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issue 21

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ARTICLES & HIGHLIGHTS

COMMUNIT Y Spotlights Mark Tratos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Suzanne Lugano . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Fabulous Sin City Roller Girls Tearing it Up on the Flat Track . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

14

The Blind Center ’s Bell Choir The Ring of Triumph . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Sin City Roller Girls 14

C U LT U R E Alternative Energies Las Vegas’ Underground Theater Scene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

22

Hooray for Hillywood One Camera, Two Sisters, Infinite Fun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

29

Upcoming Events Check Out the BLVDS Events Calendar for Upcoming Local Events . . . . . . . . . .

Alternative Energies 22

32

DESIGN Inspired by Claire Jane Exclusive Rocker Chic Creations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

36

F L AV O R Slidin’ Thru Mobile Eats Hit the Streets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

42

Acoustic Soul Live By Request . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

46

Inspired by Claire Jane 36

ON THE COVER: Sin City Roller Girls ©Greg Warden; photo editing by Alex Rodriguez THIS PAGE FROM TOP: SCRG ©Greg Warden; Cockroach Theatre ©Fiala for Cockroach Theatre; Claire Jane Vranian ©Emma Cohan; The Slider Guy ©Adam Shane

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Slidin’ Thru Mobile Eats 42

issue 21 m u s i c & e n t e r t a i n m e n t B L V D S L a s V e g a s 5

in th i s i ssu e

what’s inside


f ro m t h e e ditor

THE BLVDS TEAM

I have the best job in the world. I’m not just saying that—I really do. I am lucky enough to spend my days (and very often the evenings) seeking out, meeting, getting to know amazing people. Working for BLVDS allows me the opportunity to pick their brains, ask loads of questions, and fi nd out why they are so willing to work to improve our community. Sharing their stories with all of our readers is the proverbial “icing on the cake.” I have lived in Las Vegas for over 15 years, and I am still amazed on a daily basis by the incredible variety of talented people who live and work here. From roller derby queens who spend their days teaching special needs children to gang specialists who volunteer to aid blind musicians, we have some truly extraordinary people who share this city that we all call home. We are also lucky to have some of the world’s fi nest performers right here in Las Vegas. And luckier still that so many of them choose to reach out and participate in the greater arts community. Each encounter with a creative, passionate, caring person enriches my life in ways that are hard to describe. Experiencing it for yourself is my recommendation. I hope this, and every issue of BLVDS, inspires you to get out, get involved, and experience all that our great city has to off er. Kimberly Schaefer, Managing Editor

Copyright 2010, by BLVDS, Inc., all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without written permission from BLVDS, Inc. Every eff ort was made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, however, BLVDS, Inc. assumes no responsibility for errors, changes or omissions. BLVDS, Inc. accepts editorial and photography submissions. Send all submissions to: editor@blvdslv.com.

6 B L V D S L a s V e g a s m u s i c & e n t e r t a i n m e n t i s s u e 2 1

Jan Craddock President & Publisher Sherri Kaplan COO & Co-Publisher Pat Marvel Consulting Editor Kimberly Schaefer Managing Editor Randi Daniels Ar t Direction & Design Diane Bush Photo Editor

EDITORIAL BOARD

Brian Paco Alvarez Durette Candito Jack Chappell Audrie Dodge Rober t Dorgan Gina Gavan Nancy Higgins Wendy Jordan Wendy Kveck Pam Lang Randi Chaplin-Matushevitz Jason Roth Kimberly Maxson-Rushton Karen Rubel Kristin Sande Rick Sellers Shaun Sewell

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Becky Bosshar t Laura Coronado Christina Gibson Sara Nunn Brock Radke Kimberly Schaefer Eric Schellhorn

PHOTOGRAPHY

Emma Cohan Adam Shane Greg Warden

CONTAC T US

1000 N. Green Valley Pkwy, Suite 440-178 Henderson, NV 89074 (p) 386.6065 (f ) 386.6012 blvdslv.com

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WHO NOT ONLY PROTECTS THE RESULTS OF CREATIVE ENDEAVOR, HE ADMIRES IT AND COLLECTS IT, AS WELL. SUZANNE LUGANO’S BOUNDLESS TALENTS INCLUDE A GIFT FOR BRINGING THE COMMUNITY’S ARTISTS TOGETHER. OFTEN TOUTED AS THE FASTEST GROWING SPORT IN AMERICA, ROLLER DERBY IS FUN, FAST, AND NOT A LITTLE DANGEROUS. LEARN ABOUT OUR VERY OWN FABULOUS SIN CITY ROLLERGIRLS AND HOW YOU CAN LEARN TO DELIVER A BOOTY BLOCK. HOW CAN BLIND MUSICIANS PLAY IN UNISON WHEN THEY CAN’T SEE MUSIC OR HAND SIGNALS? THE NEVADA BLIND CENTER’S BELL CHOIR OVERCOMES THIS CHALLENGE AND CREATES A JOYFUL NOISE INDEED.

blvds communit y the local spotlight ARTICLES Spotlights Mark Tratos Protecting and Collecting Creative Expression . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Suzanne Lugano A Different Drummer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Fabulous Sin City Roller Girls Tearing it Up on the Flat Track . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 The Blind Center’s Bell Choir The Ring of Triumph . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

THIS PAGE: Sin City Roller Girls ready to hit the track ©Greg Warden

com m u n i t y

MEET MARK TRATOS, AN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ATTORNEY


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COMMUNIT Y the local spotlight

MARK TRATOS

PROTECTING AND COLLECTING CREATIVE EXPRESSION The realms of music, art, and entertainment

understanding of the 1976

are peopled by creative individuals of all

copyright act. I clerked for a

sorts—composers, designers, sculptors,

guy who helped write that

painters, magicians, writers, singers, and

act. As a young copyright

attorneys. Yes, attorneys.

lawyer I helped young musicians, young computer

Protecting the intellectual property that is the

programmers, young artists.

result of creative endeavor is an important aspect

I kept getting art instead of

of the business of the arts. Many who set out to

getting paid,” he recounts.

change the world through artistic efforts begin their careers without ever considering how to

While that may sound like

protect the most valuable assets of their “business.”

a humble beginning, his

Mark Tratos has spent his life developing and

extensive collection now

practicing the law that does just that.

includes works by Tim Bavington, Ronnie Cutrone,

Tratos and his family relocated to Las Vegas in the

Robert Beckmann, Denny

1960s, and he graduated from high school here.

Dent, and Willi Kissmer.

“I’ve really seen this city change and become an

His relationships with, and

international place as opposed to a place that

representation of, artists has

was in the middle of the Mojave Desert,” he says.

involved him in working with

Like many creative people, Tratos’ career path was not a straight line. He began his college career thinking that he wanted to become a professor. A desire to shape communities through the arts led him to study law and the protection of intellectual property. He is now the managing

clients in commissions for major works, museum sales,

“As a young copyright lawyer I helped young

and even creating acquisition

musicians, young computer programmers,

plans for individuals interested in creating their

young artists. I kept getting art instead of

own collections.

getting paid.”

shareholder of Greenberg-Traurig’s Las Vegas

In addition to representing

office. Tratos also teaches entertainment law at

well-known visual artists,

Who is your favorite fictional character?

UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law.

Tratos has worked with entertainment industry

Sherlock Holmes. You get a flawed human being,

luminaries including Ray Charles and Michael

but brilliant. He sees things that nobody else saw.

Tratos has also owned an art gallery and is partners in a production company. Markus Galleries, which he opened in the mid ‘80s at Fashion Show Mall, played host to numerous impressive exhibitions of contemporary art including Henry Moore, Max Ernst, and Andy Warhol, along with several of Warhol’s Factory cohorts. Tratos is also an avid collector of contemporary art—something he never consciously chose to

Jackson, the estates of Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, along with casino industry creative

What’s the one thing people don’t know

geniuses such as Steve Wynn. But for Tratos, the

about you?

thrill has never been about the star power of

I have strange hobbies. For fun I go on dinosaur

those with whom he works. It’s their creativity

digs. I’ve been to Wyoming, Utah, Colorado.

that excites him. He says, “It’s just such a joy to deal with creative people everyday. What comes

What’s your greatest indulgence?

out of their brains is so amazing. And my job is

I love collecting art because I love being around

just to figure out how to protect it.”

artists. Nothing makes me happier than walking into an artist’s studio and talking to them about

become. “I came out of school with a thorough

what they’re doing and about how they’re doing it.

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the local spotlight COMMUNIT Y

SUZANNE LUGANO

A DIFFERENT DRUMMER Suzanne Lugano is an artist of many talents—

Her desire to use her

she paints, she plays drums. But perhaps her

talents for social good

greatest talent is creating community among

has spurred Lugano to

her fellow artists.

volunteer as a coach for Cirque du Monde, Cirque

Lugano, a native New Yorker, relocated to

du Soleil’s social program

Las Vegas 13 years ago with her husband,

that utilizes circus skills

musician Keith Alcantara. When she arrived here,

to provide at-risk youth

she found what she felt was a very disparate

with positive personal

arts community—many creative people working

experiences. She and

separately on their own endeavors, but not

Alcantara are certified

really connecting with one another.

to provide therapeutic

As often happens in life, adversity has been followed by positive outcomes. Lugano recounts, “My husband got really sick. He had testicular cancer. I had been working at the House of Blues, backstage, and they offered us the music hall to do a benefit. We really feel like that was the seed that blossomed into a whole community.” As she worked to gather musicians, artists, and organizations such as The Las Vegas Jam Band Society and Vegas Vortex to participate in the

musical enrichment primarily to elderly

“We became a family.” After a while, the group

people. They now work

moved out to Red Rock Canyon. They view their

in several different senior homes around the Valley,

playing as spiritual. “It’s our church. We’re not a

playing music to stimulate

show. Life is about participating, not about being

the senses of folks for whom other forms of

a voyeur.”

communication are ineffective.

benefit, she was also gathering together a group

Perhaps the central and most lasting creative

of individuals who would become a part of a

endeavor in Lugano’s life is the Red Rock Drum

more lasting community.

Circle. Her history with the Drum Circle began in

Those artists and musicians have been involved in subsequent projects with Lugano and Alcantara. In 2000, she created Liquid Lounge, a gathering of creative people. “We had musicians, artists, poetry readings, dancers, video footage,” she said. After that, Lugano was instrumental in collecting artists, jugglers, dancers, musicians and others together to create

1998 when she and her husband, along with an informal group of drummers, began meeting at Sunset Park on Sundays. “Slowly an entity started to emerge,” she says. “We became a family.” After a while, the group moved out to Red Rock Canyon. They view their playing as spiritual. “It’s our church,” says Lugano. “We’re not a show. Life is about participating, not about being a voyeur.”

With whom would you like to trade jobs? There’s a million things I would love to do. I would love to trade with people, but I’m me. Who is your favorite fictional character? Tinkerbell. If you could take only one book with you to a deserted island, what would it be? The Twilight series. People will hate me, but . . . I have read the series twice, watched all of the movies. I’m a romantic. I think most creative people are.

Project N.O.I.S.E. (an acronym for Network of

Lugano is currently working to produce a Fairy

Immersive Sensory Entertainment). Over the last

Festival like ones held in Arizona and Oregon. The

Where would you most like to travel?

several years, N.O.I.S.E. has hosted numerous

festival that she hopes will take place this fall will

I would love to see Amsterdam. There’s so much

events and raised money for a variety of

feature fantasy art.

art there—it’s ridiculous. Of course, I would like

charitable organizations.

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to see Italy. My family is from Sicily.

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the local spotlight COMMUNIT Y

FACING PAGE CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: In action; taking a break; SCRG jammer ©Greg Warden

SARA NUNN

FABULOUS SIN CITY ROLLER GIRLS

TEARING IT UP ON THE FLAT TRACK Got a need for speed, a feel for wheels, and a

“It’s very easy to join. The girls are very

Despite the rough nature of the game, Lee

passion for smashin’? Ladies of the Las Vegas

welcoming,” Lee says, revealing that this is not

claims that the league, “is like a family away

Valley, do you find that your evenings are missing

only her first experience on a sports team, but that

from a family,” adding that with the multitude of

the roar of a crowd, the wind in your hair, the

it’s commonly the first sports team experience

practices, games, and other events, the women

feel of your elbow colliding with someone else’s

for many of the other players. She also explains

of the league have ample opportunity to become

ribcage? There may be a place for you with the

close. Team members have two required practices

Fabulous Sin City Roller Girls.

“You would think that getting hit,

“We have everything from lawyers to accountants

getting blocked and knocked to

to graphic designers, special education teachers.

the ground would be the hard

You name it. We probably have one in the

a week on Tuesday and Thursday, plus a Sunday scrimmage where the girls play against each other. Practice takes place outside at the flat track at West Flamingo Park where they’re a familiar part

league,” explains Melanie Lee. Lee is also known

part of the sport, but it’s actually

of the community landscape. All practices are

as Stardust Dunes, skater and Marketing Director

giving the block and knocking

open to the public for anyone who wants to get an

for the SCRG. She continues, “It’s all ages, too. We

somebody to the ground that’s

have girls from eighteen to fifty-two, all shapes

the hard part.”

and sizes. Basically if they’re able to skate and fulfill all the physical requirements and practice requirements then they can participate.”

idea of what the game is like, and there’s a newbie practice every Wednesday during the season for any woman with skates, picture ID, and proof of insurance.

the difficulties of the sport. “You would think that getting hit, getting blocked and knocked to

Fans can look forward to bouts at least once a month this season as the league grows. SCRG have

If all of that sounds like fun, the SCRG’s ten

the ground would be the hard part of the sport,

month season picks up again in September, with

but it’s actually giving the block and knocking

recruitment beginning in August and taking place

somebody to the ground that’s the hard part.

every two months thereafter. Two years into their

We’re so programmed to be like ‘Oh, are you

latest incarnation, the Sin City Roller Girls count

okay? Are you hurt? Let me help you up.’ We’re

anywhere from twenty to forty women in the

programmed to do that as women, as mothers

league at any given time, playing on three home

and nurturers. We’re not programmed to lay a girl

teams: the Notorious VIPs, the Tommy Gun Terrors,

out and keep skating, and that’s what we do.” Lee

and the most recent team to join the league, the

laughs and continues, “We have to desensitize

Hoover Damned.

ourselves to that, and be like ‘Oh bummer. I hope

While Lee describes the bouts as raucous,

you’re okay!’ and then keep going.”

the crowd is as varied as the team members.

