care of This House.” The song was written about the White House in the show 1800 Pennsylvania Avenue. “On opening night, Jennifer Hudson applied it to this house, The Smith Center, with the message that we built something for all of us in Las Vegas,” Martin says. “This is a place for people who live here, and that we all should take the responsibility for taking care of the house.”

3   Maquette Benjamin Victor’s sculpture, “Genius in Flight.” If you’ve visited The Smith Center you’ve seen this in the lobby, just much larger.

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4   Photo of Gov. Sandoval “Something we were involved in. I’m proud of that,” Martin says of this photo, along with the pen Gov. Brian Sandoval used to sign a bill into law that helps prevent ticket scalping.

5   UNLV wine bottle A gift when he received a UNLV Hall of Fame Award. Yes, it’s filled with real wine.

6   Camera “It’s my favorite hobby,” he says. You can see the results in Myron’s Cabaret Jazz, where all the photos in the hallways backstage are ones that Martin took of the artists who performed there. “It’s a nice hobby to have when you’re surrounded by great talent every day.”

7   Shovel From the groundbreaking of the Discovery Children’s Museum, which The Smith Center played a big role in designing and building. “As I think back at the memories of The Smith Center, that’s an important one. We couldn’t be happier to have them as our neighbors.”

8   David Letterman cue card “It’s just a fun thing that I’m happy to have,” says this Letterman fan. “I’m a Tony voter, and in the last weeks of David Letterman’s show being on the air, I’m told that this is his last reference to the Tony Awards.”

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