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2018 Fall Culture Guide: Theater & Dance

Bloodsucker Ballet
Courtesy The Smith Center

Dracula performed by Nevada Ballet Theatre at The Smith Center October 25-28

Family & Festivals | Music | Theater &  Dance | Literature and Ideas | Visual Arts

As the sun sets on summer, the fall cultural season is just getting started. Plan your outings with our handpicked collection of great art, music,  literature, theater, and festival events! 

September 6-22

Sponsor Message

Quips Ahoy!

What could be more fun than a boat full of roving gangsters trying to keep a young man from leaving the game and joining his true love? Doing it to music, of course! Sin City Opera closes Super Summer Theater’s 2018 season with Gilbert and Sullivan’s operatic farce, The Pirates of Penzance. (HK) Spring Mountain Ranch, 7p, $15,,


October 9-14

Pie in the Sky

If you’ve been longing for an uplifting musical by women, about women, and for women, you’re in luck: Waitress is coming to The Smith Center this fall. With songs, book, choreography, and direction by an award-winning, all-female creative team, this story of a small-town pie-slinger who dreams of a better life — and love — resonates with the authentic experiences of contemporary American women. (HK) The Smith Center, Reynolds Hall, 7:30p and 2p, $29 and up,


Sponsor Message

October 15

Baile Histórico

The explosion of color, music, and movement that is Ballet Folklorico de Mexico returns to The Smith Center for one night only with an all-new show highlighting Mexico’s rich culture. (HK) Reynolds Hall, 7:30p, $25-79,

October 19-20

U.S.-Korea Summit … of Dance

UNLV Dance and its international partner, Korea National Sport University, present their biennial concert, Together 7, featuring ballet, jazz, modern, and traditional numbers. As the title suggests, it’s the seventh cross-cultural collaboration between teams of 20 artists from each school. (HK) UNLV’s Judy Bayley Theatre, 7:30p and 2p, $10-18,


Sponsor Message

October 19-28

Salem On, Honey

For Nevada Conservatory Theatre, Darren Weller directs Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible just in time to remind the world what an actual witch hunt was. Thank goodness violent female subjugation by the patriarchy is a thing of the past, amiright girls?  (HK) UNLV’s Black Box Theatre, 7:30p and 2p, $20,


October 25-28

Bloodsucker Ballet

Dancing undead. Eerie special effects. Gothic sets. So much black and purple velvet. Ben Stevenson’s Dracula has all this, plus Franz Liszt’s creepy music, and Nevada Ballet Theatre brings it to The Smith Center just in time for Halloween. (HK) Reynolds Hall, 7:30p and 2p, $29 and up,,


November 29-December 15

Gray Matters

Nick Payne’s Incognito asks the timeless question: What if you could steal Albert Einstein’s brain, have your first same-sex liaison, and forget everything about your life except for one thing? Would you still be who you thought you were? A Public Fit answers, with direction by Ann Marie Pereth and Joseph Kucan. (HK) Art Square Theater, 1025 S. First St., 7:30p and 2p, $25-30,


November 30 - December 16

As Yahweh Is Their Witness

Las Vegas Little Theatre tackles prejudice squared with its production of the romantic comedy The Last Night of Ballyhoo. World War II looms and Gone With the Wind is about to open, setting the stage for an Eastern European Jew to stumble into the confusing biases of Atlanta’s upper-class German Jewish community. (HK) Main Stage, 3920 Schiff Drive, various times, $25,


December 7 - 16

They’ve Got Another Puzzle for You

Is it just me, or is Willy Wonka messing with Charlie Bucket? He’s messing with his head, right? Maybe this is why kids — sadistic little people in their own right — love Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka. Prediction: Families will flock to this City of Las Vegas production of the musical. (HK) Charleston Heights Arts Center, 7p and 2p, $5.50,


December 10

Mele Kalikimaka

Aloha Nui Loa dance company presents its Holiday Hula Show, with the classic Hawaiian dance form, music, and some island-themed comedy. (HK) Clark County Library, 2p, free, or 702-507-3459


December 28-29

The Renaissance Man

We Could Use Now Stogie Kenyatta brings to life 14 characters to paint the portrait of one singular man in The World Is My Home: The Life of Paul Robeson. A brilliant thinker who was ahead of his time, Robeson was the first black lawyer hired by a New York law firm, an anti-Holocaust activist, and cofounder of the Organization for African Unity. Las Vegas-Clark County Library District offers this play on the fourth day of Kwanzaa to honor the principles that are celebrated during that part of the holiday. (HK) West Las Vegas Library Theater, 6:30p and 4p, free,


September 13-30

These Are a Few

Jane Walsh directs Duncan MacMillian’s bittersweet Every Brilliant Thing for Cockroach Theatre. The son of a depressed mother chronicles the little perks that add up to a good life. (HK) Art Square Theater, 1025 S. First St., 8p and 2p, $20-25,


September 14-30

Unholy Crap

Maxim Lardent directs Las Vegas Little Theatre’s production of Stupid Fucking Bird, an — as the title suggests — irreverent comic reboot of Chekhov’s classic, The Seagull. (HK) Black Box Theater, 3920 Schiff Drive, 8p and 2p, $16,


September 27-October 21

‘Some Rise by Sin, and Some by Virtue Fall’

Majestic Repertory Theatre places Measure for Measure, William Shakespeare’s brothel-based social-justice comedy, in the 1970s, giving it even more contemporary relevance. (HK) Alios, 1217 S. Main St., various times, $15-25, 


September 27

Exit-stential Crisis

A Public Fit’s Mark Gorman directs a staged reading of No Exit, the play that Paul Bowles adapted from Jean-Paul Sartre's squirm-inducing story about three people trapped together in a mysterious room. (HK) Clark County Library, 7:30p, free,


September 29-30

How’d He Do That?