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taken on teams from California, Arizona, and Utah as well as other Nevada teams. Bouts are a raucous affair complete with half-time shows. “With our halftime we try to incorporate other community fixtures, we have bands, we try to make up games, we do raffles, we try to keep changing it up,” Lee says. “Contests, dances, you name it, we do it. It changes all the time.”

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COMMUNIT Y the local spotlight

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issue 21

music & entertainment

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the local spotlight COMMUNIT Y

Families with children, older suburbanites, proud

the community that we might be interested in

boyfriends and spouses all join together to cheer

where we could be helpful, just email us!” And

on the ladies of Las Vegas. And there are plenty

if you find yourself inspired to participate but

of fans, with anywhere from five to seven hundred

not yet ready to strap on skates yourself, there

people attending each game. “Our fans are

are multiple other ways to get involved, whether

our biggest priority! We can’t really skate

through sponsorship (monetary, trade of services,

without them.”

or anywhere in between) or by joining the support

Each bout is naturally followed by an after party, generally at a neighborhood bar where, in Lee’s

staff as a referee, scorekeeper, or member of the “Stat Pack,” the teams’ volunteer record keepers.

words, the girls can get “rowdy and obnoxious.”

So what’s next for the Fabulous Sin City Roller

She says, “Our fans can come down. We love our

Girls? You can meet the ladies at the league’s

fans,” she says. “The spectators can mingle with the

season opener fundraising party during the

girls and talk about derby, learn about the sport.”

second week of September, or just check out

Keeping a good relationship with fans isn’t the only way that the Fabulous Sin City Roller Girls give back, though. “We try to stay really involved in the community and do community service,” Lee says. “If anybody has anything that could benefit

For more information, visit sincityrollergirls.com. Check the site for a link to join the mailing list which offers ticket giveaways and contests along with all you need to know about upcoming events. For sponsorship or community service opportunities, email info@sincityrollergirls.com. Keep up with the latest Sin City Rollergirls updates on Facebook and Twitter.

the season’s first bout on September 19th at

Tickets

the Las Vegas Roller Hockey Center. They’ll also be

$7 in advance $10 at the door Kids under 10 and EMTs are free.

accepting prospective skaters to new girl camp on the first Wednesday of September. So get Fabulous!

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the local spotlight COMMUNIT Y FROM LEFT: ARBECY; choir in rehearsal ©Greg Warden

ERIC SCHELLHORN

THE BLIND CENTER’S BELL CHOIR

THE RING OF TRIUMPH At the conductor’s cue, the 10 musicians who

Most conductors have the luxury of using nods,

the data to a lighting console. But rather than

today make up this red-robed choir raise their

hand gestures, facial expressions, or other visual

triggering a light show, Simon’s device translates

bells aloft and begin tolling the opening bars of

signals to communicate with their charges

the impulses into signals that are instantly relayed

The Star Spangled Banner.

during a performance. But Simon’s musicians

to the appropriate musician’s cell phone. The

get direction through a Rube Goldberg-like

vibration is the musician’s cue to ring his or her

electronic contraption he calls an ARBECY (an

hand chime—a bell-like percussion instrument

acronym derived from “a remote controlled bell

consisting of a hollow, rectangular metal tube

For the next three minutes, the group hammers out lush, arpeggiated chords and carefully articulated intervals that linger like sonic vapor trails in a small auditorium with low ceilings at The Blind Center of Nevada.

“The worst feeling in the world is being excluded. We want to give

Throughout the performance, the conductor—a native Louisianan named Jerry Simon, who has

music to everyone.”

been making these sorts of joyful noises since the

choir”), which enables them to receive his cues as

1970s—dispenses encouragement, appreciation,

vibrations on cell phones strapped to their wrists.

and practical advice in equal measures: “Keep it going!” “I love the sound of those bells!” “Always listen for the person next to you!”

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Simon arranges each of the choir’s tunes on his laptop software, which feeds a sequence of notes to a digital keyboard, which in turn transmits

music & entertainment

issue 21

with a “clapper,” or hammer, attached. For Simon, forming The Blind Center’s bell choir in March 2009—and staging nine successful performances at various community venues in months since—is the realization of a goal he first set for himself when conducting a bell choir at a school for the mentally disabled in the early 1980s. As he tells it, a blackout during a rehearsal led him to try directing his musicians with flashlights.

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to stand before an audience and get that kind of

might be possible to conduct blind performers the

appreciation, to do something others can’t—you

same way. “The problem is that some blind people

can’t imagine the effect it has.” She notes that

have no light perception at all,” explains Veronica

one choir member, who suffers from autism, finds

Wilson, The Blind Center’s executive director. The

that his focus and concentration are dramatically

use of vibration, she adds, neatly addresses this

enhanced by playing the bells. Another member

challenge. “I knew there’d have to be a tactile

has described the sensation of playing this music

component to the ARBECY for everyone to be able

as “feeling like I’m in heaven.” “It’s awesome to be

to participate,” Simon explains.

part of something like this,” says Latrisha Leavitt,

And participation is indeed the goal. Simon, who

23, another of Simon’s musicians.

studied music therapy at college, is a firm believer

The bell choir, as it turns out, is equally gratifying

in the notion that ensemble performance builds

and therapeutic for its conductor, whose day job is

confidence and self-esteem. “The worst feeling in

working as a gang specialist with the Clark County

the world is being excluded,” he says. “We want to

Department of Juvenile Justice Services. “Working

give music to everyone.”

in a dysfunctional court system, dealing with

It’s an ambition he and Wilson share. “Blind people are often dependent on others to help them

COMMUNIT Y the local spotlight

Shortly thereafter, he began wondering whether it

The Blind Center of Nevada The Blind Center of Nevada is the only center of its kind in our state. In addition, to its phenomenal bell choir, the center offers numerous programs to aid the sightless. The center focuses on enriching its clients’ lives through personal development programs, social interaction, and meaningful employment. For more information about The Blind Center of Nevada and its programs, to make a donation, or to volunteer please visit their website at blindcenter.org or call 642.6000

gangsters and violence. . . this really is my respite,” says Simon.

through the day,” Wilson explains. “So for them

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LAS VEGAS DESPITE THE IMPLOSION OF THE LOCAL ECONOMY. LEARN ABOUT THE STRATEGIES SIX DEDICATED COMPANIES ARE EMPLOYING TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE, AND TO EXPAND FRINGE THEATER OPPORTUNITIES FOR ARTISTS AND AUDIENCES ALIKE.

