By Marianne Donnelly
The 2019-2020 Las Vegas Valley theatre season is off to an abundant start. Each professional theatre has unique and distinct charms in their locations, actors, show selections and positive economy-driving impact.
For newcomers, you will find "Eat More Art Vegas: Arts and Culture Directory" invaluable as a free online compendium of local prefessional performance and visual arts venues: theatre, dance, spoken word, music, fine and folk art, murals, movies, classes, lectures, festivals and more.
One of the longest-running off-strip theatre companies is Vegas Theatre Company. Along with VTC's development-arm, known lovingly as Cockroach Theatre, it operates from their sleek venue, Arts Square Theatre, in Arts Square, a hub of the Arts District!
By embracing new works, classics, significant collaborations, children's theatre and professional development experiences, they offer intellectually stimulating new and classic shows to the widest audience possible.
For sixteen years they have consistently presented full-tilt performances and experiences under their original name, Cockroach Theatre (think indestructible!).
Demonstrating their theme, "stories that bring us together," the season's lineup includes:
"The Thanksgiving Play" by Larissa FastHorse; "Holmes and Watson" by Jeffrey Hatcher; "Men On Boats," by
Jaclyn Backhaus; "The Old Man and the Old Moon," by PigPen Company.
Side Trip: Walk around the "18b Arts District" which surrounds South Main Street near East Charleston for blocks in every direction. It continues to blossom dramatically with live-theatres, specialty restaurants, street murals, retro and artisian shops, gathering spots and funky welcoming vibes.
Majestic Repertory Theatre's fourth season focuses on immersive theatre, and theatre that pushes boundaries. Their versatile "black box" is also in the Las Vegas 18b Arts District on South Main Street. Mostly embracing edgy, challenging, unusual topics, they always offer cleverly detailed sets and experiences. www.majesticrepertory.com
A Public Fit Theatre is enjoying their sixth season at "the usual place," on 100 South Maryland Parkway off 11th, about a mile from the Arts District. In addition to tightly produced shows they also bring community involvement and school interactions into their sphere along with aftershow buzzz-talk-backs, free staged readings and more.
The season includes, "The Ghosts of Lote Bravo" by Hilary Bettis;
"August: Osage County" by Tracy Letts; "Cry It Out" by Molly Smith Metzler;
"A Steady Rain" by Keith Huff;
"The Children" by Lucy Kirkwood;
"Sense and Sensibility" Adaption of Jane Austens classic by Kate Hamill;
and "Last Night and the Night Before" by Donnetta Lavinia Grays.
Other long-time companies include Signature Productions, Super Summer Theatre, Poor Richard's Players and many, many more. And of course,
UNLV has its professional Nevada Conservatory Theatre on campus at the Bayley Theatre.
To me, the granddaddy of all, is forty-two year old Las Vegas Little Theatre, a community theatre with a highly professional gloss. Musicals, comedies and classics are the usual offerings on their Mainstage and their smaller Fischer Black Box offers new works and other theatrical events such as the annual new works Fringe Festival. Visit: www.lvlt.org for an extensive season listing.
Whether you crave ballet, music, solo works, classic, edgy or musical theatre, spoken word, comedy or variety, Las Vegas Valley offers it to two million residents. These are in addition to long running "blockbusters" at resorts and casinos. What a wonderful place to live. Enjoy the Abundant Theatre Season!
Marianne tours as Louisa May Alcott, Janis Joplin and Nellie Bly.