Theatre in Las Vegas

As a kid, I spent most of my childhood in the “Entertainment Capital of the World” Las Vegas. A city that is known for its bright lights, massive casinos, and feather-clad showgirls who walk the boulevard. There are advertisements everywhere on the strip for shows of all sorts. Ranging from magicians to variety specials to zombie burlesque dancers (Yes that’s a thing.) Yet amongst the entertainment capital of the world one is lacking in my opinion, and that is the theatre.
The city is home to a Broadway touring house the beautiful art-deco styled Smith Center. Many national tours fill its season along with solo cabaret artists and shows. This allows the Strip a taste of Broadway and New York theatre. After this, there are many theatres amongst the casinos, and a few are home to some musical comedies. However many are dominated by comedians, magicians, and Cirque du Soleil shows. Broadway just doesn’t seem to last the same way that many Cirque shows have for long periods. The next best place to find true theatre is at the community level in Las Vegas.
There is no real regional house such as the Geffen in Los Angeles. Las Vegas just does not have an equivalent unlike many cities in the country. This is a missing piece of the theatre community in the “Entertainment Capital.” ironically. The next best thing is one of the few community theatres that inhabit the city of over 2 million.
One of the oldest and best known in the city is Las Vegas Little Theatre, a small non-profit that does a full season of plays and musicals. They are an excellent company, and I have performed there myself, but at the end of the day there is only so much a house of a little over a 130 can possibly achieve. However, they do bring beautiful pieces to the stage and expose a small portion of the community to a variety of shows.
Now I write this in an attempt to ask those who come to Vegas to skip the Cirque spectacular and try something different. The casinos play a vital part in the ways of the city, and a real change can start there. We haven’t had a real Broadway show in one of the casinos since Jersey Boys closed.
However, the casinos have a few different 90-minute musicals, and there is always the chance for another Broadway residence to call Vegas home. That being said whenever you decide to visit this beautiful town of entertainment. Consider seeing a theatrical show first, and look into visiting our community theatres. Show the entertainment capital that it can sustain theatrical productions, and you can help change a city of two million with each ticket you buy.

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