Las Vegas Sun

October 16, 2018

Currently: 62° — Complete forecast

Breaking News: Today is final day to register in person to vote in Nevada midterm election

Fall A+E Guide: Theater

This fall there’s no shortage of shows on the serious side. It’s theater’s yin to the shiny happy plastic sexy yang of ultralounges, clubs and casino bars. Every time the Forty Deuce video plays on Mandalay Bay’s freeway LED sign, or the ladies swoon over bartenders on the Kahunaville video, a theater artist writhes in angst, determined to make a statement and get to real emotional truth. Nevada Conservatory Theatre gives us a double dose of grief this fall with productions of Shakespeare’s King Lear (September 19-28)—elderly king gives kingdom to witchy daughters, realizes his mistake too late, goes mad in the rain, writes song about never being able to find the recipe again, dies—and Conor McPherson’s Shining City (October 3-12), about a Dubliner trying to cope with his wife’s recent death. Throw in everyone’s favorite contemporary playwright of casual and studied cruelty, Neil LaBute (The Distance from Here, at Las Vegas Little Theatre’s Fischer Black Box space October 10-19), and Insurgo’s December 4-20 production of Tracy Letts’ Bug (about—surprise!—a violent, dysfunctional family who are plagued by real and electronic bugs and may or may not be insane), and you’ve got all the theatrical energy you need to hold off the neon and let the lengthening nights get really dark.

But all is not completely bleak. Some shows take the angst of the season and turn it to humorous ends. Cockroach Theatre scampers over to the Onyx to perform Mac Wellman’s 7 Blowjobs (September 19-October 4), a political satire about the far-right and not Bill Clinton, while Jeff Goode’s work returns to the Las Vegas Little Theatre when it produces his 7 Santas (December 5-14), in which Santa cops to being an alcoholic, along with a host of other secrets. Even Test Market’s Beckett Festival (October 6-November 15) tries to find some humor in absurdity with Test Market’s production of Waiting for Godot and Tony Kushner’s Slavs!

And of course, there’s also the truly silly bowing this fall—like Criss Angel Believe at Luxor (opening October 12). But LVLT does kick the season off with Moon Over Buffalo (September 12-28), a modern-classic farce, and the Utah Shakespearean Festival’s fall season includes Ron Hutchinson’s farce Moonlight and Magnolias (September 19-October 25), which makes one wonder: Is the moon inherently funny?

Keeping the silly rolling is the audience interactive whodunit Shear Madness (opening November 7). The Guinness Book of World Records declares that Shear Madness is the longest-running play in American theater history, and with a seven-year lease on a theater space in the Town Square mall, Terrence Williams is banking (quite literally) that it will find similar success here. And, dudes, in case you didn’t know, Point Break Live!, the live-theater edition of the eponymous Keanu Reeves/Patrick Swayze bank-robbing/surfer movie, is also coming to town at the V Theater inside the Miracle Mile Shops starting October 1. I’m told it’s a lot like karaoke—drinking is recommended, and audience participation is required (an audience volunteer plays the Keanu Reeves role every night), but skilled performances are not (after all, even Keanu Reeves can do it).

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy