Onstage: ‘Scalia/Ginsburg’ opera at UNLV; Alvin Ailey at the Smith Center; and Troy Heard’s ‘The Garden Party’

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Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo wows audiences at the Smith Center

This month, Las Vegas history buffs are in for a special treat with Super Summer Theatre in the Studio version of “The Rat Pack Lounge.”

Recently, I dropped in to talk with Vic Candelino (Napoleon Buenrostro), owner of the Rat Pack Lounge. He reminisced on the golden days of the bar when Frank and Dino and Sammy hung out with Angie Dickinson. As we talk, the bartender, Bobby Goldberg (Kelly Lee Williams) serves one of the bar regulars, William Saunders, a local developer (Wayne Morton) who is at the bar with his Spanish-speaking chauffeur, Jorge Rodrigues (Daniel Organista). Later, Saunders’ blonde secretary, Katherine Kerr (Meghan Elizabeth), drops in.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to us, Frank, Dean and Sammy are looking down from heaven. God (Jay Joseph) tells them they left some unfinished business back on Earth and they have one night to make things right or go to hell. So, they have no choice but to take over the bodies available in the bar for one last “residency” in Vegas.

The result is an evening of more than 30 of the Rat Pack’s greatest hits.

► Directed by Courtney Sheets with musical direction by Dolly Coulter and choreography by Rommel Pacson, “The Rat Pack Lounge” runs March 5-22 at Super Summer Theatre in the Studio, 4340 S Valley View Blvd. Suite 208.

► Also, on March 13 at SST in the Studio, A Touch of Mystery is thrilled to produce a one-night fundraiser, “Mystery By Association,” to benefit Super Summer Theatre while celebrating Friday the 13th.

In this immersive murder mystery experience, you and the rest of the audience are all members of The Weekender’s Club. Two years ago, your group disbanded when one of the members, Evelyn Drawbridge, was found dead at your last gathering in Aspen. You just received an anonymous invitation to attend a Masquerade Reunion in Evelyn’s honor on Friday the 13th. The Aspen Police Department received the same invitation along with a note that Evelyn’s death was murder and that the truth is about to be revealed at the reunion.

Tickets for both “The Rat Pack Lounge” and “Mystery By Association” are available at supersummertheatre.org/ or the Box Office 702-579-7529.

► Bishop Gorman Gaels Theatre Guild is presenting a version of “Guys and Dolls” at the Jim3 House of Performing Arts, March 20-22 and March 27-29. With music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, this multiple-award winning 1950s musical about gambling and the Salvation Army is based on stories by Damon Runyon.

In 1955, a slightly shortened version featuring the original stars from the Broadway hit was performed on the Las Vegas Strip, the first time a Broadway show was performed on the Strip. For more information, go to bishopgorman.org/school-life/arts. Buy tickets at showtix4u.com.

► “The Spitfire Grill” with music and book by James Valcq, lyrics and book by Fred Alley, based on the film by Lee David Zlotoff, runs at the Las Vegas Little Theatre in Chinatown, March 6-22.

The musical about a spitfire heroine is set in Gilead, an economically depressed Wisconsin town. Percy, our spitfire heroine is paroled from prison and decides to follow her dreams to Gilead, Wisconsin, “a place for leaving, not for coming to.” Percy finds a place for herself working at Hannah’s Spitfire Grill. It is for sale but there are no takers, so Percy suggests to Hannah that she raffle it off. Soon entries arrive by the wheelbarrow full and both the town and Percy begin to have new hope.

LVLT is at 3920 Schiff Alley at Valley View Drive and Spring Mountain Road. Purchase tickets at lvlt.org or at the Box Office at 702-362-7996.

► Las Vegas audience favorite “Once On This Island” returns to Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts March 10-15.

Winner of the 2018 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, “Once On This Island” tells the universal tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl in search of her place in the world, and ready to risk it all for love. Guided by the mighty island gods, Ti Moune sets out on a remarkable journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.

With a score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, the Tony Award-winning songwriters of “Anastasia” and “Ragtime,” this Broadway Las Vegas Series production is directed by two-time Tony Award nominated director Michael Arden (Spring Awakening revival) and acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown (NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live).

Tickets are $30-128 and can be purchased at tickets.thesmithcenter.com.

► Also, in March at Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center is serious dance, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater — Ailey Revealed, and the absurd Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.

Les Ballets Trock is an all-drag cast of male ballerinas presenting ballet classics in parody form. Though danced for laughs, the men demonstrate talented ballet artistry including dancing en pointe. One night only, March 20 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $29-$99 and can be purchased at tickets.thesmithcenter.com.

Alvin Ailey is the highly acclaimed dance company presenting modern African American dance under the direction of Robert Battle. Along with new pieces the company will be presenting two classics, “Ella,” choreographed by Battle and based on the music of Ella Fitzgerald and “Revelations,” choreographed by Alvin Ailey and illustrating African American history and culture.

