The reigning queen of queer pop has been lauded by critics for her cleverly barbed (but always undeniably catchy) dance songs, not to mention her sometimes startling emotional wisdom. The title of her latest EP — a three-song bubble machine optimized for huggy living-room dance hijinks — says it all: I’m Too Sensitive for This Shit. (AK) 7p, House of Blues, $32-$142, houseofblues.com
Nevada P.E.P is non-profit group whose mission is to assist families with disabled children. The agency provides information, training, referral assistance and more. The disability categories they assist with include learning, emotional, autism and vision and hearing loss.
It’s amazing what a life-changing moment it can be when you choose to open your heart to a child in need of a temporary home! There are approximately 3,000 children in the care of the Clark County Department of Family Services, ranging from toddlers to teenagers. Some are in foster homes and others need foster homes. Find out how you can help at a foster care info session.
The Community Cat Coalition of Clark County 1s an all-volunteer organization working to save feral and free-roaming cats through a trap, neuter and return program. C5 can use folks to help with the trapping and returning; caring for cats pre and post op, and co-ordinating with members of the community.
Science Cafe Las Vegas meets on the first Wednesday of each month for an in-depth discussion of a particular topic led by a local scientist, with audience participation an important part of that discussion. All ages welcome.
Be transported back to the era of Las Vegas as a burgeoning railroad town in the Boomtown 1905 exhibit. Walk through re-creations of the original train depot, Arizona Club, Majestic Theatre, First State Bank, Lincoln Hotel and a mercantile. Encounter interpretive, interactive exhibits and period décor to learn about life in 1905 - 1920 Las Vegas.
It’s a family-drama double bill as two Black Mountain Institute spring fellows gab about their most recent novels. Ko’s The Leavers — winner of a PEN award honoring social justice literature — tells the entwined stories of a Chinese immigrant mother and her American son (adopted by a white family) as they try to find each other. Arnett’s Mostly Dead Things is a funny, moving tale of family disintegration and taxidermy set in, of course, Florida. (SD) 7p, The Writer’s Block, free, thewritersblock.org
Police officers who work as partners can form bonds that go beyond friendship, fraternity, even love — but when those bonds break, the shockwaves are powerful. What happens when the trust, loyalty, and mutual respect between two veteran cops is tested by a painful truth? That’s the question facing Chicago police officers Joey and Denny in A Steady Rain. Based on an anecdotal story about serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, A Steady Rain explores the fallout when the officers respond to a call involving a young, frightened Vietnamese boy and an older man. The older man claims to be the boy’s uncle and convinces the officers to return the boy to his care. How Joey and Denny deal with the aftermath of their decision tests their moral core. (AK) Feb 7-23, 7:30p and 2p, $25-$30, The Usual Place, 100 S. Maryland Parkway, apublicfit.org
Dermot Kennedy’s raw, charged vocal delivery — imagine a whisphered shout — has become his sonic signature, but his style began as a practical necessity: As a sidewalk busker playing for tips, the Irish singer-songwriter had to learn to project his voice to compete with the urban noise of Dublin, or Boston, or wherever he was performing. The tactic obviously worked, and then some: Kennedy blew up Spotify’s Discovery playlist after posting his songs directly to the platform, and in 2018, NPR listeners chose him as best new artist in NPR Music’s fan poll. (AK) 8p, The Pearl at the Palms, $32-$73, palms.com
Academy Award-winning writer Tarell Alvin Mcraney (Moonlight) offers the story of Marcus, a young gay black man (“sweet” is Southern slang for gay) searching for the truth about his father, and himself. Its staging is often called “unconventional”: the characters’ dialogue includes stage directions, they often act in unison, and the stage itself isn’t overly realistic. “Taut, moving,” says Variety. (MC) UNLV’s Black Box Theatre, $10-$20, unlv.edu/calendar
The Jewish Genealogy Society meets on the third Sunday of the month at the Sahara West Library, starting at 1:30. They usually have a program devoted to some aspect of genealogy. Non-members are welcome to attend.
The library is at 9600 West Sahara Avenue. Their number is 507-3630.
Did we say men in boats? We meant women and non-binary people on boats. This is the high-voltage creative twist in Jaclyn Backhaus’ historical-adventure-comedy chronicling John Wesley Powell’s 1869 expedition through the Grand Canyon. However full of laughs it may be, this isn’t a drag-campy, RuPaul Goes West caper. The nontraditional casting subverts the macho bluster of Western mythmaking while, as the New York Times noted in an approving review, underlining how impossible it is to know the whole truth about the past. (SD), various times, $XX, Art Square Theatre, theatre.vegas
The exhibition features large-scale murals and interactive installations enriched by artist Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya’s belief that power and impact are created through connections and networks. Through Feb. 22. Marjorie Barrick Museum at UNLV, unlv.edu
In Ghana, the word “sankofa” is a one-word proverb that roughly translates into “Go back and get it.” In other words: Don’t forget the lessons of the past. That’s the animating idea behind Sankofa: A Musical Celebration of Black History. The show promises to be a fond revisiting and historic consideration of the rich music and dance of African culture, whether it’s tribal music from the continent, gospel songs from church, or jazz from the Harlem Renaissance. Las Vegas entertainer Michelle Johnson, the show’s producer, has culled an all-star team from friends and colleagues in the Las Vegas entertainment scene to perform, which promises to make Sankofa just as much a talent showcase as a celebration of heritage. (AK) 3p, Myron’s Cabaret Jazz in The Smith Center, $25-$40, thesmithcenter.com
From Leontyne Price to Jessye Norman, Scott Joplin to Porgy and Bess, the contributions of African Americans to the American musical canon were achieved in the face of prejudice and exclusion. In this concert, Opera Las Vegas salutes back composers, performers, and works. (SD) 2p, free, Windmill Library, operalasvegas.com
The Southern Nevada Rock Art Association meets on the fourth Monday of every month, starting at 6:30 p.m., in the REI store in Boca Park. Admission is free and anyone interested in rock art is invited to attend. There's usually a program on rock art and/or archeology, most often local or regional.
What is the secret sauce of Shen Yun that the show inspires such fervent fandom, such reverential awe? The flawless dancing, the impeccable music? The aura of optimism that seems to beam from every colorful poster and TV ad? Could be. Or it could be the larger story that looms behind all the joyous dancing: Shen Yun performers are practictioners of Falun Dafa, a religious practice related to Buddhism that employs meditation and moral instruction in service of human goodness and achievement; and they feel that dance in particular is an art form that flourishes under the auspices of their religion. But in China, Falun Dafa is banned, considered a dangerous cult; adherents are regularly persecuted. In that light, Shen Yun is more than a dance performance; it’s a highly physical expression of religious devotion. (AK) 7:30p, Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center, $84-$224, thesmithcenter.com