WITH ONE CAMERA AND LIMITLESS IMAGINATION,

TWO SISTERS HAVE BECOME INTERNET SENSATIONS WITH THEIR PARODIES OF POPULAR MOVIES LIKE THE DARK KNIGHT AND TWILIGHT. CHECK OUT “THE HILLYWOOD SHOW”-NOW THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT!

blvds culture

entertainment & activities

ARTICLES Alternative Energies Las Vegas’ Underground Theater Scene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Hooray for Hillywood One Camera, Two Sisters, Infinite Fun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Upcoming Events Check Out the BLVDS Events Calendar for Upcoming Local Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

THIS PAGE: Insurgo Theater Movement in action ©R. Brusky for Insurgo

cultu re

A VIBRANT ALTERNATIVE THEATER SCENE CAN BE FOUND IN


e n t e r t a i n m e n t & a c t i v i t i e s C U LT U R E

FACING PAGE: A Midsummer Night’s Dream ©Insurgo

BECKY BOSSHART

ALTERNATIVE ENERGIES

LAS VEGAS’ UNDERGROUND THEATER SCENE While the city’s underground theater scene has

productions lit up in neon. One local company

always struggled because of a lack of audiences

converted its theater from a dark corner dance

and cultural venues, the companies operating

studio. Another theater is located inside a fetish

during this economic maelstrom are surviving by

shop. Actors have used the backroom of an Irish

sharing resources. Some are finding the strategy is

pub. Others have relied on the availability of more

taking them more into the mainstream.

established theaters and public spaces to showcase

“We’re on the cusp of something big,” says Erik

performances that veer from traditional stage plays.

Amblad, one of Las Vegas’ most successful actors in

These companies perform Shakespeare, with

alternative theater. “I like being underground, but

or without petticoats and breeches. Others do

now it feels like we’re emerging into something

Broadway musicals and original plays set in

mainstream that’s really going to be a part of

Las Vegas. One group specializes in physical

everyone’s life here in Las Vegas.”

theater with acrobatics and dance, drawing from

John Beane, who leads Insurgo Theater Movement, is tempting audiences by invoking the

the talents of the city’s Strip performers. It’s hard to say that Amblad’s talents have remained “underground,” since he was named best actor by the Las Vegas Review-Journal in

eroticism Las Vegas is famous for,

2007 and 2009. He also co-founded Born and

and he’s doing it down the street

Raised Productions. While the alternative theater

from the city’s most well known strip clubs on Industrial Road. Young theater companies are sharing and creating their own theater spaces. Venues are off the beaten path, though accessible as entertainment venues that can be enjoyed by locals. These spaces have no-hassle parking. Theater tickets are under $20, and drinks are affordable, unlike the big-budget

22 B L V D S

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that he’s a part of still remains unknown to most Las Vegans, many of these small companies are changing that circumstance. John Beane, who leads Insurgo Theater Movement, is tempting audiences by invoking the eroticism Las Vegas is famous for, and he’s doing it down the street from the city’s most well known strip clubs on Industrial Road. Erotic Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream plays at the Erotic Heritage Museum through August 7th as part of a series addressing

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sexuality in the context of art and theatrics. The production has full and partial nudity, Beane says, as well as simulated sexual scenes, but he isn’t taking it all too seriously—the wardrobe includes cellophane dresses. “We will show all different facets of eroticism, from domination to unrequited love, romantic to filial love to voyeuristic love. We will touch on all of those,” Beane says about the erotic series, which continues in late August with Oscar Wilde’s Salome. The biblical drama of the beheading of John the Baptist will include an accurate portrayal of Salome’s dance of the seven veils. Insurgo’s unrestrained theatrical exploration continues at its Bastard Theater in Commercial Center with War Mouth, penned by local actor/ playwright Ernie Curcio. It tells of a possessed Iraq war vet going insane in a hotel room. The entire company participated in renovating the Bastard, which was once a dance studio in the shopping center known for ethnic food and alternative forms of entertainment. Despite the loss of a few groups, and the closing of the new Stage Door Theater at Town Square, others have taken their place. RagTag Entertainment, which just finished a new version of the Broadway show Jekyll & Hyde at the Onyx Theatre and fetish

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C U LT U R E entertainment & activities

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Find Your Passion!

DAZZLING!

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Thursday, Sept. 30 • 8 p.m. $35 - $50 - $80

Saturday, October 30 • 8 p.m. $45 - $60 - $90

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June 28 – October 23 800-PLAYTIX • www.bard.org

2010 – 2011 season pac.unlv.edu • (702) 895-ARTS (2787) Conceptual photo for The Adventures of Pericles.


C U LT U R E entertainment & activities

THIS PAGE FROM LEFT: A Midsummer Night’s Dream ©R. Brusky for Insurgo; Cloud Tectonics performance ©W. Adamson for Cockroach Theatre

shop in Commercial Center, plans to produce the

“I created Butcher Block so I could explore mediums

hit Broadway musical Godspell as a rock concert.

of theater that I don’t entirely understand,” says

Off Strip Productions, located at the Onyx Theatre,

Hackler, who works a day job as an audio, video,

explore mediums of theater that I

has had a long run with its production of the Off

and lighting technician at the Cosmopolitan of

don’t entirely understand. I wanted

Broadway Naked Boys Singing!

Las Vegas. “I wanted to do stuff you wouldn’t find in

to do stuff you wouldn’t find in

mainstream theater, particularly Las Vegas. Fringe

mainstream theater, particularly

Nudity is a common theme explored in alternative theater, as is cultural and political satire. Shawn

is the goal.”

“I created Butcher Block so I could

Las Vegas. Fringe is the goal.”

Hackler found out how difficult alternative theater

Butcher Block recently participated with more than

can be in Las Vegas when he was casting for The

eight other small theater companies in the Vegas

collapse of Neonopolis before the company’s new

America Play, which showed at the Las Vegas Little

Fringe Festival, which premiered at the Las Vegas

theater was even open. “Las Vegas theater is now

Theatre earlier this year. His challenge: finding

Little Theatre. The festival was stretched over two

where New York was in the late 1940s and early

enough African-American actors to fill the cast.

weekends in June and featured afternoon and

‘50s in terms of ‘Off-Broadway,’” says Will Adamson,

The play is about a black gravedigger who runs an

evening performances of 10 different original works.

artistic director of Cockroach Theatre and president

attraction in which he impersonates Abe Lincoln, allowing customers to take on the role of John Wilkes Booth to re-enact the assassination. He was still casting three weeks prior to the opening. Despite this slow start for Hackler’s Butcher Block

Hackler hopes to produce the musical Debbie Does Dallas in the fall. Debbie is selected to become a Texas Cowgirls cheerleader who finances her way to training camp by acting in pornographic movies.

Productions, and low attendance, he’s determined

Cockroach Theatre has been dormant since 2008,

to keep producing alternative theater.

when the economic turmoil brought about the

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issue 21

of Creative Studios LV, a nonprofit launched on August 6th. “Las Vegas alternative theater is different because of the talent on the Strip that’s available to perform. You have a different type of performer, and you have some of highest paid performers in the world that call Las Vegas home.”

