Myron Martin, president and CEO of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, announces the Broadway shows for Season 2 during a donors reception at The Smith Center on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 9:49 a.m.
We have already drawn the comparison between the November 2001 USO benefit show “Las Vegas Salutes the Spirit of America” at Mandalay Bay and the upcoming “Nevada Sesquicentennial All-Star Concert” set for Sept. 22 at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts.
Both shows were/are brimming with top names in Las Vegas entertainment from that period. Also similar to the USO production from ’01, the Nevada 150th show is one to be remembered, not recorded. If you are hoping for a video release or broadcast of the event, you are out of luck.
“There are no plans to do video, not at the moment,” Smith Center President Myron Martin said Tuesday afternoon after the press conference and performance announcing “Georgia On My Mind,” the tribute to Ray Charles at the Venetian featuring Cabaret Jazz headliner Clint Holmes. “When you try to record a show like this, everything gets more complicated. Rights, union, all those things are involved.”
Martin helped produce that original 2001 show at Mandalay Bay Event Center. The thought at the time was to market and distribute a video version of the show, which ran for four hours and featured such stars as Wayne Newton, Clint Holmes, Earl Turner, The Scintas, Lance Burton, The Amazing Johnathan, Siegfried & Roy, Robert Goulet, Carrot Top, Rich Little, Bill Acosta and Bob Anderson. But that never came about, as crisscrossing interests clipped the process before the show was ever edited.
"I have a box full of videos from the USO show, from every camera, with the idea that it would be turned into a TV show,” Smith said. “It never happened.”
Thus far, the Nevada 150th event has snared an impressive lineup. Acts, individuals and productions to be represented include Las Vegas entertainment legend Jerry Lewis, Cirque du Soleil, “Jubilee,” “Jersey Boys,” “Million Dollar Quartet,” Penn & Teller, Human Nature, Clint Holmes, Frankie Moreno, Bob Anderson, Susan Anton, Antonio Fargas and Mark Shunock of “Rock of Ages.”
It’s a fine start, no question, with more to come.
“We have a great show, right now, even with no other names added,” Martin said. “There are a handful of big names that we’re still kind of hoping for, but they haven’t been able to confirm yet. We’re still pretty far out from the show date. In the next couple of weeks, as the time horizon gets shorter, people will say, ‘Yeah, I want to do it.’ “
Some performers have just learned of the show and have contacted Martin seeking a spot in the program. He is not taking all comers, hoping not to repeat the length of the USO show and its four-hour spectacle. Martin wants the best of the best, but not everyone can be involved simply because of scheduling. Don’t count on in-person appearances from any of the Colosseum superstar headliners, for instance.
The production is among a handful of “signature” events recognized by the State of Nevada in its yearlong effort to trumpet the state’s rich cultural legacy. And this show at the Smith Center is so rare, it happens maybe once a decade. It will live on only in Las Vegas lore.
“I see it as one glorious night, one experience,” Martin said. “And if you’re there, you’ll get to be a part of it.
Smith Center for the Performing Arts The Smith Center for the Performing Arts offers a blend of performances by resident companies and touring attractions. The 5-acre cultural campus features three performance spaces, which includes a main performance area with more than 2,000 seats. This downtown cultural center of Las Vegas looks to educate, entertain and excite community members.
To provide and preserve a high-quality performing arts center that is embraced by the community and recognized as a vital force by supporting artistic excellence, education and inspiration for all.
To entertain, educate, enrich and inspire the southern Nevada community.
Thanks to the generous support of our dedicated founders, members, donors and community partners, The Smith Center continues to provide a wide variety of services for Southern Nevada residents, including access to world-class performances, inspirational Education and Outreach programs for students and teachers, and a unique space to host events, meetings and special occasions. Celebrating our fifth season, we depend upon public support to fulfill our mission and serve as the Heart of the Arts® for many years to come.
With ticket sales covering just 75 percent of our operating budget for each season, the remaining 25 percent comes from the community we serve. Philanthropic support at all levels helps provide programming that entertains, educates, enriches and inspires. By giving to The Smith Center, you play a vital role in providing an important resource for our community.
There are many opportunities to volunteer and play a direct role with your community’s performing arts complex. Volunteers engage with staff and patrons to enhance experiences at The Smith Center, and can serve in various capacities including tour guide/docent, usher, security team member or community ambassador. As important members of The Smith Center team, volunteers help us remain financially sustainable and provide numerous services for the community. Please show your support for The Smith Center’s mission by gifting your time and unique skills.
Members’ annual support provides crucial resources for The Smith Center’s artistic programming, education opportunities and cultural enrichment each year. There are a variety of giving options and levels, and Members receive exclusive benefits and behind-the-scenes opportunities based on their level of support. To learn more, please visit www.thesmithcenter.com/support-us/members.
The Encore Society recognizes those generous donors who have included The Smith Center as a part of their estate plan. Corporate Sponsorship is available to companies to underwrite all, or part, of a program, performance or event.
Fanfare! is The Smith Center’s young progressional networking organization, open to anyone with an interest in the performing arts who is between the ages of 21-40. And our Show Dedication allows for the celebration of an individual or special occasion with unique recognition opportunities during a specific performance.
The Smith Center provides world-class performing arts and outreach and education throughout the Southern Nevada region.
The organization originally formed in 1996 as the Las Vegas Performing Arts Center.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Myron G. Martin President and CEO Donald D. Snyder Chairman Dr. Keith Boman Vice Chairman Mark Tratos Secretary Michael Yackira Treasurer David Dunn Alan M. Feldman Richard Haddrill Fred Hipwell Nancy Houssels Todd-Avery Lenahan Scott MacTaggart Jerry Nadal John Nelson Richard Plaster Rory Reid Kim Sinatra Roger P. Thomas
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