Desert Companion

All Out

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Photo: Las Vegas Water Lantern Festival
A cultural event guide for October and November

 

Ballet
October 6-9
Dracula

You don’t have to like ballet to enjoy the hell out of Dracula, what with its  dark, foggy set, creepy classical music, over-the-top costumes, and flying main character. But if you are a fan of dance, you will absolutely devour Ben Stevenson’s choreography set to the music of Franz Liszt. Nevada Ballet Theatre first thrilled crowds with the ballet about love, lust, and — yes — bodily autonomy, in 2018. Current events since then will definitely inspire a fresh take. (Heidi Kyser) Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center, 7:30 and 2p, $35.95-154.95, thesmithcenter.com

Photo: Alicia Lee
 

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Festival                            October 7-9
Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival

Huzzah! Who’s ready for some full-contact jousting? It’s time for the annual Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival at Sunset Park. Be greeted by knights in shining armor, feast on an obscenely huge leg of fowl, rub greasy elbows with kings and queens. The three-day outdoor festival features multiple stages with more than 50 shows a day, with historical reenactments, aforementioned jousting, pageants, magic, belly dancing, and flame-eating. Guests can shop the wares of more than 100 blacksmiths, jewelers, potters, woodworkers, stained-glass designers, and other artisans. And this year, sponsor Clark County has brought back the yurt camping package, allowing the truly devoted to immerse themselves in the experience … even while they sleep. (Jana Marquez) 10a-10p Friday and Saturday, 10a-5p Sunday, Sunset Park, $15-35, lvrenfair.com

Photo: PhotoFM
 

Reggae
October 7-9
Reggae Rise Up Vegas Music Festival 

Kiss another hot summer goodbye with some cool beats — Reggae Rise up Music Festival is back, with almost twice as many acts slated to perform as last year! Slightly Stoopid returns to the festival for the second year in a row, accompanied by fellow headliners Rebelution and Stick Figure, among more than two dozen other bands. While you’re there, grab some grub from one of the food trucks, get souvenir merch from the festival’s own apparel brand, and raise a glass to reggae’s Las Vegas return. (Anne Davis) 1-11:30p each day, Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, $65-175, reggaeriseupvegas.com
 

Festival
October 8
Asian Night Market

Get ready for dalgona coffee, tang yuan, and dumplings for miles. After a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID pandemic, the annual Las Vegas Asian Night Market is back. Nonprofit advocacy organizations the Asian Community Development Council and OCA Las Vegas organize the event to showcase local and authentic cuisine from Asian and Pacific Islander restaurants and businesses. And while attendees digest, they can enjoy games and cultural performances as well. (JM) 6p-12a, CSN Charleston Campus, $5-88, asiannightmarketlv.com

 

Opera
October 8
BelleSongs

If you, too, get a little nostalgic during the fall, take a short jaunt into the

past with BelleSongs, the final recital at the Women Composers Festival. Combining the works of historic female musicians (such as African American composer Florence Price) with those from more modern voices (think: acclaimed soprano Linda Lister), BelleSongs take the audience from the 19th century to the present day. Sung by powerhouse soprano Kara Grover and accompanied by pianist Lois Henry, this performance closes the femme series with a bang. (AD) Opera Las Vegas, visit operalasvegas.com for ticket info

Photo: BelleSongs

 

                                

Theatre

October 14-November 6
Three Days of Rain

Richard Greenberg’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama Three Days of Rain, for its first staged production of the ’22-’23 season. Toggling between two time periods, the play tells the story of three children, their parents, and the legacy of close, complicated relationships. First staged in 1997, the story’s appeal can be seen its ability to have drawn Julia  Roberts to New York for her Broadway debut in a 2006 revival that also starred Bradley Cooper and Paul Rudd (but nevertheless left critics unimpressed). The presentation will be APF’s first on a new stage, having left its longtime venue on Maryland Parkway. (HK) Super Summer Theatre, 4340 S. Valley View Blvd., #208, 7 and 2p, $25-40, apublicfit.org

Photo: A Public Fit

 

Folk Music
October 15
Cabrera Conducts Appalachian Spring

The Las Vegas Philharmonic, led by Donata Cabrera, delivers a dose of Americana in this fall concert with songs inspired by bluegrass, folk, and our sacred music tradition, including Jennifer Higdon’s earthy Concerto 4-3, a work inspired by the Smoky Mountains. The headliner piece is none other than Aaron Copland’s high-spirited Appalachian Spring Suite. 7:30p, Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center, $29-121, lvphil.org

Photo: Shervin Lainez Courtesy Smith Center

 

Emo Rock
October 21
Strange 90s with Sleeping with Sirens, Story of the Year, and Summer Set

Missed out on When We Were Young tickets? Take heart — you can still put those skinny jeans and black eyeliner to good use. The emo pop-rock nostalgia festival announced a series of side shows highlighting favorites from the 2000s in a more intimate setting. Our favorite is headlined by Strange 90s, a cover band with rotating members from other alternative groups including Bowling for Soup, Goldfinger, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and Anberlin. (JM) 8p, Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, $27.50-35, brooklynbowl.com/events

 

Literature
October 22
Las Vegas Book Festival

This year’s annual trip down a bookworm hole features romance writers Xio Axelrod and Rachel Van Dyken, feminist theologian Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez, memoirist Reyna Grande, and chef Hubert Keller. But the really big draw will be Carl Bernstein, the investigative journalist of Watergate fame, interviewed by local political wonk Steve Sebelius. The one-day event will also have the usual book signings, writing workshops, and children’s sing-alongs. (HK) Fifth Street School, 10a-7p, free, lasvegasbookfestival.com

 

Art
November 4
UNLV Art Walk

Show your support for the arts and culture in Southern Nevada by strollingaround UNLV campus? Yep. That’s the gist of the university’s fall Art Walk, a drop-by event that showcases dance, film, music, painting, sculpture, and more at venues scattered around the campus. Attendees may be serenaded by violins at one stop and watch actors perform a one-act play at the next. It’s a live buffet of creativity! (JM) 5-9p, UNLV Academic Mall, free,  unlv.edu/finearts

Photo: UNLV Fine Arts

 

Jazz
November 9
Nnenna Freelon, Time Traveler

“A universal love letter to anybody who’s lost someone,” is how NnennaFreelon describes her recent album, Time Traveler.Inspired by the loss of Freelon’s husband to ALS in 2019, her smooth jazz melodies and lyrics on this album touch on themes of grief, the inevitable passage of time, and (always) hope and healing in the midst of suffering. (AD) 7p, Myron’s at The Smith Center, $39-59, thesmithcenter.com 

Photo: Chris Charles

 

 

 


Festival
November 19
Las Vegas Water Lantern Festival

Legend has it that a couple thousand years ago, Chinese Jade Emperor Yu Di wanted to burn down a village as revenge for killing his crane. But his sympathetic daughter warned the villagers to light all their lanterns that night, and the emperor was fooled into thinking the place was already on fire. In one of many contemporary interpretations of the resulting tradition, the Las Vegas Water Lantern Festival invites participants to launch eco-friendly rice paper lanterns — symbolically carrying their woes — into the water (which, organizers assure us, staff will clean up after the event). Their troubles float away, leaving peace and happiness in their place. It’s a family-friendly event that’s meant to bring people together through the magic of shared struggle and renewed hope. (JM) 2-6p, Sunset Park,$25-55, waterlanternfestival.com

Photo: Water Lantern Festival

 

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