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Adamson has also found that the credit market can work to the benefit of nonprofits. Rather than spaces sitting empty, real estate owners will make a deal with a group to receive a tax benefit. That’s how the British National Theatre of America, which operates under Cockroach, recently received discounted office and rehearsal space in a condo development. BNTA started underground and has been steadily rising. The group was started by Love acrobat Rob Winch, born in London, and Cirque tech worker Rich Perkin over a few beers at a Las Vegas pub. The group stages family-friendly musical comedy, known in Britain as panto, short for

THIS PAGE: Night of the Dogs ©BNTA

McMullan’s Irish Pub, which garnered positive reviews and packed the bar’s back room during performances. The piece combined contemporary dance, acrobatics, and multimedia, including a photographic tour of Las Vegas projected onto a bed sheet held by the performers. BNTA will have its first mainstream audience at Super Summer Theatre with its production of The Foreigner at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park in September. Winch says landing the Super Summer contract, its

stories, like Cinderella and Snow White, attuned

first production with a budget, motivates him to

to local audiences. Performances have featured

keep working on the group, recruiting new talent,

showgirls from Jubilee and other actors from Strip

and marketing their work. He hopes they will soon

productions. “We make it fun for the whole family,”

have an established body of work to offer venues.

FALL SERIES

October 15-17, 2010

Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall, UNLV

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Photo by Brooks Ayola Crystals at CityCenter

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The group performed Durty Nelly’s Lullaby at

pantomime. The company retells classic children’s

NB T

26 B L V D S

Winch says. “We modernize and Vegasize it up a bit.”

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Lied Discovery Children’s Museum is celebrating its anniversary with

2 DECADES FOR 2 DOLLARS! On September 9 from 9 am to 4 pm Admission is just $2 per person! Come share this special day as we mark 20 years of inspiring and educating Las Vegas. Thank you for supporting LDCM! 833 Las Vegas Blvd. North ACROSS FROM CASHMAN FIELD

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See what's in store for the 2010 - 2011 season at www.operalasvegas.org. Marek Rachelski, Music Director & Conductor 9030 W. Sahara Blvd., Suite 688, Las Vegas NV 89117 702-288-2056 • www.operalasvegas.org


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October 15-17, 22-24 $12 & $10

A “Loverly” Afternoon of

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C U LT U R E entertainment & activities

THIS PAGE FROM LEFT: The Hindi sisters; on set ©The Hillywood Show

CHRISTINA GIBSON

HOORAY FOR HILLYWOOD

ONE CAMERA, TWO SISTERS, INFINITE FUN Just a few years ago, Hilly and Hannah Hindi

The Hindis subsequently posted

popular on YouTube and across the Internet. In

were two average teenagers living in an average

their parodies on YouTube and

fact, public demand for high quality parodies

neighborhood in Henderson being homeschooled

began attracting a small but

was accelerating.

performing, and began making home movies.

loyal audience. When their fans

Hilly and Hannah continued to develop popular

They had no idea that they would soon become

suggested they try a Twilight

Internet sensations.

parody, no one in the family had

In 2006, Hilly submitted one of their productions

even read the book.

by their mother. They loved dancing and

to an AOL video competition. The short video was part of a series of parodies using Johnny Depp characters, and the girls didn’t plan to continue making these types of videos. When their entry, “The Hillywood Show,” came in third place out of almost 100,000 entrants, they realized other

Hilly knew she loved filmmaking, and Hannah discovered that doing special effects make-up was her passion. She began creating scars, using

thrilled to know that we had placed in the Top 5! It was amazing and even though we didn’t win, fans told us to continue with the idea and we thought, ‘Why not?’ So, three years later, here we are still

special wigs, and using theatrical contact lenses on her actors. She has created Jack Sparrow, Napoleon Dynamite, Edward Scissor Hands, and The Joker characters with exceptional results. The Hindis subsequently posted their parodies on

creating film productions!”

people appreciated their work and decided to

The girls also learned that parodies of popular

continue producing. Says Hannah,” We were so

movies and productions were becoming very

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characters and make parody videos for fun.

issue 21

YouTube and began attracting a small but loyal audience. When their fans suggested they try a Twilight parody, no one in the family had even

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we get on a daily basis through emails, messages, and tweets is simply humbling. We can’t thank the fans enough.” The sisters’ latest project, which will be an Eclipse parody, is in production and scheduled to be released in the fall. They are working on a Hillywood Convention to be held in Las Vegas in 2011 where they will show their movies, give dance lessons, provide interviews, showcase their extensive props and costumes, and meet and take pictures with fans. The sisters are adamant that the fans are the most important part of their work. Even with their extremely busy travel schedule, continuous production of videos, and the prospect of Hollywood knocking on their door, the Hindi girls pride themselves in being down to earth. They want to be with their fans as much as

THIS PAGE: At Twilight convention ©The Hillywood Show

possible so they never lose touch of who the fans are and what the fans want the next Hillywood

read the book. The entire family thought it was a

their work with the Children’s Cancer Center.

great idea, though. With the release of the Twilight

In November of 2009, “The Hillywood Show”

parody, “The Hillywood Show” took off.

cast supported a special event, The Hillywood

The Hindi sisters want to make more films, go to

Fall Masquerade Ball in Florida. There they met

film school, and get “The Hillywood Show” picked

hundreds of fans, taught the fans one of their

up by a television network. They are often asked

original dance routines from their Twilight parody,

what tips they have for other kids who want to

and were able to respond to some special requests

be successful. Their philosophy is, however, very

from cancer patients.

straightforward. “Follow your dreams. Reach for

Their Twilight parody has had over 3.8 million views and their New Moon has landed over 1.9 million hits. They have attracted worldwide attention and now tour with The Official Twilight Convention. Through the end of 2010, they’ll be taking part in the conventions in locations

Hilly and Hannah now have fans that spoof their

throughout the U.S. and Canada.

spoofs and there are numerous fan websites

A recent parody of the film The Runaways has also attracted high-powered attention. Shortly after the release of the Hillywood The Runaways video, the film’s official site made special notice of the sisters’ work by posting support for it. As they continue producing videos, the Hindi sisters have found another passion. Hilly and Hannah thoroughly enjoy dressing up in character and visiting with fans. They especially enjoy

30 B L V D S

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dedicated to all things Hillywood including Finnish, Spanish, British, and Australian sites. Teenagers

production to be.

the stars. Follow your passion. Never give up and always have fun. Treat others kindly and always be gracious.” Sage advice from two accomplished, creative young women.

show up to their public appearances wearing

For more information about Hilly and Hannah Hindi,

homemade shirts with their names and characters.

“The Hillywood Show,” appearances, tours, and more,

“The Hillywood Show” has over 18,000 fans on

visit their website at thehillywoodshow.com.

Facebook and over 10,000 Twitter followers. The Hindis say it is the encouragement and excitement from the fans that keeps inspiring them to create something new. “The fan support is overwhelming! The encouragement and love that

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TANNER AMPHITHEATER SUMMER 2010 CONCERT SERIES

Featuring Academy Award Winning music and lyrics by Phil Collins

Aug 7

Legends of Classic Country

Aug 21

Claudia Russell Quartet

Aug 18

Carrie Rodriguez and Luke Jacobs of Romantica

Aug 28

Mike Tobian Jazz Band It's all about jazz & big band music

Regional Premiere Exclusively at Tuacahn June 7 - Oct 15 • $22 - $56

(866) 321-5063 The O. C. Tanner Amphitheater, located in Springdale, Utah is a satellite campus of Dixie State College in St. George, Utah. It is an outdoor facility surrounded by the cliffs of Zion National Park.

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All Concerts begin at 8 p.m. Tickets $10. Available at the door For additional information contact Gail Bunker (435) 652-7994 or gbunker@dixie.edu.

Snow Canyon - Home of the Tuacahn Outdoor Theater


e ven ts

AUGUST

Cats

NOW – AUG. 14, 2010 Tuacahn Amphitheatre Ivins, Utah tuacahn.org

Damn Yankees

SEPTEMBER

AUG. 11–28, 2010 8 p.m. Super Summer Theatre Spring Mountain Ranch supersummertheatre.com

Karnival, A Collection of Oddities SEPT. 01, 2010 8 p.m. Onyx Theatre onyxtheatre.com

Confessions of a Prairie Bitch NOW – AUG. 14, 2010 Onyx Theatre onyxtheatre.com

First Friday Las Vegas

SEPT. 03, 2010 6-10 p.m. Arts District firstfriday-lasvegas.org

Marilyn Minter

NOW – AUG. 31, 2010 CENTERpiece Gallery centerpiecelv.com

Growing Up With the Berenstain Bears

NOW – SEPT. 07, 2010 Lied Discovery Children’s Museum ldcm.org

”Lonnie”, Home of a Local Legend, Lonnie Hammargren NOW – SEPT. 19, 2010 Local Photographers Linda Alterwitz and Heather Protz Sahara West Art Gallery lindaalterwitz.com heatherprotz.com

Tarzan – The Stage Musical NOW – OCT. 15, 2010 Tuacahn Amphitheatre Ivins Utah tuacahn.org

Utah Shakespearean Festival NOW – OCT. 23, 2010 Cedar City, Utah 800-PLAYTIX, bard.org

Salome

Gary Morris

AUG. 13, 2010 Insurgo Theatre insurgotheater.org

Rainbow Company Youth Theatre Ensemble Auditions AUG. 14, 2010 1 p.m. Rainbow Company Reed Whipple Cultural Center rainbowcompany.org AUG. 19, 2010 5-8 p.m. City of Henderson Water Street District hendersonlive.com

Music on Main Street

NOW – DEC. 31, 2010 Friday and Saturday, 6-9 p.m. The District at Green Valley Ranch 564-8595, shop-the-district.com

Bill Evans and Megan Lynch AUG. 21, 2010 8 p.m. Dixie State College Tanner Amphitheater in Springdale, Utah 435-652-7994 dixie.edu/tanner/index.html

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20th Annual Ho’olaule’a Pacific Islands Festival SEPT. 11 – 12, 2010 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. City of Henderson Henderson Events Plaza 267-2171, hendersonlive.com

SEPT. 05, 2010 8 p.m. City of Henderson Henderson Pavillon hendersonlive.com SEPT. 09 – 25, 2010 8 p.m. Super Summer Theatre Spring Mountain Ranch supersummertheatre.com

Greater Tuna

SEPT. 09 – 25, 2010 Las Vegas Little Theatre lvlt.org

Keola & Moana Beamer SEPT. 10, 2010 8 p.m. City of Henderson Henderson Events Plaza hendersonlive.com

AUG. 28, 2010 8 p.m. Dixie State College Tanner Amphitheater in Springdale, Utah 435.652.7994 dixie.edu/tanner/index.html

Miss Kitty’s Jeans to Jewels

SEPT. 11, 2010 Opportunity Village Bitter Root Ranch 880-4038, opportunityvillage.org

AUG. 28, 2010 4-8 p.m. Opportunity Village Kitty Rodman Events Center www.opportunityvillage.org music & entertainment

SEPT. 11, 2010 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. The District at GVR shop-the-district.com

SEPT. 11, 2010 8 p.m. City of Henderson Henderson Pavillon hendersonlive.com

The Foreigner

Mike Tobian Jazz Band

O-Vino Wine Tasting

Mutts on Main Street

Celtic Woman

AUG. 26 – OCT. 16, 2010 Tuacahn Amphitheatre Ivins, Utah tuacahn.org NOW- OCT. 30, 2010 7:00 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays at The District at Green Valley Ranch Shop-the-district.com

SEPT. 11, 2010 6 p.m. I Have a Dream Foundation Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino ihaveadreamlasvegas.org 966-3126

Smash Mouth

Third Thursday ARTsWalk

Crazy for You – The New Gershwin Comedy

Outdoor Picture Show

SEPT. 03, 2010 8 p.m. City of Henderson Henderson Events Plaza hendersonlive.com

14th Annual Ball “Heroes Emerge”

issue 21

Masterworks I

SEPT. 11, 2010 8 p.m. Las Vegas Philharmonic Artemus W. Ham Hall lasvegasphilharmonic.com

8th Annual Storybook Gala – “Unlock the World of Literacy” SEPT. 11, 2010 5:30 p.m. Spread the Word Nevada The Venetian 715-5699 spreadthewordnevada.org

“Locals Only” by Sush Machida Gaikotsu SEPT. 16 – NOV. 07, 2010 CENTERpiece Gallery centerpiecelv.com

W.C. Clark

SEPT. 17, 2010 8 p.m. City of Henderson Henderson Events Plaza hendersonlive.com

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Henderson Symphony Orchestra

The Hot L Baltimore

Fool for Love

OCT. 08 – 17, 2010 2 or 8 p.m. Nevada Conservatory Theatre Black Box Theatre 895-2787, nct.unlv.edu

SEPT. 17 – 26, 2010 2 or 8 p.m. Nevada Conservatory Theatre Judy Bayley Theatre nct.unlv.edu

Fireball Run 2010

Torn From Home: My Life as a Refugee

FAAN Walk for Food Allergy

SEPT. 18 – JANUARY 06, 2011 Lied Discovery Children’s Museum ldcm.org

MonteLago Village Wine Walk SEPT. 18, 2010 7-10 p.m. MonteLago Village montelagovillage.com

Third Thursday ARTsWalk SEPT. 18, 2010 5-8 p.m. City of Henderson Water Street District hendersonlive.com

Run for Your L.I.F.E. – 5K Race and 1 Mile Fun Run

SEPT. 18, 2010 7:30 a.m. Lowery’s Multisport Races, Inc. The District at Green Valley Ranch 564-8595, shop-the-district.com

Sin City Roller Girls Roller Derby SEPT. 19, 2010 Sin City Roller Girls Las Vegas Roller Hockey Center sincityrollergirls.com

An Evening with Rita Mae Brown

SEPT. 25, 2010 City of Henderson Water Street District hendersonlive.com SEPT. 25, 2010 10 a.m. Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network The District at Green Valley Ranch shop-the-district.com foodallergywalk.com

Hilary Hahn, Violin, and Natasha Paremski, Piano

SEPT. 30, 2010 8 p.m. UNLV PAC Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall pac.unlv.edu OC TOBER

First Friday Las Vegas

Super Run Classic Car Show

Shakespeare in the Park

SEPT. 25, 2010 Nevada Pops Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall nevadapops.org

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Nevada Wild West Music Fest benefiting Lili Claire Foundation

OCT. 02 – 23, 2010 7 p.m. City of Henderson hendersonlive.com

Pops I: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra OCT. 02, 2010 8 p.m. Las Vegas Philharmonic Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall lasvegasphilharmonic.com

OCT. 29 – NOV. 07, 2010 2 or 8 p.m. Nevada Conservatory Theatre Judy Bayley Theatre 895-2787, nct.unlv.edu

NOV. 01 – 02, 2010 Clark County Winchester Cultural Center accessclarkcounty.com

OCT. 15 – 17, 2010 City of Henderson Henderson Pavillon hendersonlive.com

Suzy Bogguss

OCT. 15, 2010 8 p.m. City of Henderson Henderson Events Plaza hendersonlive.com

Carlos Barbosa-Lima

NSPCA Family, Fur & Fun Festival

Count Dracula

NOVEMBER

The Zombies Walk Among Us OCT. 01 – 09, 2010 7 p.m. City of Las Vegas Reed Whipple Cultural Center artslasvegas.org

OCT. 23, 2010 10 a.m. City of Las Vegas Veterans Memorial Center Summerlin artslasvegas.org

Life After Death Festival

Artwalk

OCT. 02, 2010 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Exploration Peak Park Mountain’s Edge familyfurandfun.com

Coast to Coast

OCT. 15 – 17, 2010 Nevada Ballet Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall nevadaballet.com

OCT. 01, 2010 6-10 p.m. Arts District firstfriday-lasvegas.org

SEPT. 21, 2010 7 p.m. Clark County Library lvccld.org SEPT. 23 – 26, 2010 City of Henderson Water Street District hendersonlive.com

Fall Series

Trunks and Treats

OCT. 16 – 17, 2010 The District at Green Valley Ranch shop-the-district.com OCT. 20, 2010 UNLV PAC Doc Rando Recital Hall pac.unlv.edu

Third Thursday ARTsWalk OCT. 21, 2010 8 p.m. City of Henderson Water Street District hendersonlive.com

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real

OCT. 22, 2010 8 p.m. City of Henderson Henderson Events Plaza hendersonlive.com

MonteLago Village Wine Walks OCT. 23, 2010 7-10 p.m. MonteLago Village montelagovillage.com

issue 21

music & entertainment

Silverman

NOV. 04 – 08, 2010 SilvermanNevada City of Henderson silvermannv.com hendersonlive.com

First Friday Las Vegas

NOV. 05, 2010 6-10 p.m. Arts District firstfriday-lasvegas.org

The Broadway Tenors

NOV. 05, 2010 8 p.m. UNLV PAC Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall pac.unlv.edu

Doubt

NOV. 05 – 21, 2010 Las Vegas Little Theatre lvlt.org

Duo Siqueira-Lima

NOV. 06, 2010 8 p.m. UNLV PAC Doc Rando Recital Hall pac.unlv.edu

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SEPT. 17, 2010 8 p.m. Henderson Symphony Orchestra Henderson Pavillon hsorch.org


HANDMADE PURSES, HAIR FASCINATORS, PENDANTS, AND TEES. HER ONE-OF-A-KIND DESIGNS ARE WORN, AND ADORED, BY A GROWING LIST OF FANS FROM BRIDES TO ROCK STARS.

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architecture & style

ARTICLES Inspired by Claire Jane Exclusive Rocker Chic Creations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

FACING PAGE: ICJ creations ©Emma Cohan

desi gn

BRITISH-BORN CLAIRE JANE VRANIAN MAKES A LINE OF CUSTOM


THIS PAGE: ICJ handbags ©Emma Cohan. FACING PAGE: Claire Jane ©Emma Cohan

L AUR A CORONADO

INSPIRED BY CLAIRE JANE

EXCLUSIVE ROCKER CHIC CREATIONS No need to leave Las Vegas for a taste of cutting-

began a career in special effects makeup in the

edge, cheeky British fashion. Local designer

entertainment industry.

and English transplant Claire Jane Vranian brings UK flavor to this desert town with her line of one-of-a-kind, handmade handbags, appropriately labeled Inspired by Claire Jane. Each Inspired by Claire Jane (ICJ) handbag is an original design with its own individual

Because of her determination and steely sense of individualism, Vranian has cultivated a successful process for her handbag designs rather than follow the mandates set forth by others.

personality. From 1960s mod to burlesque sultriness to rock star flash featuring skulls, there

While working on the film Interview with the

is an ICJ quality made handbag for every woman.

Vampire, Vranian found herself more interested in

“I like to design things for women of all ages. I’m

the costumes than the makeup. Later, she moved

not going for one particular market. Everyone

to Los Angeles where she worked on films such as

is different, and that’s why each one of my bags

Blade, Sleepy Hollow, and Dracula 2000. Although

is unique.” ICJ handbag styles currently include

her special effects makeup career allowed her to be

clutches, totes, crossbody bags, and laptop bags. However, the line is ever-evolving, and soon Vranian will be adding hobo style handbags and sunglass cases. Born in West Sussex, halfway between London and Brighton, Vranian grew up infatuated with London fashion, oceanside Brighton boutiques, window displays and department stores. “I’ve

first handbag that she truly discovered her passion. “I felt like I needed to have something that was going to complete me, something that I did from start to finish, and it being mine,” Vranian recounts. “And I woke up one morning and literally thought to myself, ‘I’m going to make a handbag today.’” She had no pattern and simply cut two pieces of fabric and sewed them together. For her next bag, she

always been obsessed with fabrics,

realized she needed an inside lining, and she spent

since an early age,” she explains.

a great deal of time trying to figure out how to line

However, her first foray into a creative role was not in fashion. In the early 1990s she

music & entertainment

creative, it wasn’t until she decided to design her

issue 21

up her fabric correctly. “I should have just gone online and bought a pattern, but I didn’t know. So I

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DESIGN architecture & style

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architecture & style DESIGN

created my own.” Because of her determination and steely sense of individualism, Vranian has cultivated a successful process for her handbag designs rather than follow the mandates set forth by others. She pays special

start with picking out the exterior fabric and an

gratitude, “People tell me they get compliments

embellishment, then the lining,” Vranian describes

on their Inspired by Claire Jane handbags all the

her system for design. “I adore vintage fabrics,

time. Designing allows me to express myself and

modern prints, exotic textures and bold colors. I

show my creativity. Spiritually, it completes me.”

choose fabrics that speak for themselves.”

ICJ designs are currently being carried at Gallery

attention to all the details including stitching and

Def Leppard rocker Joe Elliott inspired Vranian to

319 in Santa Monica, or they can be purchased

lining. “Every stitch counts,” insists Vranian. In fact,

add T-shirts to her label when, after admiring the

online at InspiredbyClaireJane.com.

she actually double lines the interior pockets of

handbags Vranian had custom-made for his wife

her bags, something most bag designers neglect

and her friends, he asked her to design something

to do. “Like people, what’s inside the bag is just as

for him. The result was a stage-ready T-shirt

important as the outside,” she reasons.

featuring a silver crystal-embellished, double

Laura Coronado is a blogger offering fashion

wing design, which the singer wore while onstage

and retail advice online. Check her out at

with legendary rock band Cheap Trick. Recently,

lollieshopping.com and goshopvegas.com. You

Vranian added hair fascinators to her collection.

can also follow her on Twitter.

The interior linings of all ICJ bags are specially selected to complement the exterior design, and the quality of fabric used to line the bag is just as good in quality as the outside. “I always

“I get amazing feedback,” Vranian says with

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music & entertainment

issue 21

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blvds flavor dining & retail ARTICLES Slidin’ Thru Mobile Eats Hit the Streets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Acoustic Soul Live By Request . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

THIS PAGE: The Slider Truck ©Adam Shane

flavo r

THE GOURMET FOOD TRUCK MOVEMENT HAS ARRIVED IN LAS


d i n i n g & r e t a i l F L AV O R

FACING PAGE: The Slider Guy, Ric Guerrero ©Adam Shane

BROCK RADKE

SLIDIN’ THRU

MOBILE EATS HIT THE STREETS It’s a warm night in Las Vegas. You’ve decided to

ingredients, and most importantly, one guy

foodie culture all their own, and he put the pieces

take the kids out to dinner, so it has to be delicious

following his passion.

together. A few months later, he found a truck he

and easy. Instead of heading to your (boring) neighborhood restaurant, you grab the iPhone and check Twitter.

“I’ve always loved to cook, loved being in the kitchen and being around food, going out to dinner,” says Ric Guerrero, a lifelong Las Vegan and

could afford. It was mom, once again, who came up with the idea of serving sliders. “I credit that to her, 100 percent,” he says. “She said sliders and my

You’ve got your destination. You pile the family

graduate of Palo Verde High School. “I definitely

“I definitely remember being in

into the car and drive to a supermarket parking

remember being in the kitchen when my mom was

the kitchen when my mom was

lot, or maybe behind a yogurt shop or tanning

cooking, eating everything before it was done, and

salon. There’s a short line forming alongside the

she’d be saying, ‘Get your hands out of there!’”

cooking, eating everything before

brightly colored vehicle you’ve been chasing, but like them, you don’t mind waiting a few minutes. You order a tasty sampling of sliders: the Pep Pep, a classic burger with bacon and cheddar cheese; the Yaya, a Greek twist with feta cheese and cool tzatziki; and the Pulled Porkie, slow-cooked pork with barbecue sauce and caramelized jalapeno. To top it off, you share in some irresistible sweet potato fries.

A few years ago, Guerrero was making good money at a sales job but never far from the

‘Get your hands out of there!’”

kitchen, cooking huge weekly dinners for friends

eyes lit up. Gourmet hamburgers and sliders are a

and taking home tasty leftovers for his mom. He

big trend by themselves. Every restaurant has its

knew his love of food and career goals would

signature burger that you pay 20 bucks for, but

collide, and he received plenty of encouragement.

when you go to a restaurant you get one burger.

“One night I brought home some chili verde or

Here you can get three different burgers and three

something, and my mom said, ‘You’re always

completely different flavors in one tray. And they

bringing home this good food. You should start a

look nice and cute.”

You just had a tasty dinner for a few bucks with lots

catering company.’ It was crazy because I had been

of fun adding to the flavor. How did this happen?

thinking a lot about the gourmet food truck trend

The most talked about food in the city known as

in L.A. and other big cities. Growing up in Vegas,

much for famous chefs, and high-profile restaurants

this city has never known street food. There are

as it is for neon and nonstop fun, is being served

taco trucks here, but they have a negative stigma

fresh daily from a neighborhood-roving truck

attached. ‘Don’t eat off the roach coach! Only

covered in comic book-themed illustrations. How

construction workers eat that!’”

did the slider truck take Las Vegas?

it was done, and she’d be saying,

With the transportation and the menu set, it was time to get cooking. But Guerrero was building hype for Slidin’ Thru before the first slider was served. He taught himself to build a decent website and got comfortable with social marketing outlets, realizing the internet would be the way his diners would find him. His Twitter

What seems like a simple, funny observation is

following was a few hundred strong before the

The game-changing success of Slidin’ Thru is due

actually indicative of a smart strategy. Guerrero

truck ever hit the road. “These days, if you’re not

to a combination of factors: perfect timing, savvy

knows his hometown is still growing. He knows

using the internet, you are living in the past,”

marketing, fun food made from high quality

mobile eats have developed from trend to a hip

Guerrero says. “We had built this following online

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ahead of time, talking about sliders we were

hunting aspect to it. It’s funny. One guy wrote on

testing and different things, and then when we

Yelp something like, ‘I had to stalk my prey and

did come out, we had at least 100 people on our

pounced on it for dinner.’ It’s pretty wild, but you

first day. A lot of them were friends, but ever since

can see there is a social aspect to it, much different

“One guy wrote on Yelp something

than just meeting up for dinner.”

like, ‘I had to stalk my prey and

Slidin’ Thru’s success has Guerrero thinking

pounced on it for dinner.”

about expansion, but it’s also paving the way for

then it’s been steady growth.” When local media outlets picked up on the Slidin’ Thru phenomenon, word of mouth exploded into nonstop coverage. The slider truck was even mentioned in a recent Bloomberg Businessweek article.

other Las Vegas food trucks. But it doesn’t feel like competition. The slider guy welcomes new arrivals, possibly because he will go down as the harbinger of a fun food revolution. “I wanna go eat off some food trucks,” he says. “I want to see other (food truck) cuisines come to Vegas other than

“It’s been crazy. We’ve been getting so big so fast,”

burgers. I would love it.”

Guerrero says. “Without Twitter and Facebook, we wouldn’t even have a business. That’s the THIS PAGE FROM LEFT: A tasty slider ©Adam Shane

backbone. And it makes it kinda fun . . . a lot of people have expressed how they really like the

slidinthru.com

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K I M B E R LY S C H A E F E R

ACOUSTIC SOUL

Planet Hollywood. But if you’re in need of a little mid-week liberation and libation, you

LIVE BY REQUEST

have options. Tuesday nights at RoadRunner

Who says you can’t always get what you want?

The band is fronted by Hal Savar on vocals and

Saloon on Flamingo or Wednesday nights at

Okay, The Rolling Stones may say that, but

lead guitar. Savar can sing an impressive and

RoadRunner on Pebble, you can enjoy the band

that’s not the policy of local band Acoustic

oddball array of songs. From 80s pop tunes

while sipping $10 all-you-can-drink Budweiser

Soul. Give them a tip, make a request, and

like Outfield’s “Lose Your Love” to recent hits

drafts, $5 shots of Patron tequila, and $4 Jaeger

they’ll play exactly what you want.

such as Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody,” Savar

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Grammy Award winner Lanise Hughes on drums.

Acoustic Soul offers up a satisfying concept: tell us what you want to hear, and we’ll play it. It’s as simple as choosing a song off their extensive “menu” of rock, country, and hip-hop.

never even have to leave your seat. There is one caveat to all of this fun. If you want to hear “Free Bird,” they’ll play it. But it’s going to cost you $100. Consider yourself warned.

46 B L V D S

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music & entertainment

You can catch Acoustic Soul on Friday nights at McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon in the Rio and on Saturday nights at Cabo Wabo at

issue 21

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BLVDS Las Vegas issue 21 Music and Entertainment