Sunday, July 24, 2011 | 11:40 p.m.
Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe
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Editor’s Note: One of today’s guest columnists is Myron Martin, president and CEO of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, while Robin Leach takes his well-deserved annual vacation to Europe (follow him on his travels at twitter.com/robin_leach). Every day, a new column, plus you never know what Robin will dig up in the wine country north of Rome, so please check back daily.
Imagine yourself sitting with 2,050 audience members in a grand performance hall cloaked in darkness. The anticipation for what’s to come, the collective sense of electricity you begin to feel starts to swell up inside of you just before the curtain opens and reveals the stage filled with extraordinary performers. (Cue goose bumps). For most performing arts attendees, this excitement is just as much a part of a show experience as the show itself.
As a fourth-grader growing up in Texas, I experienced this feeling during a class trip to Jones Hall. The incredible building, mohair seats, music … it captured me in such a way that I’ve dedicated my career to finding ways to allow others to share that same experience I had as a child. I want others to get goose bumps.
The project I love most? The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. On March 10, 2012, The Smith Center will open in Las Vegas and feature the finest music, theater and dance from around the world, including an array of full-length, touring Broadway performances. Indeed, The Smith Center will bring Broadway, the way it was meant to be seen, to Las Vegas.
The value of a world-class performing arts center is vast. For those who have called Southern Nevada home for years, it will be a community-centered, off-Strip venue to enjoy with family and friends and offering myriad programs, including those dedicated to education and enrichment. For those who moved to our great city from places steeped in performing arts tradition, it is an opportunity to enjoy quality music (classical and popular), theater and dance like they have in great cities across the world.
The Smith Center will be a place of great significance for all Southern Nevadans. Being a part of a project that many believe will bring Las Vegas to another level as a city is a rare opportunity, and it’s been an interesting road to get to where we are now. But, it’s only the beginning. The building itself is beautiful (I could talk about it for days), and while I couldn’t ask for a more extraordinary group of supporters, it’s what will happen inside that will count most.
Broadway shows such as The Color Purple, Mary Poppins, Million Dollar Quartet and crowd favorite Wicked take the stage in 2012. This project is a reality. What’s more, we begin to sell season tickets for our first Broadway season starting Tuesday, July 26. We’re eager to share our new stages with the world. It is a place for the community and is built to be here for years to come. In fact, we plan to have the same limestone- and marble-clad building in place for the next 100-plus years, an anomaly for any Las Vegas landmark.
For you, however, the excitement is just beginning, and that’s what we look forward to the most -- the experience. I invite you to drive by this wonderful property in Symphony Park and see what we will be unveiling to you. And when we open, plan to attend a show. I think you just might get goose bumps.
Tomorrow, VegasDeLuxe.com welcomes Las Vegas Locomotives coach Jim Fassel and comedy hypnotist Marc Savard. Guest columnists this year include Holly Madison, Donny Osmond, cast members of Absinthe and Jersey Boys, Chefs Julian Serrano and Shawn McClain, plus other surprises, including nightlife analysis by Jesse Waits and Jack Colton.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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