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Make a night of it! Eats and drinks for a cultural night on the town

The Smith Center’s fall season glitters with a surplus of Broadway divas. Full productions include the nun-tastic Sister Act and the showstopper-packed Evita. In concert, Betty Buckley will perform her “Vixens of Broadway” program featuring highlights from her multi-decade career, while six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald will give a concert of standards and showtunes accompanied by a jazz ensemble. Before such sophisticated performance, perhaps something slightly exotic, a little spicy? Lola’s (241 W. Charleston Blvd., 227-5652) in Holsum Lofts serves up Cajun classics such as broiled oysters and shrimp remoulade, with outdoor dining an option on temperate autumn evenings. Mundo (495 S. Grand Central Parkway, 270-4400) puts a little more uptown in its downtown setting and their menu of slicked-up Mexican dishes goes down smooth with a mojito or capirinha. After the show, discuss the high notes over a cocktail at Golden Nugget’s H2O at the Tank (129 Fremont St., 385-7111). You can recline on a chaise and look up at the stars while ignoring the sharks circling below — in appropriately diva-ish fashion. (LTR)


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Good luck finding an all-encompassing festival as tailor-made for its community as the two-day Summerlin Art Festival, slated to return to Summerlin Centre Community Park in mid-October. Sifting through the creations of dozens of artists and craftspeople — and snapping Instagrams of amazing sidewalk chalkage — works up an appetite that mere festival food can’t satiate. If you’ve got little ones to tow, stage a pre-emptive hunger strike with Sunday brunch at Dom DeMarco’s (9785 W. Charleston Blvd., 570-7000). Snack on meatball benedict while the kids relish the concept of pizza for breakfast. If it’s an artsy date weekend, plan where you’ll hang your new painting over glasses of red and samplings from one of the city’s best cheese programs at Vintner Grill (10100 W. Charleston Blvd. #150, 214-5590). (BR)


Some people hit the Arts District in the afternoon for the furniture stores and art galleries; others head to the neighborhood for gallery openings and Preview Thursday/First Friday. During the day, peruse the dice chandeliers at Retro Vegas, the 45s at Armstrong’s Collectibles or admire an art show at galleries from Alios to RTZ. Afterward, have a grilled cheese or jumbo omelet at Tiffany’s Café (1700 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 444-4459), where the lunch counter is still Formica-topped and true outsider art still hangs on the walls. (Feel free to check out the artisanal beer selection at the adjacent White Cross market.) Or hit longtime hangout Casa Don Juan (1204 S. Main St., 384-8070) for enchiladas, chicken mole and margaritas. In the evening hours, many of the local bars are extensions of the neighborhood’s galleries, with artwork as part of the décor. Velveteen Rabbit (1218 S. Main St., 685-9645) specializes in carefully crafted cocktails with unusual ingredients, such as curry bitters and herb-infused bourbon. Artifice (1025 1st St., 489-6339) is a laid-back space enlivened by DJs, musicians and other types of performance. (LTR)

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College of Southern Nevada

CSN’s fall season of theatre, music and dance events at the North Las Vegas campus culminates with an evening of themed chamber music in November to raise funds for the school’s strings program followed by the presentation of “The Women,” the Great Depression-era social satire, at the Horn Theatre, featuring an all-female cast of 35. If these entertainments from bygone eras put you in a throwback mood, consider cruising Las Vegas Boulevard to old reliable Jerry’s Nugget (1821 Las Vegas Blvd. N., 399-3000) where prime rib, fried shrimp, chocolate éclairs and other vintage Vegas eats await. (BR)


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UNLV Film Department aces Sean Clark and Francisco Menendez have created the original production “Dog Explosion,” for your viewing and thinking pleasure, a dark comedy set in rural Missouri surrounding a family crisis, doughnuts, beer, a dog and some dynamite. It plays at the Black Box Theatre Sept. 20-29, and the Freakin’ Frog (4700 S. Maryland Parkway, 597-9702) is the best place to get in the right mindset. It’s dark, it’s funny, and there’s a chance you might find a beer that tastes like doughnuts and/or dynamite. If your head is still spinning after the show, un-confuse it with some tasty fusion at 28GO (4632 S. Maryland Parkway, 895-9899), a tasty, trippy amalgam of Asian cuisines. (BR)