Two nights only, March 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $26-$125 and can be purchased at tickets.thesmithcenter.com.

► Continuing their celebration of African American history, the Vegas City Opera Company (VCO) is presenting the second concert in their Voices of Women Series.

The concert will honor African American abolitionist and women’s rights advocate, Sojourner Truth. The performance will be on March 15 at 3 p.m. at Windmill Library and Performing Arts Center, 7060 W. Windmill Lane.

VCO musical director, Dr. Richard L. Hodges has re-envisioned and adapted freedom songs, gospel music and art songs to tell the story of Sojourner’s incredible journey. This free concert is sponsored by the League of Women Voters in conjunction with the Nevada Humanities and the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District.

► Opera Las Vegas is presenting the West Coast premiere of Derrick Wang’s one-act opera, “Scalia/Ginsburg” inspired by the unlikely friendship of U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia.

“Scalia/Ginsburg” premiered in a special presentation at the Supreme Court in 2013 before receiving its official world premiere production in 2015 at the Castleton Festival conducted by Lorin Maazel. A sold-out second production followed in 2017 at The Glimmerglass Festival. In 2019, Opera Delaware’s opening of “Scalia/Ginsburg” became the highest-grossing performance in the company’s 74-year history.

“Scalia/Ginsburg” is being presented March 19-22 at Thomas & Mack Moot Court in the William S. Boyd School of Law on the campus of UNLV, 4505 South Maryland Parkway. Tickets are $25-$40 and are available atoperalasvegas.com or by calling 702-263-6604.

► Other opera at UNLV is the UNLV Opera Theater and UNLV Symphony Orchestra’s production of “Orphée aux enfers” (Orpheus in the Underworld) by Jacques Offenbach at the Judy Bayley Theatre on March 12 at 7:30 p.m.

This operetta, sung in English, is known for Offenbach’s famous French Can-Can (“La galop infernal”) and the amusing Fly Duet. A farce based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, in Offenbach’s version Orpheus is a violin teacher only too glad to be rid of Eurydice when she is whisked off by Pluton, god of the underworld. The opera pokes fun at Gluck’s more ponderous opera “Orfeo ed Euridice” and the court of Napoleon the III.

General tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center Box Office at 702-895-ARTS (2787) or at unlv.edu/pac/tickets.

“Dance Nation” by Clare Barron, produced by The LAB LV and directed by Kate St-Pierre is running through March 8 at The Playhouse, 528 S Decatur Blvd. Somewhere in America, try Liverpool Ohio, a revolution is coming as an army of pre-teen competitive dancers plot to take over the world one routine at a time. That is if they’re good enough to claw their way to the top of the Boogie Down Grand Prix in Tampa, Florida.

Though it sounds about as fresh as an old episode of “Glee,” Barron’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated play dives deeper by an unexpected casting of adult actors that paradoxically exposes pre-teen angst to its very bones. Due to adult language and themes, this production is for mature audiences.

► The Irish tragicomedy “Stones in His Pockets” by Marie Jones and directed by Anthony Barnaby, produced by Poor Richard’s Players is showing at The Playhouse, March 19-April 4.

Adam Dunson as Jake Quinn and Benjamin Loewy as Charlie Conlon are two locals cast as extras on a major Hollywood film set in rural Ireland and featuring two big American movie stars. When the production, attempting to capture a romantic vision of Ireland, instead has negative effects on the local way of life, the two men are forced to decide who they want to be and how they want to be remembered.

In a high-wire act of minimalist casting, Dunson and Loewy play all 15 characters in the play, in addition to Jake and Charlie. Due to adult language and themes, this production is for mature audiences.

► Also, in March at The Playhouse watch for the sixth installment of Poor Richard’s Players’ regular performance series, “Shoelaces in Paris” featuring a mad dash attempt to perform dozens of short, original plays in a short amount of time. Some are funny, some are dramatic, some are weird, but all are uniquely crafted by the Poor Richard’s ensemble. For more information and tickets for all Playhouse shows, go to theplayhouselv.com.

► MOLODI in collaboration with The Majestic Repertory Theatre is presenting “PAATI,” a new interactive experience with rhythm. “PAATI” is about the one thing that unites us all—our need for connection to other people, to culture, to heritage, to history. Through March 8 at The Majestic Repertory Theatre on Main Street.

“The Garden Party,” a new immersive comedy created by Majestic Theatre’s Troy Heard will be performed outdoors at a private residence near the Majestic Theater at Alios, 1217 S. Main St. in downtown Las Vegas, March 5-22.

It’s 1960 and the Wycliff Falls Garden Club is hosting a tea. Audience members are encouraged to dress in Mad Men era attire. Since the play takes place outdoors, a light jacket or coat is recommended. For tickets and more information visit majesticrepertory.com/.

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