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The 1993 movie, Rudy, consistently rates as one of the best sports movies of all-time and still earns a deserving spot in any man cave more than two decades after its release. The film, about current Las Vegas resident Rudy Ruettiger, chronicles a 5' 6", 165-pound underdog who dreamt of playing Notre Dame football in the 70s.
The film and Rudy's story remains so popular that the sixty-something Ruettiger continues to be a motivational speaker today. His current show, Voices of Rudy: The Journey to the Movie, hits The Smith Center April 25.
For the next season of Broadway at The Smith Center, it will be a mixture of first-time productions and the return of a few you may have missed, or wished you could see again. Here's what's on tap for this summer through next spring:
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If you missed his Dancing with Stars appearance a few seasons ago, are a fan that misses his recently completed residency at the Stratosphere or have missed the Las Vegas orig altogether, Frankie Moreno will once again lather that Tangerine in Honey next month.
The singer isn't yet headlining another Strip resort, but he is taking over two different venues that are bound to immerse audience in his high-energy style.
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Dixie Longate, the fast-talking Tupperware Lady, is gracing Vegas with her sassy presence and performing nightly at The Smith Center through February 15. Dixie Long who? That’s what I thought when I first heard of her and this show. If you’ve never heard of her either, here’s the story:
Dixie Longate hails from a trailer park in Mobile, Alabama. As part of the conditions of her parole, Dixie packed her trailer (with her three kids in tow) and set off for Los Angeles. In 2001, she started traveling the world throwing old-fashioned Tupperware Parties, or as she calls it “selling the fantastic plastic crap,” and has become one of the top Tupperware sellers in the nation.
If you’re a fan of Evil Dead: The Musical, it’s a safe bet you’ll also like Re-Animator: The Musical at The Smith Center’s Troesh Theater. The musical is based on H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Re-Animator,” a cult classic like its fellow horror/comedy musical, “Evil Dead.”
If you’re a fan of campy horror, this is definitely the show for you. Even if you’re not, you’re likely to be amused by the humorous lyrics, plotlines and over-the-top silliness. This is not serious theater like Shakespeare by any means, but it is well-acted and the puppets and costumes are great. Think costume contest winners. You’ll likely leave wanting to be Dr. Hill and his dismembered, re-animated body for Halloween next year.
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In Downtown Vegas, The Smith Center is a very classy place, known for bringing the stage to Sin City. Whether it be a hilarious, but blasphemous comedy, a Broadway show that brought kinky boots to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade or just something that can only be described as "Shrektacular," the venue's Art Deco halls offer something for everyone, but are rarely graced by high-profile fine arts. Despite our image as a city of wild abandon and debauchery, we do have stunning jazz, philharmonic orchestras, and the incredible Nevada Ballet Theatre (NBT) troupe.
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Las Vegas is ready to show its colors once more as the city's annual PRIDE celebration will blanket the valley in rainbow hues September 2-7. This year’s gathering of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning community features a slimmed-down roster and a new host hotel.
If you happened to catch our wrap-up of last year’s PRIDE events, you may remember this writer remarking on the chaotic presentation. Three separate organizations (Las Vegas PRIDE, Orlando’s GAY DAYS, and MGM's FABULOUS) were all vying for the pink dollar, consequently stepping on each others’ kinky boots (I’ll explain that reference later).
Front row seats to Book of Mormon might not be in everybody’s budget, but did you know you can check out The Smith Center for free? By check out we don’t mean a full-fledged show, but zero dollars buys you an interesting docent-led tour of one of the most beautiful buildings in Las Vegas.
A short cab ride from The Strip or an even shorter one from Fremont Street, The Smith Center is one of the most interesting and unique buildings in Las Vegas. Home to Symphony Park, Reynolds Hall and Bowman Pavilion which houses the Troesh Studio Theater and Cabaret Jazz, the campus glorifies the unique architecture of the Art Deco age.
A little bit of South Park comes to The Smith Center tonight when The Book of Mormon kicks off a run through July 6. The popular musical is a multiple Tony award winner from the same folks behind the also popular Comedy Central cartoon. So popular is the BOM (think about it...) that the show will institute a same-day tickey lottery, a system it has successfully used in other cities as well.
One of the things Las Vegas gets criticized for is its lack of culture. It is a relatively new place without the historical roots of New York or Chicago, and culture takes time. While big Strip casinos occasionally showcase a Broadway production like Avenue Q or Jersey Boys, we are usually stuck with some variation of French Canadian sky ballet.
In Downtown Vegas, 2012 saw the introduction of The Smith Center, providing the valley with a guaranteed spot for live theatre to reach a new audience. It is here that Las Vegas legend Teller (of famed magic act Penn & Teller), working with longtime theatre partner Aaron Posner and Harvard’s American Repetory Theatre, has brought a new twist on a famous production to a town that has probably never seen it.
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When one thinks classic Shakespeare, Tom Waits is probably pretty far removed from the topic. After seeing (and hearing) a glimpse of what’s to come when The Tempest arrives at The Smith Center's Symphony Park, it’s now almost impossible to imagine the tale of romance and vengeance without a soundtrack by Waits.
The plaintive vocals and steady, drudging beats the singer is known for give powerful support to Shakespeare’s poetic writing. The music is brought to life with a four-piece band and instruments created by Kenny Wollesen. Because so many of the instruments in this production are created uniquely for it, The Tempest will truly be unlike anything you have ever heard before. Music by Kathleen Brennan and Tom Waits is not the only unusual aspect of this production. Teller, of the Rio’s headlining duo Penn & Teller, has offered his magic expertise to give this show an extra kick.
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The Smith Center is ready to get a leg up on the Broadway Series to come. The downtown performing arts center has announced its full schedule of shows set to begin August 2014 and continue through May 2014 and we're, once again, geeked out about it.
This season will bring nine productions to Downtown Vegas, ranging from the touring debut of Kinky Boots to the return of Wicked. Tickets will be available to season subscribers beginning March 3. The general public will be able to purchase new subscriptions beginning May 12. Individual tickets will be announced at a later date.
Here's a complete rundown of what to expect and when as well as video previews from their Broadway counterparts: