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The greatest sportswriter you’ve never read




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Our branch at Sunset and I-215 is new again, but we’ve been making life financially better for neighbors like you for over 60 years. You know when new neighbors move in and it feels like you’ve known them forever. They fit right in, they look after your stuff and always let you borrow something when you need it. Well, Clark County Credit Union is just like that. We’ve been part of the southern Nevada neighborhood for over 60 years. Making life a little easier for people with things like no-monthly-fee checking and great rates on your savings, convenient online banking and loans for the things you need, like cars, college tuition or your dream home.

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Where have you been all our life?


s First Friday achieved rumbling liftoff in 2002, the art, music and spontaneous street scene beguiled me, but something else bemused. It was who showed up. Strangers. In my clumsy orbit around the scene years previous, I’d grown accustomed to seeing, and expecting to see, familiar faces at exhibit receptions, poetry gatherings, various cultural huddles — arts supporters, they were called, which always made the event in question sound vaguely like a wake — solemn, obligatory and therapeutic. (And their guests they always towed along in order to expose them to the arts, as though they were giving vaccinations.) At First Friday, I gazed upon these strangers and wondered: Where have you been all our life? Familiar faces are wonderful, but these fresh bodies popping up at First Friday struck a chord of great promise. Clearly, the new bash had tapped some kind of deep hunger for a regular, but freewheeling and improvised, community gathering centered on the arts. (Okay, free wine helped.) Over the past 12 years, First Friday has evolved from a monthly arts uprising to a professionalized mothership supported by a nonprofit foundation. Of course, there are plenty of other laudable cultural movements that have done the hard work of growing up in Southern Nevada — Nevada Ballet Theatre, the Las Vegas Philharmonic, our own Nevada Public Radio, the library system, the City of Las Vegas’ cultural machinery. But for me, First Friday was Next MOnth the event where I had the pleasure of seeing, live and in person, individual hunHistory, tech and mania gers catalyze into sociable community. merge in our If only every arts organization had it Geek Issue so easy finding a serendipitous and enthusiastic market to tap. I say that half-


September 2014

facetiously. More often than not, culture-making takes work, and I’m talking about the work that remains after the work is done: outreach and education. That’s why I was particularly pleased with new Las Vegas Philharmonic Music Director Donato Cabrera’s insights that underscore the importance of education to the arts. The kind he’s talking about is distinct from the issue of arts funding for schools. His take, instead, entails aggressive outreach by the arts organizations themselves to identify, attract and cultivate new audiences. In his profile (page 46), Cabrera suggests a few tactics for growing new audiences for the arts among our significant Asian-American and Hispanic populations. For instance, he points out that, in San Francisco, the San Francisco Symphony regularly performs material that celebrates traditions other than the Western classical canon, whether it’s a Chinese New Year festival concert or a musical evocation of Dia de los Muertos. Or, consider the challenge generationally: How do we inspire coming generations to embrace music, dance and art? Cabrera proposes family concerts in which everyone from grandparents to infants is invited and encouraged to listen. The how is less important than the provocative philosophical underpinning: The job of the artist isn’t just to make art, it’s to make the audience. “Pure” artists may balk at that gauntlet, but even those artists have to admit they have a stake: If the painting hangs on the wall, if the violins surge, if the dancer leaps, and nobody’s there to witness it, is it really art? Alchemy is necessary; audience matters. Let’s continue to fill the place with strangers, newcomers, fresh minds. They’re tomorrow’s familiar faces. Andrew Kiraly editor

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CONTINUING D E L I V E RY This month, Caesars Foundation will donate a new delivery vehicle to three Meals on Wheels Association of America affiliates, bringing the total number of vehicles donated since 2002 to 53. This represents more than a $5 million commitment the Foundation has invested toward ending senior hunger through a partnership spanning more than a decade. Find out more about Caesars Foundation’s commitment to helping older individuals live longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives at


September 2014 ALL THINGS

open topic


One downtown to rule them all And that will not be “Downtown Summerlin”



t’s the name that bugs people. “Downtown Summerlin” — it scrinkles the bearded faces of urban hepcats, for whom there is only one “Downtown,” and it’s epicentered at Fremont and Fifth (what the young people these days refer to as Las Vegas Boulevard). That wasn’t the original name. Not so very long ago it was called “Summerlin Centre,” featuring a shopping mall called The Shops at Summerlin. Summerlin Centre is a name you would expect for a suburban commercial-entertainment district, the “re” instead of the “er” adding the vital touch of faux sophistication. The “Shops at” construction added another subtle packet of master-planned flavor. Everybody was fine with “Summerlin Centre,” because it wasn’t pretending to be anything it was not. It was going to be a vehicular destination for the many valley residents who enjoy a patio lunch at Claim Jumper and a credit card slide at Nordstrom Rack. No harm, no foul. But “Downtown Summerlin” (set to debut in October) is something else. It’s a provocation. It’s a throwdown of a name, suggesting Summerlin Centre is hopping on a one-speed Schwinn with wavy handlebars and owning the right lane in search of trivia night.


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It’s a provocation in search of a conflict, though, because nobody seriously believes “Downtown Summerlin” will have any resemblance to a municipal downtown, even one as scattershot and low-slung as the one in Las Vegas. Downtown Summerlin, for all its aesthetic and commercial comforts, will lack the essential ingredients of an actual downtown. It won’t have demonstrative lawyers devouring gourmet mac and cheese in local eateries after their courtroom wins and losses. It won’t have gaggles of nerds debating Game of Thrones plot points over sips of PBR. It won’t have dumb-drunk tourists posing for pictures with sickly street performers dressed as Bret Michaels and Wonder Woman. And it certainly won’t have homeless people sprawling on sidewalks or shouting at light poles on street corners. These are the features of a true downtown, and Downtown Summerlin not only won’t have them but doesn’t want them. It also won’t have a Mob Museum or a

Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, or nondescript motels and strip centers converted into restaurants, shops and art galleries. It won’t have an independent bookstore (coming soon to the actual downtown) or historic neon signs. The distinctions are distinct. A few years back, I noticed that a lot of people I knew were spending a lot of free time at Town Square, the shopping and entertainment mall at the south end of the Strip. I was one of those people, drawn like a cat to a trickling faucet by the Borders bookstore, the Yard House restaurant and occasionally the new-tech movie theater. Noticing this trend, I declared, via our virtual downtown, Facebook, that “Town Square is the new downtown.” I anticipated — in fact, relished the prospect of — an avalanche of fuss, and here it came. This was before the Zappos-ification of the true downtown, when plenty of folks still questioned whether Las Vegas really had a downtown at all, and if it did, whether it was worth anybody’s trouble. Back when Fremont East was East Fremont. Nonetheless, the downtown loyalists snorted at my audacity. Even as some of them admitted spending quality time at Town Square, imbibing, buying Apple computers, etc., they insisted it was nothing more than a shopping mall. How could I possibly? Indeed. Because words have meanings that should be respected. “Downtown” should mean what it means, and not be poached by suburban developers who mine marketing data for cleverness opportunities. Downtowns are history lessons. Each parcel and building has a story. Downtowns are an ongoing archaeological dig, where the past is never dead, and the future is built upon — and inspired by — thick layers of heritage. Downtown Summerlin sounds like a winner. I’ll go there for sure, because I’m one of those people who enjoys the Cheesecake Factory/Macy’s/cineplex Saturday afternoon. I really wish they’d dump the name, though. Inevitably, “Downtown Summerlin” surfaced during a conference room brainstorming session. Inevitably,


“Downtown Summerlin, for all its aesthetic and commercial comforts, will lack the essential ingredients for an actual downtown,” Geoff Schumacher declared in our July issue. Summerlin Senior Vice President Tom Warden replies: Downtown Summerlin is much more than a glorified mall. He writes: “Schumacher failed to mention that Downtown Summerlin will feature thousands of urban residential homes, extensive retail (both regional as well as neighborhood), and office complexes that will provide thousands of jobs, all in a pedestrian-friendly environment on 400 acres. Geoff clearly is under the impression that Downtown Summerlin is confined to the 106-acre regional shopping destination, but that is only the beginning of our long-established grand plan. We’ve made no secret of the fact that our high-density, sustainable urban concept called Downtown Summerlin is a core element of the 22,500-acre community. It’s been a fundamental part of our master plan since its inception more than a quarter century ago. It’s not a stretch to


September 2014

say that our Downtown will be Summerlin’s crowning achievement. At more than 35 square miles in size, and with more than 200,000 residents at build out, Summerlin is easily the size of a small metropolitan city. A modern, New Urbanist downtown at its center makes perfect sense. “Aside from thousands of urban homes and jobs, Downtown Summerlin will have a regional transit center, acres of urban parks, and tree-lined streets with shops. Residents and visitors alike will take advantage of extra wide pedestrian thoroughfares and urban trail systems, which fit right in with the active outdoor lifestyle promoted in Summerlin. On the western rim of the valley, Downtown Summerlin will be a shining example of new urbanist concepts applied on a rare scale: hundreds of acres of undeveloped land surrounded by thousands of existing rooftops. “In the valley’s center, the redevelopment of downtown Las Vegas is likewise a unique opportunity. With significant cultural infrastructure, a robust creativearts community, and strong historical underpinnings, it offers a completely different experience from Downtown Summerlin, but is likewise worthy of our support. It seems clear that both ‘Downtown’ projects in Southern Nevada are welcome messages for our valley at large. Significant investment by The Howard Hughes Corporation in Summerlin, Tony Hsieh in downtown Las Vegas, and a host of other developers, highlight an improving economy and a better future in what was once ground zero of the Great Recession.”

it was pondered, prodded, tested out for suitability, durability, sustainability. With such careful consideration, though, it should not have made the final cut. If Nevada, like the ancient world, has seven wonders, Summerlin could be one of them. At 22,500 acres, it’s an amazing piece of development work. It’s big, it’s smart and it’s attractive. It has great places to live, clean places to work and wide-open spaces to play. It’s a model for modern desert living. It’s true that the one thing Summerlin has lacked is a nucleus — a gathering place big enough and desirable enough to accommodate both the 100,000 people who live in Summerlin and the hundreds of thousands more who want to spend time and money there. “Summerlin Centre” reflected that vision. The actual components of “Downtown Summerlin” still reflect that vision, but the name is trying to reflect something else. Here’s my proposal for Howard Hughes Corporation: Get the old brainstorming team back together, bring in some bagels and re-create the list of names you came up with a few months ago. Take a fresh look at all of them — except “Downtown Summerlin,” of course — and pick the best of the lot. Irvine, Calif., which was a master-planning inspiration for Summerlin, revolves around the Spectrum Center. The Woodlands, a big master-planned enclave outside Houston, calls its commercial hub Town Center. Celebration, Florida, brought to you by Disney, also went with Town Center. It’s not too late. Names change all the time. Just ask Samuel Clemens, Sean Combs or the Imperial Palace. And when it comes to naming new places, it’s especially easy to do before they go live. Walk away from “Downtown Summerlin” while you still can, and return to your suburban roots. Downtown Las Vegas has made incredible strides in recent years, thanks to vast infusions of money, creativity and enthusiasm. It’s still a work in progress, but the changes have been significant, and the last thing it needs is some poseur vying for its good name.



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Hey, where’s the love for hospice workers, wonders reader Lori Ward, writing in response to our August profiles on health-care professionals, “Committed to Care.” She writes: “Just wanted to let you know that you guys forgot about the hospice doctors, nurses and nurses’ assistants that take care of dying patients — they’re committed to care on a different level. I enjoyed reading about each professional, but couldn’t help but think of my mother-in-law who is a hospice nurse and an angel on earth. She cares for sick and dying people on a daily basis and also offers a shoulder to cry on for the family and friends of these patients. I’m not sure how she does it day in and day out, but she does and loves her job!”


On our blog Aug. 12, Editor Andrew Kiraly wondered whether we could come up with a more pizzazzy demonym than boring ol’ “Las Vegan” to describe valley residents. Sinizen? Neonian? Vargovian? Vegano? Many readers chimed in with theirs as well (“Neonite,” “Dirtian,” “Royal Flussian, “Ex-Californian”), but “mortified” reader and fifth-generation Las Vegan Liz Bash was having none of that nonsense, so you all just stop it right now. She writes, “I can embrace many changes that have come to Las Vegas: flood control, solar power on homes, the opening of The Smith Center. I’ve also gotten over the fact that 99-cent breakfasts don’t exist anymore, Alias Smith and Jones burned down, and Tippy Elvis never played one of my birthday parties, but Andrew Kiraly, I just can’t embrace Sinizen or Vegano. Sorry.” Your point is well-taken, fellow Neonian!



HURRY FOR THE BEST SEATS The Smith Center Box Office – 361 Symphony Park Ave. • 702-749-2000 TTY 800-326-6868 or 711 • Groups 20+ 702-749-2348

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Sissed off: Wicked, Oct. 8-Nov. 9 at The Smith Center, is just one of this season's enchanting cultural events.

Features 71 o  ur big-time,

action-packed, dialed-to-11 Fall Culture Guide

More exhibits, shows and events than a normal human can handle


September 2014

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Timeless style for the saloon, the dance hall and beyond

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Wicked: joan marcus

SEPTEmber 2014

U PCOM ING SHOWS Gordon liGhtfoot:

50 YEARS ON THE CAREFREE HIGHWAY TOUR september 24 In this rare Las Vegas appearance, Lightfoot will feature his well-known hits, as well as behind-the-scenes stories and personal anecdotes about his historic 50-year music career.

Jerry leWis september 30 Share an evening of laughs and memories with the king of comedy. A feel-good blend of stand-up comedy, unforgettable gags, trademark vignettes, big-screen video montages of his most memorable and hilarious feature film moments and songs you’ll love to hear again.

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MY MOTHER’S ITALIAN, MY FATHER’S JEWISH AND I’M IN THERAPY oCtober 29 – noVember 2 Prepare to laugh, prepare to cry, prepare to join Steve Solomon on stage with more than twenty imaginary characters—all brought to life by Steve’s talent with accents, dialects and hilarious story-telling in this side splitting one-man show.

mummensChanZ noVember 11 Since its three-year run on Broadway, the Swiss performance troupe Mummenschanz has captivated audiences worldwide with its groundbreaking non-verbal theater of movement and unique transformation of everyday objects.


Visit thesmithCenter.Com to see the full lineup today 702.749.2000 | TTY: 800.326.6868 or dial 711 | For group inquiries call 702.749.2348 361 Symphony Park Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89106

SEPTEmber 2014

Vo lU m e 1 2 I s s u e 0 9



30 68

departments All Things

38 Q&A

56 essay

134 The Guide

23 Education  call to marms: Our A

Wild comedian Doug Stanhope recalls his Vegas years By Scott Dickensheets

Behind the scenes at Father of the Pride By Peter Mehlman

So much culture, we're gonna need more petri dishes

63 Dining

144 End note

42 Fiction

64 The DishNight-owl

Culture Guide, 2045 A.D. By Andrew Kiraly & Scott Dickensheets

schools need teachers! 26 historyThe book on Benny Binion 28 zeit bitesHicka-

larious Facebookage! 30 ProfileThe vegan

Vegan 32 StreetwiseEat

globally, smell bowling balls locally on Decatur 34 Trendsetters  ashion bloggers! F 36 Open topicVegas

can reboot the museum


September 2014

An excerpt from the new novel Gangsterland By Tod Goldberg

nom-nom 65 on the plate

46 Profile

Upcoming dining events you don't want to miss

Donato Cabrera brings passion to LV Phil By David McKee

Wings with a proper Korean zing

52 Sports The greatest sportswriter you've never heard of By Barry Friedman

67 Eat this now

68 at first Bite

GIADA brings Food Network star to the city's cuisine scene

on the cover Greg, Envy Model Management Photography Robert John Kley













p u blis h e D B y n e vada p u blic radi o

Mission Statement Desert Companion is the premier city magazine that celebrates the pursuits, passions and aspirations of Southern Nevadans. With awardwinning lifestyle journalism and design, Desert Companion does more than inform and entertain. We spark dialogue, engage people and define the spirit of the Las Vegas Valley.

Publisher  Melanie Cannon Associate Publisher  Christine Kiely Editor  Andrew Kiraly Art Director  Christopher Smith deputy editor  Scott Dickensheets staff writer  Heidi Kyser Graphic Designer  Brent Holmes Account executives  Sharon Clifton, Tracey Michels, Favian Perez, Markus Van’t Hul NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE  Couture Marketing 145 E 17th Street, Suite B4 New York, NY 10003 (917) 821-4429 advertising@couturemarketing Marketing manager  Lisa Kelly

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Website: Desert Companion is published 12 times a year by Nevada Public Radio, 1289 S. Torrey Pines Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89146. It is available by subscription at, or as part of Nevada Public Radio membership. It is also distributed free at select locations in the Las Vegas Valley. All photos, artwork and ad designs printed are the sole property of Desert Companion and may not be duplicated or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. The views of Desert Companion contributing writers are not necessarily the views of Desert Companion or Nevada Public Radio. Contact Chris Bitonti for back issues, which are available for purchase for $7.95.

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September 2014


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Directors kevin m. buckley First Real Estate Companies Dave Cabral emeritus  Business Finance Corp. Louis Castle  emeritus


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NOW GETTING THERE CAN BE AS ENJOYABLE AS BEING THERE. The Land Rover LR4 has undergone a transformation. Its new design cues are bolder and more distinguished than ever. That’s why Land Rover LR4 is always in its element, whether it’s crossing town or taking everyone way beyond the city limits for the weekend. To experience the 2014 Land Rover LR4 for yourself, visit Land Rover Las Vegas for a test drive today.


Let the adventures begin! To help commemorate the opening of the all new Jaguar Land Rover Reno store, a group of Land Rover Las Vegas customer enthusiasts joined in a five day trek across Death Valley and into the Sierra Nevada Mountains to participate in the celebration “There are customers who appreciate a brand and are loyal to it, but then there are true brand advocates. These people are not only passionate about their Land Rovers, they appreciate and understand the capabilities of the vehicles” says Ray DiNardi, General Manager of Land Rover Las Vegas, and now for the first time in Northern Nevada Jaguar vehicles will be represented in the Reno Tahoe area. The group of 10 customers and journalists organized a five day excursion, starting at Land Rover Las Vegas, and arriving at the all new Jaguar Land Rover store in Reno on August 7th to celebrate the grand opening.

Leaving the Bristlecone Forest

Vegas 20 reno ver Las | tahoe Land Ro

We departed Las Vegas on a midafternoon in August to trek across some of the most inhospitable terrain in North America, Death Valley National Park, only to surprisingly find the weather unseasonably pleasant! Going through the park and up over the Panamint Mountains offers breathtaking views of the valley below as well as the Eastern Sierra’s on the way to Lone Pine, California for the first nights’ lodgings. The picturesque town of Lone Pine located in the Owens Valley and is the gateway to Mt. Whitney the highest peak in the lower 48 states. The beautiful Alabama Hills just outside of town has been the site of hundreds of films and television shows, and has hosted many notables like Barbara Stanwyck, Bing Crosby, Clint Eastwood Jeff Bridges, Roy Rogers and John Wayne. Departing Lone Pine after breakfast the group headed North through Independence and Big Pine on the way to the ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. These trees are the oldest living things on the planet and have been dated going back over three thousand years! The weather was spectacular with low clouds and cool temperatures and the uncrowded visitor center shared a wealth of information about these spectacular trees. Heading East off road through a series of very steep switchbacks we entered the town of Bishop from the Southwest to gather food and wine for the evening to bespent soaking in the natural hot springs at the Benton Inn Bed and Breakfast 34 miles East of Bishop. After a relaxing evening in the natural hot springs we were off to Mammoth Lakes for fuel and supplies then off the pavement and into the Sierra’s on our way to Laurel Lakes for a picnic lunch. At 11,000 feet elevation on a moderately technical off Bristlecone Pine road trail, is seldom visited, and proForest near Bish vides some great photo opportunities. op Leaving Laurel Lakes we traveled

aguar tion: J o a in t s e D en over, R Land R El Capitan in Yosemite Valley

back down through Mammoth Lake and North on the 395 past June Lake Loop, and to the quaint town of Lee Vining. At 6,781’ and overlooking Mono Lake, this quiet little mountain town holds one of the biggest surprises in California, the Whoa Nellie Deli. Located inside the Mobile station on the Tioga Pass road. The menu includes such items as buffalo meatloaf, lobster Old cabin in Bodie taquitos, and a smoked trout omelet! Great place to ghost town eat before heading up Tioga Pass, the highest paved mountain pass in North America, and into Yosemite National Park. Trail to After a good meal and a good night’s rest we were Laurel Lakes off to Bodie State Park. As part of the California Park System this well preserved one time mining town offers a glimpse of what life may have been like during the gold rush days. Bodie in its prime, had a reputation of being one of the wildest towns in the Wild West, and a well-populated Boot Hill remains as testament to the towns past. Departing on a winding dirt trail to the North we found our way down to the town of Bridgeport, Ca for ice cream before the drive north on 395 to Carson City, Nevada. After heading out and driving the scenic US 395 in Nevada’s State Capital, Carson City is situated just 14 miles east of Lake Tahoe and about 30 miles south of Reno. The city became a flourishing commercial Emerald Bay and transportation hub when gold and silver were discovered nearby in the late 1850s. Today its home to numerous museums and historic sites, such as the Nevada State Museum & Mint, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Nevada State Fire Museum, Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center, Governor’s Mansion and the Nevada State Capitol, as well as a variety of outdoor recreation spots that include four golf courses. Jaguar Land Rover Reno dealership located at 9150 S. Virginia St. The group tucked in for the night at the beautiful David WalA ribbon-cutting ceremony, an exhibition of vintage Jaguar vehiley’s Resort Hot Springs & Spa, which is located just 15 miles cles featuring the 1972 E-Type Jaguar once owned by American south of the state capital, and features breathtaking views crime boss John Gotti, chef-catered cuisine and appearances of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and six natural hot springs by a number of special guests, including Ray DiNardi (general mineral pools. manager of Land Rover Las Vegas), Joe Eberhardt (president Arriving at the Eldorado Resort Casino in Reno on of Jaguar Land Rover North American), Bob Cashell (mayor of Aug. 7, the off-roading cavalcade group prepared to attend the Reno) and Lisa Song Sutton (Miss Nevada United States) were evening’s grand opening bash held at the Findlay Group’s new all part of the evening’s festivities.





ON AUGUST 7, more than 200 guests attended our 2nd Annual Desert Companion Best Doctors Issue Party overlooking the scenic greens of TPC Summerlin. Guests enjoyed light bites, cocktails, a competitive game of Operation in our outdoor lounge sponsored by CenturyLink, a ‘Docs on the Greens’ putting contest sponsored by Steinberg Diagnostics and a festive ceremony honoring the 2014 Best Doctors in Southern Nevada. Special thanks to presenting sponsor, The Ridges in Summerlin.

09 14

talk about unexc used ab senc es ...


Fishing for teachers The school district is facing another teacher shortage. How do we recruit fresh talent for the long term? Step 1: Change everything B y H e i d i K ys e r

i l lu s t r at i o n c h r i s m o r r i s

Style bloggers tell all! page 34


ccording to school district officials, the 2014-2015 school year will have started last week with a shortage of about 400 teachers. Four hundred missing teachers? You get visions of unattended classrooms devolving into chaos — spitball fights, cinnamon challenges, Rock ’n’ Roll High School meets Lord of the Flies. Don’t fret. There will be someone at the head of every classroom — a long- or short-term sub, an aide working with an experienced teacher, maybe an existing staffer covering a class on his off-period. It’s not optional: The kids will show up; so must the adults, one way or another. But the underlying problem requires a permanent fix. The teacher shortage extends far beyond Clark County and the August-May calendar. Interest in the profession



ALL Things


Hear more is flagging, the market is shifting, and recruitment is undergoing a major transformation. Even as the Clark County School District’s Chief Human Resources Officer Staci Vesneske scrambles to fill vacancies, she and others are striving to repaint the big picture, getting college students interested in teaching again and keeping them in the profession — locally.

Where the teachers are Over the last five years, the school district’s teacher and vacancy numbers have been particularly erratic. At the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year (the start of the great recession), the district had 830 vacancies and more than 18,000 total teachers. As the recession deepened, layoffs came in waves. By 2012-2013, there were only 348 vacancies at the beginning of the year and a little more than 17,000 total teachers. Vesneske took her current position in 2011-2012 — and had to pivot from laying off hundreds to hiring more than 2,000 in 2013. As she surveyed the gaps, she noticed acute shortages in elementary and special ed. The latter was ongoing, but people looking for jobs in elementary school were usually abundant. She began looking for an explanation. She learned there were fewer available candidates in markets such as California and Washington — rich recruitment markets for her predecessors. Why? As the economy picked up, districts in those states started hiring again, too. Also, class-size restrictions went back into effect. Classes got smaller, sponging up more teachers. Meanwhile, college students have been turning away from education. The National Center for Education Statistics tracked more than 175,000 bachelor’s degrees in education conferred nationwide in 1970. By 2012, that number dropped to 105,785. “It used to be that people would trade off salary for stability (in education),” Vesneske says, “but I think this time around, they just chose a new profession.”

Bringing education home Kim Metcalf, dean of UNLV’s college of education, has also seen a decline in



Can parents

“program completers,” those make an education degree more get too who emerge from college ready appealing to students currently involved in school? Hear in elementary through high to teach, through some combinaa discussion tion of degree and licensure. In school. One old selling point is on “KNPR’s 2008-2009, UNLV had 423 such new again: job stability. Metcalf State of completers — a number that was says 98 percent of his college’s Nevada” at desertcomalready down from a historic high graduate students get a job with of around 600. But 2012-2013 saw CCSD. the low point: 351. But the circuit between Budget cuts in college education proprimary and secondary education won’t grams are also to blame, Metcalf says. With be complete without job satisfaction. 40 percent of UNLV’s education college This is where principals come in. funding eliminated during the recession, it New principal, couldn’t have trained more students even if new teacher the interest had been there. Grant Hanevold could serve as a model There are other reasons. The teaching for The New Teacher Project, a moveprofession has an image problem, seen ment to help school principals attract more as a priestly calling that requires and retain talent. A 24-year CCSD self-sacrifice than a serious career. “Many veteran, Hanevold became principal at people going into teaching right now have Sunrise Mountain High School in 2013, the attitude of a missionary more than a the year it was selected for turnaround. professional,” Metcalf says. “They love Of the previous 125 teachers, only 60 kids, serving inner-city populations, and remained, leaving him 65 to hire. This they’re willing to put up with negative school year, he retained all but 16, perceptions.” including some who retired and moved Plans to change the situation are under out of state. way. Vesneske has launched a new recruitHow did he do it, besides by spending ment strategy, axing job fair attendance in countless hours on the phone? “I was favor of means preferred by millennials, honest about the issues. I told them such as online job boards and social media. where the school was, where I wanted it A micro-website,, gives to be. I had a 3-4 page big-picture plan, candidates a place to check out the school and I laid that out. I promised the teachdistrict, and Vesneske has launched several ers I would have their back, be there mentoring initiatives to help recruits with for ultimate support. I find ways to get everything from preparing lesson plans to them involved in a leadership capacity. finding a hiking club. I treat them like gold.” One effect of his Both the school district and UNLV’s approach: raising Sunrise’s graduation education college are shifting resources rate by 20 percent in one year. to target students with degrees in other Like Vesneske and Metcalf, Hanevold fields, luring them with programs for would appreciate a little help from the alternative routes to licensure. Vesneske top. It’s hard, he acknowledges, for and Metcalf would also like to establish even the most motivated professional to a residency program, so student teachers drive 45 minutes across town every day could get paid while finishing their to teach kids dealing with poverty and training in the classroom. related issues. But many more education majors are “You have to either pay teachers needed to turn the profession around. in high-risk schools more to keep Metcalf recently committed UNLV’s them — and the district’s not doing that education college to preparing 1,200 yet — or give them classes with, say, 25 teachers a year, but to hit that number, in a room instead of 30,” he suggests. he says, “we’d have to draw one of every “Most teachers aren’t in it for the money. 15 kids who graduates from CCSD. They’re in it to make a difference. If you That’s one of every 15 graduates, not just can’t reward them with money, you have the ones who plan to go to college.” to find other ways.” To accomplish that, he’ll have to

University of Nevada School of Medicine

The school’s new Patient Care Center—Henderson is now open at 3175 St. Rose Parkway, 2nd Floor.

Congratulations to the physicians and surgeons honored in this year’s Best Doctors

edition, including those who teach and volunteer at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. Academic Faculty

Adjunct Faculty



PLASTIC SURGERY William A. Zamboni



COLON AND RECTAL SURGERY Ovunc Bardakcioglu Joseph P. Thornton


SURGERY Annabel E. Barber John J. Fildes John Ham


OTOLARYNGOLOGY Walter (Russ) Schroeder

OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY Florence N. Jameson Bruce S. Shapiro

RADIOLOGY William W. Orrison, Jr.

HAND SURGERY William A. Zamboni

PEDIATRICS/GENERAL Renu Jain Beverly A. Neyland S. Charles Snavely

SURGICAL ONCOLOGY Annabel E. Barber Daniel M. Kirgan

ALL Things



Bad ol' boy A terrific new bio of Benny Binion tells the whole, unvarnished story By Geoff Schumacher


omehow, Doug Swanson, in his new biography of Benny Binion, successfully conveys two seemingly discordant messages: (1) that Binion was a gangster as cold-blooded as a Mafia hitman; and (2) that he was one of the nicest fellas who ever walked the planet. In other words, Blood Aces: The Wild Ride of Benny Binion, the Texas Gangster Who Invented Vegas Poker (Viking, 310 pages) aims to tell the whole story of Benny Binion, because, indeed, he was both an organized crime kingpin and a community treasure. “He was brutal when he had to be and beneficent when the opportunity arose,” Swanson writes. “Benny was the approachable racketeer, the affable killer, the conversational kingpin.” Many locals remember Binion as the aw-shucks proprietor of the Horseshoe casino and founder of the World Series of Poker. And they might know a little about his reputation as someone you didn’t mess with. But the story started long before Binion’s name ever graced a Vegas casino. Swanson, a Dallas Morning News investigative reporter, is most effective in narrating Binion’s epic 25-year run as an underworld boss in Dallas. Binion started out as a Prohibition bootlegger, but he discovered he could make more money in gambling. First, he controlled the “policy” games — much like a daily lottery — in Dallas’ black neighborhoods. His “Southland Syndicate” grew as he bought a piece of the nicest casino in town. For Binion, running a criminal empire sometimes meant dispatching people who stood in his way. In 1931, he killed a black man named Frank Bolding. Claiming self-defense, Binion pleaded guilty and received a twoyear suspended sentence. In 1936, he killed a competitor, Ben Frieden. Binion claimed



self-defense and the charges were dropped. In 1940 one of Binion’s key men, Ivy Miller, shot to death a rival racketeer, Sam Murray. Miller was arrested but never tried. The list goes on. Swanson writes that Binion doled out $600,000 per year in “fines” to keep his illegal gambling operations running. It was the price of doing business in a city that eclipsed even Las Vegas for political corruption. But after World War II, Binion’s lucky streak in Dallas finally ran out with the election of a reform-minded sheriff and district attorney in 1946. Their No. 1 target: Binion. With $1 million in cash in his trunk, Binion drove west. He was not alone in viewing Las Vegas as a postwar panacea for stressed-out mobsters. Swanson writes: “Binion had joined one of the great migrations in American organized crime history: the mob diaspora of the 1940s. They came from New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Miami ... It was Manifest Destiny, felony division.” Wonderful lines like that make Blood Aces a joy to read. Swanson, also a novelist, combines in-depth research with some devilishly clever lines. For example, in contrast with the suave, pinstriped gangsters from the coasts, “Binion’s trousers were perpetually unpressed, and the buttons of his western shirts — made from gold coins — strained at his generous paunch. His hair looked as if it had been cut by the least promising freshman at a failing barber college.” Binion’s Las Vegas ascendancy is reported in

Benny kill: The affable Binion could vbe ruthless when he had to.

detail, and with no whitewash. After brief, unsuccessful investments in the Las Vegas Club and the Westerner, he finally struck gold when he bought the closed Eldorado in 1951 and transformed it into the Horseshoe Club. Although plagued by licensing problems in Nevada and criminal indictments in Texas, Binion’s Horseshoe became a going concern. The law finally caught up with Binion in 1953 — not for murder but for tax evasion. He was sentenced to five years in Leavenworth. He was released in 1957, at which point he faced further tax troubles. The Horseshoe’s heyday was the 1960s and ’70s, when Binion became known as a generous philanthropist. (The National Finals Rodeo never would have come to Las Vegas without his bucks.) His best friends included Clark County Sheriff Ralph Lamb and federal Judge Harry Claiborne, both of whom were targeted by the feds because of their close ties to Binion. Right up to his death on Christmas Day 1989, Binion continued to be a controversial newsmaker. Swanson digs into all of his sticky entanglements. This book is sure to enrage some Las Vegans, delight others and make a few people nervous. For that reason and others, it’s the best Binion chronicle we’ve seen so far, largely because Swanson recognizes and appreciates the dueling personas of the man he calls “the most beloved gangster of them all.”

FALL FESTIVAL 2014 | SEPTEMBER 25 – 28 What once started as a humble harvest festival has grown into a four-day extravaganza. A tradition going back almost 50 years, the festival features vendors, food, rides, roller coasters, a parade, a Ferris wheel, and a rodeo. Come celebrate the season in Pahrump

ALL Things

zeit bites

Looking at art with artists

Christopher Tsouras walks you through one of his Drone Series images of the valley, which appeared alien and removed from the city behind me. Ancient Mesopotamia or modern Iraq? I imagined an electronic vision presented to a distant pilot from a missile rocketing toward its target. I began to envision a different way to view the world — through the lens of a drone. 2. THE DIAGRAMS These elements are related to my training as a mechanical draftsman. They augment the visual vocabulary, expand the imaginative

On Facebook I have more “friends” than I could ever have imagined and I do not want to lead you down the garden path. … So remember that I am a discarded critic. I really don’t exist. I have a penchant for toxic ideas that I scatter about me like poison petunias.

On art Art needn’t be taught. It should never be a required course. It is the marginal enthusiasm of people like me and some of you. … My suspicion is that most of you people are not art people. You don’t breathe it, you don’t buy it. You don’t aspire to its greatness. Nor should you. It’s mostly for me and some dead people.

3. THE UNUSUAL FRAMING The use of nontraditional materials applied directly to the print challenges the traditional 1. THE BLUR While the print color and tonality are

ideas of presenting a photograph. Google Thomas

created in postproduction digital processing, the

Barrow’s Cancellation Series photographs. “Ziggurat (A Priori)” is included in the CSN faculty exhibit through Sept. 26. (See Page 72)

windswept water-retention facility at the north end

Up all night for a good run Ultramarathon runners can provoke the same head-scratching aversion as female bodybuilders and Lance Armstrong. So the greatest gift the extreme sport may receive is resonance. And that’s what it gets from Running Past Midnight author Molly Sheridan, a Las Vegan who has completed not only the 150-mile Marathon des Sables through the Sahara Desert, but also the 135-mile Badwater in Death Valley, the 138-mile La Ultra in the Himalayas and more than 50 other long-distance races. Readers can relate to Sheridan’s autobiography partly because she was 48 when she took up running; broke a bone in her foot three weeks into her first, ill-informed stab at training; and has been told by people — including one doctor — that she’s too old, too tall and too unathletic to

Vegas’ fave art critic briefly tackled Facebook: a recap

of the work. Are they meant to or targeting sights? Probably.

to do so was directly related to the environment: a

Dave Hickey’s poison petunias

potential and implied narrative simulate electronic gun, missile

blurred effects were made in-camera. The decision

Antisocial media

be racing. But more importantly, Sheridan is as beset by fear as the rest of us. Running Past Midnight’s best passages are those in which she wonders how she’ll recover from her midlife divorce and empty-nest syndrome or, more urgently, evade attacks by bears, spiders and wild dogs. We feel her slogging up life’s hills at least as often as she cruises on endorphins, and begin to believe a triumphant finish is within reach for us, too. Sheridan’s not being a professional writer shows in the book’s simple prose. While not for the persnickety lit-crit, Running Past Midnight will engage most everyone else with its honest treatment of the search for love, purpose and self-acceptance at middle age. — Heidi Kyser

On teaching art to athletes A lot of the players I tutored made the pros, like Greg Anthony, Larry Johnson and Shawn Marion. A lot didn’t, but they never let themselves go, even after the five years that marked their window into the pros. I would see them all around Vegas trim and tight, in the gym, parking cars, working as greeters or security. Even when the chance was gone, they never lost their front, never stopped shooting three-pointers in the empty gym, never let their threads look skanky. My point: Unknown artists have a 40-year window to make the bigs. This is a big edge over jocks, so you need to keep your front. You need your work habits. You need some decent threads. …

On good and bad art If you could consciously tell the difference between good and bad art, you could move your art over to the good side. That’s all it takes. Bad art doesn’t develop into good art. You make six years of bad art, then get up one morning and decide to make good art, and you do. You only have to tease what you instinctively know into consciousness.

On life in general I just think it’s best to know how to do everything before you do anything. Then it’s a choice and not a default decision.

the bottom line >> VOICES WE'D RATHER HEAR ON FLASH FLOOD ALERTS — 1. An auctioneer 2. Oscar Goodman, but only after he's downed a few martinis, berated a journalist and de-thumbed a tagger 3. Siri,




Nevada Ballet Theatre

How should you spend your Sept. 30 entertainment dollars? Lorde

Bob Mould

What you'll hear

Music that "draws from alternative rock, artpop, dream pop ... and postdubstep" (Wikipedia)

Often-heart-rending, despairing songs riding sharknados of squalling guitar (not Wikipedia)

Who will be there?

Daughters, younger siblings; music journalists, possibly

Status among the French

Single "Team" peaked at 24 on France's singles chart

Leaves for Europe after this show; not scheduled to play in France.

We understand they are aware of him

Likely point of interest

Stories told onstage as heartfelt expressions of earnest heartfeltness

Live, "Basilia Crossed with Trenton" can be emotionally wrenching

Press releases allude to singing

The info

Dads, youngish grandfathers too old to mosh but not to rock; music journalists, definitely

8p, The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel, $39.50 and up,

8p, Bunkhouse, $15-$20, bunhousedowntown. com

Jerry Lewis Jokes, recollections, film clips, post-dubstep schmaltz

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act 1 & Seasons

The elderly, icon admirers, fans of old-time entertainment, lovers of schmaltz

7:30p, Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center, $24-$99,

love is extraordinary S E P T E M B E R 20 7: 3 0 P M


Planting in autumn? Yes! Spring is planting time in most climates, but here fall is better for most plants — it gives them months before the next hot, dry summer. Some tips:

Digging an extra-wide hole will help roots spread. But don’t plant your plant deeper than it is in its pot, or you might suffocate the roots. If it’s not a desert plant, mix in one part well-decomposed organic matter to three parts soil. Group plants of similar water needs in “hydro

S E PT E M B E R 2 1 2 :00 P M zones”: desert plants here, moderate water-users there. Integrating them will lead to overwatering some or underwatering others. Wood chip mulch is the single best health-care practice you can do for non-desert plants. Think variety. Along with shrubs and trees, include ground-covers (prostrate germander, teucrium chamaedrys), succulents, accent plants and flowering perennials (Indian blanket flower). Different foliage colors, too — silvers, blues, grays, even purples. And textural

variety: yuccas, agaves and cacti for fleshiness, ornamental grasses for softness and movement when it’s breezy. Underplant trees with other plants. Keep desert trees away from lawns to avoid overwatering. Obvious but important: Don’t plant messy trees near your pool! Expect and accept failures. Gardening is a process, an unfolding learning experience. When plants fail, it’s part of the game. — Norm Schilling

but only after she's downed a few martinis, berated a journalist and de-thumbed a tagger 4. Joan Rivers as Frank Marino 5. Teller

Experience Shakespeare’s comedy told in one act by George Balanchine. Also featuring Paul Vasterling’s Seasons — both include orchestra with members of the Las Vegas Philharmonic.

Buy Tickets Now

(702) 749-2000

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Choreography by George Balanchine ©The George Balanchine Trust. Photo by ©Angela Sterling.



ALL Things



Paul Graham

Vegan blogger, author, entrepreneur


as Vegas has become a land of farmers markets and artisanal vegan cheeses seemingly overnight, and it now has one of the most active and connected vegan communities in the country. At the center of it all is Paul Graham and his popular blog Eating Vegan in Vegas (

“I believe that there’s a goodness here,” he says at his favorite coffee shop, the vegan-friendly Sunrise Coffee near Sunset and Pecos. Graham’s tall frame is draped in a dark suit, and he speaks slowly and thoughtfully. His speech is polished, his demeanor dignified. It’s easy to appreciate his diplomatic approach to a topic as potentially controversial as veganism. Before moving to Las Vegas in 2004, Graham counseled some of the world’s top athletes as team chaplain for the Oakland A’s from 1984-1992 (they won the World Series in 1989). He still performs wedding ceremonies, and during our conversation, I feel as if I’m taking a master class in public speaking. “I feel a sense of destiny being here,” he says. “There was a higher likelihood of me becoming a vegan in the Bay Area. But that’s why I say, ‘If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere.’” Initially becoming a vegan for his health, Graham says that once he became aware of the “ethical, environmental and spiritual reasons” for abstaining from animal products he vowed to not only remain vegan, but to become involved in the movement. Las Vegas, as it turns out, was desperately in need of a reliable source for vegan culture and cuisine. “I heard from many people that it was hard to find vegan-friendly food when dining out in Las Vegas. That simply had not been my experience,” he says. So in June 2011, inspired by the film Julie & Julia, Graham did something radical. For an entire year, the father of four and grandfather of seven ate



a vegan meal — either cooking at home or dining out — and blogged about it daily. “Within the first week I was being contacted by locals and visitors from around the country looking for dining options here in Las Vegas,” Graham says. He says that he noticed a subtle shift taking place as he went along: “From restaurant owners to chefs to general managers to servers to bartenders to other local and visiting vegans, a deeper sense of community began to develop here.” Graham’s blog was so well-received by the vegan community that he wrote a companion book, Eating Vegan in Vegas: If It Can Happen Here, It Can Happen Anywhere, published recently by Sullivan St. Press. “I wanted the story of what was happening here in Las Vegas to get out on a broader basis, and this would afford me the opportunity to do so. We set up the book on telling my story, the story of the change happening in our city, a guidebook on where to eat in the city by area — but even more importantly, why we should consider being vegan for health, ethical, environmental and spiritual reasons.” Graham also brings people together in person with Las Vegan Eatz Events, a monthly gathering of anywhere from 30-150 people for dining and social activities. He has even started his own apparel company, Vegan Royalty, with partner Mindy Tatti. “I have had people who were vegetarians, or what I call ‘V-Curious,’ who have decided to become vegan because of my blog, book or column.” (Graham’s column, Being Vegan, is featured Sundays on the Las Vegas Informer website.) On a practical level, you can simply appreciate that Graham consistently updates his blog with the pictures, phone numbers and addresses of vegan-friendly places that you’d never find otherwise. Like Pop Up Pizza in The Plaza downtown. It’s a pizza parlor that offers vegan pizza and vegan soft serve. Together. In one place. In a historic hotel. Now that’s eating vegan in Vegas. — Sabrina Sandersz

P h oto g r a p h y AARON MAYES



ALL Things



South Central


Global cuisine and scented (!) bowling balls By Heidi Kyser


prinkled among the detail shops and flooring outlets

of South Decatur is a buffet

of surprising cultural treasures —



Mmmm … gumbo. I could stop there, but I’ll continue: catfish

fillets, jambalaya, New Orleans

from a natural park to a Mexican

fried oysters, crawfish étoufféé.

restaurant, a bowling supply to an

All that and a sleeping porch, too!

international supermarket

That’ll come in handy after you


and your honey polish off a bottle



of Jolivet on half-off Monday Wine

With its drought-tolerant de-

Night. 6435 S. Decatur Blvd., 702-

sign, remnants of the corner’s

3 767-8438,

5 1

natural topography and hangout perks such as a dog park, this 32-


between Mother Nature, Save Our


Streams and the local kids who

Combine the two influences and

rode their bikes here in the ’70s.

you get hearty fare with a saucy

acre spot feels like a collaboration

Frank Miranda is from SoCal. His wife, Southern New Mexico.

4801 S. Decatur Blvd., 702-455-

twist. Make sure to order the Hatch


chili red sauce, a smoky splash of


enchantment that betters anything



on the menu, including dessert.

Like most of Nutrition Rush’s

4850 W. Sunset Road #120, 702-

16 locations throughout the


S. arville St

valley, this one is strategically located adjacent to a gym (24 Hour Fitness, in this case). Post-workout, hit up a bodybuilding clerk

Cameron St




Owner Ann Siegl says it’s


easy to keep a costume shop

for advice on which smoothie or

hopping year-round in Vegas. She

supplement works best for your

consolidated the former chain into

bod. 4985 W. Tropicana Ave. #103,

one location and caters to exotic


entertainers, tourists and others


Venetian masks — not to mention



S. Decatur blvd



5 4

CharlIe FrIaS parK

in need of fishnet stockings and


David Haynes opened this store a decade ago to round out his

career as a professional bowler for

the Halloweeners. 6230 S. Decatur Blvd. #101, 702-740-4224, hallow-

menu with bar fare even this

the world through each region’s

plant-eater can love (hello, veggie

gastro-exports — Italian pasta,

Stromboli!). 5750 S. Decatur Blvd.,

Japanese tea, Turkish delight. The



ball manufacturer Storm. Besides custom-drilling holes in balls (some no joke), the shop sells everything


else for the serious bowler. 5255 S.

more than just chilled martinis and

Decatur Blvd. #102, 702-982-2255,

house cocktails named after sports

plays. It’s got a full, Italian-influenced

of which are scented like candy —



This comfy happy hour joint — one of nine in the valley — is

mega-store’s preponderance of Asian foods and sweets speaks


volumes about our own tastes,


as does the absence of a French


Strolling through Interna-

aisle! 5000 S. Decatur Blvd.,

tional Marketplace, you tour


P h oto g r a p h y b r e n t H o l m e s

las vegas


Dr. Bernie Hanna Board Certified

Dr. Hanna has been voted “Top Surgeon” by his peers in 2006, 2007 and 2013 Wanda Meeks before


“I would like to thank Dr. Hanna and his staff for helping me in this life changing situation. I am so happy I’m able to run again!”

His experience and reputation sets him apart as one the leading Bariatric surgeons in the Las Vegas area. Patients travel from all over the country and internationally to be under the care of Dr. Hanna. As a leading, very experienced weight loss surgeon in Las Vegas, and director of the Las Vegas Bariatrics Center of Excellence Program, Dr. Hanna will make your experience a truly memorable and pleasant one. We have a fully integrated staff that focuses on your health and safety – Excellent Results – Great Success! Dr. Hanna is an “expert” in the Gastric Sleeve procedure. Bariatric Surgery













Accept Most Insurances Financing Available

ALL Things



Ashley Grondel & Kristen Laidlaw Publishers of The Allure Avenue style and fashion blog b  y Ch r i s t i e M o e l l e r


our personal style?

Kristen: A little bit of everything, I would say. Ashley: A blend between classic and trendy. I like focusing on cuts, patterns, textures and colors. I would rather be overdressed than underdressed. Complete: I know it’s fall when ...

Kristen: I know it’s fall when … you can smell cinnamon candles! Mmmm! I can’t get enough of them! Ashley: I know it’s fall when all of my clothes start to get a little bit tighter! I love fall because there is so much yummy food and family around that you forget about diets and exercising. Luckily, it’s easy to hide. That’s the beauty of layering your clothes! What is the one thing every woman needs for fall?

Kristen: Boots and comfy sweaters! I can’t choose. They’re both a must. Ashley: One thing? That’s tough. I would have to say a good pair of wedged boots. Boots are super versatile and if you find the right pair, they can go well with a casual outfit as well as a dressy one. What fall trends are you excited about?

Do you have any seasonal rituals for transitioning from summer to fall?

Kristen: Definitely make sure to try and keep your tan. Tan is always hot! Ashley: Yes! I pack up all of my summer clothes and replace them with my fall essentials. Switching your clothes out for different seasons makes it much faster and easier to get ready in the morning. And we all could use a little more time in the mornings.

Kristen: Definitely booties, leather, warm-color clothing and deep brown eye makeup! Where you get your best finds? Have any personal styling tricks?

Kristen: Please don’t make the colors match-y match-y! Mix it up! Ashley: Don’t be afraid to try something new. I draw my inspiration from magazines, Pinterest, Instagram or even people I see on the street. If you see a style you like and you are afraid that you may not be able to pull it off, give it a try anyway! You may surprise yourself!



Kristen: I love T.J. Maxx, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Anthropologie and Sephora. I think it’s safe to say Sephora is my happy place! Ashley: I love DownEast. This little shop in Boca Park has their own brand

P o rt r a i t LUCKY WEN Z EL

of clothing as well as discounted brands such as Free People, Anthropologie, True Religion and Hudson.

Five Things we can't live without


What do you think is the most difficult thing for most women to shop for, and how do you


make it easier?

Kristen: I think everyone has a hard time with different clothing items depending on their body type, but my main thing is just get your size. No matter what the size says, get what fits and makes you feel comfortable. Size is not everything, ladies! Ashley: Just about every woman has a hard time swimsuit shopping. This is still a hard process for me, I must admit. Could the lighting get any worse in those dressing rooms? I mean, come on. When I was about 14, I had a lady who I looked up to tell me something that I’ll never forget. She said, “Ashley, you can care as much as you want about what you look like while you are getting ready. But once you’re finished, just have fun and don’t give it a second thought.” This was exactly what I needed to hear then, and it still helps me today. You can’t live your life always wondering whether “this outfit makes you look fat.” Where is the fun in that?! Find a swimsuit you like, and go live your life!


Free People Jacquard vegan moto jacket, $168, Free People in the Fashion Show Mall


Miss Dior Le Parfum, $90, Sephora in the Grand Canal Shoppes in the Venetian, Town Square and the Forum Shops at Caesars


Perricone MC No Foundation foundation, $55, Neiman Marcus in the Fashion Show Mall,


Do you prefer to follow trends or march to the beat of your


own drummer?

Kristen: If I feel like my body type can look good in the trend, heck yes, I’ll rock it! Ashley: A little bit of both. Trends are always good to keep things fresh, but let’s be honest — not all of them are the bee’s knees. I like to pick and choose which trends to try, but I will wear a pair of jeans even if they are “last season” if I still like them. Scary movies or happy endings?



Frye Melissa Harness extended calf riding boot, $398, Neiman Marcus in the Fashion Show Mall


Urban Decay Naked3 eye shadow palette, $54, Sephora in the Grand Canal Shoppes in the Venetian, Town Square and the Forum Shops at Caesars

Kristen: Happy endings. They’re the best! Ashley: Happy endings, for sure. Plus the clothing is always better in a happy ending than in a gory, blood-soaked scene! Catch their blog at



ALL Things

open forum topic

C u lt u r e

Paint it lack Every great city deserves a museum, right? Maybe not. Maybe Las Vegas is a post-museum city B y M i s t i Ya n g


hat will happen to the Strip when the tastemakers take over?” This is a question Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour asked in their seminal 1972 book, Learning From Las Vegas. They delighted in the everyman practicality of our city’s architecture and spirit — majestic, but somehow forthright, neon signs, the low-slung Stardust, the original Caesars Palace flanked by a sea of cars. They feared the day this all might be lost. Recently, tastemaking in the form of curation has taken permanent root, from The Smith Center to CityCenter, and now there is the possibility of The Modern, a proposed downtown art museum. The only museum I’ve ever paid to visit in Las Vegas is the Liberace Museum. I gave tours of the Boneyard when I first moved to town. I never made it to the Erotic



Heritage Museum, and I moved to town long after the Las Vegas Art Museum and Guggenheim(s) closed. Regardless of their subject matter, they shared the same fate. Art (and apparently sex) in sacred institutions doesn’t fly here. Even Joe, my go-to bartender at the Gold Spike, knows: “In Vegas, museums don’t work.” So why do we think we need another one? Maybe it’s because we somehow feel like less of a city. It is easy to say, “Great cities have museums,” and then conclude that Vegas must have more, but this is a simple case of false cause, or, as Denise Scott Brown might mutter, “cargo cult.” In 2009 I visited Frank Gehry’s Lou Ruvo Center alongside her, and when asked what she thought of Gehry’s creation, she said just that: “It’s a cargo cult.” The original cargo cults were created by islanders. They built makeshift runways and enacted rituals in hopes that one of the airplanes they saw flying over would bring them the wealth they presumed was being delivered elsewhere. When Scott Brown saw Gehry’s misshapen metal, this was her instant assessment. Vegas had constructed a totem to attract greatness, and, as with the original cargo cults, she knew this offering was misguided. It may be easy to understand why locals long for museums, because at their most successful they can inspire, inform and shape a community. But could it be that a community determines what a successful “museum” is, not that a museum makes a successful community? Cities that were shaped and formed during modernity evolved naturally into having museums. Rich people collected coveted items, donated them to institutions and when the institutions opened to the people, it was hoped that the experience would refine, educate and inspire the average (and below-average) citizen. In Britain, upon the opening of the first public museum, there was great concern that the unruly masses would break the exhibits. The draw was largely curiosity, and perhaps a hope that that

ILLUSTRATION b r e n t h o l m e s

Las Vegas is pure festival, and it’s worked pretty well. Why would we want to run counter to the energies that make Las Vegas special? richness was somehow contagious. I can’t help consider the parallels to Steve Wynn and the lines that waited to see his private art collection when the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art first opened. Vegas, by contrast, came of age differently. Our patrons arrived flush with cash, not seeking things to stash in cabinets. Instead, they wanted to build something from the nothing of desert sand, test the strength of their bravado and outrun history (and often the law). Las Vegas is a question mark. We don’t offer clear answers. We don’t seek to reform our guests. The museum was offered in stark contrast to the festival, but Las Vegas is pure festival, and it’s worked pretty well. Why would we want to run counter to the energies that make Las Vegas special? Instead of running backwards to erect the markers of antiquated cities, let’s ask smarter questions. The first question: What has worked here? The answer could include the Neon Museum, an organization that has flourished by celebrating the mythos of Las Vegas. People love the story that Las Vegas has to tell, and any museum, art or otherwise, that starts from the presumption that the institution will refine or improve that story will fail. Las Vegas may or may not be many things, but we are definitely wary of outsiders who presume they know what will make us better, smarter or more respectable. The second question: What do we already have? When thinking about a new art museum, we don’t have many hallowed collections to house, but we do have a community of artists who thrive on Vegas. We also have local galleries, and surprise: a local art museum with an agreement to house and display the former Las Vegas Art Museum’s collection, the Marjorie Barrick Museum at UNLV. The third question: What would a uniquely Vegas museum look like? And when we ask this question, we should throw up a tent and drink until dawn, because this is the question we should celebrate with the full force of our story,

not the story of other cities and long unquestioned ideas of city-building. Indeed, perhaps culture, science, nature — the litany of subjects that can be contained in a museum — have outlived such institutions, and perhaps Las Vegas is the perfect city to test that hypothesis. As museum theorists from London to Perth question whether “museums” still work, Eilean Hooper-Greenhill, a prominent museum-studies scholar, proposes a post-museum. That is, an organization that reflects, encourages and captures collective experiences. In Museums and the Interpretation of Visual Culture, she writes, “Where the tangible material objects of a cultural group have largely been destroyed, it is the memories, songs and cultural traditions that embody that culture’s past and future.” In a city known for dynamiting what other cities would deem hallowed landmarks, this seems apropos. I’ve never attended Burning Man, but it is worth considering that Las Vegas has attracted a Burner community without even trying. The Burner community values experience, not permanence and white walls, and this value proposition feels right for Vegas. Instead of erecting a giant building, what if our next museum focused on cultivating artists, local and international, to create temporary structures filled with temporary installations, either at a fixed location or throughout the city? What if our next museum took a cue from local artist Justin Favela’s “The Mini Market,” a collaborative art installation and performance at his uncle’s actual mini market, El Porvenir, in North Las Vegas? By respecting what we do have — rich and singular perspectives informed by decades of formidable energy and relentless change — and what we don’t have — patience for burdensome ideologies and the buildings that house them — Las Vegas might actually create something new that will succeed — because it reflects what Venturi and Scott Brown knew in 1972: Tastemakers should never shape Las Vegas.

The Junior League of Las Vegas and the city of Las Vegas present


SINATRA Saturday, September 20 Pre-Show: 6:30 p.m. Performance: 7:30 p.m. Historic Fifth Street School 401 S. Fourth St. Narrated by New York Times Editor’s Choice author Tom Santopietro. Author of Sinatra in Hollywood.

Carnegie Hall Headliner Tony DeSare sings and plays the songs of Frank Sinatra. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for dancing to Sinatra’s music played by the Las Vegas Downbeats,no-host cocktails, and a Sinatra Look-Alike Contest. After the performance, enjoy a night-cap at the historic Morelli House, hosted by the Junior League of Las Vegas.

Vintage Vegas night club attire encouraged!

Tickets: Free. Adults 21+. Limit two per person

or email account. Available starting September 2. Visit to obtain your tickets. call 702.822.6536 for more information. The Copa Connection Program Series is made possible by a grant from the Commission for the Las Vegas Centennial. SEPTEMBER 2014



yes, he just went there A conversation with acerbic Doug Stanhope as he returns to where he began B y S c o t t D i c k e n s h e e t s




Id pro quo: Doug Stanhope says the things many people think — but dare not say aloud.

motormouth — and dreaming Dice Clay dreams. He returns this month for a Sept. 27 gig at the Plaza, followed by a Sunday of football-viewing in the Plaza’s sports book, to which his fans are invited.

mean, they’re prettying it up, and I like that, but I can’t imagine they can ever give it that same corporate-dullard feel of the Strip. You wouldn’t be surprised if the mob still had their finger on something Downtown.

You have some history here, and you don’t strike me as the sentimental or nostalgic type — so what goes through your mind when you pull into Vegas? Oh, I have some nostalgia for Vegas, especially old Vegas. Old-school Vegas. The El Cortez, and back when it was the Union Plaza — those were places where you could always get a fun book that had a free breakfast coupon, so you wouldn’t have to spend the usual 49 cents for breakfast. (Chuckles) I remember when 50 cents was a lot of money. And it’s still just as cruddy down there. I

How long did you live here? I lived there from '86-88 and then moved back in '89-90. What brought you to Vegas? Money, women and danger. (Chuckles) My buddy and I who moved out there, that was our mantra of why we were moving to Vegas: money, women, danger. We were gamblers, and it just seemed like the fun place to be. How successful were you on each score? Yeah, the money didn’t work out. That

d o u g s ta n h o p e c o u r t e s y d o u g s ta n h o p e

traight from the American id, it’s Doug Stanhope — trampler of pieties, smasher of taboos, peddler of dangerous ideas (such as, it’s okay to stop caring about 9/11). Also, crucially: a comedian. He’s funny, often hilariously so, but usually in a caustic way about things a lot of us don’t joke about. So his comedy poses a set of challenges: What will you laugh at in any given moment? Just how far out there is the farthest edge of what’ll make you chuckle? Can you be induced to find the stuff beyond that line funny? If so, what does that say about you? Race, abortion, football homoeroticism, the baser appetites of being human, blistering riffs on the tragedy du jour — no subject is off-limits to Stanhope. He’s not the comedian you turn to for What’s the deal with airline food? Earlier this year, a writer for Harper’s did a ride-along with Stanhope’s tour, presenting him as a vulgar intellectual voice for a debauched and drunken underclass. “Everyone’s welcome” at his shows, Harper’s declared, “especially those who are unwelcome elsewhere.” Stanhope got his start in Las Vegas, at an open-mic night at the now-defunct Escape Lounge 2, back in 1990. He’d been living in Vegas for a couple of years, doing telemarketing work — perfect job for a freeform

came from the telemarketing, which actually did pay well, especially if you didn’t mind that part of your soul and dignity going away. The women — for a kid with a mullet, I did a lot better than I should’ve. Other than money, did you get anything out of telemarketing? I still say I was funnier as a telemarketer than I’ve ever been as a comedian. They used to call me “the customer abuse department.” Any lead that someone got that was overly rude, I would pin up in my cubicle and repeatedly harass them, daily and weekly. At what point did you get onstage to try comedy? There was a place called the Escape Lounge 2 on Maryland and Flamingo, I believe, that had open mic. I would go down there all the time and just watch, and say, “Can I go up next week if I write some jokes?” Then I’d show up the next week and wouldn’t go up. It became a running joke: Sure, next week. So after four or five times I put together four minutes of masturbation jokes, everything I knew about it at 23. Do you recall what it was like to get up on that stage the first time? Yeah, I was drunk! I got a pitcher of beer, and went up there, and I’d hung around there enough that I knew the guy who ran the place, and the door guy, so I had like three riffs about those guys to make it sound like it was off the top of my head. It was pure. No one was doing it to make a career of it. My act was junk, and I was learning, but girls who would never talk to you would talk to you now, strippers would let you stay on their couch … Did you have any anxiety? Yeah, of course. But the second time is gonna suck the most. Because the first time everyone’s on your side. Other comics want to see you do well. The second time, you go up with the exact same jokes, and they kinda suck, and everyone’s already heard ’em, and now you die on your ass. So you go, Oh, I better keep writing.

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q&A How much did your act then resemble what you do now? Not at all. I had no point of view back then. I was just writing jokes, things that sounded funny — they weren’t necessarily rooted in anything true or any experience. It was just, “Hey, sea monkeys — that’s a funny thing to say is sexually transmitted; let me form this into a joke.” Nothing. Did you have from the beginning that sense of pushing it as far as you could? Dice was just hitting it big then, and that was really the catalyst that made me want to try standup. The phone room I was working in, the owner had a cover band. I was just quoting Dice Clay around the office, and the owner said, Hey, if you want to open for my band … I explained to him that it wasn’t my material. He goes, I don’t care. Well, I do. But just knowing I could get a gig if I had my own stuff made me sit down and actually start writing.

You were written up earlier this year in Harper’s, where the writer extolled you as a kind of intellectual voice for the disaffected; but once, when I saw you onstage at Sunset Station, you joked, “My act used to have a point. Not anymore.” So where on the scale between those two points do you really fall? It varies nightly, and (laughing) sometimes from the beginning to the end of the show. Sometimes you look at your jokes and go, I don’t know what’s funny about this, or why it needs to be said, or why people laugh at it. It’s like the old thing where you repeat a word so many times it doesn’t make sense. Sometimes I feel like, Wow, I’m really saying what I want to say, and other times I don’t want to talk. That’s why alcohol is key. It allows you to fake it when you’re so sick of saying the same stuff. And I have a real short tolerance for how quickly I get bored with any subject or bit.

I try to improvise as much as I can. Sometimes you’re inspired. Sometimes you don’t care, so you don’t even try to stay on script, and if it works it works, and if it doesn’t, who cares, I won’t be back here for a couple of years anyway. (Laughs) How often does the audience itself let you down? The only time my audience lets me down is when they’re too drunk. My audience, I get so many drunks. And they want to be part of the show. And the worst guy is always your biggest fan. And he just drove three and a half hours from, you know, Blythe, and he’s been tailgating your show with a 12-pack in his car for four hours, so by the time you get up there, you see — it’s amazing the peripheral vision: Your mouth is on autopilot while your peripheral vision is catching all of these problems and fires


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about to start, and you see this kid just off to the right, and he’s rocking from the balls of his feet to his toes, trying to stand up. Do I stop the bit now, and address it, and screw up the entire timing of the bit? Or do I try to race to the end of the bit, because this guy’s got a really short timeline before he’s going to fall down or knock over drinks, or scream something out. As you see the nation’s social fabric falling apart, does that make your job easier or harder? Chaos and tragedy are always good for business, no doubt about that. But the older you get the more you see things repeat themselves, and you feel like you’ve talked about it all a decade ago about a separate thing. I don’t think it’s necessarily getting much worse.

LOVE, DEATH, & Everything

In Between

There seems to be a lot more rancor in the air. Well, there’s more information in the air, too. Twenty years ago you didn’t have a daily feed on a thousand websites of a thousand horrible things gone wrong. When the girl was trapped in the well, there were probably 20 kids around the world trapped in wells, but only one had a news crew near it. So how do you go about alchemizing all that into an act? You’re throwing big words at me. I haven’t even had a cocktail yet, and you’re throwing alchemizing at me? Jesus! Yeah, it was an overreach on my part. Well, it’s NPR. You have to have big words in order to justify talking to a guy like me. (Laughs) Anything that strikes me at all funny, I will jot on a cocktail napkin or in a notebook somewhere, desperately hoping I can beat it into six minutes. When my mother killed herself, there was part of me that I was very aware of going, “I’m going to get 10 minutes out of this.” (Laughs) (Laughs)




8 0 0 - P L AY T I X

O UR 2 014 S E AS ON S ept 5 – O CT 18




Shakespeare Festival CEDAR CIT Y




‘How many of them die every year?’ An excerpt from this month's new Vegas-set novel, Gangsterland b y t o d


he setup: It’s 1998 and Sal Cupertine, hitman for the Chicago mob, has been dispatched to Las Vegas after a botched job ends with three FBI agents dead. Six months of surgeries and rabbinical studies have turned him into another person altogether: Rabbi David Cohen, youth rabbi at a thriving Summerlin temple run by Rabbi Cy Kales, father-in-law of local gangster Bennie


September 2014


Savone. Here, Rabbi Cohen begins to learn just what his future holds. Temple Beth Israel was only a few miles away, just on the other side of the Summerlin Parkway, on a mostly barren stretch of Hillpointe Road ... which meant it was a few blocks away from hundreds of houses and gated colonies that looked suspiciously like the very one

David lived in. For a people that spent forty years lost in a desert, David found it more than a little dubious that they’d parked themselves in a place where it could happen just as easily, the replication of precisely manicured lawns, pastel and cream homes, and gold Lexuses a desert in itself. The temple took up an entire block and was abutted on either side by expanses of open field that, at that very moment, were being graded and watered. On one side was a sign that read future home of the new barer academy: now enrolling k–12! and on the other was a sign that proclaimed it the future home of the temple beth israel community park & learning center. Across the street was the Temple Beth Israel Cemetery and the Kales Mortuary & Home of Peace, which gave David his first bit of understanding regarding where the good rabbi’s shake was coming from. David pulled into the temple’s parking lot

I l lu st r at i o n J o s e p h Wat s o n

and saw that Bennie was already there, pacing back and forth in front of a playground filled with young children — they couldn’t have been more than five years old — while he talked on his cell phone. Though David could tell that the temple was fairly expansive just from its width on the street, he wasn’t expecting to see that the place was more like a campus of buildings in the back. There was a sign pointing to the dorothy copeland children’s center, which was a one-story building just adjacent to the playground, and another sign pointing toward the tikvah preschool. Both were modern glass and steel buildings that looked to David more like the FBI office in Chicago than any place he ever went to school. The playground itself was like something from the model-home signs he saw all over Summerlin: a jungle gym that resembled a Navy SEAL training regimen, complete with rope jumps, tunnels, pools of percolating water, monkey bars over a padded blacktop, a pegboard for climbing. “All this,” David said to Rabbi Kales as they walked across the lot toward Bennie, “and you couldn’t afford a sandbox?” “If you’re paying a thousand dollars per week for preschool,” Rabbi Kales said, “I’m afraid a sandbox isn’t sufficient.” “A thousand dollars per week? For how many weeks?” “It depends,” Rabbi Kales said. “Most do it for at least six months. Many do it for nine months, like a traditional school year. You can do the math.” There must have been sixty kids on the playground. A couple million. And no blood. “How many years?” “Usually two,” Rabbi Kales said. “Jesus,” David said. “When the private school opens next fall,” Rabbi Kales said, “it will be more.” “How much more?” “The high school students will cost thirty-five thousand dollars per year, maybe more. The younger children will be less than that, but not by much.” “And people will pay that?” “People will line up to pay that,” Rabbi Kales said. “And those that can’t afford it will be offered loans.” “And what happens if they can’t pay back the loans?”


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September 2014


Fiction “We’ll put a lien on their property, that sort of thing,” he said. “But I suspect that won’t be a problem.” “Everybody defaults,” David said. “Trust me on this.” “Well, then it will be your problem to solve,” Rabbi Kales said. Bennie then waved them over, though he was still on his phone. In the time David had been in Las Vegas, he’d gotten the sense that Bennie was a pretty busy guy. He had the Wild Horse, which he went to most nights, and then he had his other business interests, which David didn’t know too much about. David knew what Bennie had told him about his involvement in the construction game — he’d put good money on those land graders belonging to Savone Construction — and the unions, which probably took a lot of time and energy; he just didn’t have a sense of how the Savone family soldiers went about making their nut or how Bennie collected. Back home, even though he was just a gun and therefore not expected to be pulling jobs, he knew that Fat Monte, for instance, his main job was the lowgrade heroin distribution, the crap they gave to college kids and Canadians. So he had his whole operation and he kept his take and kicked the rest upstairs. Or a fool they called Lemonhead, because he was always sucking on Lemonheads, he was in the off-track betting they ran out of a couple of different restaurants. Perfectly legal, except that Lemonhead ran the side game, running the crazy bets and parlays, along with a little bit of girl business, too. In Las Vegas, though, with so much stuff actually legal, David couldn’t see Bennie collecting much on that. When you can jack someone for their toddler’s tuition, maybe it didn’t matter. “That was your daughter,” Bennie said to Rabbi Kales. “She wants to know what you want for Thanksgiving and whether or not we should invite over the new rabbi, since apparently it took Tricia Rosen all of five minutes to let her parents know they met.” “Perfect,” Rabbi Kales said. “Perfect?” David said. “It’s important that you don’t just show


September 2014

up one day,” Rabbi Kales said. “But if you’re here for a few weeks, showing up periodically, people will get used to you. Won’t be a big deal when you start doing actual work.” “You think Curran saw us at lunch today?” Bennie said. “He was sitting at his usual table,” Rabbi Kales said. “Good,” Bennie said. “Wait a minute,” David said. “The mob columnist from the R-J was in the Bagel Cafe while we were eating lunch?” “Every Monday,” Bennie said. “Then why do you go there?” David asked. They’d spent an hour noshing and talking business … in full view of the guy who catalogued the coming and going of local wise guys like they were members of a boy band? None of this lined up, David thinking that whatever amount of money Bennie paid to get him to Las Vegas would have been better spent on decent legal counsel. “So that he sees us sitting there,” Bennie said. “I thought they said you were smart.” “It’s not how we did it in Chicago, is all I’m saying,” David said. “And yet here you are,” Bennie said. David needed to stop looking for evidence that anything in Las Vegas was like it was in Chicago. He didn’t want to be like one of those guys from New York who could see things only as a compare-contrast with New York. “I just,” David said quietly, “I don’t want to wake up and find a bunch of U.S. Marshals on my front lawn because you want to keep up appearances.” “The only way for you to avoid the marshals will be to keep up appearances,” Rabbi Kales said. “No one is looking for you here, David. That’s what you need to understand.” Bennie pointed at his watch. “I’ve got an hour,” he said, and started walking toward the main temple. “Either keep up and learn something or fly back to Chicago where everything is candy canes and pillow fights.”


eligious places freaked Rabbi David Cohen out. He knew intellectually that a church or a synagogue was just a place, just dirt and wood and cement and

glass. He knew that the priests or rabbis or whatever were just men (and, occasionally, women) who had once been kids, had once watched Daffy Duck cartoons and The Brady Bunch and saw Spot, Dick, and Jane run and then, at some later point, decided they wanted to devote themselves to a book. Still, there was something about religious places that made David aware of how different his own life was, how if any of the people in the building (save, in this case, for Bennie and Rabbi Kales) knew what he was, they’d throw holy water on him and try to cast his demons out. He was a bad guy, he knew that. Was he evil? No, David didn’t believe he was. Messed up? For sure. He watched enough of those shows on the Discovery Channel to understand that maybe his brain didn’t work like other people’s brains, though David also had to consider that people who celebrated the purported holy day of Easter by eating marshmallow baby birds were just as twisted. So as he followed Bennie and Rabbi Kales through the temple and they told him bits of information that was probably very important, he had to do his very best to concentrate, what with all the stained-glass windows, Hebrew letters on walls, memorial candles for dead Jews, notices about Shabbat and daily services and holiday services and the upcoming Hanukkah celebration. Weird thing was, it was the first time in his life that he’d been in a place like this and actually knew what everything meant. Not that he could read Hebrew, though he had a sinking feeling soon that would not be the case. Some things had become so familiar to him from his reading that he kept getting a strange sense of déjà vu. “There are one hundred thousand Jews in Las Vegas,” Rabbi Kales said as they turned down a long hallway toward the temple’s administrative offices. “And six hundred Jews move here each month, which, as you can imagine, has created a need for more and better facilities. We built the cemetery and mortuary here in 1990 and we’ll have the Barer Academy built by next fall, ready for all grades. The Learning Center should open at the same time. The next phase will be the Performing Arts Annex, though that may be a few years down the line, depending upon funding.”

Tod Goldberg wrote the novels Living Dead Girl and Fake Liar Cheat. He was a columnist for the long-defunct newspaper the Las Vegas Mercury.

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“How many of them die every year?” David asked. The preschool kids grossed the joint a cool two million dollars, though someone probably had to teach them something, and feed them, and that preschool looked like it cost more than a few bucks, too. But funerals? That was another kind of beast. When Carlo Lupino died a few years back — and granted he was old-school Chicago Family, so there was a whole production — David remembered hearing it ran over seventy-five thousand dollars once you factored in food, flowers, embalming, the casket, the service, all that. Even a simple service was going to run ten, fifteen, maybe twenty-five Gs. There was cash in the body business, David knew that firsthand; burying them, however, that’s where the real money was. “What did you say?” Bennie rubbed that spot on his neck again, that spot that looked like someone had garroted him. Rabbi Kales looked pale. “He asked how many,” Rabbi Kales said. He sounded rattled for the first time. “Yeah,” David said, “that’s what I asked.” “Depends,” Bennie said. He wasn’t rattled in the least. He seemed fairly giddy. “Good year? Usually between 750 and 900. Of course, we don’t bury all of them. Some get shipped back to Boca Raton or Seattle or Palm Springs. Some get buried across town at the old Jewish cemetery, though I don’t see that happening much in the future. Anyway, we’ve had a lot more lately.” “Lately?” David said. “Next year is already looking good,” Bennie said. Rabbi Kales pushed on past Bennie and made a show of fumbling in his pockets for something. David took this to mean he didn’t want to hear whatever was coming next. “How is this week looking?” David asked. Bennie shrugged. “Who is to say?” “It’s okay,” David said, getting it now, or thinking, maybe, getting part of it. “I’m a rabbi. We have the privilege of confidentiality.”


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September 2014



Sonic couth: Donato Cabrera at work




on “KNPR’s State of Nevada” at desertcom hearmore

D o n at o C a b r e r a c o u r t e s y o f t h e l a s v e g a s p h i l h a r m o n i c

Listen and learn

wonder that he’s been described as “a passionate, heart-on-sleeve conductor, with eclectic musical tastes” (San Jose Mercury News), one whose interpretations have been praised as “probing and superbly dynamic” (San Francisco Chronicle). (If you want to hear for yourself, a substantial tranche of A passionate populist, Donato Cabrera brings a teaching spirit — Cabrera’s repertory is available on Sonicand a fervent musical gusto — to his new role at the philharmonic You’ll find a sun-dappled, laidB y D av i d M c K e e back rendition of Copland’s El Salon Mexico, a Sibelius First Symphony of fevered and stormy high romanticism, and a Vaughan onato Cabrera’s resumé is impres- of web design in a pinch, as he did for the Williams Tallis Fantasia, laudable for the lusive, to be sure. Where to start? A California Symphony.) Phew. cid weave of its string counterpoint.) University of Nevada-Reno music What’s not on his resumé might be just as Even during an interview, Cabrera graduate, he also holds an artist’s relevant: For instance, a 10-year-old Cabre- conducts the conversation, his hands in diploma in conducting from the ra commandeering the family TV when- near-perpetual motion — for instance, now Manhattan School of Music, and he’s guest ever PBS’s “Great Performances” would as he reminisces about his musical epiphconducted for everyone from the Vienna feature Leonard Bernstein; in the living any when he was debuting as a student Philharmonic’s International Orchestra room, the young Cabrera would watch, conductor with the college orchestra at the Institute Attergau to the Woodstock Mo- transfixed by the towering figure of Amer- University of Nevada-Reno, handling Bedzart Festival in Illinois. And, in addition ican orchestral music. Or, Cabrera rich Smetana’s The Moldau. to his new directorship of the Las Vegas in high school, when the teenager “I’ll never forget also the very Hear Philharmonic, he’s also currently resident was slipping classical music CDs first rehearsal where that hapmore conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, in his player instead of the sugary pened,” he recalls. “It was a sense Hear more: and music director of the San Francisco synth-and-guitar concoctions that of, ‘This is what I was meant to do.’” Learn about Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Califor- were all the rage in the ’80s. A music-education major, Cabrera the legacy of Leonard nia Symphony and the New Hampshire That voracious enthusiasm for thought conducting would make Bernstein Music Festival. (Cabrera can even do a bit music still possesses him. Little him a better teacher. In a sense, it


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PROFILE "The other side of the coin is there are no set rules, you don’t have to fit into the traditional, prescribed way of reaching an audience, because the tradition doesn’t exist."

The musical mapmaker


nd Cabrera aims to educate. Behind the conductor stand, the maestro is animated and impassioned; he’s likened his role as conductor to a musical mapmaker who must creatively reconcile the orchestra’s living sound with the written score in front of him. But as a musical director, Cabrera subscribes to a populist philosophy that stresses accessibility without compromising excellence. He goes out of his way to point out that maestro, despite its connotations of Old World gravity and rectitude, is simply Italian for teacher. He brings what philharmonic CEO Jeri Crawford lauds as “strong programming ideas (for) attracting new audiences.” Some of these ideas originated with Cabrera’s residency in San Francisco. “For instance, the San Francisco Symphony does every year a Chinese New Year



‘There are no set rules’


r perhaps his embrace of the Las Vegas spirit of prizing spectacle is not so surprising. It may just be in his DNA. Though born in Pasadena, Donato Cabrera, 41, spent his childhood in Las Vegas. “I remember it being a great place to grow up because all of my friends had a pool in the backyard. So we would basically go from my parents’ backyard to another kid’s backyard, so I thought it was a fun place,” Cabrera remembers. “In retrospect, I lived on the edge of town, meaning one block over was the desert.” Cabrera grew up a block from O.K. Adcock Elementary School near Torrey Pines Drive and Alta Drive, long since subsumed in Vegas’ suburban sprawl. His parents had met at the then-Southern Nevada University, where the elder Cabrera was pursuing a baseball scholarship and courting the future Mrs. Cabrera. Wanting to return to university, Cabrera’s father uprooted the family when Donato was 10 and moved to Reno. By then, the music bug had bitten. And while the Las Vegas Cabrera knew as a youth has changed dramatically, he feels it’s still in the process of becoming a city, and that makes it tricky for a cultural institution such as a philharmonic to establish its identity and find its audience. But it can also be a liberating proposition. “The other side of the coin is there are no set rules,” he says. “You don’t have to fit into the traditional, prescribed way of reaching an audience, because the tradition doesn’t exist.” The same holds true for the orchestra’s music. At the California Symphony, Cabrera tries to include new music on every program. Here, “new” music might be Brahms’ First Symphony, which comes up for its first philharmonic assay this season. “When you conduct an orchestra like the San Francisco Symphony that has performed the First Symphony by Brahms

D o n a t o C a b r e r a c o u r t e s y o f t h e l a s v e g a s p h i l h a r m o n i c /j e r r y m e t e l l u s

did. “Most conductors will tell you, to be a conductor, whether you’re conducting the Vienna Philharmonic or a university orchestra, the idea of it being an educational avocation is of paramount importance.”

concert, which is always sold out and a wonderful way to connect to the Chinese-American population,” Cabrera says. “I conducted every year the Dia de los Muertos concert. Central and South America have a 600-yearold tradition with classical music, and it’s practically untouched here in North America. There is so much repertoire that is never done. This is just a treasure trove and a great way of reaching out.” With our significant Asian and Hispanic populations, Las Vegas seems ripe for such a project. How to do it? Outreach, outreach, outreach. “These events have been successful in San Francisco,” Cabrera continues, “because the San Francisco Symphony has paired with cultural organizations that reach out to those communities.” At such concerts, the symphony even displays local art in the lobby from those cultural communities, and whets the audience’s appetite for the show with authentic dance performances before the main event. He also envisions philharmonic performances being more of a family affair — literally, with a family concert series. “Where students who may have experienced the philharmonic through coming to educational concerts will then have the opportunity to come with the parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, to see a concert that’s designed (for them),” he says. Perhaps surprisingly, he’s also a fan of the philharmonic’s integration of giant video projections into its concerts. “It’s a great idea, especially when you have The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, which is state-of-the-art for everything. Why not experiment with that during a concert?”

with practically all the famous conductors living or deceased, you sense this incredible tradition of how to play that piece in a particular way,” he says. “So what’s exciting is that when a group of talented musicians like the Las Vegas Philharmonic plays Brahms’ First Symphony for the first time, there is that culture being developed. That discovery is what I foster in rehearsal and try to cultivate, which you don’t have the luxury of doing when you’re working with an orchestra that performs it on a regular basis.” Having spent so much time as resident conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, Cabrera definitely has some repertory he’d like to debut in Vegas. “I would love to have the ability to do some of the Mahler symphonies here, which I haven’t done yet,” and of which the Las Vegas Philharmonic has performed only three. “I would love to

experiment perhaps doing a Bruckner symphony. Being with the San Francisco Symphony, it has a strong tradition of Mahler as well as Bruckner with the previous music director, Herbert Blomstedt. Rite of Spring. There are quite a few pieces that I would like to have the chance to do here in Las Vegas for the first time.” Cabrera’s popular music enthusiasm extends to Bon Iver (“I love the sense of intimacy of what he’s singing about”) and Nine Inch Nails (“they’re unbelievable musicians and their music is very complicated and … is very close to what’s happening with contemporary classical music”). ‘We need John Wayne’


abrera’s musical openness and creative curiosity are what landed him on the shortlist to be the philharmonic’s music director. Of course, no maestro is an island. He must engage,

inspire and direct a group of individual musicians to play seamlessly as one, a role that requires both charisma and discipline. According to board members, those qualities propelled him to the top. “He’s optimistic, personable, and intelligent, but he’s also tough, practical and focused,” says Las Vegas Philharmonic principal oboist and search-committee member Stephen Caplan. “Culturally, this is still the Wild West. We need someone who is tough, practical and focused. We need John Wayne.” “It was interesting that in the two-year search we had wonderful candidates. They all had something to add, and they all had a unique look and spin,” says philharmonic Concertmaster DeAnn LeTourneau, another member of the search committee. “But Donato came in and not only had that to offer the orchestra, he also understood the city. We’re one of the proba-

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profile bly one hundred things that people, on a nightly basis, have a choice (to see) in Vegas. And that makes us extremely unique. When we had David Itkin, (he) was a traditionally well-schooled, great musician who knew the orchestral business inside out but … he didn’t quite get Las Vegas.” “Donato Cabrera is very much his own person,” says Caplan, “but I do think he has some of the best qualities of his two predecessors. He possesses the emotion and passion for classical music that Hal Weller exuded, but also the discipline and precision that David Itkin excelled in.” “And he’s open to other people’s input,” LeTourneau adds. “He’s not just a dictator to say, ‘This is the way I want it.’ Many conductors are like that. ‘This is the way I want it and there’s no arguing’ — and you just show up and do your job. But Donato is not like that. He is open. He wants to hear who are we, what do we want, what repertoire do we like. … The orchestra as a whole is really excited about that.” Does such beaming mutual admiration suggest that the new musical director will put down some stakes in Las Vegas? Cabrera is open to the prospect of living here parttime, and has hinted about house-shopping in the valley with his wife, writer and artist Niloufar Talebi. LeTourneau doesn’t think that’s so important, largely because the Philharmonic plays only 10 weeks out of the year, but also because it’s good for its music director to be getting exposure and developing repertory with other ensembles. “If Donato moved here, oh, we’d be jumping up and down,” she says. “But there’s not an expectation.” Besides, presence is nice but, Cabrera points out, the kind of presence that truly matters isn’t physical. It’s an artistic and emotional presence that trumps borders. “What’s most important for an audience and an orchestra is to have the trust that what is being programmed is what I am passionate about and, through the rehearsal process, gained the passion of the players,” he says. “Whatever is performed, it doesn’t matter if it’s a piece by a living composer or by Beethoven, as long as it’s performed with passion and commitment. Because that’s what’s palpable to an audience.”



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Going long Encounters with the greatest sportswriter you’ve never heard of B  y B a r ry F r i e d m a n Lunch One


erry Izenberg, the greatest sportswriter you’ve never heard of, walks into the Grand Cafe at Sunset Station like a cruiserweight entering a ring. He’s loose, confident, on the balls of his feet. Semi-retired, living in Henderson, now 83, he still covers the major sporting events (fewer), kvetches (more) and wears a goatee (grayer). Windbreaker, tan pants, hair doing what it wants. Forty years ago, on Sunday nights at 10:30, my best friend Dave and I used to sit in his basement, eat Ellio’s frozen pizza, and watch Sports Extra. Izenberg did commentary. He’d sit behind a desk — bemused, annoyed, furious — giving sports a perspective before we knew (or cared) it had one. “He’ll keep fighting until his beard is grayer than mine,” I remember he once



said of Muhammad Ali after Ali beat Foreman in Zaire, foreshadowing his friend’s decay and sadness. Charles P. Pierce of Esquire once told me, “When I was a baby sportswriter, Jerry was one of the old guys around whom I would, in a relative sense, shut up and listen.” He started coming to Vegas in 1958 when big fights discovered the place. Here for good since 2007, like everyone he wants his Vegas back. “I liked the other Las Vegas better. It achieved what it needed to achieve, but then the corporations came in and they don’t know what they want to do except profits for their shareholders, so Las Vegas doesn’t know what the hell it wants to be anymore. These other guys, the old guys, knew. They said, ‘We’ll build this thing in the desert. We’ll come here, we’ll entertain them, we’ll give them broads if

Jerry duty: Having covered every Super Bowl, Jerry Izenberg has a new football book out in October.

they want them, we’ll give them booze, we’ll give them a lot of gambling, and then they’ll go home. If they beat us, it’ll be the best advertising we could hope for.’ These people, they don’t know.” It’s not all bad, of course. “I like the hotel sports books and Lucille’s barbecue. I like watching the Las Vegas 51s triple-A club.” And this. “Sometimes I watch kids playing little league here, until their parents get too offensive and ruin the game. And sometimes I stop by and watch a high school team play.” He likes baseball on this level. “Nobody’s playing for bonuses, nobody’s got a needle in his ass.” Talk to Izenberg, sports are never far away, the past isn’t.

P h oto g r a p h y Aa r o n M ay e s

“You were the greatest sportswriter I ever read,” I tell him. “What do you mean was? I’m old, I’m not dead.” I’m having lunch with the greatest sportswriter you’ve never heard of. Old Jews like coffee shops. We sit. He doesn’t need a menu. “Look,” he tells the waitress, already and inexplicably annoyed, “I want ham and cheese on that bread that’s not really the bread you say it is, but whatever … and a bowl of soup.” They know him here. He covered sports for more than 50 years at the New Jersey Star Ledger. He was a newspaperman, he’ll tell you, not a journalist. “W.C. Heinz, a great sportswriter, told me once, ‘You have to get out, because if you don’t, you’ll always be a ‘seven-inning writer.’ And it was a very profound statement and a prophetic one, because I never got out, and I am a seven-inning writer. In terms of literature, you can’t surpass it writing about a 3-2 ballgame.” He’s modest. His prose, his voice was literature. He wrote and directed Grambling College: 100 Yards To Glory, in 1968, back when television wasn’t producing documentaries about black athletes, black schools in the Deep South. He showed Eddie Robinson, the school’s longtime coach, cutting the grass and making sandwiches; he filmed the marching band; interviewed Mrs. Davis, the mother of a linebacker, in her home, where chickens walked out when he knocked on the door, and, where, inside, he remembers, was just a bed, a table, a picture of her son and a bible. The mother, looking at the portrait, saying over and over, “I’m just so proud of Henry.” He put it in the documentary. It wasn’t just a sport to Izenberg — none of sports are. When Ali beat Foreman in Kinshasa, he said on Sports Extra, “My head was wrong and my heart was right,” and then, in a column about the fight, described Ali walking along the Congo River, as “the most famous and loneliest man in the world.” Nominated 15 times for a Pulitzer, he’s never won. He’s Su-

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Sports san Lucci. Doesn’t matter, he’ll tell you, because there’s a plaque in his home office, an obvious forgery, that reads The Pulitzer Prize for Commentary… Jerry Izenberg. On it are also the words … I don’t care what the committee says. I know more about writing than any committee — signed by Muhammad Ali. “I have the only one of those,” he says. He’s only one of two reporters (Jerry Green from the Detroit News is the other) who have covered every Super Bowl since the first in 1967. He also had his wrist broken by a cop at the Democratic Convention in 1968. His sandwich arrives; Jerry’s not happy. Old Jews in coffee shops rarely are. “You know,” he says to me, “in this country, French fries sometimes come with ketchup.” The waitress returns. He smiles at her. “What’s missing from this table?” She smiles back. She brings the ketchup. “So … Cosell?” “Howard was Howard. We did the Grambling film; we were co-producers. When he saw a rough cut, he said, ‘I want the band out, I want that woman out of there.’ We argued. Later, I told the film editor, a great guy, Eddie Deigtch, ‘You touch that film, I’ll cut your fingers off.’ “Weeks go by,” Jerry says. “I show him the same film and Howard says, 'Now that’s television.’” Years later, they’re in a bar in San Francisco. “Howard was going on about the film, how he saved it, when I said, ‘Look, I didn’t change a frame.’ I got a phone. ‘Here,’ I said, ‘call Deigtch if you don’t believe me,’ and started dialing the number.” Cosell walked out; they barely spoke after that. I ask the waitress if she’ll take a picture of us. I am — God help me — going to post it on Facebook. I climb into Jerry’s side of the booth. I give him the two books I’ve written. He takes my address, says he’ll send me two of his. He tells me about the books he’s



"Look, I don't want to be the last angry man, but maybe I am, who knows? I asked Casey (Stengel) once, 'Who are your best friends,' and he said, 'At the present time, all my best friends are dead.'"

working on — on the Negro League, Pete Rozelle — and how he bought a house with a big window in Henderson so he could see the mountains that frame his daily life. In Newark, he didn’t see mountains. He picks up the check. The greatest sports writer you’ve never heard of is buying me lunch. But then he drops the check. Literally. I’m under the table. He tells me a joke about a Jewish grandmother who tells her son to ring the doorbell with his elbow. “Why my elbow, grandma?” “What,” she asks, “you’re coming empty-handed?” Old Jews like jokes about older Jews. And with my books in a FedEx envelope, he heads to the sports book. Heard a story once about Olivier, how, late in his career while he was still doing theater, he would “throw off” decades before walking onstage. Jerry is throwing off decades. Days later, there is a package waiting for me, two books inside: one about the New York Giants; the other, his autobiography, Through My Eyes, A Sports Writer’s 58-Year Journey, with the inscription, “A friend in need is a pain in the ass.” Lunch Two (about a year later)


erry is limping, crooked, in pain. We meet at the same cafe. We hug. There have been two surgeries, fusions on his back since I last saw him. He now uses a wheelchair to get through airports. A cancer scare in his ear. There’s been a biopsy, then another, then another. His doctor can’t find anything. Jerry points to the scab, an ugly black one. His doctor wants to do a skin graft from Jerry’s elbow. “And?”

“I told him, ‘Why don’t you just take it from my ass? Because you don’t know one from the other.’” We sit in the same booth. He orders a sandwich he knows he’s not going to like. It comes. He doesn’t. “What’s the mustard for?” he asks nobody in particular. “I’m going to the Kentucky Derby, and in the morning, on race day, when you wake up and you see the infield and the sun coming up, it’s beautiful. It makes you want to be a poet. Luckily, for me, any desire to be one passes in about 10 minutes.” He talks horses, the Triple Crown — which he’s covering — about long shots. “This horse, you didn’t bet that it would win; you bet that it would live.” We talk about Jersey. He was awarded the keys to Newark, New Jersey a few months back. At the award ceremony he said to Mayor Luis Quintana, “Looie, now you give me the key? There’s nothing left to steal.” He’s working, constantly. His bio of iconic NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle comes out next month. He wants to write another autobiography, an unvarnished one, already titled: Big Cities, Fast Women and Slow Horses. “Look, I don’t want to be the last angry man, but maybe I am, who knows? I asked Casey (Stengel) once, ‘Who are your best friends?’ and he said, ‘At the present time, all my best friends are dead.’ We have the greatest language in the world, because every day, these people under the age of 40 fight it, eat it up, leave it bloody on the battlefield, and the next day it gets up to fight again.” This is not a seven-inning guy. (A few weeks later, I got an email from Pierce, from the Belmont. “There may be better things in journalism than sitting in a racetrack press box with Jerry Izen-

berg with a Triple Crown on the line, but I can’t think of one right now.”) I watch him check out the waitress’s ass. He sees me see him. “I’m old. I’m not dead.” In the autobiography — the one where he talks of growing up with a Christian Scientist mother and Jewish father and the anti-Semitism, the one that has him on the cover, holding a bat, shirtless, maybe 10, his father, Jacob, behind him in a catcher’s position — he quotes something his old man told him about acceptance and belonging. His father fought in World War I, as Jerry wrote, as “a repayment to a country for a promise he made on a ship crammed with immigrants.” And after his father came home, the son said, “He had a smile the war could not kill.” “I don’t know exactly how far the ball went,” he would write in the book, “but

it left the playground. And what I do know for certain is, at that exact moment, I became an American.” He sees America now. He is hopeful, barely. “I’ve lived a long time. Hope to live a lot longer. The one good thing about it: America is changing. Now we take one step back. We used to take three steps back. I mean, look at me and my wife (Aileen, an African-American). When we got married (36 years ago), there were hard stares from both blacks as well as whites. “The sad part is mostly America is changing for the better, but intellectually it’s changing for the worse. This country has murdered one ingredient of the American dream — intellectual curiosity, and without it, you’re half a person.” On his injuries now, his fusion, his maybe-cancer, his mortality, Jerry re-

minds me, “My dad didn’t raise no 12-round fighter," someone who'd give up before the 15th round. “My father was dying. He knew it. We knew it. I went to his room. He told me to look in the closet. ‘What do you see?’ he asked. ‘Nothing, dad. Some pants, shirts, some shoes.’ ‘That’s what I’m telling you,’ he said to me. ‘I’ve got nothing to leave you except my name. Izenberg. Don’t f--- it up.’” Jerry tells me about a prayer he wrote on a piece of paper, and having a friend insert it into the crevices of the Wailing Wall, as is the custom. “What was the prayer?” I ask. “Two words: ‘Why me?’” I watch Jerry walk through the casino, again, only this time, he’s bruised, his gait is slower. I’m old, I’m not dead. The greatest sportswriter you’ve never heard of has a doctor’s appointment.



Featuring OPERA SUPERSTAR DEBORAH VOIGT Performing Arias from Wagner, Beethoven and Broadway Classics Beethoven and Wagner Overtures plus Ravel’s La Valse An innovative work by American living composer, Mason Bates PHOTO CREDIT PETER ROSS





lion hearted


mens don’t beg for attention in Las Vegas. Everyone’s on the lookout for them. You come to town on Flight 18 and it arrives 18 minutes early, your roulette bet is sealed. Your cab driver from the airport strikes you as looking like a taller, thinner, younger, Latino version of Bill Belicheck and you’re beelining it to the sports book and betting New England. In fact, it’s omens ignored that are sub-



versive in Sin City. For instance: Let’s say it’s 2003 and you’re an executive producer of an upcoming, super-expensive animated TV comedy about a family of lions who perform in the legendary Siegfried and Roy Show at the Mirage. And let’s say, after performing the show for decades without incident, Roy Horn is mauled to within an inch of his life just weeks before you go into production. You would think, This is a bad omen. Maybe this is Las Vegas’ way of telling you

this TV program is just not meant to be. You would think that, wouldn’t you? After all, that’s a far superior omen than seeing Britney Spears in a 7-Eleven and resolving to never play craps again. But Hollywood isn’t Las Vegas. If NBC says it will air your sitcom pilot, all omens go out the window. You will do anything to get that show into America’s living rooms. Let me back up a moment. The situation described above is exactly what happened

P h oto g r a p h y b r e n t h o l m e s

screen still courtesy dreamworks

Omens, writers and stars — one man's behind-the-scenes memories of Siegfried and Roy’s animated Father of the Pride B  y Peter Mehlman

Andrea Bocelli with

Los Angeles Festival Orchestra conductor

Eugene Kohn guest artist

Heather Headley soprano

Maria Aleida

December 6, 2014

Tickets On Sale Now Tickets available at all locations,,, or charge by phone at 800.745.3000.

essay Cat powers: Peter Mehlman, left, with Siegfried and Roy, actress Cheryl Hines and producer Jonathan Groff.

11 years ago. I had a contract with DreamWorks to create TV shows. (I had previously been a writer for Seinfeld.) My intrepid and beloved boss, Jeffrey Katzenberg, had an idea to make an animated show about Siegfried and Roy’s lions. It would be called Father of the Pride. “Don’t you wonder what those lions and tigers must think about when they’re being trained to jump through flaming hoops in front of thousands of cheering tourists?” Jeffrey asked as he implored me to come on board as a writer. Actually, I’d never had that thought and, frankly, didn’t think the idea was “in my wheelhouse.” But my own previous pilot flopped and pleasing Katzenberg was very high on my to-do list. “That’s a great idea, Jeffrey. Count me in.” Don’t get me wrong: I knew there would be some fantastic benefits to this project. The first was when the writing staff boarded the DreamWorks jet for a trip to Las Vegas, where we’d get an exclusive backstage tour of Siegfried and Roy’s domain. I’d been on the DreamWorks jet once before, two years earlier when Katzenberg recruited me to help with the writing on the animated movie Madagascar. (You’re sensing a trend here? Yeah, well, let’s see you refuse Jeffrey Katzenberg!) At the



time, the role of Gloria, a hippo in the Central Park Zoo, was being voiced by Madonna. From time to time, when new scenes were written, we’d need to record her lines. Madonna was on tour, with a stop in Detroit. A sound studio was booked, a few hours of the pop diva’s time was blocked out and a dozen DreamWorks people flew to Detroit. The moment we arrived at our hotel, everyone’s cell phones rang at once. Madonna didn’t feel well and canceled the recording. We flew home and Madonna was fired. It should be noted that I never had the thought that taking the DreamWorks jet could be a bad omen. No, no, no. Transportation that luxurious and hassle-free couldn’t have any downside. When we touched down in Las Vegas, Siegfried and Roy welcomed us into their posh, slightly bizarre world with open arms. They posed for pictures with us and seemed like the happiest people on Earth. In their glitzy headquarters at the Mirage, Roy was wiry and crisply dressed. Without any arrogance, he had an air of supreme self-confidence that quietly said, I am a star. Siegfried Fischbacher was chattier and warmer but also a bit waxy in a Madame Toussaud’s kind of way. His movements were beefier and less fluid than Roy’s. Months later, I entertained a grotesque

thought: Having watched a lot of nature shows, I’d have thought if one of the tigers decided to make a meal of Siegfried or Roy, he’d definitely zoom in on Siegfried. As previously mentioned, this project had huge side benefits. One was meeting Bernie Yuman, a schmaltzy, old-school showbiz guy who had managed Siegfried and Roy for years. In trying to get some insight into our soon-to-be-animated heroes, Bernie mentioned another long-term client: Muhammad Ali. A few weeks later, back in L.A., he invited me to breakfast with the champ at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Ali’s speaking was reduced to a whisper, but it was the thrill of a lifetime. For a time, I was really liking this project. Siegfried and Roy granted the writing staff an up-close tour of the lions and tigers. Very up-close. In fact, we were told that no outsiders had ever been given such intimate access to the feline living quarters. From five feet, the magnificent but (thankfully) caged beasts were breathtaking and terrifying. Their baleful gazes froze our blood. A yawn/roar sent us backing off in spite of knowing we were utterly safe. The tigers in particular seemed somewhat edgy, perhaps thanks to the odd smell of strangers in their habitat. But

P h ot o g r a p h c o u r t e s y p e t e r m e h l m a n

"Don't you wonder what those lions and tigers must think about when they're being trained to jump thorugh flaming hoops in front of thousands of cheering tourists?" Actually, I'd never had that thought.

essay when Roy glided in, the whole attitude of the animals changed. Roy’s presence made them seem relieved in the way you’d imagine American hostages relaxing at the appearance of Navy Seal Team Six. The affinity he had with such feral predators was palpable and extraordinary. Then ultimately haunting and incomprehensible. After that unforgettable tour, there was a change in our group, a transitional feeling that maybe this project could be something special. This shift in attitude is common: In Hollywood, a bonding experience makes everyone feel better about the task at hand. That’s why, as an outsider, you can walk onto the set of a show you think is terrible and find a cast and crew convinced it's doing something great. With new bounce in our collective step, we wove through the lobby and casino toward one of the endless restaurants. Walking through a casino with Jeffrey Katzenberg was another experience that piqued my curiosity. You see, here’s a fun fact: Before starting his career as a media mogul, Katzenberg was one of the world’s more accomplished card-counters. I’d even heard that, as a young man in New York, a (sort of ) syndicate would regularly fly him down to Grand Bahama and enjoy a healthy profit on his return. But now, years later, his legend was in cement: No casino would let him near a blackjack table. That day, I watched my boss ease through the tables, wondering if he’d betray any longing … perhaps a wistful glance at a string of deuces and treys flying out of a dealer’s shoe. But he betrayed no such nostalgia. No one in this world looks backward less than Jeffrey Katzenberg. On the other hand, I did stop in the casino. I whispered to one of the writers, “I’m putting down $200 on one hand of blackjack. If I win, this show will be a hit.” Two nines landed in front of me, and I went double-down against the dealer’s seven. Two face cards won me a lovely $400 in 10 seconds. The show was destined to be a major success. Maybe the lesson I didn’t learn at the moment was: You can’t dictate the terms of an omen.



As an outsider, you can walk onto the set of a TV show you think is terrible and find a cast and crew convinced it's doing something great.

Within a few weeks, the ever-growing team behind Father of the Pride got back on the DreamWorks jet. This time we had a couple of the stars along: big John Goodman, the brilliant actor with the decency to remember the names of everyone he met; and Cheryl Hines, the downto-earth actress who played the wife of my previous boss, Larry David, on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Before we got the unprecedented tour of the lions and tigers for an unprecedented second time, we got to hang out some more with Siegfried and Roy in their Mirage headquarters. Again, Siegfried was the gracious host while Roy exuded his effortless star power. However (however!), upon excusing himself for some other commitment, Roy plunked his shin into a low coffee table and let out a squelched but audible, “Ouch.” Another writer and I stole a glance at each other as if thinking, Wow. Guess he’s human after all. Whether you view omens as meaningless or fearsome, they are elusive. We gave the moment no further thought. That night, we attended the show with its standard packed house. I’d never seen Siegfried and Roy perform but had heard wild numbers regarding the money they brought in. It's a financial juggernaut, and I could see why. The precision performances of seemingly untamable monsters all flowing seamlessly around two defenseless human beings … it was mind-boggling. Gasping questions popped to mind with every trick: How long did it take to perfect this? How do Siegfried and Roy know a wild-eyed tiger is ready for the stage? And, finally, back to Katzenberg’s question: What are these creatures thinking? I preface this next thought with a warning: Comedy writers are by nature — and necessity — cold and iconoclastic. Irreverence is our defense against the world. If anything affects us in a heartfelt way, we feel duty-bound to make a desensitizing joke about it. So here goes: What are these creatures thinking, you ask?

Well, on October 3, 2003, in front of 1,500 audience members, a white tiger named Montecore was thinking: You’re making a TV show about the lions and NOT the tigers? Well, we’ll see about that. The fact is, our emotionally impenetrable writing staff was pretty shaken upon hearing about that tiger’s near-fatal attack on Roy. For weeks, writers would ask me if I’d heard anything. I’d retreat to my office and try to reach Bernie for updates on Roy’s condition. Understandably, the manager of Siegfried and Roy was a tough man to reach at the time. We did hear that, in the ambulance, Roy said he didn’t blame Montecore and didn’t want anything to happen to him. Not long after, we heard that Roy wanted Father of the Pride to remain in production. He hoped one day to watch the animated sitcom about his beloved cats from the comfort of his home in a state of full recovery. Despite Roy’s wishes, we had plenty of opportunity to decide, This is just not meant to be. But no: The show aired on NBC in August 2004. The reviews were tepid at best. No matter how much Siegfried and Roy insisted the show go on, the phrase “in bad taste” rang out over and over. Production of the series was halted that November and was, by January, largely forgotten. Siegfried and Roy’s show was also done forever. The two stars went to huge lengths to ensure the well-being of their lions and tigers, then quietly retired. Occasionally, I’ll hear that Roy Horn, at 69, is still fighting to overcome his injuries. And not long ago it was announced that Montecore died at age 17. I’ve been back to Las Vegas a few times since 2003 but always avoided the Mirage. Missing a giant omen is one thing. Doubling down by returning to the scene of the crime … that’s just bad karma. Peter Mehlman was a writer on Seinfeld. His novel It Won’t Always Be This Great comes out this month.

09 14

The Dish 64 On the Plate 65 Eat this now 67

Our c i ty's best sp ots to eat & drink

At FirST BITE 68

On the night shrimp: Wolfgang Puck's shrimp and polenta is great for a late-night nosh.

P hoto g ra p h y Sabin orr



Dining out The dish

Where the night owls nosh Whether you’re a graveyard worker or a weekend warrior, these late-night dining spots are an upgrade from your nearest drive-thru B y D e bb i e L e e


here’s a popular theory that eating after a certain time of the day is bad for you. Perhaps it’s true — which is exactly why you should make each late-night meal worth the damage. Just say no to the cheap chicken fingers and frozen French fries served at your nearest 24-hour video poker bar. Whether you want a midnight snack or a full-blown feast, the city has plenty of options for finding legit, flavorful food at any hour. Here are a few places to get your fix in the wee hours of the night.



The first and most obvious option is to visit the Strip. While I don’t normally endorse chains, a personal guilty pleasure is Grand Lux Café (Venetian, 702-4143888,, 24 hours). The menu is as encyclopedic as the one found at its sister restaurant, the Cheesecake Factory, but one particular standout is the pasta carbonara. Studded with nuggets of smoked bacon, its breakfast-like quality makes it the perfect pick at 4 a.m. For polenta past midnight (until 1 a.m.), try Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill (MGM Grand, 702-891-3000,, 11:30-6a) for a version made with spicy fra diavolo shrimp. A solid late-night menu includes proper entrées like flat iron steak and grilled salmon, but anyone with munchies will probably prefer the wild boar poutine or one of the celebrity chef’s signature wood oven pizzas. The Henry (Cosmopolitan, 702698-7000,, 24 hours) also has a limited after-hours menu from 10p-6a. Sure, it’s a bit pricey, but glimpses of the gorgeous patrons leaving Marquee come at no additional charge. For food that doesn’t require a trek through a casino, sink into a booth at The Peppermill (2985 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-735-4177, peppermilllasvegas. com, 24 hours). The freestanding coffee shop has been serving classic diner fare for more than 40 years — you’d be hard-

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on the plate Midnight snacks: Opposite page, Stewart & Ogden's bacon-stuffed waffles; left, Wolfgang Puck's wood oven pizza; below, Sedona Lounge's beef carpaccio

pressed to find a local who hasn’t basked in the glow of its gaudy pink neon lights at least once in their life. Chinatown diners are often fiercely loyal to their favorite spots, but for the uninitiated, there is no shortage of options on Spring Mountain Road. Chefs and in-the-know foodies head to Raku (5030 Spring Mountain Road #2, 702367-3511,, 6p-3a) for gutsy (literally and figuratively) Japanese cuisine. Highlights include a foie gras chawanmushi, or egg custard, and kobe beef liver sashimi. At KJ Kitchen (5960 Spring Mountain Road #1, 702-221-

0456, 11-2a), look for authentic Cantonese cuisine with a few Western-friendly dishes thrown in for good measure. (Sorry to break it to you, but honey walnut shrimp is not Chinese.) The clay pots are good; the seafood preparations are even better. Try the fragrant clams with basil or fill up on a plate of greasy-in-agood-way shrimp fried rice. Fans of Korean barbecue can fill their bellies down the road at Dae Jang Keum (3943 Spring Mountain Road, 702-6382222,, 24 hours). While kalbi, or marinated beef short ribs, is a universal crowd-pleaser, you can also try relatively unusual proteins like pork neck and grilled intestines. For Vietnamese food with a side of eye candy, Pho Kim Long (4029 Spring Mountain Road, 702-220-3612, 24 hours) is packed with scantily clad clubgoers on weekends. Just be sure to know your etiquette: slurping your noodles is acceptable, but gawking at female patrons is not. Surprisingly, some of the most creative Asian food is elsewhere in the valley. Stuff yourself silly with chicken skin skewers and sake at Kyara Japanese Tapas (6555 S. Jones Blvd. #120, 702434-8856,, 5p-2a) or gorge on some of the city’s best á la carte sushi at Naked Fish (3945 S. Durango Drive, 702-228-8856, vegasnakedfish. com, 5p-2a). A selection of specialty rolls is available at happy hour prices from 10p until close. For street snacks from Seoul, head to Soyo Korean Barstaurant (7775 S. Rainbow Blvd., 702-897-7696, weekends 11:30-4a). A taste for kimchi is not required; there are plenty of approachable items, including a platter of fried chicken that puts the Colonel’s to shame. Don’t let the skinny jeans fool you —

Upcoming foodie events you don’t want to miss mexican independence day tequila dinner sept. 16 Border Grill is celebrating Mexican Independence Day with a special south-of-the-border-inspired tequila dinner, featuring world-renowned premium Sauza Tequila. The multi-course dinner prepared by Executive Chef Chris Keating makes for a complete Mexican foodie fiesta. The centerpiece libation, Sauza Tequila, was originally produced in Tequila, a municipality of the state of Jalisco, Mexico. Founded in 1873, at the La Perseverancia distillery, Sauza were the first to call the liquor made from ancient blue agave plants "tequila" and the first to export the drink to the United States. 6:30p, $75, 702-632-7403 Bite at the museum Sept. 20 Petite dishes from Pampas Churrascaria and other restaurants will be on the menu for Bite at the Museum, a fundraiser for Community Counseling Center of Southern Nevada. The museum in question is the Nevada State Museum in Springs Preserve. The fare will be complemented by live entertainment and recognition of community leaders who’ve assisted the center. Comedienne and KKLZ 96.3-FM personality Carla Rae will host. $75, wine amplified festival oct. 10-11 This ninth annual shotgun marriage of wine and rock 'n' roll happens at the MGM Festival Lot, and purports to be bigger, better, and winier than ever. This sipper's paradise will feature more than 150 wines from more than 60 wineries, plus craft beer, artisanal cocktails and an avalanche of small bites. Marquee bands include Violent Femmes, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and Blink-182. $69-$299,



Dining out Late, fast and cheap downtown denizens need to eat, too. Raves for the always-raucous Pizza Rock (201 N. Third St., 702-385-0838,, weekends 11-2a) abound, and an extensive menu of multiple pizza styles (e.g. New York, Neapolitan and even gluten-free) are ideal for quieting the picky eater in your group. Or you can visit its neighbor inside the new Downtown Grand, Stewart & Ogden (206 N. Third St., 702-953-4343,, 24 hours). A graveyard menu, served from 11p-5a, mixes coffee shop classics with playful dishes like a loco moco and signature bacon-stuffed waffles. But yours truly will always have a special place in her heart for Kabob Korner (507 E. Fremont St., 702-384-7722, kabobkornerlv. com, weekends 10:30a-midnight). A loaded gyro at this grungy hole-in-the-wall — one of the last remnants of pre-Zappos Fremont — always hits the spot after an

evening of drinks. You can also dine on old-school classics at this hour. Expect Sazeracs and sizzling steaks at Herbs & Rye (3713 W. Sahara Ave., 702-982-8036,, weekends 5p-3a). The restaurant takes pride in its selection of sustainable and antibiotic-free meat, which is butchered in-house. It’s an unexpected but welcome detail for a joint that caters to locals. Sides like truffle mac and cheese and jalapeño creamed corn aren’t necessarily groundbreaking, but they’re well-executed. In Spring Valley, Sedona Lounge (9580 W. Flamingo Road, 702-320-4700, sedonalv. com, 11-4a) has an $8 late night happy hour where you can nibble on items like beef carpaccio, shrimp cocktail and filet mignon meatballs. It may not be as cheap as a value meal, but the few extra bucks is a small price to pay for a midnight meal on a pretty outdoor patio.

Save the date

October 28, 2014

5:30 p.m. at Downtown Summerlin Join us as we honor the 2014 Top Lawyers of Southern Nevada as featured in the October issue of Desert Companion with a lively night of networking, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and the great company you expect from Desert Companion’s readers, writers, friends and supporters.



It’s possible to eat cheap and on the fly without settling for a fast food chain. The not-so-secret Secret Pizza (Cosmopolitan, 702-698-7860, cosmopolitan, 11-4a) has been a favorite for street slices ever since its debut. Or you can hit up the new Haute Doggery (The Linq, 702-430-4435, haute, 10a-midnight) for a fourth meal of poutine and bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Henderson residents can grab stellar pizza pies at Carmine’s (445 Marks St., 702-434-4848, carmines, noon-midnight) — the stuffed and seafood versions are standouts. In Southern Highlands, the recent opening of Distill (4830 W. Pyle Ave., 702-834-4700,, 24 hours) welcomes nocturnal noshers with an enormous bar food menu and happy hour special from 3-6a.


ISSUE PA R T Y 10.28.14


Eat this now!

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General Tso’s chicken wings at F.A.M.E.

Inside the Linq, 3545 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-906-1672 It takes a lot to get me down to the Strip these days, especially for Asian cuisine, given that Spring Mountain overflows with mysterious and intriguing eateries. One dish that’s eluded me: Korean-style chicken wings. Recently, I found my new favorite flavored fowl in the valley inside F.A.M.E. at the Linq, an Asian night market-inspired concept (read: food court with Chinese drum circles). The wings are twice-fried in the traditional Korean dakgangjeong style, creating a crunchy crust, which is then painted with a sweet and savory General Tso sauce. Bursts of tangy orange and sharp ginger surge in every bite, while a red chili kicker reminds you to pace yourself. Beneath that thin candy shell, juicy, tender chicken awaits. — Chris Bitonti

Shroomin’ in Philly at SkinnyFATS

6261 Dean Martin Drive #29, 702-979-9797, The Shroomin’ in Philly is a vegetarian take on Philadelphia’s most famous son, the cheesesteak, substituting sliced portobello mushrooms and feta chunks for chest pain and liquid cholesterol. The mushrooms are skillet-sauteed with onions and peppers, stuffed into a wheat hoagie bun and drizzled with a sweet balsamic glaze. Heaping portions of sizzling veggies overflow with every bite, leaving a meal-sized load of shrapnel on your plate — and no guilt. While this trim alternative will never replace the original, it’s a delicious change of pace that sits much lighter in your stomach. — CB

Table 34 Featuring Chef Wes Kendricks’ contemporary American cuisine including fresh fish, wild game, duck, lamb, Certified Angus Beef, and comfort food classics. Conveniently located off the 215 and Warm Springs. Dinner Tuesday - Saturday 5pm until closing (around 10pm) 600 E. Warm Springs Road Las Vegas, NV (702) 263-0034 SEPTEMBER 2014


Dining out

at FIRST Bite

More than a pretty name Daytime cooking show queen Giada De Laurentiis has a lot to prove with her first restaurant. She does just that — with surprising flair and flavor B  y D e bb i e L e e


nless you’re a diehard fan of Food Network personality Giada De Laurentiis, it would be difficult to visit GIADA — her new namesake restaurant — without a critical eye. De Laurentiis, 43, has never actually been a chef or restaurateur. Rather, her status in the food world was earned through television shows and cookbooks aimed at suburban moms. So when it was announced that she would unveil her first major hospitality endeavor on the Las Vegas Strip, I had to wonder: Could the queen of daytime cooking shows satisfy jet-setting foodies in



Spring in her step: From left, GIADA's three-bean salad, feta and tomato-strawberry jam crostini, and orzo meatballs

I was dining at Dorsia, the fictional, pretentious highend restaurant in the novel American Psycho. Fortunately, the food is far more approachable than you’d expect for its surroundings. In keeping with the light and simple fare that De Laurentiis prepares on screen, GIADA offers guests Italian flavors seen through the prism of California cuisine. Think of it as red sauce lite. Clams casino, that New England invention of bacon and breadcrumb-coated bellies on the half-shell, is made dainty with quarter-sized littleVegas? Should you take it upon necks and whisper-thin GIADA at The Cromwell yourself to find out, your first shavings of crispy prosciut3595 Las Vegas job would be to score a reserto. And of the five types of Blvd. S. vation. Otherwise you may be crostini on offer, a marriage 702-667-1799 snubbed by a pretty hostess and of feta cheese and relegated to the lounge, which to-strawberry jam was a giada was my experience on a recent spectacular combination of HOURS Daily early weekday evening. sweet, salty and summery. from 11:30a-3p for The seating assignment was Antipasti is best ordered lunch, 5p-10:30p no grave matter. In fact, it proin platters — various conSun-Thu, 5p-11p vided a 360-degree view of the figurations of small plates Fri-Sat dinner dining room and open kitchen. are available depending on Stark white décor, gilded serthe tastes and size of your vice carts and loud modern artgroup. But if I had to choose work (including a Warholian portrait of just one, my personal favorite was a threeDe Laurentiis) cried for a “the 1980s called bean salad with luscious burrata cheese. …” joke. I couldn’t help but imagine that Unlike the limp, stewed-to-death greens

P h oto g r a p h y S ABIN ORR

served in your usual Italian restaurant, vegetables here are prepared in a way that maintains their integrity. Yellow wax beans were the perfect balance of cooked and crunchy, and the addition of edamame was unconventional but clever. Other dishes were too minimal to be impressive. Medallions of crispy polenta outshined the shrimp in a bland scampi dish, and the mortadella pizette — essentially an open-faced bologna sandwich — was a delicious but potentially misleading choice for a true pizza-lover. GIADA, however, wins points for its presentation on a heated marble slab. I also remain undecided on the meatballs, made with pork, beef, veal, and orzo. On one hand, it’s a clever one-bite take on spaghetti and meatballs; on the other, the pasta feels like cheap filler. It calls to mind an old housewife tip of using oatmeal in meatloaf to stretch your dollar. To drink, there is a signature cocktail menu inspired by classic Hollywood films — a nod to the film producer and De Laurentiis’ late grandfather Dino. Despite its name, The Destroyer (Clase Azul tequila reposado, tangerine, orange, basil) is a refreshing start before indulging in some classic Old World Chianti. Dessert was an encore performance of the earlier tomato and strawberry jam, served in the form of a tart. The sweet and sticky filling was so delicious that I didn’t mind the recycling of ingredients. I was surprised to see Ms. De Laurentiis greeting guests in her chef’s jacket one month into the opening. It’s an open secret that celebrities are often involved in these projects strictly in name; her presence suggested that she knows just how much she has to prove to discerning diners. My only concern for the restaurant is its location. It’s unfortunate that GIADA occupies The Cromwell, or what was previously Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall. The casino’s remodel seems like it has done little to change the former atmosphere and clientele. Hopefully the restaurant’s success will expedite the exorcism of Bill’s ghost. But until then, I can always recreate my meal with the help of De Laurentiis’ cookbooks.

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Attend the FREE information session on September 8th and 29th in the UNLV Student Union from 5:30-6:30 PM to learn more. Instructors Include: Bill Payne Bill Botts Bryan Clark Mark Brennan


The Desert Companion Photo Showcase has gone on tour! Check out the beautiful photography from our 2nd Annual ‘Focus on Nevada’ photo contest at participating Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf locations. More information at events



Nothing Pairs Better with Beer and Wine Than a Cure.

Enjoy a wonderful night filled with great wine and good friends at the Springs Preserve. While you’re here, you’ll get a chance to sip on some amazing wines, tap into handcrafted brews, enjoy live music and eat an array of mouthwatering treats made by some of Vegas’ best restaurants. Proceeds benefit Par for the Cure, so while you’re raising a glass, you’ll be raising money for breast cancer research.

Open to guests 21 and older.

SATURDAY • OCTOBER 4 • 5 TO 9PM Tickets starting at $30. For tickets and more info, visit

20 14 F all Culture The

So, how’s your schedule look next week? And the week after that?

And the week after that? Whether

you’re an art-lover, a dance aficionado, a foodie or a live music fan, our

culture guide’s got the goods for

one very busy fall. And we mean busy in a good way — this year’s

calendar is brimming with sights,

sounds and tastes to engage, inspire and entertain you. Enjoy.

Guide Written By

Scott Dickensheets (SD) Andrew Kiraly (AK) Heidi Kyser (HK) Molly O'Donnell (MO)

Ones2Watch Portraits by

Mike Hill & Checko




ART Ongoing

moving social brainy funny racy

What themes may come

The new-look First Friday is all themed up and ready to grow — at least on Sept. 5, when the motif is Harvest Festival, “celebrating the bountiful goodness of the fall season.” Come Oct. 3, organizers will mark First Friday’s 12th anniversary with “12 Months and Mythology.” Nov. 7 is all about the optics with “EnLIGHTenment,” devoted to light. And grab your chaps for Dec. 5’s First Friday, its roundup theme keyed to the National Finals Rodeo. (SD) 6p, free, downtown, 1

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The unbearable lightness of, uh, steel

Perhaps you recall Luis Varela-Rico’s steel-origami sculptures, installed guerrilla-style around downtown a few years ago: witty conflations of the lightness of paper with the heavy durability of metal. Varela-Rico extends that line of thinking with Organic Study No. 1, a metal hand-like form suspended — let’s say floating — in the giant space of the Clark County Government Center. (SD) Free, Rotunda Gallery,

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The art gang’s all here

Talented bunch they have teaching art and art history at CSN! Lots of names you fans of local art recognize — Chris Bauder, Mark Brandvik, Anne Hoff, Wendy Kveck, Christopher Tsouras, just to skim a few — all of whom are represented in the 2014 CSN Art & Art History Faculty Exhibition. The work promises to transcend the blah title: everything from digital media to drawing, painting to photography, ceramics to sculpture, and more. (SD) Free, CSN Fine Arts and Artspace galleries, index.html


Th ro u g h S e p t. 27


Ghost Dogs features the colliding-cultures art of three Japanese-Americans: Masami Teraoka, Patrick Nagatani and Sush Machida Gaikotsu. Paintings and prints that demonstrate an “acute awareness of events and issues of contemporary society.” (SD) Free, UNLV’s Donna Beam Fine Arts Gallery,

Rhythm, Line and Stroke (1). Not content with any one medium, Paulos will paint and draw with practically anything: ink, paint, dye, charcoal, pastel — whatever serves the needs of her image. Not content with one gallery, she’s spread this show across two: male imagery at Winchester Cultural Center (702-455-7340), female at TastySpace, (SD)

Th ro u g h S e p t. 27

S e p t. 4

Las Vegas-based artist Sush Machida Gaikotsu moves seamlessly between worlds, fluidly melding Japanese and contemporary American artistic styles into a singular brand that’s as much at home on a Burton snowboard as in a high-end gallery. Tokyo in Vegas: Vision Collision ably displays these different facets of his work. (SD) Free with $18.95 general admission, Springs Preserve,

Artist Melissa McGill (2) has lived here since 2005 but only now is busting out her first big solo show — a selection of multilayered encaustic paintings (using pigment-laden wax) that have a loose energy and “focus on industry and nature, exploring the dichotomy between the two.” (SD) Through Sept. 27, free, Brett Wesley Gallery,

Culture jam

The many sides of Sush

Wax on, wax on some more

S e p t. 5

Whatever it takes

Fit this into your 140 characters!

Christina Paulos explores “twinned and mirrored characters” — potentially rich psychological ground for an artist — as well as subjects drawn from life in

What, as the song asks, are words for? In Words to Live By, artists Vivian Martin, Gina Alverson and Kris Krainock collaborate on a wide-ranging — photography,

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4 colorized by Las Vegas News Bureau shooter Ken Jones. It’s Revisualizing Las Vegas, and it sounds like fun. (SD) Through Nov. 15, free, City Hall Chamber Gallery,

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Art of glass

You can’t have too much Brent Sommerhauser art, we always say, so this is a timely exhibit: New Sculpture and Works on Paper. (5) The sculptures are glass, both cast and blown. The paper works use a process “that deposits copper and silver onto prepared surfaces, leaving atmospheric marks with distinct temporal qualities.” Upshot: This is where you go to get your distinct temporal qualities on. Opening reception Sept. 18, 6p. (SD) Through Oct. 31, free, MCQ Fine Art, 3 painting, drawing, film, poetry, interactive installations, performance — exploration of that very question. (SD) Through September, free, Blackbird Studios,

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Just Quill me

New York artist Joan Linder’s (3) technique is older than old-school — she draws with ink and quill, for goodness sake — but her intent is contemporary. She renders elements of ordinary life (Google up her sink drawings) as a way to explore “the sub-technological processes of observation and mark-making.” She’ll talk about that and more as a guest of the UNLV Visiting Artist Lecture Series. (SD) 7p, free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum,

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You had me at oddly beautiful

Michigan photographer Seder Burns calls these images his Three Minute Series — it takes his unusual, homemade camera three minutes to shoot each frame, moving in slices of time from left to right. The results are distorted — people look two-dimensional — and oddly beautiful. (SD) Through Nov. 26, free, Charleston Heights Arts Center,

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Now we know why the man is burning

Will Roger Peterson is a photographer, though that part of his life has been eclipsed by another: He’s a high muckety-muck in the group that puts on Burning Man. But still: a photographer. Now, a suite of stylish nudes he shot some 20 years ago gets its first gallery showing, and not in some posh San Fran gallery, but in Vegas. (SD) Through Oct. 29, Sin City Gallery,

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Pitching a tint

Old-time photos of Vegas landmarks — 1950-1960 counts as “old time” by now, right? — selectively

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You had me at giant eyeball

How could you not want to hear a talk by an artist who installed gi-


ant eyeball sculptures in Chicago and St. Louis? Who created a 30foot fiberglass image of a weary Paul Bunyan? Whose contribution to this year’s Whitney Biennial was a giant block of colored panels etched with the names of 392,486 artists — cheekily mixing complete unknowns next to famous artists as a way to subvert the established hierarchy? Answer: You would want to hear that UNLV Visiting Artist Lecture by Tony Tasset. (SD) 7p, free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum,

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The view from the kids’ table

In Clarity of Youth, his fourth solo show at Brett Wesley, Kevin Chupik (4) uses idealized images from childhood — ships and planes, board-game figurines — to deal with larger topics of adulthood. (SD) Free, Brett Wesley Gallery,

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The biiiiiiig picture

The Nevada Arts Council does a terrific thing: supports artists statewide by giving them money through fellowships. A selection of work in every genre — painting, textiles, digital, photography, sculpture, printmaking, mixed-media — by some of those recipients comprise the exhibit Panorama. Artists include Catherine Borg, Stephen Hendee, Robert Morrison and Mary Warner. This is a deep, broad survey of Silver State talent, not to be missed. (SD) Through Nov. 26, free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum,

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Bringing the sexy back

The subject of Stacy Rink’s (6) exhibit Kinky? “The unusual, gritty, ever-present relationship between the sexual allure of Las Vegas and its local population.” The work is a funny and brazen look at how Sin City’s sexyglam dream factory jostles our everyday lives. (SD) Through October, free, Blackbird Studios, SEPTEMBER 2014


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You had me at comically oversized heads

The illustrationy, pop brio of Wesley Anderegg’s clay pieces — funny, enigmatic figures with comically oversized heads; a dog wearing a cape — shouldn’t obscure their sly social content, “such as pollution, the degradation of the environment, and the role of government in our everyday lives.” Part of UNLV’s Visiting Artist Lecture Series. (SD) 7p, free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum,

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Memory, adaptation, reinvention

The artist: Erik Beehn, a Las Vegan now getting his MFA at the Art Institute of Chicago. The work: drawings and collage on paper, small paintings. The ideas: “The work utilizes memory as a vehicle for reinvention. I am interested in our ability to adapt to a situation, and the layers of experience that either influence, or hinder our ability to live in the present.” The look: Moody/dreamy, layered, ghostly, with landscape elements and a palpable sense of time. (SD) Through Dec. 5 (opening reception Nov. 5, 6p), free, MCQ Fine Art,



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Because I could not stop for Death, he kindly made this cute diorama

What’s up with Abigail Goldman’s Home Sweet Home exhibit? 1. More miniaturized murder scenes, which she calls “dieoramas.” 2. Except this time some will be embedded into furniture, to heighten the juxtaposition between the household and the horrible. 3. Also, while the people in the dieoramas will still be small — 1/87th scale, yo — the scenes themselves will be larger: suburban houses, streets … 4. “Goldman in top form,” says gallerist Marty Walsh. 5. Goldman has sold every diorama she’s ever made. (SD) Through Nov. 28 (opening Nov. 6, 6p), free, Trifecta Gallery,

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Sea whiz

In her first solo show in four years, Blackbird Studios chief Gina Quaranto will delve into the mysterious connection between moon-made tidal surges and human behavior. Her bluedrenched pieces, some wall-mounted and others “in the round,” will feature moons, the sea — totems of change as a life process. (SD) Through November, free, Blackbird Studios,



Javier Sanchez This artist’s hybrid, unorthodox work can’t be summed up in bullet points Whoa, kid! Watch your foo … too late. An unattended boy, maybe 11 or 12, so optically unnerved by all the art on the wall that he didn’t see the art on the floor, swung his foot into Javier Sanchez’s piece. Whoooahh! Because it was a grid of empty bullet shells set on the bare concrete of VAST Space Projects, a light metallic clatter pinged through the gallery burble. The kid pulled back, bewildered and probably wondering: Am I in trouble? Nah, don’t worry, short stuff; as you can see from a few other spills in the piece, several adults already did the same thing.

Anyway, Sanchez sort of expected that to happen — both on that night in May, when the piece was part of a giant group show at VAST’s edge-of-town art garage, and in August, when a select subgroup of those artists recreated their pieces for a reciprocal display at the Torrance (Calif.) Art Museum. Indeed, such unpredictable viewer interactions — and yeah, clumsy foot-placement counts as interaction — is part of what Sanchez was after when he phased out of photography in search of something more conceptual, more experiential. He’s fascinated by the evanescence of it. “A flat surface is not enough for me anymore,” he says. He’s sitting at the kitchen table in his comfortable mid-valley home. His dog, Luna, lolls nearby; Sanchez says he gets his best ideas when he’s walking her. “I’m not kind of a traditional artist,” he adds, perhaps unnecessarily. His work has lately emphasized room-filling installations, soundless video, disembodied audio — Sanchez isn’t big on creating objects, commodities. He’s a rising figure among a vanguard of Las Vegas artists (David Sanchez Burr, Scott Grow, Lauren Adkins) working in such conceptual territory. “What I like about Javier’s work,” Sanchez Burr writes in an email, “is his willingness to engage in different media to satisfy the intent of his projects. I have seen him effectively use video, sculpture, photography, performance and spoken word in his projects. He identifies interesting and hard subject matter and does not rely on traditional formalist aesthetics to accomplish his goals as a lot of artists do.” “A lot of my pieces, I’m very interested in the experience of presence and absence, or the absence of presence, and not just of an object but actually of an idea,” Sanchez says. Take May’s Derivative Presence. A collaboration with artist Yasmina Chavez, it was a two-parter: YouTube videos silently flickered in an immersive environment in downtown’s TastySpace Gallery, while their voiceovers — awkward, bizarre monologues — were broadcast from hidden speakers in UNLV’s Xeric Garden. Passersby found their normal routine interrupted, their attention drawn out of their own ruminations and into the external world for a baffling moment. When Sanchez and Chavez were taking it down, one instructor told them he would miss it. Meanwhile, the video gallery “raises issues about our psychic relationship with digital media,” Las Vegas Weekly art critic Dawn-Michelle Baude wrote. “Given the possibility of downloading digital selves, what meaning does ‘presence’ have now and in the future?” Since both the VAST and L.A. shows were more about cultural socializing than the art itself, it’s doubtful many viewers knelt over Sanchez’s bullet casings long enough to ponder their layered meanings. Too bad; they’re there. Because he’s originally from Mexico (he’s lived in America for 17 years but says Mexico still resonates in much of his work), Sanchez is attuned to the violent chaos of the border, and because he became an artist, he wanted to address it in some metamorphic way. The empty shells offered a flexible metaphor for transformation: Although they symbolize disorder, they can be arranged in a precise pattern; although they symbolize lethal power, they can be toppled by a child. And for an artist preoccupied with presence and absence, a spent cartridge evokes both: Its emptiness forcefully calls to mind exactly what it’s been emptied of. “What I find exciting about Javier’s work is that it doesn’t shout at me,” says VAST gallerist Sam McMackin. It’s quietude. “I love its minimalism, too.” Sanchez gets up from the table and walks into his garage, crowded with the boxed components of previous work. He stands over a bucket of sand on the floor. Among his future plans is an installation in VAST’s corner of the Life is Beautiful festival. “I’m going to do something using natural materials from the desert, sand, sound, video — not an object, but an idea. Very simple,” he says. Well, not so simple that he actually knows what form it will take. Yet. He’s still in that heady exploratory zone that must represent peak fun for the conceptual artist. “I have to play with it for a while,” he says, scooping up a handful of sand. A few more walks with Luna ought to clinch it. — Scott Dickensheets


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Check your outmoded notions of gender and material culture at the door

As you might imagine, the “intersection between gender, material culture and contemporary art” sees a lot of heavy traffic, and that’s where art critic Jenni Sorkin has set up shop. She’s lectured all over the place — a list that now includes UNLV, as part of the school’s Visiting Artist Lecture Series. (SD) 7p, free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum,

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Bend it like Beckmann

Desert Companion readers need little introduction to artist Robert Beckmann (7), a longtime figure in the Las Vegas art community whose work — fine art and murals alike — has reached well beyond our city limits. He’s perhaps best-known for his apocalyptic painting series “Body of a House,” based on footage from the Nevada Test Site. An artist who thinks deeply about the conceptual, ethical and metaphysical aspects of art-making, Beckmann is always worth listening to. Part of UNLV’s Visiting Artist Lecture Series. (SD) 7p, free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum,

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Tell ’em Yorick sent ya

This is the third edition of the Chris Bauder-curated Skull Show Biennial, and the subject — perceptions of the skull in its SEPTEMBER 2014



moving social brainy funny 8 many cultural, scientific, pop and, perhaps, even erotic manifestations — seems as inexhaustible as ever. Because, hey, death and mortality will be with us until the singularity. This time, some 40 artists take a crack at the ol’ brain bucket. (SD) Through Jan. 31, free, UNLV’s Donna Beam Fine Arts Gallery,

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You had me at Kveck

Wendy Kveck’s (8) show, untitled at press time, is a suite of paintings and drawings that extend from her “Princess” series — woozily loose-lined (while still admirably sure-handed) images of women dealing with lives complicated by excess. Or, as Weekly art critic Dawn-Michelle Baud put it in a 2013 review, “Kveck’s ‘princess’ is a terrifying and perverse superhero beat up by overindulgence and calling it a night.” (SD) Through Dec. 28, Trifecta Gallery,

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Willy Wonka has already RSVP’d

For the Blackbird Studios winter group show, Pure Imagination, the gallery will become a giant chocolate factory, as in Charlie and the. That beloved children’s book will provide the theme for the show. Sounds delicious! (SD) Through January, free, Blackbird Studios,




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Strings that siiiiing! You might say that Oleh Krysa (1) grew up in a musical household, but that wouldn’t quite capture how the joy of music infused, imbued and inspired his childhood in the Ukraine — most often in the form of community gatherings that would always culminate in spirited outbursts of singing. (Ah, life before the Internet.) The young Krysa would join in, but he would ultimately find his real voice in the violin — and a lifelong career in music in which he’d garner unanimous acclaim for his precise, studied but never labored interpretations of both classical and contemporary work. In this installment of the UNLV Chamber Music Series, Krysa joins UNLV faculty Mykola Suk, Bill Bernatis, Andrew Smith and Jason Bonham to perform selections from Beethoven, Brahms and Schumann. (AK) 7:30p, $25, UNLV’s Doc Rando Hall

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Coconut bra optional (but encouraged) Hawaiian music is so much more than the oversweet twang and sway of a beachside ukulele. As these Hawaiian music masters prove — George Kahumoku Jr., Led Kaapana and “Uncle” Richard Ho’opi’i — the signature sound of the islands is also rich, complex and achingly poignant. (And, okay, it totally makes you want to don a grass skirt and sip an umbrella drink.) No schmaltzy twang Muzak here: Kahumoku is the mastermind behind the acclaimed “Slack Key Show” in Maui, a famous dinner show that treats tourists and islanders alike to the true, soulful musical expression of Hawaiian culture. (AK) 7p, $35, Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center,


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Bring your bear rug and fireplace, baby I don’t care if you’re Archie Bunker, no one can resist the seductive, clothes-melting vocal sexytime


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Sinatra saturation A Sinatra look-alike contest, a Sinatra photo exhibit, a period singer crooning countless Ol’ Blue Eyes’ classics with The Las Vegas Downbeats, free-flowing classic cocktails ... the only thing missing from “An Evening at the Copa: A Century of Sinatra” are his bouts of violent rage and legendary womanizing. Afterwards, stop by the Morelli House, lovingly restored by the Junior League of Las Vegas, for a nightcap or — in the spirit of Sinatra — four. (AK) 6:30p, free, Fifth Street School, hypnosis of the likes of Babyface, Keith Sweat and Ledisi. They’re just a few of the musical artists appearing at the three-day Las Vegas Jazz Festival. Until then, continue to imagine Babyface serenading a scantily clad Archie Bunker. You’re welcome! (AK) Start times vary, $65-$975, JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa,

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You don’t look a day over 149! Nevada turns 150 this year. What better way to celebrate than with a Marlboro-studded cake

filled with gold, escort mags and slot club cards variety show? At the Nevada Sesquicentennial All-Star Concert, Nevada’s finest musicians and vocalists will sing the state’s praises and, with any luck, do a choral dubstep finale of “Home Means Nevada.” The after-party is hosted by Gov. Brian Sandoval and Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki. No word yet on the details of Sandoval’s DJ set. (AK) 7p, $25, Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center

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A little mood music With his reassuringly melancholic voice — at once distant and distracted, as though singing a half-remembered dream — Gordon Lightfoot pushed the boundaries of ’70s soft rock into richer territory beyond Saturdays in the park and horses with no names and sentimental ladies and all that. (I remember hearing “The

Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” on AM radio as a kid, thinking, You’re allowed to write songs like this?!) At this special concert event, “Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway,” (2) the singer will also share stories about his music and life. (AK) 7:30p, $24, Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center

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Hope they kept the antlers Venerably crusty — or is it crustily venerable? — downtown venue Bunkhouse Saloon emerges from plastic surgery this fall after months of extensive makeover by new owner The Downtown Project. What lies beneath the bandages? Music-wise, an eclectic roster of soul and funk (Allen Stone, Bad Rabbits, Bonavox, Sept. 27), retro dreampop (Washed Out (3), Sept. 28) (3) classic post-rock (Bob Mould, SEPTEMBER 2014


4 Sept. 30) and blip-hop (RJDs, Nov. 21). (AK) 8p, various prices, Bunkhouse Saloon,

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Meet the new boss After two seasons of test-driving new musical directors, the Las Vegas Philharmonic kicks off this fall with the man they chose for the job: new Music Director Donato Cabrera. He’ll conduct the season’s first Masterworks Series concert with a housewarming gift in tow: This fall season-launcher features guest vocalist Deborah Voigt, a soprano acclaimed for her startling range and versatility. For an extra $50, you can welcome the new maestro over cocktails in The Smith Center’s Founder’s Room. (AK) 6p, $26-$96, Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center,

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Admit it: You sing it in the shower With her 2013 hit, “Royals,” a lush outsider club anthem for Generation Y, Lorde went viral — but her sudden popularity felt less like another suffocating overnight sensation than a refreshing antidote to ubiquitous GIFs of a twerking Miley Cyrus. Ironically, Lorde, not yet 18, won’t be able to partake of Vegas’ fabled adult excesses — but, also, ironically, the maturity reflected in her lyrics suggests she’s already over it. (AK) 9p, $50, The Joint at the Hard Rock,

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The more, the mariachi What?! I chose Chess Club as my extracurricular activity, when all this time I could’ve been learning the awesomely mawkish trumpet riffs to “Cielito Lindo”? Indeed, since 2002, the Clark County School District’s Mariachi Music Instructional Program has taught upward of 3,000 students in more than 17 district schools the art of mariachi. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Viva El Mariachi! student concert will feature the program’s best, brightest and loudest. (AK) Free, 7p, Clark County Library Main Theater



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Music unmasked London-based mixman SBTRKT (4) used to wear a tribal mask at his performances. It wasn’t an image gimmick, but a wardrobe choice born of principle: He wanted the focus to be on the music, not any cult of personality. But the critical acclaim for his work put any such concerns to rest, as both consumers and press praised his cosmopolitan, omnivorous, brainy but groovy sound constructions that meld club beats and mood-drenched UK soul. Mindful dance music? It’ll move you in more ways than one. (AK) $30, 8p, House of Blues

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Explosions + grown men in make-up = rock ’n’ roll The conventional wisdom is that the Vegas residency is the tombstone marking artistic death but, I dunno, I have this strange hope that KISS, in all their stubborn insistence on simply, you know, sticking it out for this long, will turn what was formerly considered musical soul-obliteration into a big ol’ party with lots of unreasonably tight leather clothes and pyrotechnic explosions and total guitar face-meltery. *Unfurls tongue in rock ’n’ roll solidarity* (AK) $49, 8p, The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel,

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We all live in a yellow harmonium Tahir Faridi Qawwal credits his youthful interest in Eastern music to ... the Beatles? Yep. Qawwal eventually studied under Indian and Pakistani qawwali masters, leading to his signature sound. And what sound is that? The seven-piece Fanna-Fi-Allah Sufi Qawwali Party — featuring two harmoniums, tanpura, tablas, hand-clapping and singing — performs the qawwali music of the Sufis of Pakistan, infectious, hypnotic, evolving melodies that can go on for up to 30 minutes. (AK) 7p, $10-$12, Winchester Cultural Center


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An island of musical delights New Las Vegas Philharmonic Music Director Donato Cabrera has said he hopes to deepen and diversify the organization’s programming, and now he’s putting

his hula skirt where his mouth is, in “Pops Series I: Aloha from Las Vegas.” Conducted by Hawaii Pops’ Matt Catingub, “Aloha from Vegas” will feature traditional and popular Hawaiian music, much of it sung by special guest Amy Hanaiali’i, Hawaii’s best-selling vocalist of all time. (AK) 7:30p, $26-$94, Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center

are corny/ Convict movies make her horny/ She likes ketchup on her scrambled eggs/ Swears like a sailor when shaves her legs.”) (AK) 8p, $39-$79, The Pearl at the Palms

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Ohmygod, like, catch this concert Ah, the ’80s, that insouciant swirl of neon, synthesizers and hairspray shot through with the dread of nuclear annihilation. Now you can reminisce — about the music, anyway — at Totally ’80s Symphonic, in which a 21-piece orchestra performs ’80s classics from greats such as Eurythmics, The Cure, A-ha and Tears for Fears. Totally. (AK) 7:30p, $24, Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center

D ec . 13 6 that nonsense right now) with a roster of rotating guest conductors taking the stand, including Col. John R. Bourgeois, Director Emeritus of United States Marine Band. (AK) 7:30p, prices TBA, UNLV’s Artemus Ham Hall

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The Celts want a drumstick

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The sound of freedom — literally In recognition of America’s fighting men and women, the UNLV Wind Orchestra presents an evening of patriotic classics (no, no “God Bless the U.S.A.,” so you just stop with

(Black and white infomercial image of glum family listlessly sitting around Thanksgiving dinner table): Are you tired of the same, boring old Thanksgiving dinner? (Cut to color image of same family at Thanksgiving dinner table, surrounded by jolly Celtic bagpipers playing, singing and jigging): Make it a Celtic Thanksgiving! Featuring the Desert Skye Las Vegas Pipe Band, champion piper Jack Lee, the Celtic Crown Academy of Irish Dance and the Las Vegas Highland Dance Association. Call now! (AK) 3:30p, free, Clark County Library Main Theater

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Africanized beats If music is a universal language,

then Alex Boyé’s (5) work must be covered in passport stamps. The London-born Nigerian singer has garnered worldwide acclaim — and millions of YouTube hits — with his Africanized versions of hot singles, from Lorde’s “Royals” to Frozen’s “Let It Go.” It’s more than mere musical piggybacking. Instead, his renditions cleverly exploit melodic possibilities, and his voice — in all its flights and aerials, always earthy, always real — make them completely his own. (AK) 8p, $25-$75, UNLV’s Artemus Ham Hall

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The Prine of your life Through all his avatars — folk singer, rockabilly hero, country rocker — John Prine’s barbed and startling lyrics have always been the common denominator, whether he’s singing about Vietnam vets in “Sam Stone” (“But the morphine eased the pain/ And the grass grew ’round his brain/ And gave him all the confidence he lacked/ With a Purple Heart and a monkey on his back”) or love in all its imperfections in “In Spite of Ourselves.” (“She thinks all my jokes

Holiday sounds from all around Okay, so Vegas isn’t exactly a winter wonderland in December. It’s more like the dirt gets really, really cold, and maybe blows around a bit. But The Desert Winds should put you in a properly jolly holiday spirit with their Colorations in Frost concert, featuring seasonal classics from cultures around the globe. (Other dates in the series: “Colorations in Indigo,” Oct. 4; “Colorations in Crimson,” Nov. 11; “Colorations in Purple,” Feb. 28; “Colorations in Emerald,” April 11; “Colorations in Amber,” May 16). (AK) 7:30p, $10-$15, CSN’s Nicholas J. Horn Theatre,

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Singin’, swingin’ holiday tunes If you want holiday music, but you don’t want HOLIDAY! MUSIC! — you know, explosive saccharine choral blasts all up in your facial vent — check out this holiday show by singer Kristen Hertzenberg and pianist Phil Fortenberry. (6) The talented duo will perform seasonal songs with qualities SEPTEMBER 2014


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Hearts on fire but also on ice This event brings together two curious objects of American fascination: ice skating and the rock band O.A.R. Pandora Unforgettable Moments of Love on Ice features the all-stars of ice-skating — including Meryl Davis, Charlie White, Brian Boitano and Evan Lysacek — gliding and carving to live tunes by indie/ college powerhouse O.A.R. (AK) 7:30p, $29.50-$99.50, Mandalay Bay Events Center

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Two masters make beautiful music To call violinist Bella Hristova a rising star is an understatement. Classical music magazine The Strad chose to put it this way: “Every sound she draws is superb.” Hristova will perform Max Bruch’s First Violin Concerto, conducted by another luminary: Rei Hotoda, whom you might recognize for conducting the 2014 Youth Concert Series. (AK) 7:30p, tickets TBA, UNLV’s Doc Rando Recital Hall

Jan . 21

Where Strip performers perform when they’re not performing How to describe The Composers Showcase? (7) It’s kind of like this secret society/church/after-hours social club for Strip performers whose creative juices don’t stop flowing when it’s curtain call at the casino gig. You’ll hear them sing and play original work, from bawdy show tunes to teary torch songs. But just as great as the talent on stage is the chatty cocktail-klatch bonding going on at the




the holiday season so often lacks these days: class and panache. (AK) 2p and 7:30p, $25-$40, Cabaret Jazz in The Smith Center

Brittany McKay This singer-songwriter backs her soulful alto with a staunch work ethic Dressed in a simple black dress and red platform heels, 18-year-old Brittany McKay marches across the stage toward Frankie Moreno during his show at the Stratosphere. He points out where to stand and she darts there, drum-

ming the sides of her thighs as Moreno exits left and her guitar accompanist, John Lloyd, enters right. The pressure is on. Moreno has just introduced his guest by saying that she blew his mind when she sang for him in a songwriting class he taught at her school, the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts. But as soon as Lloyd starts strumming his gentle background riff, nervous high-schooler Brittany McKay evaporates, replaced by fully realized soul singer Brittany Rose, her stage name. She stands tall, holds her hands out pleadingly, raises her eyebrows and lets go a smoky, velvet alto that suggests knowledge far beyond its years. “… As the lights turn down, so do I, no more crying, I’m yours …” McKay recalls this June 2013 performance, captured in a YouTube video, as the moment when she knew she wanted to be a professional performer, and it’s easy to see why. Moreno’s mind isn’t the only one blown. The crowd responds to McKay with cheers and whoops, and sends her off with furious applause.

“That’s my goal: for you to feel something,” she says today, still in black, but much more relaxed as she sips herbal tea at Madhouse Coffee. “It doesn’t matter what it is. I feel like, a lot of times nowadays, it’s commercial. I try to focus on the soul behind the song.” Where did someone so young get so much soul? Her parents, originally. Her father, Murry McKay, moved from his native North Carolina to New York in the 1960s to pursue a music career. There he met Tracey Taylor, an opera and cabaret singer and actor. When Taylor became pregnant with Brittany, Murry McKay began driving a limo to support the family, but he never stopped performing; now in his 70s, he recently released an album with the group Knightbeats. “My dad is a good producer and songwriter,” Brittany McKay says. “Both my parents are very creative. That’s helped me find myself.” Getting the best arts education available has also helped. After moving with her dad from New York to Las Vegas in 2005, McKay enrolled at K.O. Knudsen, home of Clark County School District’s magnet program for performing arts. She started there with a focus on the cello, but minored in choir. When it came time to audition for LVA, she chose voice as her instrument. Good choice, according to Megan Franke, choral director for the academy. “She’s a stunning classical vocalist, reads music well, composes, and she wasn’t just interested in her own area,” Franke says of her former pupil. “She took all the information and applied it to be the best singer-songwriter she could be.” Perhaps more impressive, Franke says, McKay is no diva. Her sweet demeanor and rigorous work ethic draw others to her. She’s constantly collaborating, and has had the same band for years. McKay missed those connections during her year at Berklee College of Music from 2013 to ’14. Following her graduation from LVA, she attended the prestigious East Coast school on a scholarship, taking 16 hours of classes per semester with a focus on the business of music, in order to get the most out of her time there. When the scholarship ran out, she had to come home, but she did so with few regrets. “I loved my time in Boston, but it’s hard now for me to think about leaving Las Vegas. There are so many musicians here. … You can build a great network, especially if you grew up here. It’s not as commercial as other places. It matters less what you look like; if you’re talented, you get opportunities.” One such opportunity is at the View Wine Bar & Kitchen in Tivoli Village, where Brittany Rose performs every Thursday, 7-10 p.m. McKay and her band are lining up gigs at other spots that don’t mind non-drinking age performers, such as Nacho Daddy, where they played in August. She’s also been in the studio, recording her first album and working with Lloyd on one by his electronic band, Details. “If Brittany keeps plugging along, she’ll definitely be successful,” Franke says. “She’s got the right blend of a great stage personality and interesting music.” — Heidi Kyser SEPTEMBER 2014


LITERATURE & IDEAS moving social brainy funny racy

7 tables. (AK) 10p, Jan. 21, March 4, April 15 and May 27, $20, Cabaret Jazz in The Smith Center

Feb. 26

A concert for a Queen The UNLV Wind Orchestra will perform Italian composer Ottorino Resphighi’s “The Queen of Sheba” with the benefit of four fine composers, including Dr. Cody Birdwell of the University of Kentucky, Gary Smith of the University of Illinois, and UNLV’s own Thomas G. Leslie and Dr. Zane S. Douglass. (AK) 7:30p, $10, UNLV’s Doc Rando Recital Hall

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What’s Henderson, chopped liver? You gotta love any discussion of local history that assumes the Strip is its own quasi city. That’s Eugene Moehring’s take in Reno, Las Vegas and the Strip: A Tale of Three Cities, 1945-2014. The acclaimed UNLV historian looks at the forces — corporate gaming and megaresorts, changes in morality and leisure time — that shaped Nevada’s three most important metropolitan areas. (SD) 7:30p, free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum,

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The right’s wrong stuff In her University Forum lecture The Radical Right Has a Radical Plan: What Taking Back the Country Really Means, author Claire Conner (Wrapped in the Flag) recounts growing up as the daughter of a Bircher big shot, and analyzes the regressive aspirations and tactics of anti-government zealots and religious hard-liners. (SD) 7:30p, UNLV’s Barrick Museum,

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You plucked me all night long When Croatian cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser join forces, the result is (weird Transformers wermph-wermph-wermph sound) 2CELLOS, a musically intrepid duo dedicated to exploring the world of cello music — whether that’s Bach and Vivaldi or bold interpretations of AC/DC songs. Devil horns at a cello concert? HELLZYEAHz. (AK) 8p, $25-$75, UNLV’s Doc Rando Recital Hall



How much worse can it get? Every day another batch of grim headlines — from Nigeria, from Russia, from Iran — reboots our planet-spanning anxiety about the condition of our species. For Blood, Sweat & Tears: Life on the Front Lines of the Human Rights Struggle in Russia, Nigeria, and Iran, the Black Mountain Institute has recruited a top-notch lineup: Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, a Nigerian playwright; Iranian dissident Azar Nafisi, author of the best-selling memoir Reading Lolita

in Tehran; and Russian journalist Masha Gessen, who wrote a biography of Vladimir Putin. Moderated by Michelle Tusan, a UNLV human rights scholar, it promises to be eye- and mind-opening. (SD) 7p, free, UNLV Student Union,

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If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the poetry reading If you’re a poet and you wanna throw it, 5/5+ is for you: You get five minutes to read your best stuff, then buckle in for five minutes of immediate, no-BS feedback from the audience — including other poets. BOOM! Reading and workshop in one. (SD) 3p, free, Books or Books, 5/5+ on Facebook

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Wait — sassy and sexy romance is an option? If you prefer your romance sassy and sexy — instead of brooding, clingy and drama-addicted, like the rest of us — authors Tera Lynn Childs and Crystal Perkins have an evening for you. It’s called An Evening of Sassy and Sexy Romance with Tera Lynn Childs and Crystal Perkins. Sassy heroines! Sexy guys! Childs (author of the City Chicks series) and Perkins (The Griffin Brothers series) will host games and sign books. (SD) 7p, free, Clark County Library,

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Welcome to Mobtown! Once you’ve read the excerpt of Tod Goldberg’s Vegas-set novel


1 Gangsterland on Page 42, you’ll be fully prepped for this reading and book-signing (pre-publication reviews have been gaga). No scribbling introvert, Goldberg is antic and hilarious in front of a crowd. (SD) 3p, free, Clark County Library,

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A real wake-up call You ever log on to the Internet at 3 a.m. to find just a crackling test pattern? Of course not. The Internet never sleeps — and maybe it’s why we seem as sleepless as ever. Many experts blame ubiquitous screens and omnipresent media for modern insomnia, but scholar Lee Scrivner points out that people have always worried about technology triggering mass insomnia. For instance, the Victorians worried that electric lights and nighttime trains spelled the end of sleep. (I always thought they were kept awake by the panicked thought that someone somewhere was having sex.) Scrivner explores society’s history of anxiety about insomnia in Becoming Insomniac: How Sleeplessness Alarmed Modernity. (AK) 7:30p, free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum Auditorium

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I’m with the banned An open letter to censorship: Hey, big fella, hope this finds you well. I’m sure you’re busy snatching Huckleberry Finn from impressionable kids, to keep them from encountering words they’d otherwise only hear at school, in the streets and on the Internet. But if you have time, you’re invited to Uncensored Voices: Celebrating Your Freedom to Read, which kicks off Banned Books Week (Sept. 22-28). This event will highlight the graphic novels you’ve been trying to block from libraries, schools and bookstores. It’ll be fun, informative and, if we’re lucky, they’ll serve cookies afterward. Hope to see you there! (SD) 7p, free, Clark County Library,

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A poet you don’t know yet (but should) Unless you read lots of lit journals, you likely haven’t heard of Kansas City poet Bridget Lowe (1) — there’s a reason Black Mountain Institute calls this its Emerging

Writers Series. That’s a good reason to see her: Be an early convert. (SD) 7p, free, UNLV’s Greenspun Hall Auditorium,

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The zoomy, charmingly retro style of residential architecture known as mid-century modern has an enthusiastic following in Las Vegas. You’ll know why after Paradise Palms: A Mid-Century Modern Neighborhood, a discussion of the city’s first master-planned luxury community. Part of the Library District’s Las Vegas Stories series. (SD) 7p, free, Clark County Library,

Send in the clown Jerry Lewis has led such an outsized life — in showbiz, in largescale philanthropy, in Gallic adoration — that An Evening with Jerry Lewis might make you wonder if an evening’s enough. What to expect? “Stand-up comedy, unforgettable gags, trademark vignettes,” plus movie highlights and even some singing. Part of the Audi Speaker Series. (SD) 7:30p, $24 and up, The Smith Center,

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That’s sick We can’t improve much on the descriptive juju of this lecture’s title: The Immune System and Sepsis Under the Microscope. Sepsis infections are a serious problem in Clark County (and all over the place). Hear more from Barbara St. Pierre Schneider, of UNLV’s department of nursing, and Charles C. Caldwell, an associate professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. (SD) 7:30p, UNLV’s Barrick Museum,

You don’t look a day over late-century

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What rhymes with Steensen? She’s back! Poet Sasha Steensen, a graduate of the first class of UNLV’s creative writing program — class of 2000, represent! — returns in Black Mountain Institute’s new Alumni Reading Series. Now professoring at Colorado State, Steensen has published three books of poetry, including the award-winning A Magic Book. (SD) 7p, free, UNLV’s Greenspun Hall auditorium, SEPTEMBER 2014



Chris Ramirez This accidental cinephile is building a homegrown film industry, one frame at a time The Motel Life is set in Northern Nevada. Based on the novel by Willy Vlautin, it’s a film about two orphan brothers fleeing Reno after a tragic hit-and-run accident. But this is no action flick about outlaws on the loose. Haunted by looming anxiety and the ghost of childhood traumas, it’s a bittersweet visual ballad conveyed largely through the gorgeous desolation of the Nevada hinterland: snowy mountains, rumbling trains, one-street towns and cinderblock motels. And to think the directors were this close to shooting most of the movie in ... New Mexico? Oh, no. Chris Ramirez of Lola Pictures would have none of that. “The filmmakers called me to put together three days in Reno (for key location shots), and they were going to make the rest of the movie in New Mexico,” says Ramirez, who provided production services for the film. “I put my foot down. ‘Absolutely not. You have got to make this movie in Reno.’ I loved the script so much I couldn’t see it not being here.” Before directors Gabe and Alan Polsky had a chance to object, Ramirez gave them the hard sell: He could help with the crew, scout the locations, nail down the logistics, everything. “I always overpromise,” Ramirez says with a smile. “It makes you push yourself.” The Polsky brothers were convinced. The result: a Nevada movie through and through. “We had been trying to figure out how to do it the least expen-



sively, but we also wanted the film to feel authentic to Nevada,” explains Gabe Polsky. “The setting is another character in the film that conveys the mood and the feeling. Even thematically, in how the brothers are trapped in by the mountains, and there’s a sense there’s no escape.” The film received admiring reviews (Los Angeles Times: “atmospheric … a sad outlaw song”) and a handful of indie film awards. Afterwards, Ramirez made his production chops official by founding Downtown Films, an umbrella company that contains sister companies Silver State Production Services and Lola Pictures. Silver State contracts with studios to handle the nuts and bolts of scouting locations and securing local crew. Studio Lola Pictures develops scripts and finances films. Ramirez’s passion for growing a film industry in Nevada is more than merely entrepreneurial — though Ramirez is definitely an entrepreneur. The native Las Vegan and Gorman High School graduate took a meandering path to the film business, operating a successful valet service and consulting for Indian casinos before agreeing on a whim to shoot a music video in 2004 for Vegas alt-rock band Slow to Surface. “I borrowed my parents’ Sony Hi8 videocamera and went out and followed them for three months, taught myself how to edit and did a video for them. (When I started) I barely knew how to turn a camera on. But I really loved pairing up the visuals with the song, creating, hopefully, an emotional pull that’s tangible, that I can show you.” From there, Ramirez was soon using his connections and expertise to find work as a production assistant and location manager for commercials, documentaries and feature films set in Vegas. He worked his way from minding the set in goofball comedy Bachelor Party Vegas to supervising the entire production of About Sunny, a moody indie about a struggling single mom in Las Vegas. That evolution reflects his desire for a more serious brand of cinematic storytelling about Nevada. A $300,000 seed investment by The Downtown Project certainly helped his Downtown Films get off the ground, but what really drives Ramirez is a philosophical imperative to put some local stakes in the countless silver screen stories that get spun about the Silver State. “When we were in our 20s going out, me and my friends used to comment how people think of Las Vegas — all bachelor parties and girls with boas — whereas we had a sense of ownership and pride,” he says. “I carried that value to movies. Visiting producers made their Hangover or whatever, hired as few locals as possible, then left and took all the money with them, end of story. I’m here to tell them, ‘You can get that talent here, you can get equipment here.’” He’s since overseen the making of eight films in Nevada. Most recently, in May, he wrapped up an untitled project by director Gerardo Naranjo starring Dakota Fanning. Ramirez proudly points out that it was created with 97 percent local crew, and with all local equipment — and with one of the first state tax breaks for film productions passed by the 2013 Legislature. Expect to see the Lola Pictures imprimatur on many a future Vegas film, and watch for Ramirez to become a high-profile evangelist for nurturing a serious industry in Vegas. Along the way, he’s undergone a bit of a conversion himself. “The Motel Life was pretty life-changing for me. I lived up there for months while I was scouting all these little towns, Virginia City, Gardnerville, Minden. I fell in love with the state more than ever before. Before, I was a Las Vegas-centric kind of guy. Now I’m a Nevada kind of guy.” — Andrew Kiraly

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The cookie says, “I told you so” Learning is living — sure, that sounds like wisdom you might extract from a fortune cookie. Well, this time, heed the cookie. As UNLV sociologists Takashi Yamashita, Jennifer Keene and Erick Lopez will tell you in the University Forum lecture The Benefits of Lifelong Learning for Well-being, lifelong learning is beneficial to your well-being, whether you’re a student, mid-career striver or retiree. (SD) 7:30p, free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum, liberalarts.unlv. edu/forum

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Welcome to Booktown! “Actor writes book” is the “dog bites man” of publishing: so frequent it’s not newsworthy. But in the case of actor B.J. Novak (2) (The Office, Inglorious Basterds), stop the presses: His best-selling One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories is actually worth a mention, funny and with a heart — it prompted the New York Times to dust off the descriptive “droll,” which had its peak Times usage back in 1876. Novak’s reading kicks off the 2014 Vegas Valley Book Festival. (SD) 7p, free, Clark County Library,

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A whole day for books? Let’s do this every year! A reading by author Aimee Bender (The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake) caps the 2014 Vegas Valley Book Festival. This day-long readapalooza will feature talks on literary fiction, genre writing, baseball lit and essays, as well as an extensive program of children’s and youngadult literature. Among the featured writers: Onetime Las Vegan Charles Bock, Sylvia Day, Tracy Wolff, Leslie Jamison, Dinah Lenney and more. If you love books, or like books a lot, or just want to be friends with books, SEPTEMBER 2014



you gotta be here. (SD) Begins at 9a, Fifth Street School,

space in your face Oc t. 20 We live most of our lives in and around buildings, but we don’t give enough thought to the influence the built environment has over our bodies and minds. The UNLV School of Architecture’s 2014 Klai Juba Wald Lecture Series will open your eyes to the function of the forms around you. On Oct. 20, MIT architecture professor Nader Tehrani discusses urban design. Other lecture dates: Chris Reed, Oct. 27; Gregg Pasquarelli, Feb. 23; Marlon Blackwell, March 23. (AK) 6p, free, Fifth Street School


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The plane truth Forget aliens; Area 51 is also fascinating as the sorcerers’ workshop wherein America’s weapons-tech brainiacs sharpened aerospace’s cutting edge. In The Evolution of Area 51, former head of the Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame Thornton Barnes will use videos and insider accounts to explain the history and function of the “secret” base. (SD) 7:30p, free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum,

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The Sands of time From the Tropicana to the El Cortez, lots of Vegas resorts these days are aiming for that classic Vegas vibe. Their inspiration: The Sands, home of the Rat Pack and endless font of Sin City hepcat mythology. In The Sands: A Place in the Sun (3), historians Larry Gragg, Eugene Moehring, Su Kim Chung and Michael Green will discuss the rise and fall of fabled hotel-casino, from the Copa headliners of its heyday to its demise at the hands of the megaresort craze. (AK) 1p, free, Nevada State Museum



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There will be a test afterward Nevada will still be sweeping up Oct. 31’s sesquicentennial confetti when writer and Mob Museum content director Geoff Schumacher takes the Jewel Box Theatre stage to identify and interpret Key Turning Points in Las Vegas History — pivotal moments from 1844 to the present. This is part of the Library District’s Las Vegas Stories series. (SD) 7p, free, Clark County Library,

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A shameful number It’s easy to be blasé about a number like 29 million; modern life is full of huge figures. But when you learn that’s the number of people enslaved in the world today, it takes on a stark hugeness. In the University Forum lecture Human Trafficking and the Narratives of Modern Slavery, Loyola University pro-

fessor Laura T. Murphy, director of the Modern Slavery Research Project, will discuss the stories of those who’ve escaped, stories that aggregate as what she calls “the new slave narrative.” (SD) 7:30p, UNLV’s Barrick Museum,

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Happy birthday! *Blows silent, discreet noisemaker* The reopening of the Clark County Library in November 1994 marked more than a mere expansion. The Michael Graves-designed reboot signaled the graduation of the facility from traditional library to full-fledged community center, with the addition of two theaters, conference rooms and even accommodations for art exhibits and cultural events. Celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the library’s rebirth with refreshments and nostalgic photographs. (AK) 6p, free, Clark County Library,

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Get your swerve on Fruitful things often happen when history and literature meet: March, for instance, Geraldine Brooks’ Pulitzer-winning novel about the decamped father in Little Women; or Stephen Greenblatt’s literary history Swerve: How the World Became Modern, another Pulitzer winner. That book lends its title to this talk between Brooks and Greenblatt: To Swerve or Not to Swerve: How Literature Navigates the Past. (Our vote: swerve!) Sponsored by Black Mountain Institute. (SD) 7p, free, UNLV Student Union,

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Gender the vote! Isn’t it weird to read a sentence like this: “One hundred years ago, Nevada’s male voters finally allowed Nevada’s women to vote …” Did you flinch at “allowed,” too? The story and the people —


of both genders — behind Silver State suffrage is the subject of 45 Years in the Desert: Nevada Women’s Long Journey to the Ballot Box, by scholar Dana R. Bennett. (SD) 7:30p, free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum, liberalarts.unlv. edu/forum

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Welcome to Funtown David Sedaris (4), that exemplar of NPR-friendly satire, comes to town on the heels of his latest best-seller, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. Smiles, everyone, smiles! (SD) 7:30p, $46 and up, The Smith Center,


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Picnic and ‘A rsenic’


The same self-affirming impulse that makes reality TV a guilty pleasure (“Hey, at least we’re not that crazy!”) draws us to dysfunctional-family comedies. And Joseph Kesselring’s 1939 play, Arsenic and Old Lace, is the original Kardashian-style train wreck you just can’t stop watching — complete with two elderly homicidal aunts, one brother who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt and another brother who’s had plastic surgery that makes him resemble Boris Karloff. The play’s main character, Mortimer Brewster, unearths one disturbing truth after another as he defends his family from the authorities and decides whether to marry his fiancée, drawing an innocent victim into the madness. Kim and Kanye? Yawn. (HK) 7:05p, $12.95, Super Summer Theater at Spring Mountain Ranch,

funny racy

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For compete’s sake! Excess testosterone: not just a concern for male athletes. Rules often prevent women from competing if they have naturally high levels of the hormone. Many compensate with potentially risky medical procedures. In Just Games: The Racial and Sexual Politics of Testosterone in Women Athletes, Rebecca M. Jordan-Young of Barnard College, Columbia University, challenges the scientific and ethical bases for these athletic policies. (SD) 7:30p, free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum, forum

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When it’s okay to talk in a theater

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As Asylum Theatre sees it, there can be more to being in a theater audience than passively receiving staged entertainment. Following this staged reading of a submission selected from Asylum’s annual call for plays — one of some 350 entries — audience members will discuss their responses to the work,

It’s raining the truth up in here! Gird yourself for Christmas dinner with Uncle Jasper, the family climate-change denier, with this talk by UNLV physics professor Michael G. Pravica. When Uncle J. quacks, How can we have global warming with all these doggone snowstorms?, you can bust out the facts you’ll pick up from Global Climate Change: What’s Going On? Pravica will examine the relationships between climate change and such phenomena as the polar vortex and drought. So clam up and open your present, Uncle Jasper; it’s a wallet. (SD) 7:30p, free, UNLV’s Barrick Museum, liberalarts.unlv. edu/forum

their feedback helping the author fine-tune it. Hooray, empowered viewing! (The same dynamic will repeat in February with a staged reading of Reckoning, “an intense family drama about modern-day Irish travelers,” by Chicago’s Jenny Seidelman.) (SD) $10, Onyx Theater,

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A dream for all seasons Nevada Ballet Theater opens its season with the birds and the bees — and the Vivaldi and the Shakespeare. The two-act show begins with Paul Vasterling’s Seasons set to Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” and ends with George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act 1 (1), the sensual interpretation of William Shakespeare’s beloved comedy set to Felix Mendelssohn’s score. Emil de Cou will direct the live orchestra that includes members of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, and more than 20 young dancers from the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theater will participate in the performance. (HK) 2p and 7:30p, $29-$129, Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center,

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Go ask Gaddis The Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater could only get more popular if its founding artistic director, Bernard H. Gaddis, made his first full-length ballet the modern interpretation of a






much-loved fantastic tale. Oh, and look! He’s doing just that, with Alice Down the Rabbit Hole (2). Gaddis says he’s always related to Lewis Carroll’s story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and audiences can expect his dance company to bring the little girl’s imaginepic to life on stage with their usual passion and athleticism. (HK) 7:30p, $24-$79, Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center,

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Circle work


The College of Southern Nevada drama program goes all meta with its season opener this year, producing Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation. The 2009 Obie Award winner for Best New American Play follows a group of four theater wannabes through six weeks of drama both inside and outside a community center classroom, where role-playing exercises turn into power plays. The muffled tension elicits as much laughter as it does post-performance conversation. (HK), 7p, $10-$12, CSN’s BackStage Theater,

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Drink it! Drink it! You gotta love the demented imagination of Troy Heard: For this Table 8 Productions performance of Jonestown — yes, about Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple and that Kool-Aid — he’s creating … make that curating … an “immersive” experience that will “recreate the Guyana tragedy in a desert location (busing



included).” Sounds wild, creatively risky — and worth the ride. Look for similar risk-taking in March, when Table 8 presents Motel, by Ernie Curcio and Heard, which funnels audiences through rooms at downtown’s Gateway Motel. (SD) Through Nov. 8, $30,

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CirQue du ballet I love modern ballet; you love postmodern acrobatics; A Choreographer’s Showcase (3) loves us both! The Nevada Ballet Theater and Cirque du Soleil are collaborating on the seventh installment of their gymnastics-influenced dance — or is it a ballet-influenced tumble? Both, and more, say audience members, who applaud the boundary-pushing performances that give the city’s most talented dancers and directors a unique forum for flexing their collective muscles. (HK) 1p, $25-$45, Mystere Theater at Treasure Island,

Perris Aquino this young dancer pops, locks and breaks his way outside the b-boy box Sitting still, Perris Aquino looks uncomfortable. It’s hard to believe that the slight 18-year-old slumping nervously behind a table in Studio 1 at Nevada Public Radio could, at any moment, stand up and do a back flip. But he could. Plenty of videos on his YouTube channel prove it. They also show him hand-springing over walls during parkour sessions; zigzagging backwards on his skates; and popping, locking, breaking and dancing freestyle. As he recounts his ascent in the local b-boy scene, his eyes dart repeatedly to the empty wood-paneled floor that serves as the radio station’s makeshift stage. It’s obvious he’d rather be doing something. “The only reason I can think of to explain how I became the kind of dancer I am is everything I’ve been through,” he says. “With music, I’m able to feel things in the moment.” Everything he’s been through started at birth. Aquino has a heart defect — he’s got only two valves in his aorta instead of three, and a murmur on top of that — as well as asthma. He was in and out of hospitals throughout childhood and spent long stretches alone in his room. There, he passed time drawing, writing and listening to music. He’d study hip-hop videos and emulate performers’ moves. As his interest in dance developed, he took classes to learn style and choreography. At 12, he joined Hypnotix Dance Krew, a group sponsored by Cricket Wireless, performing with much older kids in music videos and showcases, and helping the crew win third at Hip Hop International. Eventually, Aquino developed his own style: flowing seamlessly between eras and genres, windmilling into a soft-shoe slide. That’s when he caught the eye of high-level outfits such as Full Force, which is just one step away from Jabbawockeez. “I think what my art represents is my hopeful self,” he says. “Hoping things will

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Dream hoops The original American culture-tainment explodes out of Derrick Suwaima Davis, the Hopi-Choctaw artist who’s won five world championships in hoop dancing. Davis spins the Hopi creation tale to the accompaniment of singers and drummers, while also spinning rattan hoops around his arms, legs and body. For Native American Heritage month, he’ll be performing at libraries around the valley. (HK) times vary, free, Las Vegas Clark County Library District,

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Five steps forward, five steps back

be better someday.” His health still poses some limits: Aquino says he’s had to go to the emergency room after every “battle,” or one-on-one competition between dancers — one reason he doesn’t do them anymore. Still, he believes he could manage his condition successfully, should his passion for dance evolve into a career. This passion didn’t come out of nowhere. His parents, Daniel and Jane Aquino, are stalwarts of the local hip-hop scene. Daniel, a professional photographer, also specializes in shooting dancers. But another family member — whom Perris Aquino never even met — had an even more profound impact on him: his sister, China Sky Aquino. She was just six months old when she died, suffering from similar conditions as those that afflict Perris. The family makes regular pilgrimages to China’s grave in Union City, Calif., and two years ago Perris made a video homage to her. “I want to be someone who makes a difference,” he says. “The passing of my sister gave me that mindset: I was given this life, and I want to do the most with it.” Besides his family influences, Perris Aquino also had formal training in the art of movement. He took kung fu and gymnastics classes for several years starting at age 7, and says his martial arts background gave him both discipline and the ability to learn fast. “He was like a sponge,” says Full Force member Justin David, recalling a young Aquino at events. “He could pick up so many dance styles so fast, but he always made it authentic. He has a great work ethic and attention to detail.” David, who performed in Jabbawockeez's MÜS.I.C. at the Monte Carlo, hopes that dancers such as Aquino will help carry the hip-hop movement forward. Aquino himself isn’t sure yet whether he’ll pursue dance professionally. Having graduated from Advanced Technologies Academy in June, he’s keeping his options for the next phase open, talking to dance recruiters, while also considering college and doing an internship in the music business. “My biggest dream would be to one day travel the world teaching people about my passions, doing what I love and seeing the world,” he says. “I want to experience everything.” — Heidi Kyser

The Last Five Years is a rare treat for fans of musicals who also fancy nonlinear narrative techniques. The Nevada Conservatory Theater presents the intimate romance of New Yorker twentysomethings Cathy, who remembers the story in reverse, and Jamie, who tells it from beginning to end. The two characters appear on stage together only once — in the middle of the play, at their wedding — leaving remaining scenes to deconstruct the traditional arc of falling in and out of love. The production features Adam Kantor and Betsy Wolfe, who starred in the 2013 off-Broadway revival of Jason Robert Brown’s musical. (HK) 6p, $10-$30, UNLV’s Judy Bayley Theatre, last-five-years

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Making faces Mummenschanz appears ahead of its time today; just imagine the impression it must have made on early 1970s audiences in Paris, where it began. The “mimemasque theater” descriptor often used in its reviews doesn’t do justice to the troupe’s pointed, whimsical observations of human nature through the use of brightly colored objects, light and shadow, and stick figures come to life on stage. Parents will be just as entertained as their children. (HK) 7:30p, $21-$69, Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center SEPTEMBER 2014


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Pasties and pastries Producers tout Brunchlesque as “Las Vegas’ earliest gastro-exotic burlesque revue,” but we’re going out on a limb to say it’s not just the earliest, but the only. If there is some other show you can attend in your PJs that combines the dying art of the striptease with that of the perfectly cooked omelet, it hasn’t made its way above the radar just yet. Host Ricardo Montalbum presents performers from both Southern Nevada and beyond, with past talent hailing from as far away as Japan and Brazil. (HK) 11a, individual tickets $17$20, booths seating up to five $110, Boomers Bar,

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Surreality show What’s not to like about a dragapella beauty shop quartet poking fun at a half-dozen sub-genres of reality television at once? That it’s only two hours long, that’s what. In America’s Next Top Bachelor Housewife Celebrity Hoarder Makeover Star Gone Wild, the four cross-dressed divas of the Kinsey Sicks try to outdo each other in a series of dancing, dating, dieting, singing and extreme-insect challenges — all in four-part harmony. (HK) 8p, $35$50, Troesch Studio Theater at The Smith Center,

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Scientology might sue you for reading this blurb L. Ron Hubbard! The musical! Sung by children! It’s the Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant, presented by Table 8 Productions. What (aggressive response) could possibly (aggressive response) go wrong with something that sounds so very, very right? (SD) Through Dec. 20, $20-$25, Art Square Theater,

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Wonder study CSN’s performing arts department ends each semester with an



onstage celebration of footwork at its fanciest. The Fall Dance Concert brings together the college’s dance ensemble, its concert dance company and special guests for a showcase directed by program head and artistic director Kelly Roth. (HK) 2p and 7p, $8-$10, CSN’s Nicholas J. Horn Theater,

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Do dance for her, Argentina Tango Buenos Aires dance troupe weaves the layered tale of Argentina’s beloved former first lady in Song of Eva Peron. The translation is a natural: Evita’s tireless fight for the rights of the poor, women and the working class animates the passionate steps of her country’s traditional dance. (HK) 8p, $25-$75, UNLV’s Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall,

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Conspiracy theorists in love

Those whose guts can take one more notch up on the current-affairs wrench won’t want to miss Tracy Letts’ play Bug, in which two people who would be better off not finding each other, do. The main characters — a middle-aged waitress who’s suffered both domestic violence and the loss of a child, and a mentally disturbed military vet with a mysterious past — meet in a tiny hotel room and feed on one another’s fears. The play will be performed by Cockroach Theater’s new season ensemble, a small company of actors to cover all the roles in the play calendar. The hope is that the close-knit cast’s personal dynamics will translate to the stage. (HK) 2p and 8p, $16-$20, Cockroach Theater at Art Square,


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A pace for radio Dancers tell a story without words; radio show hosts speak to their audiences unseen. The two, as “This American Life” host Ira Glass says, “have no business being together.” So, what did he do? Put them together. In Ira Glass: Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host (4), the on-air personality does all the talking, while the onstage performers do all the moving. The combination has been a surprising crowd-pleaser that Glass describes as one of the best things he’s been part of. (HK) 7:30p, $29-$99, Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center,

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The colors, the colors … Hope, humility, overcoming challenges and doing what’s right — you wouldn’t find more family values in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (5) if it were a church picnic with the Cosbys. In addition to uplifting tunes that tell the Biblical story of Joseph and the coat of many colors, this production features the real-life husband-and-wife team Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young, Broadway veterans who play the narrator and Joseph, respectively. Tony Award-winner Andy Blankenbuehler directs the time-tested classic.

(HK) 2p and 7:30p, $28 and up (currently available by subscription only), Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center,

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The “pro” in “prohibition” Did someone say “escapist entertainment”? Nice Work If You Can Get It (6) has a bootlegger, a wealthy bachelor and a wedding bash, all imbued with the faux naughtiness of Prohibition-era New York. The only thing flowing more freely than the booze in this celebrated musical comedy is the George and Ira Gershwin soundtrack. Perfect fare for Las Vegans, who get the winks and nudges of speakeasy humor better than most. (HK) see website for times, $28 and up (currently available by subscription only), Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center,

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Sit for a spell The pangs of puberty are as unpredictable as the spelling of words is rote. In her 2004 comedy, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, writer Rebecca Feldman uses the juxtaposition of chaos and control to explore the sweet stress of being a smalltown American teen. Audience


members are drawn into the fun of the bee, being staged by Nevada Conservatory Theater next spring. (HK) 8p, $20-$30, UNLV’s Judy Bayley Theater,

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Undead love Every jilted lover has been tempted to go all Carrie Underwood and smash in some headlights — or, in 1841 parlance, join a cult of supernatural vengeance witches. But before she digs her keys into the side of Duke Albrecht’s pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive, Giselle thinks twice. Maybe he doesn’t deserve to die? Find out, in Nevada Ballet Theater’s creepily gripping season-closer, Giselle. (HK) 2p and 7:30p, (tickets on sale Dec. 13), Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center,

moving s e p t. 13

social brainy funny racy

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Little orphan, big optimism Come on: Just try not to love the musical that begins with a carrot-topped orphan singing the lyric, “Their one mistake was giving up me.” That tune, “Maybe,” sets the stage for Annie, the Tony Award-winning, hope-inducing, rags-to-riches tale that original lyricist Martin Charnin will direct in its classic form at The Smith Center to the delight of families throughout Clark County. Bet your bottom dollar that this crowd-pleaser will sell out. (HK) 2p and 7:30p, $28 and up (currently available by subscription only), Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center,

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Careful what you say With Native Speech, a 1983 play by Eric Overmyer, Cockroach Theater continues this season’s exploration of just how timely dated drama can be. In a dystopian future society, an underground disc jockey called The Hungry Mother churns out sensational, fictionalized news stories that begin to come true. Trying to make a point, the opinionated broadcaster instead makes a mess of the world. (HK) 2p and 8p, $16-$20, Cockroach Theater at Art Square,

Annual problems, perennial answers We’ve all strolled helplessly along the greenhouse walkways wondering, “Is that a good one? Is this water-efficient? Is it just me, or does this only look semi-alive?” The Autumn Plant Sale at Springs Preserve is just in time for autumnal planting and to quell the anxiety of those with green or even black thumbs. (Garden experts will be on hand to answer questions about care.) Desert-adapted native and drought-tolerant plants will be ready to go in containers from 1 to 15 gallons. So even if you really just want to swap out a potted failure for a fresh start, you’ll be set. (MO) 8a, with a 7a preview for members, free, Springs Preserve

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Something wicked that way grows Wanting to know what kind of plant can kill a man is as natural as dancing in your living room when no one’s home. Everyone does it, but no one talks about it for fear of looking like a psychopath. But curiosity only killed the cat. (You’re not a cat, are you?) Find out what else could kill a cat and a lot of other things at Wicked Plants, the Springs’ presentation of nature’s most satanic botanicals. Inspired by Amy Stewart’s book Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother and other Botanical Atrocities, this exhibit offers

up-close and personal experience with everything Walter White wished he could get his hands on. (MO) free for members or with general admission, Origen Museum, Springs Preserve

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Greek to you and me and everyone Spanakopita, gyros, souvlaki, dolmades, calamari, and tiropita, followed by baklava and kataifi … you could win a spelling bee on these alone. Fortunately, the 42nd annual Greek Food Festival will mean the only thing that’s Greek to you might be how to pronounce gyro, “jeeroh” or “hee-roh.” (It’s “yee-roh,” btw.) Aside from providing the opportunity to stuff yourself with the food of the gods, the festival will be host to traditional Greek music and dancing. On the not-so-traditional side, Criss Angel has been spotted there in years past, and they’ll also be raffling off luxury goods. Even Pythagoras would say that’s worth the wager. (MO) 5p Thurs., 3p Fri., 12p Sat. & Sun., $6 & free for kids 12 and under and active-duty military, St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, 5300 El Camino Road

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One-night oasis Death Valley is a beautiful place in a stark and extreme way. That’s why the rangers there either seem like the happiest people on earth or like the first inhabitants of a penal colony. But for one night only, the white sand dunes will turn into whitecapped waves, and Dante’s view SEPTEMBER 2014



will become Hi’iaka’s. The Death Valley Luau in Tecopa, California, will transform the southern-most corner of the hottest spot on earth into an island paradise. In support of the Goldwell Open Air Museum and Tecopa Artists Group, everyone will savor a sumptuous Hawaiian dinner while enjoying traditional dance and music from area pros like Gary and Sheldeen Haleamau. So hop from the ninth island to one of the other eight without stepping foot in McCarran. (MO) 6p, $25 admission with dinner included, Tecopa Hot Springs Resort, Death Valley


S e p t. 27

Classy cold one Beer has become as specialized as wine. Craft brews and small batches lap the once-familiar microbrews. This is why a beer festival hosted at the Cosmo makes as much sense as a Bedazzling craft party hosted by Liberace. Desert Hops (1) may sound like the latest indie band out of SoCal, but this poolside international festival will feature more than 150 beers from over 25 countries. Noshing on savory delicacies prepared by The Cosmopolitan’s restaurants while looking down on the Strip's twinkling lights will also make this party much less of a brouhaha and more of a soirée. (MO) 8p, VIP entrance 7p, tickets starting from $30, Boulevard Pool in The Cosmopolitan

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A fix for stunt junkies October is one of the nicest months of the year in Las Vegas.



Sarah O’Connell For Asylum Theater’s artistic director, the play — preferably new and daring — really is the thing Sarah O’Connell? Artistic director of Asylum Theatre and a 2014 One to Watch, that Sarah O’Connell? Okay! Here’s what I have learned: She loves the spicy ketchup that comes with the fries at Bar + Bistro, where me meet. She is bouncy, animated, funny and erudite when in the throes of theater evangelism — not once in the 55 minutes and 57 seconds of our conversation is she at a loss for words. Asylum Theater occupies a singular spot in the city’s theater ecosystem. It works with playwrights nationwide to present only new works — no comfortingly familiar Arsenic and

Old Laces, no crowd-pleasing Oklahoma!s — often putting them through staged readings in the presence of the author, after which the audience offers feedback. It’s an experience of audience empowerment rare in the arts: Vegas viewers can actually influence the direction of a play’s next draft. “Audiences,” she says, “don’t have to be taken for granted.” Staging new work entails a risk, and O’Connell’s more or less comfortable with that. “I feel like I would be doing it wrong if I didn’t feel a little anxious,” she says. “But that’s the job of theater. We’re the last bastion of people who literally put themselves out there physically, tell you a story in person, and are willing to take back, in that room, to our face, what you think of it.” She’s right about the ketchup, by the way. Delicious. Three-hundred-fifty. That’s how many plays were submitted for Asylum’s 2014-15 season, from writers around the nation. She has just five slots. That’s a 99.98 percent cutdown, and, if you’re Sarah O’Connell, that only happens by reading each one, all the way to the end. This while (1) working at the lighting design firm she and her husband own; (2) raising a pair of young children; and (3) running Asylum. So: late nights and early mornings, an ocean of coffee glugged. She sighs, “I put up a post that said, ‘The midnight oil has been replaced with an LED light.’” “Sarah occupies a unique position in our theater community,” says local director Troy Heard. “As we continue to grow and mature, she provides a open dialogue between us and the national playwriting network, exposing us to new, unpublished works and introducing playwrights to our developing scene.” “Because of her,” adds director and actor Erik Amblad, “we might actually see Las Vegas on the map.”

She apparently likes to tell people things, specifically funny-but-meaningful zingers about culture: “I tell people you are what you eat, so eat more art.” “I tell people to put Asylum on their list of must-see not TV.” O’Connell took over Asylum Theater in 2003, shortly after arriving here from San Francisco to open the lighting business. She’d been active in the Bay Area theater scene, doing experimental work while attending Cal State Hayward (“one of our instructors was named Edgardo, and we called him avant-gardo”), and later in a more professional capacity. For a college project, she and a classmate named James Monroe Iglehart once envisioned a theater troupe devoted to nontraditional new work — very much like Asylum, in fact. She learned the craft of directing in a then-new MFA program at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, in Glasgow. Late ’90s. It was a tough, serious program; you worked with professional actors and your performances were judged by pros, too — if, at any point, your work flagged, they could send you home. Not home to your lodgings in Glasgow, mind you. Home home. O’Connell persevered: “I got the first masters in directing in the UK that was ever offered.” While there, she offered private acting lessons. James McAvoy (Atonement, Wanted, X-Men: First Class, Muppets Most Wanted) was a student. Not long ago, she was in New York, visiting her old friend James Monroe Iglehart — about a week before he won a Tony for his performance as the genie in Aladdin. You’re doing it, he enthused, our project! But the real point being, she has a nationwide web of connections like that, actors, writers, artistic directors; hers is not a parochial view of Asylum’s role. What does she look for when she’s reading 350 scripts? “If I read it and I find it hard to care, I can’t imagine my audience is going to walk away going, Oh, that was relevant or engaging.” It’s hard for O’Connell to define precisely what makes any particular piece an Asylum play. She likes psychological dramas, works about family dynamics. Politics are fine; last season she staged a play about the Tea Party. There’s an element of know-it-when-you-see-it in picking a season. “There are some things,” she says, “that when you read it you go, ‘Wow, more people should get to experience this.’” About audiences, though: Man, that’s a tough one. Letting Las Vegans know there’s theater here beyond Smith Center musicals; getting them to drive in from their corner of the valley; getting them to see the essential, feeder dynamic of an organism like Asylum: “None of those shows ended up at The Smith Center without starting at an Asylum.” Recent productions that typify Asylum’s mojo? “Terrible Infant, a drama by Chris Van Strander — a staged reading we produced in 2003 that went on to a New York premiere in 2004 as a result of our development. The Devil, the Damsel, and Demon Rum, by Mike Corda and Raymond Hull, was an original musical in the style of old-fashioned melodrama that we developed and premiered in 2006. A staged reading of the drama Mercy, by Adam Szymkowicz, in 2013; he was recently dubbed as one of the playwrights who are the ‘Future of Broadway’ by Backstage Magazine, and now has several productions of his work running around the country. The Sungazers, a drama by Erica Griffin. This staged reading produced last season is ready for a full production in the next year or two after months of collaboration with both the playwright and local actors who have workshopped it through several drafts.” She will say things like this: “In an age in which we’re just consumers, and our importance stops with how many dollars we can put into it, I like that I’m a part of something that’s not about that.” How psyched is O’Connell to jawbone about this stuff? She doesn’t eat a single fry. — Scott Dickensheets SEPTEMBER 2014


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3 so if you must indulge in the buttery-aired, darkened cinema, make it action-packed. There’s no better way to get excited about the cooler weather than to watch the professionals ski, bike, ride, and paddle their way through the 2014 edition of the Banff Mountain Film Festival’s Radical Reels Tour. The film lets you see incredible bike jumps, kayak drops, and runs down the steepest mountains through the eyes of athletes and adventure-sport filmmakers. Plus, you’ll have an amazing reel to play in your head as you’re doing your own perhaps less-than-amazing weekend version. (MO) 6p wristband distribution, 7p screening, free, Clark County Library Theater courtyard

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this martini is improving education Harvest for Hope is a party with a cause, one that benefits Communities in Schools Nevada, the nation’s leading dropout-prevention program. Guests will enjoy a sumptuous autumn spread and specialty



cocktails from the kitchens and bars of The Cosmopolitan. Transforming the Cashman Center into an epic fall escape, Harvest for Hope will include family games, activities for children, live and silent auctions, and surprise entertainment from area performers. (MO) 5p, $100$350, Cashman Center

Oct. 10 -12 , 17-19 & 24 -26

Cosplay the “normal” way Fall is a lot of people’s favorite season. The air is crisper, the light is more striking, and, most importantly, for at least one night you can dress up like a chicken laying a golden egg and no one can have you committed. In October, spooktacular fun for all ages awaits those who dare enter the Springs Preserve’s annual Haunted Harvest (2). The family-friendly event will feature a petting zoo, trick-or-treat stations, carnival games and live music and performances. But will it feature a man dressed as a chicken laying a golden egg? The choice is yours, my friend. (MO) 5p, $3-$6, free for kids 4 and under, Springs Preserve


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Fire in the sky

Money for nothing and flicks for free

The centuries-old tradition of lantern-releasing is a spectacular visual coalescence of the magic of thousands of people coming together to do something inspiring. On Oct. 18, the RiSE Lantern Festival (3) will give you the chance to send a brilliant piece of the whole floating toward the sky and muse on the collective splendor and its significance. The good news is, unlike letting a balloon go, you can also participate guilt-free. Because they’re able to retrieve the lanterns, each lantern is 100 percent biodegradable, and RiSE purchases carbon offsets for every vehicle used in preparing the festival, attendees can feel good about the lantern rise long after they’re home in bed. (MO) sunset, tickets starting from $50, Jean dry lakebed, Mojave Desert

So you missed Grease in August and National Velvet in September at Cinema in the Circle. Don’t worry; you’re not quite out of time. October’s a busy month, but a perfect way to take a break without breaking the bank is to hit up Huntridge Circle Park’s monthly free outdoor movie. Grab a blanket and someone to snuggle up with and head to the park for the last screening of the year: The Nightmare Before Christmas. The Huntridge Foundation screens your favorite family-friendly movies on a big blow-up screen, gratis. And if you don’t have time to pack a picnic, there’s pizza by the slice and popcorn for sale for less than the cost of touching the door of a regular movie theater. (MO) sunset, free, Huntridge Circle Park

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Festival with a heart Life Is Beautiful (4) is primarily a music festival, for sure — headliners this year include heavyweights such as Kanye and Foo Fighters, and indies such as Misterwives and Tycho — but, heck, you could go just for the foodie stuff (Hubert Keller, Jet Tila), the art programming, the TED-style talks and the craft cocktails, and never feel like you missed Kanye who? (AK) Various times, $249.50-$595,

tradition of remembering the dead on the first day of November, celebrates what’s most alive about the departed: our memories of them and the impressions that their lives made on us. Inspired by this tradition, the Life in Death Festival honors the dead while mocking death itself. Ofrendas, or altars, will be set aglow with flickering candle light and covered with the food, drink, and objects the dead loved in life to lure them back for a visit. (MO) 5p, free, Winchester Park and Cultural Center

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Indoors is so last season The premise of Get Outdoors Nevada Day is pretty straightforward: Getting you excited about the great outdoors while learning about some of the activities you can get into. Join thousands of Southern Nevada’s outdoor recreation enthusiasts at Craig Ranch Regional Park and sample many of the region’s recreation opportunities. Featuring community groups, non-profit and governmental organizations, retailers, outfitters and event promoters, the day will showcase the spectacular playground just outside our front doors. (MO) 9a, free, Craig Ranch Regional Park

Getting back to our roots After we leave elementary school and don’t have a wonderful teacher reminding us of the significance of our country’s diverse cultural history, we sometimes forget about its important markers. The Black History Month Festival not only commemorates the occasion but celebrates it. Documenting the contributions of African-Americans to Southern Nevada’s history and culture, the festival will feature a historic photography exhibit, live entertainment, and food and craft vendors. So join in the party while making your third-grade teacher really proud. (MO) 10a, $3-$5, Springs Preserve

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Super fans unite! The Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival is a staple around these parts. Who could possibly object to a day spent returning to the glory of childhood fantasy? Or, ahem, apologies, Bronies and respectable comic-book fans alike, enjoying your adult hobby. In its seventh year, the Comic Book Festival promises to be another day full of activities celebrating comic book culture, including panel discussions, workshops, food trucks, kids’ crafts, face painting, live music, and film screenings. Meet your favorite artist or writer of series like American Flagg, The Batman Strikes, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars and experience what it means to be at a truly fun all-ages event. (MO) 9:30a, free, Clark County Library

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The living Dead Día de Muertos (5), the Mexican

March 2 8

Nothing like a good CirQue-out During that second mile of most 5ks, a common but terrifying phenomenon begins to occur: boredom. It’s that point in the run when you’re not tired yet but the novelty of running with so many people is beginning to wear off. But what if just when you hit that point, a crazy acrobat in a fish costume flew across your path? Seems implausible, but anything can happen at the Cirque Run, where Cirque du Soleil performers will help you warm up as you listen to surreal soundscapes. (Try to keep a straight face while a large man dressed as a baby assists you with a hamstring stretch.) This One Drop 5k gives you the chance to support a good cause, while getting so much more than a free T-shirt. (MO) 7a, $27-$40, Springs Preserve

VENUE INDEX Art Square 1025 S. First St., 702-483-8844, Brett Wesley Gallery 1025 S. First St. #150, 702-433-4433, brettwesleygallery. com Charleston Heights Arts Center 800 Brush St., 702-229-6383, City Hall Chamber Gallery 2nd floor of City Hall, 495 S. Main St. Clark County Amphitheater 500 S. Grand Central Parkway, 702-455-8200

Palms 4321 W. Flamingo Road, 702-942-7777 Sin City Gallery (in the Arts Factory) 107 E. Charleston Blvd. #100, 702-608-2461, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts 361 Symphony Park Ave., 702-749-2012, Spring Mountain Ranch 6375 Highway 159, 702-875-4141, Springs Preserve 333 S. Valley View Blvd., 702-822-7700,

Clark County Library 1401 E. Flamingo Road, 702-507-3400,

Summerlin Centre Community Park 800 S. Town Center Drive

Cockroach Theatre (at Art Square) 1025 S. First St., cockroachtheatre. com

Trifecta Gallery (in the Arts Factory) 107 E. Charleston Blvd., 702-366-7001,

CSN Cheyenne Campus (Artspace Gallery, Fine Arts Gallery, BackStage Theatre, Nicholas J. Horn Theatre) 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave., North Las Vegas, 702-651-4000

UNLV (Artemus Ham Hall, Barrick Museum Auditorium, Black Box Theatre, Doc Rando Recital Hall, Greenspun Hall Auditorium, Student Union ballroom) 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, 702-895-3011

Historic Fifth Street School 401 S. Fourth St., 702-229-6469 Nevada State Museum 309 S. Valley View Blvd., 702-486-5205,

Winchester Cultural Center 3130 McLeod Drive, 702-455-7340






asar nafisi

masha gessen

wole soyinka

Reading Lolita in Tehran

Russian journalist and LGBT activist

Nobel Laureate

Moderated by

michelle tusan Smyrna’s Ashes

SEPTEMBER 11, 7 P.M. PHILIP J. COHEN THEATRE | UNLV STUDENT UNION this event is free, unticketed, and open to the public. BMI’s public events are sponsored by the Caesars Foundation, Nevada Public Radio, and Vegas Seven. Call 702-895-5542 for BLACKMOUNTAIN more information. Events are subject to change. Please consult I N S T I T U T E for parking and venue information.

Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter






dine. unwind. contents p.003












Upcoming Signature Events Complete event schedule at Pa i n t th e Square Pi nk

September 27, 6pm-9pm Town Square Park The Southern Nevada Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® invites you to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October during Paint the Square Pink. Guests can enjoy wine and specialty drinks paired with hors d’oeuvres and celebrate breast cancer survivors and co-survivors as they take part in a fashion show. A silent auction and live entertainment will round out the evening. All proceeds from the event benefit Susan G. Komen® Southern Nevada. For more information call 702.822.2324 or visit

Tow n SCARY Hallo w een October 31, 4pm-7pm The Streets of Town Square Children of all ages are invited to trick-ortreat at participating stores and restaurants from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on October 31 during Town SCARY. Town SCARY is free, and children should bring their own basket for treats.

5 t h Ann ual Project Playhouse P e t Ed itio n October 3-17 The Green at Town Square Project Playhouse brings together supporters of HomeAid Southern Nevada to design, construct and decorate pet houses. The houses will be on display in The Green at Town Square Park and raffled off on October 17. Each purchase of a $5 raffle ticket will help HomeAid Southern Nevada continue its mission of building new lives for Southern Nevada’s homeless through housing and community outreach. For more information visit

ONE RUN 2014

Santa’s Arrival Parade & Photos November 14, 7pm The Streets of Town Square Join Santa Claus and his friends at the annual holiday parade and tree lighting. The parade will start at The Green and end at Santa’s house in Town Square Park. Once Santa reaches his house, he will light the holiday tree and snow will begin to fall. Following the snowfall, children can take photos with Santa inside his house. Photos with Santa will continue throughout the holiday season. For Santa photo hours visit

November 8, 8:30am The Green at Town Square This 5k and 1 mile run will benefit several Las Vegas non-profit organizations, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the participating charities. Registration will be available online at

Snow in the Square November 14 – December 23 Town Square Park

N ig ht ly Sn o w fa l l s : M o n d ay – T h u r s d ay 7 pm, F r i d ay – S u n d ay 7 pm and 8pm

Snow in Las Vegas? That’s right! Magical snow flurries fill the air in Town Square Park every night during the holiday season. Each amazing show lasts 10 minutes and is choreographed to your favorite holiday music. Snow in the Square is presented by Clear Channel Media. 003



100 designers, Over

boutiques & in alively






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Tommy Bahama women’s collection continues with warmer and cozier sweaters, jackets and dresses in a deeper, richer pallet inspired by the sun-kissed shores of Portofino, Italy.”


– Bradley O’Brien, executive vice president of Design and Product Development for Tommy Bahama



1 A p r i c o t L a n e 3Strands Nepal Bracelets 3 for $30 or $12 each

2 A NN TAY L OR Wool Cape $229, Slim Ankle Pant $69.50, Belt $49.50,

Liz Zipper Heel $128 3 T o m m y B a h a m a Cliff Jersey Tri-Layer Top $78, Cliff Jersey Long Cardigan  $138, Gramercy Twill Ankle  $128, Serpentine Long Station Necklace $68 6 A L D 0 Eoweriri $80


4 V i c t o r i a’ s S e c r e t Fearless, Eau de Parfum $52/1.7 oz.

5 Pat t y ’ s Cl o s e t Statement necklace $23.80






Fall is all about rich, luxurious textiles and embellishments. This year is no exception. Look out for metallics and neutrals to have a huge presence this fall.” – Patricia Barba, owner, Patty’s Closet Fashion Boutique


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S t e v e Madd e n Mysterii $99.95

8 W H | B M Iconic Artist Dress $170 & Leather Bootie with Studs $170

9 b e b e Arianna Ruffle Collar Peacoat $198.00 10 B r i g h t o n C o ll e c t i bl e s Vera Poppy Garden Tote $245


11 Swa r o v s k i Voile Ring $90 12 G U ESS Embroidered Shirt Dress $98 13 M ∙ A ∙ C C o s m e t i c s Viva Glam Rihanna II Lipstick $16,

Lipglass $15 14 B C B GM A X A Z RI A Munson Faux-Leather Cutout Vest $368



Clai m Jumper


Make yourself at home at Claim Jumper Restaurant and Saloon where you’re guaranteed to find something delicious for everyone. The menu features a medley of homemade dishes, including burgers, sandwiches, pot pie, salads, pizzas, pasta, baby back ribs, seafood, Certified Angus Beef®, USDA Choice steaks and more. Dessert is a must, and the decadent six-layer Chocolate Motherlode Cake tops the list of favorites.  Plus, to-go orders and party platters make all meals and get-togethers easy. For more information call 702.270.2509 or visit

B o nef i s h g ri l l Bonefish Grill®, the award-winning restaurant with market-fresh fish and wood-grilled specialties, has a new menu that features exciting dishes with fresh and innovative flavors. Guests can indulge in new steak, chops, bowls and flatbreads. Highlights include ceviche served in a glass made entirely of ice, a 13 oz. USDA Rib Eye topped with white truffle butter and a premium sushi grade Spicy Tuna bowl made with avocado, sweet chile sauce, jasmine rice and passion fruit salsa. Plus, the longtime favorite Bang Bang Shrimp® offers a new twist as a flatbread. The variety on the menu offers something for everyone and a reason to come back for more. Bonefish Grill is located at Town Square on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd. and Sunset Road. For more information call 702.407.0980 or visit

B RIO Tu scan Gri lle Eating healthy should be exciting, not boring. Simple, not difficult. And most of all, delicious, not bland. BRIO Tuscan Grille has a whole menu devoted to eating light. Its Lighter Side menu offers authentic northern Italian cuisine with the highest quality, freshest ingredients with 17 different items all for less than 600 calories. Indulge in selections such as Grilled Salmon Fresca, Grilled Mahi Mahi, Pasta Pesto, Caprese Classico salad and light Grilled Filet. Light is not the only thing BRIO does right. Its weekly specials such as Bar Brioso features bar plates and beverages starting at $3.95 at the bar from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Stop in on Wednesday and enjoy a selection of $5 martinis at the bar and on Thursday for $5 glasses of select wines at the bar. For more information call 702.914.9145 or visit 007


C r azy Pita R o tisse ri e an d Gri ll Crazy Pita Rotisserie and Grill is a fresh casual Mediterranean restaurant where the menu items are of high quality, prepared from scratch and made to order. Topping the list of must-try items is the mixed grill of steak and chicken skewers, marinated with Mediterranean spices and served with hummus, feta salad, Moroccan style vegetable couscous and pita bread. The restaurant’s location below AMC Town Square 18 makes it convenient for movie goers to grab a quick dinner before the show. It’s is also a great spot for shoppers to take a break and unwind with a wide selection of single serving premium wines and a light fare snack menu that includes fresh salads, pita sandwiches, skewers, hummus, falafel, grape leaves and taziki. Crazy Pita caters to all party sizes at home and at the office. For more information call 702.778.3310 or visit

Ka b u k i J a pa nes e R es ta u ra n t

Pot Liquor CAS Deriving its name from rich broth left in the pot after cooking greens with smoked meats, bones or salt pork, Pot Liquor CAS (Contemporary American Smokehouse) will bring big city barbeque to Las Vegas at Town Square. A handmade smoker produced by Ole Hickory Pits in Cape Girardeau, Mo., nicknamed “Big Hank,” will churn out contemporary twists on regional barbeque favorites, including mouthwatering Memphis style, dry rubbed spareribs and slow smoked Texas beef brisket. Innovative cocktails and lemonades can be enjoyed in a rustic, urban setting, featuring local artwork. Signature dishes include collard greens in their own pot liquor, grilled prawns with Boudin Noir and fried green tomato salad with aged country ham. For more information, call 702.816.4600. Visit and follow @potliquorcas.

Kabuki Japanese Restaurant is a full-service, casual Japanese restaurant chain. The restaurant showcases traditional and innovative Japanese cuisine, creative cocktails and contemporary interior designs. The menu is led by Executive Corporate Chef Masa Kurihara and offers dishes for the adventurous sushi-lover to the vegetarian-eater. Kabuki boasts an impressive beverage program featuring classic cocktails, wine and beer, as well as inventive sake libations created by Master Sake Sommelier Yuji Matsumoto. With an awesome Happy Hour menu, an award-winning Kids Menu (Restaurant Hospitality Magazine), traditional Izakaya offerings and dedicated Vegetarian and Gluten-Free Menu sections, there really is something for everyone. Look for the Red Mask. For more information call 702.896.7440 or visit




Monday - Thursday 11 a.m. 10 p.m. Friday - Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop

Fast Casual

Restaurant index Blue Martini

Ultra Lounge

702.949.2583 Sunday - Tuesday 4 p.m. – 2 a.m. Wednesday 4 p.m. – 3 a.m. Thursday - Saturday 4 p.m. - 4 a.m.

Claim Jumper


702.270.2509 Sunday - Thursday 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. Friday - Saturday 11 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. Monday - Friday, early dining, 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.


Crazy Pita Rotisserie & Grill

702.407.0980 Sunday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Monday - Thursday 4 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Friday 4 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. Saturday 12 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

Fast Casual Mediterranean

702.778.3310 Monday - Thursday 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Friday - Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sunday 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.

BRIO Tuscan Grille

Double Helix Wine & Whiskey Lounge

Bonefish Grill


702.914.9145 Sunday - Thursday 11 a.m.-.11.p.m. Friday - Saturday 11 a.m.-.12.a.m California Pizza Kitchen




702.269.7004 Sunday - Thursday 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. Friday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 1 a.m.

Wine and Whiskey Lounge

702.735.9463 Monday - Thursday 3 p.m.– 12 a.m. Friday 3 p.m. – 1 a.m. Saturday 11 a.m. – 1 a.m. Sunday 11 a.m. – 12 a.m. Liquid Brunch Saturday - Sunday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Happy Hour Daily 3:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. english’s

English Pub

702.478.8080 Monday - Thursday 10:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. Friday 10:30 a.m. – 12 a.m. Saturday 10 a.m.- 12 a.m. Sunday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Brunch Saturday - Sunday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Open - 6 p.m. High Tea Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar


702.407.0019 Monday - Thursday 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. Friday - Saturday 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. Sunday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. Gameworks


702.978.4263 Sunday - Thursday 11a.m. – 12 a.m. Friday - Saturday 11 a.m. – 1 a.m. i

❤ burgers

Fast Casual Premium Burgers 702.675.7800 Monday - Saturday 11 a.m. -10 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Kabuki Japanese Restaurant


702.896.7440 Monday - Thursday 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Friday - Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Happy Hour Monday - Friday 3 - 6 p.m. Reverse Happy Hour Monday - Thursday 9 p.m. - Close Sunday 8 p.m. - Close McFadden’s Restaurant & Saloon


702.834.4400 Monday - Thursday 3 p.m. – 2 a.m. Friday - Saturday 11 a.m. – 4 a.m. Sunday 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. Miller’s Ale House

Casual American 702.616.3414 Sunday - Wednesday 11 a.m. – 12 a.m. Thursday - Saturday 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. location/las-vegas-/ ale-house

Sugar Factory American Brasserie


702.641.7768 Monday – Thursday 11a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. las-vegas-town-square Texas de Brazil

Brazilian Steakhouse 702.614.0080 Monday – Thursday 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. Friday 5 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Saturday 4 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Sunday 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. Lunch 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Brunch Saturday and Sunday 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant & Bar

Island-inspired cuisine Panda Express

Fast Casual Gourmet Chinese

702.407.8888 Sunday - Thursday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. Pot Liquor CAS

Contemporary American Smokehouse

702.816.4600 Sunday - Wednesday 11 a.m. – 12 a.m. Thursday - Saturday 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. Happy Hour 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

702.948.8006 Open daily 11 a.m. TBG/Stores_Restaurants/Las_Vegas.jsp Yard House

Upscale Casual American

702.734.9273 Sunday - Saturday 11 a.m. Food Last Call Sunday – Thursday 1:15 a.m.   Friday – Saturday 1: 45 a.m. las-vegas-restauranttown-square/


Unwind at Town Square during the day or at night unwind. and experience plenty of great entertainment options. G am e Works GameWorks boasts a 7,000-square-foot arcade game floor, an eight-lane bowling alley and an eSports Arena where competitive video gaming and casual play offer plenty of digital entertainment options. GameWorks at Town Square is a flagship location for the GameWorks brand complete with a 240-seat dining room and a menu that features inventive American cuisine. Sports fans can cheer on their favorite team in the sports bar and lounge area with high-definition TVs and delicious appetizers. Plus, you’ll find great happy hour specials, cocktails and an extensive beer list. For more information visit

B l ue M a rtini

Grab your friends and head over to Blue Martini, the upscale ultralounge with the best happy hour in town. Happy hour features half off all beverages and up to half off select menu items daily from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Enjoy live music nightly and top DJs during the late night hours. Wednesday is Girl’s Night Out where ladies drink for half off. For more information visit

AMC Town Square 18

LOOK St y le S o c i et y

LOOK Style Society boasts an array of beauty services and products. The venue features services for hair, skin and nails plus the acclaimed Sam Villa’s HairShow Blowout Bar, a flagship Essie Nail Lounge, The MedSpa by Dr. Orna Fisher, M.D., Sunless Tanning by Chocolate Sun, Skin Spa and Makeup Lounge. Visit for more information.

Whether you’re planning a date night or family night, it’s always a good night to see a movie. AMC Town Square 18 delivers all the top blockbuster films that cater to kids and adults in the most comfortable environment. Located on the far west end of Town Square, AMC Town Square 18 offers a premier movie-going experience with stadium seating, digital projection, 3D movies, innovative amenities and more.

S tone y ’s Rocki n ’ Co u nt ry

Get your dancin’ shoes ready and head over to Stoney’s Rockin’ Country where line dancin’, bull ridin’ and live music headline a night of fun. The legendary country night club is a locals and tourist hot spot with nightly celebrations from ladies night to themed nights. The club features the industry’s best DJ’s, live entertainment, private VIP lounges, a giant dance floor, billiards and even a general store with logo and western wear. And, if you don’t know how to line dance, don’t fret because the club offers dance lessons to get you started. For more information about Stoney’s visit



Town Square features a unwind. host of amenities for children and adults. Pa r ks Relax and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere of Town Square in Town Square Park and The Green at Town Square. Town Square Park is located in the center of Town Square and adjacent to the Children’s Park. The park sets the stage for a host of activities including special events, fashion shows, open space for gathering with family and friends and more. The Green at Town Square is a natural grass park located adjacent to i ♥ burgers and across from AMC Town Square 18. Guests can enjoy the open grass area surrounded by trees and benches for comfortable seating.

Tr a i n All Aboard! Bring the kids to Town Square for a ride on the Cactus Coaster. The train is an electric train with a locomotive and four passenger wagons. A conductor is on board to take passengers on their journey through the open-air center. Children and adults can ride the Cactus Coaster for $3, and adults with children under three years ride free. Tickets are available at the Town Square Concierge and can be purchased in advance or the day of the ride.

Children’s Park Ready. Set. Play! The Children’s Park provides hours of fun for kids of all ages. Located adjacent to Town Square Park, the Children’s Park features a Pop Jet fountain, a tree house located within a 42-foot tall live Oak tree, slides, hedge maze, playhouses and more. 011


Gi f t C a rd

I nne r S q uar e Town Square features a complimentary loyalty rewards program that gives you the chance to earn points for shopping and dining at the center. Joining the Inner Square Rewards is easy. Guests can sign up for their rewards card by going to or by visiting the Concierge at Town Square. You will receive 100 points just for signing up and will continue to earn points the more you shop and dine. Simply present all your receipts to the Concierge who will add them to your rewards card. Three points are earned for every dollar spent, and the prizes are broken down based on the number of points. Once you reach the point amount you are striving for, you can claim your prize at Concierge. Plus, benefits of the Inner Square extend beyond your points with exclusive offers from Town Square stores, VIP access to events and perks only available to Inner Square Rewards members. You can upload your card to your smart phone, track your points online and manage your account from anywhere you have internet access.

If you’re on an endless search for the perfect gift or shopping for someone that has everything, a Town Square gift card is easy to give and always appreciated. There are two options available including a standard gift card in amounts up to $500 and an e-card that is sent to the recipient in an instant via email or text. The plastic gift card is available at Concierge and you can order an eCard via the Town Square web site.

Sh u t t le A shuttle bus that takes visitors to and from Town Square and the Las Vegas Strip is in operation seven days a week. The Town Square shuttle is complimentary and stops at several locations along the Las Vegas Strip. The shuttle picks up and drops off on Town Square East across from the pond in Town Square Park and runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. A complete schedule with route details can be found on the Town Square web site at

Town Square App Stay in the know at a moment’s notice about the latest sales, promotions and special events at Town Square via the free Town Square iPhone and iPad app. Available for download from the App Store on Apple iTunes.





A|X Armani Exchange



Abercrombie & Fitch



Abercrombie kids










AMC Town Square 18 (L2)


Double Helix Wine

DIRECTORY 702-735-9463

& Whiskey Lounge


Old Navy



One Monarchy











Panda Express



english’s (L2)



Paper Source






Patty’s Closet





American Eagle Outfitters







Anime Revolution



Finish Line



Peekaboo Kids



Ann Taylor



Fleming’s Prime



Peninsula Luggage





Portofino on the Square


Pot Liquor Contemporary


Steakhouse & Wine Bar



premiering soon









Apricot Lane






American Smokehouse





Galleria Arte Fino


Artsy Nannies




premiering soon 702-978-4263








Potato Corner



Pottery Shop (The)





Banana Republic



Godiva Chocolatier




Baobab Stage









Bath & Body Works



Guitar Center



Soma Intimates






premiering soon


Steve Madden




Stoney’s Rockin’ Country


Sugar Factory American Brasserie 702-641-7768










Hat Company of Las Vegas


Bikini Bay





Blue Martini (L2)







Body Shop (The)



i c burgers



Sunglass Hut



Böhme Boutique






Sunglass Hut




Sweet Bubble Bath Confections


W100 Bonefish Grill







Brighton Collectibles







Brio Tuscan Grille






T by Kandi Burruss


Tasti D-Lite




Texas de Brazil


Tix 4 Tonight






Kabuki Japanese Restaurant




California Pizza Kitchen



Kay Jewelers




Capriotti’s (L2)









Lollicup Coffee & Tea



Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar 702-948-8006

Look Style Society



Tommy Bahama Store



702-998-5127 702-270-3132






Charming Charlie








City Life USA







Claim Jumper



Lucky Brand Jeans



Victoria’s Secret








Wetzel’s Pretzels




White House|Black Market



Whole Foods Market




Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (The)





The Container Store




Crazy Pita




Diamond Wireless



Dog House (The)



McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon (L2) Miller’s Ale House



XTC Boutique


Nestlé’s Toll House Café



Yard House



New York & Company











6605 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89119 | 702.269.5000 | | 013




Russell Rd.

Las Vegas Blvd

Tropicana Ave.

McCarran International Airport


Sunset Rd.

215 Beltway McCarran Rental Car Center

Warm Springs Rd.


6605 Las Vegas Blvd. South Las Vegas, NV | 89119 702.269.5000 |


Photography Robert John Kley Stylist Christie Moeller Make-up Krystle Randall Models Greg and Sarah, Envy Model Management Location Bonnie Springs Ranch SEPTEMBER 2014


PREVIOUS PAGE Sarah Diane Von Furstenberg “Gabby” sleeveless fit and flare dress, $498 Missoni printed wrap, $760 Neiman Marcus in the Fashion Show Mall Greg Levi’s vintage leather vest, $35 Buffalo Exchange Pendleton long-sleeve frontier shirt, $49.50 TOPMAN paisley bandana, $10 TOPMAN in the Fashion Show Mall Mavi “Zach” jeans in black brushed Yaletown, $118

John Varvatos Star USA five-button peak lapel vest, $228 John Varvatos Star USA four-button leather blazer, $898 Neiman Marcus in the Fashion Show Mall

Goorin Bros. “The White Rabbit” deconstructed top hat, $130 Goorin Bros. in The Linq Durango Boots men’s traveler boot, $209.99

Durango Boot Western boot, $134.99, Boot Barn



Goorin Bros. “The Banker” bowler hat, $200 Goorin Bros. in The Linq John Varvatos Star USA short-sleeve eyelet tee, $88 Neiman Marcus in the Fashion Show Mall Ted Baker London paisley print pocket square, $45 Ted Baker London in the Forum Shops at Caesars





Givenchy mosaic print sheath dress, $1,950 Oscar De La Renta bib necklace, $595

Durango Leather Company spring bear women’s vest, $175.99

Neiman Marcus in the Fashion Show Mall

Paul Smith cotton plaid shirt, $255 Paul Smith Wool Overcoat, $3,555


Paul Smith at Crystals in CityCenter

Goorin Bros. “The White Rabbit” deconstructed top hat, $130

TOPMAN paisley bandana, $10

Goorin Bros. in The Linq

TOPMAN in the Fashion Show Mall


Mavi “Zach” jeans in black brushed Yaletown, $118

Sarah Alice + Olivia open-front draped leather jacket, $898 Neiman Marcus in the Fashion Show Mall Two by Vince Camuto flower wrap dress, $99


Vince Camuto “Andy” flap bag, $328

Alexander McQueen plaid leather harness shirt, $995

Vince Camuto in the Fashion Show Mall

Neiman Marcus in the Fashion Show Mall

Durango Boots Western slouch boot, $160

TOPMAN paisley bandana, $10

durangoboots. com, Boot Barn

TOPMAN in the Fashion Show Mall

Durango Boot harness boot, $154.99 Mavi “Zach” jeans in black brushed Yaletown, $118



Lanvin crystal eagle necklace, $1,990 Neiman Marcus in the Fashion Show Mall TOPSHOP Moto denim shirt, $65 TOPSHOP Moto jeans, $84 TOPSHOP Moto denim jacket, $116 TOPSHOP in the Fashion Show Mall



Henschel Walker “Raging Bull” shapeable leather hat, $50 Boot Barn Patricia Nash tooled gravina saddle bag, $188 Durango Boots Western slouch boot, $160, Boot Barn



120 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 4

Greg Pendleton long-sleeve frontier shirt $49.50 Goorin Bros. “Sampson” bowler hat, $120 Goorin Bros. in The Linq Mavi “Zach” jeans in black brushed Yaletown, $118 Durango Boots men’s traveler boot, $209.99 TOPMAN burgundy suspenders, $30 TOPMAN paisley bandana, $10 TOPMAN in the Fashion Show Mall

Sarah Parker “Mariah” dress, $253 Velvet by Graham + Spencer sleeveless leather jacket, $175 Neiman Marcus in the Fashion Show Mall



Let’s Play

Pass the Initiative!

Grab your clipboards, kids, for the zany, complex game of citizen law-making! You’ll probably lose, but boy, will you have fun! By Steve Sebelius


o, you want to pass an initiative?

If you’ve reached this point, you’re frustrated. You’ve spotted a problem, and you think you’ve got a solution. You’ve tried writing to your elected representatives and to the local newspaper. You’ve talked to your neighbors at backyard barbecues. Maybe you’ve even gone up to Carson City for a biennial session of the Nevada Legislature and watched the lawmaking process up close, as bills get introduced, dissected and put back together in committee meetings. But nothing worked. Nobody’s listening. The process has failed you so far. So you’re ready to try Democracy’s Last Resort, the initiative. Good luck! You’re going to need it to navigate the Byzantine, intentionally complex process of writing and qualifying a law to put before your fellow citizens. Most who try, fail. Even some of the state’s largest companies have failed. Some incredibly bright lawyers are paid handsomely to torpedo initiatives that their clients would rather see go away. It’s not for the faint of heart. So we’re offering you a handy guide in the spirit of the children’s game Chutes and Ladders — not because we don’t take the ini-



tiative process seriously, but because there are so many pitfalls the game’s analogy fits perfectly.

Ladder: The first step in circulating an initiative is writing it. Although it’s not strictly necessary, it’s an excellent idea to have a good attorney on your team, one who’s familiar with legislative bill drafting and the initiative process. Many initiatives fail in this first step because they’re poorly conceived, poorly written or contain a fatal flaw. There are three basic kinds of voter initiatives. The first proposes a law, called a statutory initiative. The second proposes to amend the state’s constitution. Although many people think a constitutional amendment is better, because it’s more permanent and can’t be changed down the line by the Legislature, it’s probably not a good idea to frivolously crowd the state’s governing document with new laws. Finally, there’s an initiative written to repeal an existing law, known as a referendum. Pro tip: Don’t skimp on the legal talent, or have your brother-in-law the tax attorney draft your initiative. Seek out a professional who practices in this area and knows how to

avoid the potholes. It will cost you, but it will be worth it later on. Chute: Your initiative can only be about one thing, according to Nevada’s “single subject” law. It was ostensibly written to prevent clever people from combining a popular measure (low-cost auto insurance!) with a less popular one (no caps on pain-and-suffering damages in medical-malpractice laws) to try to sneak one past the voters. (Note: That actually happened! See sidebar.) Chute: Don’t forget, if your initiative calls for the spending of tax dollars — and most will in some way — you have to identify a revenue source. If you don’t, the courts will send your measure down the chute! Chute: Finally, remember to carefully write your “description of effect.” That’s the wording that will appear atop every page of your petition that describes what your initiative will do. While you don’t have to include every single detail, you do have to fairly and completely tell voters what your measure does, without leaving out any key detail (for example, if you propose to make something a crime, you have to tell voters that violations of your proposed law could cost people their freedom).

All right, you’ve got your initiative written, and a pretty good description of effect. Time to get moving! Ladder: The second step in the process is filing the measure with the secretary of state’s office. The office will post your initiative to its website and be responsible for ensuring it's placed on the ballot. But don’t get cocky! There’s still a long way to go. Chute: Once you file, you’re technically allowed to start collecting signatures. But savvy people wait, knowing what’s coming. If your initiative is challenged in court — and it probably will be — and a judge orders you to make changes, all the signatures you collected on the original version are void. You have to start over. Opponents have 15 days to file a challenge. Chute: The most common challenge at this stage is to your description of effect. Opponents will file a lawsuit (in the First Judicial District Court, in Carson City) contending you’re somehow misleading voters. If you haven’t hired a lawyer yet, you will most certainly need to now. Chute: The second most common challenge is the single-subject rule. Even some seemingly benign things in your initiative may prompt lawyers to argue that you’ve gone beyond what the law allows. For example, if an initiative called for raising the gas tax and increasing the state’s speed limit, it could be considered a violation of the single-subject rule. But the rule wouldn’t prevent a measure such as The Education Initiative from passing, which calls for raising a 2 percent tax on business revenue and depositing that money in the state’s schools account. Why? Because the law says petitions must “embrace but one subject and matters necessarily connected therewith and pertaining thereto.” Raising a tax for education and depositing the money in the state’s schools account are connected. But interpreting this statute has been very tricky. Other challenges — say, one that alleges you haven’t identified a proper revenue source to cover the cost of the program created in your initiative — may be filed, too. Chute: No matter who wins, you or your opponent, it may not be over, since either side can appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court. Although the clock is ticking on your signature drive, it’s still smarter to wait, since a change made by the Supreme Court will still require you to toss out any signatures you’ve collected. Although appeals are usually expedited, it still takes time. Pro tip: Don’t procrastinate! File your initiative on the first day you possibly can (for statutory initiatives, that’s January of an even-numbered year; for constitutional amendments, it’s September in an odd-numbered year). This process is full of delays and

time-consuming hearings; don’t waste time by not filing as soon as the law allows.

Let’s say you’ve survived court scrutiny. You’ve now got an official petition on your hands. It’s time to start collecting some signatures! Ladder: You circulate the petition, either using volunteers or, more likely, paid signature-gatherers. Warning: Those folks can get expensive! To defray the cost, you’ll probably file to create a Political Action Committee (PAC) or Ballot Advocacy Group (BAG) with the state. BAGs and PACs allow you to raise and spend money in support of an initiative, so you can legally receive contributions and spend money to campaign. People typically collect signatures outside grocery stores, DMV offices, post offices, political events or anywhere else they’re likely to find registered voters. Only registered voters may sign. How many signatures do you need? A number equal to 10 percent of the people who voted in the last general election. Pro tip: It’s easier to collect signatures in the year after an “off year” election, i.e. one in which the president is not on the ballot. Why? Because turnout is typically much lower in off-year elections, and thus you’ll need fewer signatures. But no matter what, aim for about 1.5 times the number you’re required to get (i.e. if you need 100,000, get 150,000). That will give you a good cushion against invalid signatures and legal attacks. Chute: Invalid signatures and improperly filled-out forms are the bane of your existence right now. Make sure that the people doing this work know what they’re doing, sign in the right place and personally witness voters signing the petition. Chute: Also, you have to comply with a state law that requires at least 10 percent of your signatures to be gathered in each congressional district, which means you’ve got to post people all over the state. That law ostensibly exists so that voter-rich Clark County can’t have its way with the rest of the state, since the more than 2 million people who live here could easily qualify any measure all on their own. Your petition will have to earn at least some modicum of support in Northern and rural Nevada in order to make the ballot. But in practice, this makes circulating petitions harder.

Once you’ve got enough valid signatures, it’s time to file your petitions with county clerks. Ladder: You submit your boxes and boxes of signed petitions to the clerks of each county where your signatures are gathered. They will take a random sample of your petitions and match it against voter lists, using math

to calculate the probability that, if they verified each and every signature, there would be enough valid registered-voter inscriptions to meet the requirements. Chute: Invalid signatures will sink you! Chute: Improperly filled out forms will give your opponent’s lawyers another way to attack your petition in court. Chute: And even if the county clerks certify that your petitions were filled out properly, and you have enough valid signatures, your opponents may still sue at this point to challenge validity. A lawsuit over the validity of signatures will try to support the idea that there are not enough valid signatures on the petition, and therefore it should fail. But opponents will have to identify the supposedly fake signatures, fake addresses, etc., and prove they don’t belong to actual registered voters before a judge would invalidate them. This is why getting far more signatures than you actually need is important. If you’ve failed to gather enough valid signatures by the deadline, your petition is dead, and all your hard work is lost. But if you’ve managed to do it, you’re off to the next step.

Up until now, the process for all petitions is pretty much the same. But now, the paths diverge. A constitutional amendment will be placed directly on the next general-election ballot, to be voted on by the people. (It’s got to pass twice to go into effect, which means, all told, you’re looking at about five years for your idea to go from conception to constitution.) A statutory initiative or a referendum is different: It will go before the Legislature at its next session, at which time lawmakers will have to take action on it in the first 40 days. If they fail to pass it, then it will also go to the ballot in the next general election. Ladder: (statutory amendment, referendum) Now you go to Carson City, where you will try to persuade lawmakers to pass your measure, a much swifter and easier process than if they reject it and you have to wage a statewide campaign to get it passed. You’ll have to meet with individual lawmakers, most especially the chairman of the committee to which your measure is assigned, and with legislative leadership, which controls which measures come to the floor for a vote. The upside: The Legislature can’t change your measure, not even to add a comma. The downside: If there’s a fatal flaw identified in your initiative, nobody can intervene at this point to fix it. Pro tip: Don’t let legislators or lawmakers get away with saying, “The way to make policy is at the Legislature, not by initiative at the ballot box.” The fact is, by the time you’re out there collecting signatures in the heat of sumSEPTEMBER 2014


mer, they’ve very likely had more than a few chances to act and failed to do so. There’s a reason that initiatives are allowed in Nevada, and a Legislature that’s unable or unwilling to act is that reason. Chute: It is always easier in Carson City to kill a bill than to pass one, and even the best ideas can wilt under the scrutiny of lawmakers. Chute: Worst of all, the Legislature is empowered to reject your initiative and pass its own competing question, which will appear right next to yours on the ballot. And it doesn’t have to gather a single signature or fight a single legal battle to do so. When it comes to a vote, whichever of the two measures gets the most votes wins! Ladder: (constitutional amendment, or statutory amendment rejected by the Legislature) You are now squarely in the middle of a political campaign, with all that entails. You’ll need to raise money to get the word out, advertise your measure, do media interviews and defend it from the sure-to-come attacks from your opponents. In many cases, it is a pitched battle, and millions of dollars are raised and spent on both sides. After months of careful writing, legal parsing and exacting

attention to detail, you’ll watch as nuance is lost in the face of modern American politics. Chute: Make sure your campaign people know what they’re doing, too. Failing to account properly for campaign contributions and spending is a serious violation, and could result in fines. And your opponents will watch everything you do, hoping a faux pas can be used to attack the credibility of your measure. Chute: Voters may ask you why you can’t change your petition to fix the inevitable flaws that your opponents will identify. But you can’t — if you could, voters could be induced to sign a petition that later morphs into something they might not support. So not a word, not a comma, can be changed during the process. You’re stuck with whatever you’ve written, which is why it’s best to get good legal help from the start.

Finally, we’ve arrived! It’s Election Day! If enough voters support your initiative, this long journey you’ve been on will result in your idea becoming law for the entire state. Best of all? If you’ve legislated a new statute, it can’t be changed by the Legislature for

Many of Nevada’s contemporary political issues began as initiatives. The ban on gay-marriage in the state constitution, which is now the subject of a court fight at the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals? That was an initiative approved by voters in 2000 and 2002. The authorization for medical marijuana in Nevada? Voters passed that way back in 1998 and 2000. The ongoing fight over term limits? Yeah, voters added that to the state constitution in 1994 and 1996. More recently, fewer initiatives are finding success. Here are several that made it, and some that didn’t. The Education Initiative (statutory initiative), 2014: After years of frustration trying to get more money for schools at the Legislature, the Nevada State Education Association decided to implement a 2 percent business margin tax by initiative. The measure was fought vigorously in the courts but survived. Ignored by the Legislature, it will appear on the November ballot as Question 3.



The Caesars Entertainment initiative (statutory initiative), 2010-2012: The casino giant sought to create a special “arena district” on the Las Vegas Strip, with a special sales tax, to build an arena on land behind what was then called the Imperial Palace. Petitions got all the way through the process — despite challenges to whether the petition forms were properly filled out. But the Nevada Supreme Court concluded that the description of effect wasn’t sufficient because it didn’t tell voters that the only plausible site for the proposed arena was the Imperial Palace location. It never made the ballot.

Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act (statutory initiative), 2006: After years of trying to outlaw smoking, health advocates finally took to the streets with a petition that banned smoking almost everywhere, with casino floors a notable exception. (That provision was included to prevent opposition from the gambling industry.) Although opponents circulated competing measures designed to confuse voters, the Clean Indoor Air Act passed, and withstood subsequent legal challenge. But in 2011, the Legislature rolled back part of the law, allowing smoking in food-serving bars once again.

three full years. If you’ve legislated a constitutional amendment, it can only be changed by another two votes of the people. Chute: But if you thought you were done, you were wrong! Now, attorneys can challenge your statutory initiative on constitutional grounds, arguing your law shouldn’t be allowed to go into effect for myriad reasons. But the defense of your law now passes to the state, since your measure has the imprimatur of the voters or the Legislature. So you’re no longer responsible for it, although you’ll undoubtedly want to file court papers to argue for your law. Chute: Don’t think your constitutional amendment is safe, either! While an amendment to the state constitution is presumptively constitutional, lawyers can still argue it violates principles of the federal constitution and should be struck down on that basis. Only after all those challenges are heard — and assuming the courts don’t invalidate or otherwise amend the measure — is your law totally and completely safe. By this time, you will no doubt need a good, long vacation. Enjoy! Because if you’ve been successful at this process, you’ve earned it.

People’s Initiative to Stop the Taking of Our Land (PISTOL) (constitutional amendment), 20062008: A response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous Kelo v. City of New London ruling of 2005, this initiative, circulated by attorney Kermitt Waters, put strict limits on the use of eminent domain in Nevada. It passed with 63 percent support in 2006 and 60 percent in 2008.

Nevada Insurance Rate Reduction and Reform Act (constitutional amendment), 2004: This initiative purported to roll back auto insurance rates, but actually contained language that would have invalidated limitations on medical malpractice cases. It is often cited as the initiative that gave rise to the “single subject” rule. Voters rejected the measure 65 percent to 35 percent, and on the same ballot approved the so-called Keep Our Doctors in Nevada statutory initiative, which placed limits on malpractice damages, by a margin of 60 percent to 40 percent. This prompted some to argue the single-subject rule wasn’t necessary, as voters clearly saw through the scheme. — Steve Sebelius

St a r t SEPTEMBER 2014



From fine art, to neon signs of yesteryear, to the history of nuclear weaponry, this city has something for everyone to enjoy

Fa s c i n at i n g Exhibitions Here in the entertainment capital of the world, it’s not just production shows and celebrity-headlined showrooms that get all the attention. Las Vegas is home to a plethora of artistic, educational, intriguing and unique exhibitions, and it plays host to a number of traveling displays as well. So whether you’re young or just young at heart, and into art, history, science or just like to get out and enjoy what the city has to offer, you’ll be able to find something that stimulates your mind — and maybe your body, too, because many of the exhibits are interactive!

Discovery Children’s Museum helps children find joy in books

What a Blast!

National Atomic Testing Museum Explores Nevada’s Nuclear History

Storyland: A Trip Through Childhood Favorites™ Traveling Exhibit Features Seven Beloved Children’s Books

As children prepare for another school year of reading and writing, DISCOVERY Children’s Museum presents its own special traveling exhibit learning environment aimed to build literacy skills in Nevada’s youngest learners — Storyland: A Trip Through Childhood Favorites opens on Saturday, Sept. 20, and will continue through Jan. 4. Storyland transforms seven beloved and award-winning picture books — The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter; The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats; Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill; If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff; Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault; Abuela by Arthur Dorros; and Tuesday by David Wiesner — into 3-D, bilingual (English and Spanish) play and learning environments that highlight

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the six pre-reading skills defined by the Public Library Association and Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association: disposition to read, print awareness, letter knowledge, sound awareness, vocabulary, and narrative skills and comprehension. Children can explore literacy skills and concepts through imaginative, interactive experiences and are encouraged to reflect on their Storyland experience by creating a drawing inspired by the books and writing a caption, title or story. DISCOVERY Children’s Museum is located at 360 Promenade Place on The Smith Center campus. For more information on the exhibit or museum, call (702) 382-3445 or visit

The National Atomic Testing Museum invites you to explore the saga of scientists, engineers, miners and construction workers that unfolded in the Nevada desert as they unlocked the secrets of the atom. Follow their stories from the beginning, when Harry Truman established the Nevada Test Site, through the Cold War, and up to current times. The museum covers the period from the first test at NTS on Jan. 27, 1951, to the present. Among its exhibits covering American nuclear history is the Ground Zero Theater, which simulates the experience of observing an atmospheric nuclear test. After learning about the Nevada Test Site, you can visit the Area 51 exhibit, Myth or Reality, get a peek at recently declassified information from the top-secret testing ground in the Nevada desert. You will explore two perspectives of the Area 51 exhibit — is it myth or is it reality? The museum opened March 2005 as the Atomic Testing Museum and was operated by Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation. On Dec. 31, 2011, President Obama signed a military bill that included designating the museum as a national museum affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution. NATM is located at 755 E. Flamingo Road in Las Vegas. Information: (702) 794-5151 or www.

G e r t r u d e F i s k e , G o at C a r t s , 1 9 1 7 , G i f t o f A n d r e w F. W i l l i s , H a r o l d B . W i l l i s , J r . a n d H a n n a h B . W i l k i n s o n , P h o t o g r a ph y © 2 0 1 3 M u s e u m o f F i n e A r t s , B o s t o n ; G e o r g e P e t e r A l e x a n d e r H e a ly, M r s . C h a r l e s M o r e y ( A n n a C h a d b o u r n e , l at e r M r s . D a v i d E . H u gh e s ) , E l l e n K e l l e r a n G a r d n e r F u n d , P h o t o g r a ph y © 2 0 1 3 M u s e u m o f F i n e A r t s , B o s t o n

Las Vegas Offers an Array of

Painting Women

Works from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston February 14 – October 17, 2014

Tickets and information 702.693.7871 • Left image: Gretchen Woodman Rogers, Woman in a Fur Hat, Gift of Miss Anne Winslow, Photography ©2013 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Right image: Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Le Brun, Portrait of a Young Woman, Robert Dawson Evans Collection, Photography ©2013 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art Hosts Women Artists Exhibit

FALLOUT SHELTER Not to be missed! The National Atomic Testing Museum tells the story of the Nevada Test Site and America’s Nuclear programs that were tested right here in Las Vegas’s back yard. Get the inside story and facts that chronicles the geo-political struggle of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Follow the progression from the first tests to present day. Experience an atomic explosion in the Ground Zero Theater, view the timeline of our country’s popular culture, and interact with hands-on exhibit displays. Area 51 Myth or Reality Exhibit is to be experienced – America’s most secret military installation is now revealed!

Display Highlights Paintings Created During Struggle for Gender Equality

Painting Women: Works from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, an enlightening exhibit that draws attention to the development of professional women painters during the mid-19th to 20th centuries, is on display through Oct. 17 at Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. The exhibit showcases 34 paintings spanning the century from 1860 to 1950 and tells the story of women artists, their activism and their artistic achievements. “Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is thrilled to share such a unique exhibit that provides a storyline detailing how women artists have developed and contributed in an era where they were yet to be fully recognized,” said Tarissa Tiberti, the gallery’s executive director. “Each of the works represents a time when talent was underappreciated because it was assigned to gender; during a period where wheels of equality were slowly but ultimately grinding.” Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is located within the Bellagio hotel-casino at 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with last admission at 6:30 p.m. For more information and tickets, please call the gallery (702) 693-7871 or visit

Neon Museum Draws Thousands Through preservation, venue entertains, educates and engages public about Vegas’ iconic signage

Please allow at least 1 ½ hours to view both the Museum and the Area 51 Myth or Reality Exhibit The National Atomic Testing Museum is one of only 37 congressionally recognized National Museums, And is a Smithsonian affiliate.

755 East Flamingo Road Las Vegas, NV 89119 Phone 702-794-5151 Fax 702-794-5155

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The Neon Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic and cultural enrichment. The Neon Museum campus includes the outdoor exhibition space known as the Neon Boneyard, a visitor’s center housed inside the former La Concha Motel lobby and the Neon Boneyard North Gallery, which houses additional rescued signs and is used for weddings, educational

programming and special events. The museum welcomed more than 70,000 visitors last year and continues to remain a popular venue for special events, weddings, photos and video shoots. It has been featured on the Today Show and FOX news, and in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and Forbes magazine, resulting in more than two2 billion impressions. Additionally, it has been seen in numerous movies, music videos and fashion photo shoots. However, the museum isn’t just about docent-led tours. It also has a growing education and engagement program. Activities have included panel discussions on the fine art of sign painting, the role and impact of the sign designers, a special evening commemorating the 55th anniversary of the opening of the Stardust resort and casino, and the impact of architect Paul Revere Williams who designed the La Concha lobby. The Neon Museum is located at 770 Las Vegas Boulevard N. and is open for tours seven days a week. For more information or to book a tour, visit

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A Fascinating Journey Las Vegas Natural History Museum Offers Visitors an Intriguing Experience

The Las Vegas Natural History Museum is dedicated to educating about natural science. From the desert to the ocean, from Nevada to Africa, from prehistoric times to the present, the Museum takes young and old alike on a learning adventure around the world. In the Egyptian Gallery, visitors are transported to the era of pharaohs and their fascinating culture. Journey further back in time in the Prehistoric Life Gallery, where long-extinct creatures, such as Tyrannosaurus rex can be viewed. The Nevada Gallery illustrates the scenic but rugged beauty of Southern Nevada. A variety of plants and animals are featured, from burrowing creatures to bighorn sheep. Visitors can safari in the Serengeti of the African Savanna Gallery and observe the canopy of the forest floor in the African Rainforest. The International Wildlife Gallery showcases world-class taxidermy from six continents. The world’s oceans are represented in the Marine Life Gallery featuring live sharks, stingrays and other colorful marine life. The Museum’s galleries immerse visitors in some of the world’s most intriguing places and times. The Las Vegas Natural History Museum, located at 900 Las Vegas Blvd. N., is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. For more information, call (702) 384-DINO.



Advertisement Heritage Award, and Killian’s Angels, an all-female Celtic-influenced band. The event will also offer luau-inspired food, beverages, a silent auction and raffles. The Hawaiian-themed affair will take place at the “beach-front” property of Tecopa Hot Springs Resort. Goldwell Open Air Museum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging and preserving artistic exploration in and around the Amargosa Desert at its 7.8-acre

Luau, Music, Dancing and Fundraising!

outdoor sculpture site near the ghost town of Rhyolite, Nev. Located approximately 115 miles north of Las Vegas, it features the ghost sculptures of Albert Szukalski and several other notable Belgian artists. Tickets and information are at www. Death Valley Luau is funded, in part, by a grant from the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Death Valley Hawaiian-Themed Event Helps Support the Arts for Second Year

Celebrate Hawaiian-style at the second Death Valley Luau (aka “Albert’s Tarantella”), presented by Goldwell Open Air Museum and the Tecopa Artists Group. This event is an opportunity for desert dwellers to throw off their shoes and put on their grass skirts while supporting the arts. The event is Saturday, Sept. 27, at 6 p.m. The festivities will feature the authentic Hawaiian music and dance of Gary and Sheldeen Haleamau, recipients of the Nevada Arts Council Folklife Program’s Nevada

Albert’s Tarantella V

Death Valley Luau

Goldwell Open Air Museum and the Tecopa Artists Group - TAG featuring

Gary & Sheldeen Haleamau and Killian’s Angels An eclectic evening of music, with Hawaiian Food and drinks and art auction of work by artist friends of both orgs and Goldwell’s illustrious artists in residence, past, present and future Saturday, September 27, 2014 6p.m. - 11p.m. $25 per person in advance $30 at the door Gary and Sheld een Haleamau, recipients of Ne vada Arts Council’s Folkl ife Program 2015 Nevada He ritage Award,

goldwell open air museum

30th Anniversary Sculpture Unveiling and Dedication

Rhyolite, Nevada Nov 1 at 11 a.m.

Sculpture is a never before seen ghost by Albert Szukalski. Art exhibition in Red Barn at 2 p.m. These programs were made possible in part by grants from

TECOPA HOT SPRINGS RESORT Tecopa, California Limited Seating! Buy tickets now @

or call (702) 870-9946






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©2014 WJ Bradley Mortgage Capital, LLC. 6465 Greenwood Plaza Blvd, Suite 500, Centennial, CO 80111 Phone #303.825.5670 NMLS ID 3233. Trade/service marks are the property of WJ Bradley Mortgage Capital, LLC. This is not a commitment to lend. Restrictions apply. All rights reserved. Some products may not be available in all states. WJB is not acting on behalf of or at the direction of HUD/FHA or the federal government.

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You won’t believe who’s coming to

Nevada’s birthday party SeSquicentennial all-Star concert Monday, SepteMber 22 • 7pM TickeTs sTarT aT $25 all net proceeds benefit the smith center’s education outreach programs

for tickets visit or call 702.749.2000 | ttY: 800.326.6868 or dial 711




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e k ta your Arts+Entertainment calendar for september


19 My Children! My Africa!


Black Box Theatre, UNLV

Three Minutes Series

The choice between education and violence sits at the heart of this Athol Fugard drama about South African apartheid, as a “humble and humane” black teacher tries to convince a student to make the right decision. Through Sept. 28, $13.50-$15, unlv. edu/calendar


september 2014

City Hall Chamber Gallery The photo above: The scene is recognizable but somehow other, too, and weirdly graceful. Credit the process described by the exhibit title: Seder Burns’ camera takes three minutes to record each shot, moving left to right in small slices of time. Burns: “The camera is a 1950s 8-by-10-inch camera with a homemade digital back of my own design. I have to haul that around, plus a laptop to control it. Very conspicuous.” Free,

Sufi 30 Qawwali Party Bob Mould

4 Corinne Entratter Sidney Clark County Library No surprise they’re calling this talk “The Glamorous Life of Corinne Entratter Sidney” — given her life in the public eye (actress, Playmate), the legendary husbands (iconic Sands boss Jack Entratter; film director George Sidney), even her brush with crime (kidnapped and rescued in 1975), glamour is the word for it. 7p, free,

Winchester Cultural Center


More specifically, the Fanna-Fi-Allah Sufi Qawwali Party: an ensemble (playing harmoniums, temporas, tablas) performing the music of Pakistan’s Sufis. Could be your new global jam. 7p, $10-$12, 702-455-7340

There’s no better reason to visit this refurbished downtown venue than to watch the former Hüsker Dü frontman sing his heart, lungs and larynx out, accompanied by gales of deeply felt guitar. 8p, $15-$20,

09 14

Boulder City Hospital Foundation Presents the 52nd Annual



Through Sep. 7, Wed-Sun 6-11p. A combination of performance art and interactive sound, this installation takes guests on a journey of self-reflection whereby the verbalization of their secrets brings the performer and space to life. When there is silence, nothing happens, so be ready to divulge. Free. P3Studio at The Cosmopolitan,


Through Sep. 17. Artist Yaffa Cary’s work inspired by “Shiva Lingam,” a sacred icon of the divine manifestation. This collection of work represents a journey of developing ideas and an exploration of feelings about the duality of masculine and feminine. Free. City Hall Grand Gallery,

ART PARK e h t n i

OCTOBER 4-5 / 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Boulder City’s Downtown Parks

Hundreds of Fine Art, Fine Craft & Traditional Craft Artists FREE ADmissiOn!

Benefiting Boulder City Hospital For more information maps and directions, please visit: or call: 702-293-0214 Featured Artist: Connie Burnett Ferraro Booth # 202


Through Sep. 26. Luis Varela-Rico’s past steel-origami sculptures contrasted the light, flexible and delicate qualities of paper with the heavy, unyielding nature of steel. In this exhibit, he plans to further challenge the attributes of metal by creating a large organic form, a hand, and suspend the segments of the sculpture in air. Free, Clark County Government Center Rotunda Gallery,


Through Oct. 11, Tue-Fri 12-5p; Sat 10a-3p. The exhibition will feature African statues, masks, musical instruments, baskets, cloth and various other a rtifacts. Also featuring paintings by internationally known artist Calvin B. Jones. Free. Left of Center Art Gallery, 2207 W. Gowan Road,


Through Oct. 17, 10a-7p. Featuring a series of paintings portraying female artists as confident practitioners of their craft, as well as a survey of work by women artists including Mary Cassatt, Georgia O’Keeffe and Berthe Morisot. The works are arranged thematically from the 1870s, the era when fine arts training programs first became available to women, to the mid-20th century when women (like their male counterparts) adopted more abstract, modern styles. $11-$16, children under 12 free. Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art,


Fun with fall planting! Join us as horticulturist expert Norm Schilling shares expert tips on seasonal gardening, yard care and how to prune like a pro. MORE INFORMATION @ DESERTCOMPANION.COM/EVENTS Plant World Nursery 5301 West Charleston Boulevard Las Vegas, NV 89146 september 2014



A broader palette

Armenian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Greek, Israeli, Macedonian, Russian, Serbian and Turkish folk dances. No need to bring a partner. Ages 8+. $4. Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St.,

What do Mrs. Duffee, Mrs. Charles Morey and some bright-eyed young lass with a fancy hat all have in common? They’re subjects in the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art’s current exhibition, Painting Women: Works From the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The show kicks off with the lass, “Portrait of a Young Woman,” painted by Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigee-Lu Brun, a pioneer among female artists. It continues through a chronological and thematic arrangement; for instance, Mary Stevenson Cassatt, who painted “Mrs. Duffee Seated on a Striped Sofa, Reading” in 1875, represents the impressionists. The 1855 portrait of Mrs. Charles Morey (actually, the painter Anna Chadbourne) is an example of the works showing women practicing their craft with confidence. Through Oct. 17, 10a7p. $11-$16, children under 12 free. Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, "Woman in a Fur Hat," Gretchen Woodman Rogers

– Heidi Kyser


Sep. 5, 12, 19, 26, 6:30-8:45p. What’s this? Men dancing in kilts? Women dancing like thistle down? From the first chord to the final bow or curtsey, participants will be inspired by the driving reels, jigs, strathspeys or lilting airs. Dancers should wear comfortable clothes and soft shoes. Ages 13+. $5. Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St.,

NATIONAL BALLROOM DANCE WEEK SOCIAL DANCE Sep. 27, 7a. Presented by USA Dance Las Vegas Chapter #4038, a local chapter of the national nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to the promotion of ballroom dancing. $10 adults; $5 military/ students ages 13-25. Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St., MUSIC


Every Mon-Sun, 5:30. This show takes everything you love about the Beatles and presents it just as if John, Paul, George and Ringo were on stage together again. You will want to get up, sing and dance as some of the best Beatle musicians recreate some of the most memorable Beatle moments from every era of their career - from Beatlemania all the way up to the White Album. $60-$70. Saxe Theater, 3663 Las Vegas Blvd. S.,



Sep. 19, 6-11p. Classic motorcycles, cafe racers, Harleys, custom bikes, scooters, art, live body painting and music all converge for a fun event. Free. The Arts Factory, 107 E. Charleston Blvd.,

Las Vegas during the Atomic Era, circa 1958. Be the first living audience to experience classic burlesque, zany musical numbers and top-notch singing all performed by the sexiest zombies at the hottest, formerly zombie-only, nightclub in town. $65-$85. V Theater, 3663 Las Vegas Blvd. S., DANCE


Every Mon-Sat, 8:30p. With comedy, variety acts, a live Big Band and an award-winning cast of characters, Zombie Burlesque takes place in




Sep. 3, 10, 17, 24, 6:30-8:45p. Have an evening of fun learning international dance styles, including Arabic,

Sep. 7, 2p. Share songs about life, love and the beauty of music with this beloved vocalist. She will be joined by special guests Alex Clements (piano), Briana Shaw Rossi (voice), and Dena Massaro-Williams (cello). A portion of ticket sales will benefit the Gateway Arts Foundation scholarship fund for advanced private music studies for outstanding Las Vegas students. $13. Starbright Theatre, atre.htm


Sep. 10, 7p. Join the Joe Williams Every Day Foundation Jazz Sextet highlighting the best student musicians from UNLV’s Jazz Studies Program. Free. Clark County Library,


Sep. 12, 7:30p. Disney superstar Lynch and his band R5, composed of brothers Rocky and Riker, sister Rydel and best friend Ellington Ratliff, crank up the volume with the pop/rock songs from their debut album Louder. $20. Henderson Pavilion, 200 S. Green Valley Parkway,



Sep. 18-20, 8p; Sep. 21, 6p. Sin City Opera opens its 2014-2015 season presenting a modern day version of Mozart’s masterpiece with the characters and story inspired by historic Las Vegas. Family-friendly and sung in English by the top operatic talent of the Las Vegas Valley. Free. Downtown Container Park,


Sep. 21, 2p. This performance will feature Flamenco music in the nuevo and puro traditions interpreted by Flamenco dance. Griego will perform classic Latin sounds accompanied by two salsa dancers. Free. W. Charleston Library,


Sep. 26, 7:30p. An artist with an incredible history in Reggae music: Born albino in Jamaica and raised at the Maxfield Home orphanage in Kingston, he overcame such obstacles to become, at one time, the biggest reggae artist since Bob Marley. $16 advance, $21 at the door. Backstage Bar & Billiards, 601 E. Fremont St.,


Sep. 27, 7p. Lisa Smith, Margaret Menzies and Karen Michaels are excited to bring their award-winning cabaret to your backyard. Known for their spectacular blend of powerhouse vocals and delicious harmonies, they deliver timeless classics made famous by the Andrews Sisters and Judy Garland, as well as many of the Billboard hits and Broadway melodies you’ve come to know and love, all presented in beautiful, three-part CURVY style. $15. Starbright Theatre, suncity-sum- THEATER


Sep. 1, 3-6, 7-8, 10-11, 21, 24-25, 27-29, 4p. Combining juggling, unicycle maneuvers, slapstick comedy and even inspirational messages, Jeff Civillico’s family-friendly show is a must-see. He juggles everything



from bowling balls to chainsaws, even while balancing a 12-foot ladder on his chin. $44. The Quad,


Sep. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 8p. The Las Vegas comedy show featuring both short- and long-form improv from some of the valley’s most experienced improv actors. Wine and concessions available. Come at 6p for drop-in class with Paul Mattingly. $10 show, $15 for both drop-in and show. Baobab Stage Theatre, 6587 Las Vegas Blvd. S.,


Sep. 3, 10, 17, 24, 10p. Paul Mattingly (Second City) and Matt Donnelly (former writer for Penn & Teller) offer up improv at its finest. You call the shots from songs to World’s Worst. Free - donations go in the bucket at the end of the show. Scullery Theater, 150 Las Vegas Blvd. N.,


Sept. 4-14, 7:30p; Sept. 6, 7, 13, 14, 2p. Winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, this inspirational story follows a struggling shoe factory owner who works to turn his business around with help from Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. Together, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed. $39$139, Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center,


Sep. 5-6, 11-13, 18-20, 8p; Sep. 7, 14, 21, 2p. Anna and Claire are two bantering, scheming “women of fashion” who have long lived together on the fringes of upper-class society. Anna has just become the mistress of a wealthy man, from whom she has received an enormous emerald and an income to match. Claire, meanwhile, is infatuated with a respectable young lady and wants to enlist the jealous Anna’s help for an assignation. As the two women exchange barbs and take turns taunting Anna’s hapless Scottish parlor maid, Claire’s young inamorata suddenly appears, setting off a crisis that puts both the valuable emerald and the women’s futures at risk. $15 adults, $14 seniors/students, Las Vegas Little Theatre,


Sep. 6, 7p. The company La Mare que at va Pari presents a Spanish-language take on the Cinderella story, bringing it into the 21st Century, where technology has changed expectations. $10 advance, $12 at the door. Winchester Cultural Center, 3130 S. McLeod Drive,


Sep. 10 and 24, 8p. Long-form improv in an intimate setting, so close to the Strip you can taste it! Come early to participate in improv games and to get a good seat. $10 at the door. The SciFi Center, 600 E. Sahara Ave. #13,


Sep. 12-13, 18-20, 25-27, 8p; Sep. 14, 20-21, 28, 2p. Mrs. Mannerly is a demanding teacher, and no student in her 36 years of etiquette classes has achieved a perfect score. But when young Jeffrey discovers her secret past, he is determined to be the first to achieve this feat. $24 adults, $21 seniors/ students, Las Vegas Little Theatre, lvlt.



Sep. 13, 3-5p. Forge your best work by workshopping your reading. Open to poets of any style, but you must have thick skin! Books Or Books, 3460 E. Sunset Road #R, 702-754-5971


Sep. 13, 7p; Sep. 14, 2p. Drag out that poodle skirt, dust off those blue suede shoes and join us for the wildest, craziest reunion ever. You’ll see old classmates and really “old” teachers; everybody’s as dysfunctional as ever! $8. Starbright Theatre, suncity-summerlin.



Sep. 19-28. In this compelling tale, the great South African playwright Athol Fugard confronts the tragedy of apartheid in his native land: In a segregated township, a humble and humane black teacher tries to persuade just one young person that education, not violence, is the answer to South Africa’s problems. Black Box at UNLV’s Nevada Conservatory Theatre, call for times and prices: 702-895-2787


Sep. 20, 7p. From musical improv to crazy games, you will enjoy being part of the action as you help create what goes on the stage. Clean-burning, interactive fun that is safe for the whole family. $10 at the door, kids free. American Heritage Academy, 6126 S. Sandhill Road,


Sep. 21, 3p. A variety show directed by Ted Lange (“Isaac” from TV’s The Love Boat), performed by standup comedian Jeff Wayne. Compared to Defending the Caveman, this show shares laughs, singing and dancing

with theatre. $15. Starbright Theatre, starbrighttheatre.htm LECTURES, SPEAKERS AND PANELS


Sep. 3, 7:30p. Professor of History Eugene Moehring will analyze the development of Reno and Las Vegas since 1945, with special emphasis on the years after 1970 when corporate gaming, megaresorts, deindustrialization, shifting moral values, more leisure time and other factors helped shape the course of both cities’ development. Free. UNLV Barrick Museum Auditorium, liberalarts.


Sep. 4, 7p. A Hollywood actress, Playboy’s Playmate of the Month, showgirl, kidnap target, syndicated newspaper columnist and wife of famed movie director George Sidney. Join us as Sean Clark talks with Entratter Sidney about her fascinating life, her years being married to Sands impresario Jack Entratter and her life in Las Vegas. Free. Clark County Library,


Sep. 9, 6p. Guest speaker Branch Whitney, local author of five hiking guidebooks including Hiking Las Vegas, has led more than 7,000 hikers to 100 peaks. Learn from him about the best hikes around Las Vegas, what to bring on a hike and how to be safe. Free. Rainbow Library,


Sep. 9, 7:30p. Claire Conner, author of Wrapped in the Flag, connects the dots from past right-wing radicals to today’s extremists. Conner’s father was a national spokesperson for the John Birch Society, one of America’s most radical right-wing groups. She chronicles her experiences growing up in a Birch family. Free. UNLV Barrick Museum Auditorium, liberalarts.unlv.



Sep. 17, 7:30p. Richard S. Kay, Professor of Law, will discuss the foundations of American constitutionalism and their implications for implementing the law of the Constitution

september 2014



Bizzy boots


The Broadway musical Kinky Boots is cut from the leather of a traditional business-turnaround tale and bedazzled with the trappings of a contemporary gender-bender. Cyndi Lauper wrote the score for this true events-inspired story of a struggling shoe manufacturer who saves his company by getting into a new line of footwear with the help of a cross-dressing diva. The pair’s collaboration teaches each of them what it’s like to walk a chorus line in another man’s shoes. Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Mitchell, respectively, wrote and directed the show, which won six Tony Awards, including one for best musical. Sept. 4-14, 7:30p and 2p. $39-$139. Reynolds Hall in The Smith Center, – HK

Sep. 22, 7:30p. Doctors attribute the recent increase in chronic sleeplessness to the 24-hour media saturations of the Internet age, but the connection between technology and insomnia is hardly new. In the Victorian period, it was widely and worriedly believed that telegraphs and telephones, electric lights and night trains would forever encroach upon the night and the mind at the expense of sufficient sleep. Lee Scrivner, Visiting Lecturer in Humanities, explores the history and phenomena of this “modern insomnia.” Free. UNLV Barrick Museum Auditorium, liberalarts.


Sep. 23, 7p. Every year, there are hundreds of attempts to remove books from the shelves of bookstores, libraries and schools. This year’s event shines a light on graphic novels. Despite serious literary merit and popularity as a genre, it’s often subject to censorship. Co-sponsored by the ACLU of Nevada. Free. Clark County Library,


Sep. 24, 7:30p. The Atlantic trade, including the slave trade, linked Africa and the Americas for more than four centuries, engendering dramatic changes for societies on both sides of the ocean. Christopher DeCorse, Professor of Anthropology, Syracuse University, will explore the impacts of Africa’s interactions within the wider Atlantic and examine how the Atlantic trade affected and transformed West African societies. Free. UNLV Barrick Museum Auditorium, and for perpetuating our political institutions. There will also be some focus on the role of courts in construing the Constitution and advancing constitutional principle. Free. UNLV Barrick Museum Auditorium,


Sep. 20, 2p. The former Dodger and World Series Champion shares his hilarious new book, Bring in the Right Hander! My Twenty-Two Years in the Major Leagues. His book puts us on the mound for the winning pitch in the 1981 World Series and then takes us back to the schoolyards and ball fields of Overland, Mo., where Reuss first dreamed



of that scene. A book sale and signing will follow his presentation. Free. Sahara W. Library,


Sep. 21, 3p. The author talks about his new book, Gangsterland: A Novel, a dark and funny page-turning crime story in which a former hit man, hiding out as a Las Vegas rabbi, isn’t quite as done with the Mafia as he wanted to be. Goldberg is the author of several crime novels including Living Dead Girl, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. A book signing and reception will follow the talk. Free. Clark County Library,



Every Tue-Sun, 4p. The most beloved family show in the world, featuring an amazing cast of housecats, dogs, parrots, even geese and mice! A unique blend of physical comedy, world-champion juggling and the extraordinary talents of more than 30 performing pets. Gregory Popovich has rescued these animals from shelters all over the country and has transformed them into Las Vegas stars. $35-$50. V Theater, 3663 Las Vegas Blvd. S.,

November 3–9, 2014 INVITATIONAL ARTISTS Gloria Miller Allen Joshua Been Doug Braithwaite Royden Card John Cogan Michelle Condrat Bill Cramer Cody DeLong Bruce Gomez George Handrah Steven Hill Brad Holt Hai-Ou Hou Susie Hyer Donal Jolley Buffalo Kaplinski Ron Larson Roland Lee Tom Lynch James McGrew Rachel Pettit Dave Santillanes Gregory Stocks Suze Woolf


• 24 Invited Artists • Free Daily Demonstrations • 5-Day Painting Workshop with P. A. Nisbet • Peak Fall Colors in Zion • Free Evening Lectures • Paint Out & Sale • Public Wet Paint Exhibit & Sale

Zion National Park Foundation 1-800-635-3959


Through Sep. 1, 10a-6p. Eighteen holes of serious indoor fun. Explore a tropical rainforest, navigate a polluted waterway and learn how to make a wildlife refuge in your own backyard, all while playing a game of indoor miniature golf. Free with paid general admission. Springs Preserve


Through Sep. 1, 11a and 1p. The real animals in Vegas come out at night. Some are freaky, some are sneaky and, some are downright creepy. You’ll uncover the Mojave Desert’s nocturnal animals including geckoes, centipedes, night snakes and more “hidden nightlife” that creeps out while you sleep. Free with paid general admission. Big Springs Theater at the Springs Preserve


Sep. 13, 10a-3p. The annual Scottish festival includes children’s activities, Haggis sampling, live entertainment and food vendors. The tradition continues with participation by the Scottish American Military Society, Las Vegas Fiber Arts Guild, Las Vegas Celtic Society, and the Purveyor of Scottish Goods. Free. Sahara W. Library,


Sep. 13, 10a-10p; Sep. 14, 10a-6p. Travel to a tropical paradise and immerse yourself in the culture with the sights, sounds and smells of Hawaii, Tahiti and the Samoan Islands. Enjoy traditional island entertainment, crafts and food, as well as a health fair and seminars. Free. Henderson Events Plaza, 200 Water St., ho-ololauepacificislandfestival


Sep. 13-Oct. 31, Fri-Sat, 7p. Drink with celebrity keg-tappers, enter drawings for free meals, compete in stein-holding contests and enjoy live entertainment, traditional German food and, of course, real brews from the homeland. Check website for details. Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas,


Sep. 25-28, Fri-Sat, 3-11p; Sun, 12-10p. Be Greek for a day and enjoy all the sights, smells, sounds and flavors of Santorini and the fun of Mykonos. Raffle prizes, Torch Run, booths, food, and more! Free shuttle available. $6 adults, children and active military free. St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, 5300 El Camino Road,




Sep. 25-28. As many as 1,000 cars and trucks representing all years, makes and models will be on display in the city’s historic Water Street District, along with automotive competitions, weekend concerts, a retro fashion show and a variety of vendors. Free. Henderson Events Plaza, 200 Water St.,



Sep. 27, 10a-2p. The event provides children and their families with information about healthy eating and healthy activity choices, while raising awareness about childhood obesity issues within our community. Parents and families can engage in a day filled with fun activities and healthy eating demonstrations, music and entertainment, sports exhibitions, games and more. Free. Paradise Park, 4775 McLeod Drive, 702-948-5942,


Sep. 27, 10a-4p. Celebrate Asian heritage at this family-friendly event featuring art and crafts, food concessions, traditional music and dance performances, retail vendors, a children’s lantern parade and much more. $5 adult, $3 children 5-12, under 5 free. Springs Preserve

WHY RANCH GRAND OPENING COMMUNITY HOEDOWN Sep. 27, 4-7p. Celebrate the White Horse Youth Ranch’s new location with tours, food, drinks, a special horse met et and greet, games and prizes. This ranch serves socially challenged youth and their families, and rescues neglected horses. Free. WHY Ranch, 8390 W. Windmill Lane,


Sep. 27, 6p. Local chefs compete with treats from this year’s chosen Girl Scout cookie, and attendees vote for the winning dessert! Try your luck in the silent auction and celebrate the 2014 honored women leaders in our community. This year’s featured entertainer is Mirage headliner Terry Fator. $300. The Palace Ballroom at Caesars Palace,



Sep. 4, all day. To kick off Hunger Action Month, Three Square Food Bank, in partnership with

Feeding America, encourages Southern Nevadans to wear orange, update social media pages with orange backgrounds and profile photos, while businesses can get involved by promoting orange products (cocktails, food items, fashion.)


Sep. 4-7. With more than 75 instructors and more than 150 workshops, as well as a competition and showcase, this is bound to be an expo to remember. Benefits the American Cancer Society; 100% of the Pole Expo 2012 DVD sales goes to Strides Las Vegas; sales from the store benefit Timber’s Kids. Passes $165. Palms Casino Resort,


Sept. 13, 6a-4p. Choose 25, 50 or 100-mile route to pedal for a cause, all ages and abilities welcome. Or bring the kids and join in the 10, 5 or quarter-mile fun rides. $120 registration, raise $500 for a jersey. Course is the perimeter of the valley along Red Rock Canyon, see website for start/end points,


Sep. 30, 7a. Includes breakfast, fabulous raffle prizes, cocktails and a chance at the National Final. Registration deadline is September 20. Benefits Keep Memory Alive, working towards enhanced treatment and cures for neurocognitive disorders. $1600 foursome; $800 twosome. Cascata Golf Course, Boulder City. Register at 702-798-1819


Oct. 5, 6p. Beginning with a cocktail party and silent auction, this event evolves into a fashion circus – complete with clowns and amazing acts. A live auction features treasures from the stage. Benefits pediatric cancer treatment and research. $35-$75.The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino,


Oct. 9, 6p. Includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, raffles, silent/live auctions, fun entertainment and dance music provided by Ronnie Lee Twist and the Future Cats. Proceeds benefit Project 150, heltping homeless and disadvantaged students in 34 local area high schools. $75 individual, $700 table of 10. JW Marriott in Summerlin,

Join Us in Celebrating Our

Ordinary People. Extraordinary Acts.

Thursday, October 23, 2014 Paris Las Vegas Hotel 7:30–9:00 a.m. The American Red Cross is proud to recognize the heroes in our community who have performed extraordinary acts to help others in need. For sponsorship opportunities, please call (702) 369-3674 or email

Thank You To Our Generous Sponsors

END NOTE futurecasting!

fall culture guide, 2045 A.D. B y A n d r e w K i r a ly & scott dickensheets

S e pte m b e r 16

Oc tob e r 16 -18

Joan Rivers

“Live” from her amniotic stasis preservation chamber, the sentient spinal column of Joan Rivers hosts this hilarious and heartwarming retrospective of 80 years of comedy, from her celebrated appearances on The Tonight Show to her recent cameos on Compulsory Laughter Corp.’s continuous psychstream hit, The Big Bang Theory. 70,000,000-250,000,000 credits, Venetian orbital entertainment panoptiplex

@vegasvalleybookfestival Now in its 43rd yr, the @vegasvalleybookfestival continues 2 b a #celebration of the #1.3-second #YouVine #video. This yr’s #keynote = @NutRaiderrr, presenting a 1.7-second #xtended cut of his #hellafamouzz #Pulitzer-winning #YouVine, “Cat freaked out by wax paper LMAO!!!! #shakespeerian” Historic Fifth Street School Brought 2 You by Comcast-China National Petroleum Corporation LLC

Dec e m b e rtron 15 Ju lugu s t 1 - 6 5

“Print ready” Artistic algorithm XQ44T-7000. exe’s exhibit of 3-D-printed 3-D printers printing 3-D printers. Clark County Government Center Rotunda Gallery

Oc tob e r 2 5 - u nti l th e P orta- P ot ti e s ove r f low

Life Was Beautiful

This annual gathering around the Third Straw intake in the dry basin of Lake Mead will feature music (an ancient Killers CD on portable speakers), storytelling (old-timers reminiscing about how Vegas was better when the Water District ran things) and Burning Man — some guy spontaneously combusting from the heat. Opening remarks by St. Thomas Mayor Oscar Goodman.


S eptember 2 0 1 4

Available Junember 45

SmithCenter Stimu-pack

Download the .mindzip file of the entire SmithCenter fall season — including Wicked 11, Jerry Lewis’ Reanimated Head Talez, Every Infomercial Ever: The Musical and An Evening With Kevin Smith’s AI Hologram — into your retinal interface braindrive now for just 90,000 Earth credits. Info:

“Will Direct ThoughtSharing Kill the Internet?”


A TED Telepathy presentation. Has Buzzfeed’s failure to keep up with brain-to-brain listicle-distribution doomed it to irrelevance? When your easily read thoughts mean people can believe what happened next, should Upworthy still exist? Guest presenter Disembodied Intelligence No. 892Xz argues that there will always be a market — primarily among Brooklyn youth with hipster implants — for the Internet's old-timey, artisanal experience of placing your fingertips on a keyboard. Free, at the Downtown Planet’s Brainatorium

Injecting Shakespeare in the Park!

There’s much ado about something in (the habitable portion of) Sunset Park: intravenous Twelfth Night, that’s what! Not just for literature junkies anymore, medicinal-grade Hamlet, Macbeth and even Troilus and Cressida have gone mainstream. Bring a picnic, find a vein and let the Bard take you away from global warming, your spouse’s robo-mistress and the asteroid crater where your house used to be! Presented by PharmaTech Global

N e w Y e ar ’ s E ve

The Rolling Stones

Ticket prices start at $10 million in perfect-cut diamonds

I llu strati o n b r e n t h o l m e s

Their Future Starts Now. “Your child is seven times more likely to attend college now that he or she has a college savings account in his or her name.” * Kate Marshall, Nevada State Treasurer

The Nevada College Kick Start program is helping to create a college-bound culture by giving Nevada public school kindergarten students a college savings account with an initial deposit of $50. This program is free to all participants, so please help us kick college dreams into high gear by asking your child’s teacher about the program and how you can work together to help your child succeed. Visit to open an SSgA Upromise 529 college savings plan of your own for as little as $15.

*2011 report The Role of Savings and Wealth in Reducing “Wilt” Between Expectations and College Attendance by William Elliott and Sondra Beverly of the University of Kansas and Washington University in St. Louis

Administered by Nevada State Treasurer Kate Marshall

Now opeN Gameworks paper source pot Liquor coNtemporary americaN smokehouse apricot LaNe

shop. dine. unwind. south strip : las vegas blvd & sunset rd Las Vegas for shopping, dining and entertainment – all in an inviting openair destination. Spend an hour for lunch, take in a day of leisurely shopping, or enjoy a romantic evening on the town.

Come to town square

100+ brands and boutiques 20+ dining destinations 18-screen aMC theatre 9,000 sq. ft. Children’s Park

Desert Companion - September 2014  
Desert Companion - September 2014  

Your guide to living in southern Nevada