Las Vegas Clark County Library District hosts escape artist Jackson Rayne — who cut his teeth on Spellbound in Vegas and has since traveled with Carnival Cruise Lines — in No Limits: Magic Beyond Possibility. (HK) Summerlin Library, various times, free,


September 28-October 7

More Important Than Ever

Oscar Wilde’s comedy of errors, The Importance of Being Earnest, is directed by J.R. Sullivan for UNLV’s Nevada Conservatory Theatre. (HK) UNLV’s Judy Bayley Theatre, 7:30p and 2p, $10-25,


September 28-October 7

Comfort Dude

Rainbow Company Youth Theatre capitalizes on the pop culture moment Christopher Robin and his stuffed yellow sidekick are having with its production of Winnie-the-Pooh. Kristin Sergel’s script is adapted from A.A. Milne’s beloved children’s book. (HK) Charleston Heights Arts Center, 7 and 2p, $5.50,


October 19-November 4

Modern Love

Las Vegas Little Theatre presents Falsettos, a musical nominated for five Tony Awards last year. Directed by Walter Niejadlik and Gillen Brey, with musical direction by Toby McEvoy, the show tells the story of Marvin and the constellation of characters revolving around him. (HK) Main Stage, 3920 Schiff Drive, 8p and 2p, $25,


October 25-November 11

I Foilz All Ur Breakups

Cockroach Theatre lightens things up with The Dog/The Cat, a comedy about love on the rocks, told from the points of view of two couples’ pets. (HK) Art Square Theater, 1025 South First St., 8p and 2p, $20-25,


October 25-28

Ship of Ghouls

Sin City Opera and the City of Las Vegas present A Night With the Flying Dutchman, a multimedia production with live orchestra, singing, and video. The music of Richard Wagner, conducted by Dean Balan, meets the voice of bass-baritone Eugene Richards and audio-visuals of Andrew Stephenson Kurcan; Skip Galla stages it all. (HK) Charleston Heights Arts Center, 7:30p and 2p, $15-50,


November 2-4

Worth Fighting For

Broadway in the Hood presents Eclipsed, Danai Gurira’s gripping play about five Liberian women surviving civil war with grace, strength, and even humor. (HK) The Smith Center, Troesch Theater, various times, $39 and up,


November 7-25

We Got Your Hakuna Matata Right Here, Baby

Disney’s The Lion King makes its Smith Center debut this winter, meaning you, too, can be one of the 90 million people who’ve seen the iconic musical about the circle of life. (HK) Reynolds Hall, various times, $29 and up,


November 15-18

With One Breath, With One Flow

Fine arts majors show off their choreography and dance skills in UNLV Dance’s production, Synchronicities, which will also include a piece by professor Victoria Dale. (HK) UNLV’s Alta Ham Fine Arts Dance Studio One, 7:30p and 2p, $10-18,


November 30-December 9

Abstinence, If Only

Nevada Conservatory Theatre produces Shakespeare’s romantic comedy Love’s Labour’s Lost, in which four young men pretend they can give up sex to focus on school work for three years. Guess how that turns out? (HK) UNLV’s Judy Bayley Theatre, 7:30p and 2p, $10-25,


December 6-23

He’s Gonne Get Ya

Troy Heard offers a modern adaptation of an ancient horror story with Krampus. The audience participates, acting as guests at a family’s Christmas party. (HK) Alios, 1217 S. Main St., various times, $15-25,


December 8-24

Return of the Sugarplum Fairy

Merry Christmas from Nevada Ballet Theatre! Nutcracker, the ballet with Tchaikovsky’s classic score and James Canfield’s contemporary choreography, returns to The Smith Center for the holiday season. (HK) Reynolds Theater, 7:30p and 2p, $29 and up,,

Scott Dickensheets is a Las Vegas writer and editor whose trenchant observations about local culture have graced the pages of publications nationwide.
As a longtime journalist in Southern Nevada, native Las Vegan Andrew Kiraly has served as a reporter covering topics as diverse as health, sports, politics, the gaming industry and conservation. He joined Desert Companion in 2010, where he has helped steward the magazine to become a vibrant monthly publication that has won numerous honors for its journalism, photography and design, including several Maggie Awards.
Desert Companion welcomed Heidi Kyser as staff writer in January 2014. In 2018, she was promoted to senior writer and producer, working for both DC and State of Nevada. She produced KNPR’s first podcast, the Edward R. Murrow Regional Award-winning Native Nevada, in 2020. The following year, she returned her focus full-time to Desert Companion, becoming Deputy Editor, which meant she was next in line to take over when longtime editor Andrew Kiraly left in July 2022.
Kristy Totten is a producer at KNPR's State of Nevada. Previously she was a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly, and has covered technology, education and economic development for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. She's a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism.