Desert Companion - February 2019

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A B O LT F R O M T H E B L U E

LEGISLATURE ’19 BY STEVE SEBELIUS

2 5 A C R O B AT I C Y E A R S O F

B L AC K H I STO RY M O N T H ?

B Y M I K E W E AT H E R F O R D

B Y M AY T H I N E E WA S H I N G T O N

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL IT’S COMPLICATED

One year better than 2018!


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VOLUME 17 ISSUE 2 D E S E R T C O M P A N I O N .V E G A S

February 09 ON THE LEDGE ’19

Previewing the historic 2019 Legislature

14 EDUCATION

UNLV and UNR achieve coveted R1 status. What’s that mean? By Heidi Kyser

18

30

GET VISUAL

21 OPEN TOPIC

A few surprising thoughts on the real meaning of Black History Month By Maythinee Washington

HOT SEAT

25 ART

Performance art stakes its claim in Las Vegas By Jenessa Kenway

27 FILM

An unflinching look at sexual assault highlights the 2019 Dam Short Film Festival By Scott Dickensheets

FEATURE

49

BEST OF THE CITY

4

2 | DESERT

DINING

Sweet suggestions for a delicious Valentine’s Day By Sonja Swanson

44 PROFILE

the rock ’n’ dreams of Megan Rüger By Lonn M. Friend A B O LT F R O M T H E B L U E

LEGISLATURE ’19 BY STEVE SEBELIUS

2 5 A C R O B AT I C Y E A R S O F

B L AC K H H I STO RY M O N T H ?

B Y M I K E W E AT H E R F O R D

B Y M AY T H I N E E WA S H I N G T O N

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL IT’S COMPLICATED

( COVER ) 2019 TYPOGRAPHY

Christopher Smith

Here we are now, entertain us — exhibits, concerts, shows, events, and miscellaneous chungo to fill your calendar

F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 9

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An appraisal as Cirque du Soleil marks its 25th full year on the Strip, By Mike Weatherford

THE GUIDE

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After its recent makeover, we look at Main Street 2.0 By Kristy Totten

ENTERTAINMENT

U.S. $4.99

C O M PA N I O N

STREETWISE

38

71

EDITOR’S NOTE

32

DEPARTMENTS

Not the pretty-goodest of the city, or the premium mediocre of the city — the best.

( EXTRAS )

Highlights of February’s cultural calendar

FEBRUARY 2019

One year better than 2018!

STITCHED: COURTESY STITCHED; SANDWICH: CHRISTOPHER SMITH; RÜGER: SABIN ORR

With UNLV’s controversial logo in mothballs, what do design experts think of LV’s remaining sports symbols?


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LETTERS We began 2019 with a look back — 30 years back, to 1989. That seismic year in Las Vegas history was the subject of our January cover story. As part of it, we detailed the long-term reverberations of certain 1989 events. Among them: the designation of the desert tortoise as an endangered species, which had certain impacts on the state’s ranching industry. In the course of that brief story, we mentioned “the purchase of Southern Nevada ranchland.” As reader Jim Boone pointed out to us, that wasn’t technically correct: “What was purchased from willing sellers was grazing rights, not lands.” The ranchers never owned the land; the public does. This is important, he says, because our wording — which also included “refused to sell” and “create quite a stir over the federal takeover of (Bundy’s) land” — feeds the narrative that the government seized private land from ranchers. “In the future,” he advised, “please be more precise with your words, because this false narrative already has inflamed passions, led to the death of two police officers and the injury of numerous people, and created countless other problems that we still live with today.”

Editor’s note

BEST MODE I

often compare Vegas to a Russian nesting doll, but one with neon and video poker instead of those lidless, accusing eyes. You get past the touristy shell, the strip mall shell, the sleepy isolationist suburban shell, the fakers and takers shell, various other harrowing and deceptive shells, and you eventually arrive at the creamy mixed-metaphor caramel center of The Real Las Vegas. It can sometimes take years of trial and error and word of mouth to get to the center. (Believe me — I was born here, and I’m still popping those dolls open.) But I like to think that our annual Best of the City is something of a mission-minded cheat sheet, better than any cluster of online reviews or breezy internet listicle, that can at the very least help you nail down a few solid recommendations for dining, entertainment, shopping, and more. And they are, I hope, more than just mercenary, consumer recommendations. In most cases, our expert contributors’ picks for Best of the City represent places with a bit of meaningful story or soul or personality. (Even those impossibly posh luxury spas with walls made of salt.) And if you don’t ultimately find the Real Las Vegas within, no biggie. You’re sure to discover your new favorite taco spot, hair salon, or local band — which means you’re definitely on the right path to the center.

January’s Open Topic essay was a heartfelt, sometimes furious, and sometimes funny meditation, by Stephanie Kutner, both on her life as an adjunct instructor — a class of workers famously underpaid and ill-treated by the Higher Education Industrial Complex — and the tough lives of some of her students. Reader Amy Thorpe: “WOW! I so appreciate your perspective and concern for our students. I, too, am an adjunct professor … I loved your article in Desert Companion so much. Keep at it. Each semester we see a few students who find their ral passion ong ru to and fly. For all of them, we e am xtur response . ck e a fi a nts ar nwide, to livesto by hu e io d it. … Thank you for your at keep at Coyot men nat ved thre protecte ed nt rcei e un oors outd imals’ pe yotes ar can be hu m e So co ey , the an y states ng th o, and efforts.” m it s. thoughts eani an ag li Colorad . , In m or b ws, m

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Andrew Kiraly editor

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Score! Our Sports, Leisure, and Outdoors issue focuses on youth sports.

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Let’s stay onna the hinterlands liin M. G John for another minute. In our December issue, writer John Glionna took readers to the Austin Coyote Derby — a bloody annual coyote-killing contest of the kind common 46 |in rural areas. Annoula Wylderich, senior district leader volunteer for the Humane Society of the United States, wrote to BY

NEXT MONTH

a cool DA VA ol on lver NE Si ot po life la li ce n se h, Texas bounties rs sh n in the g the wild a ng othe oo on yote g Uta ou t spru wo br er af tern cated al ining w it h , includin a, pay co uit has ch m ot rc es su at Octob Sa loon, lo former states uth Dak ntest ci ve nam mint is gn th d So sult, a co events ha aho Var rk St ate ag of th from a si t-ball an dr re Pa et gh , Id he s, As a main the stre ” The ei es. T e Classic , and the nd, er at st be e. A d wn en Her in 49 a Coyot the Past s an e men looza. anst do up gh ok ju Pa w u e Io from edator e much- s town, rayer Sp over la ia rd s; th ordias th rs Blast Pr s “P ed nter tin, th ing) te t bi ll to eye co sse read es , w ag Hun y (Wyom nd in Aus ch drew hu as. ab ou . Je nd ke eg m at ch ’t re al ly their ha ing sk ills or th , Count cent wee Derby, whi d Las V ights W on en nt an r, e er re ng hu t h w ot al-r he es on a their worki d Coy ay as Uta d anim t some r br ot y’s cont te ge pa were , honing an ha n s w a tici r aw xt da you n ksmen halt talist as fa iforni natio and h is for the ne ced mar from ironmen tioned to 14, Cal lling ti n g 20 ti e ki A n so eparin Env n prac t. ve pe cks.” In all wildlif aged s. Kill pr doze ki w ps ha were t several ling even is latran grou illing for ate to ban are being , and an il st st agains imal-k exact. C . orts ew York ada ll “k en fir ca eff m e r an ts ey ev me th mila exico, N in an otes, to be me mon llow spor They ed N ests. beca ts, and si tition Coy nt ew M es in so d their fe animals: pe x cont mont, N critics pe it the co imals ost, w “a an the , ib the m brothers mes for ests,” or make in Ver n. In 2015 to proh ber of an ition na s The m fin n they tails, ts,” “p ticed Orego e official the nu the very de ildlife e prac “v ar m in But whe th if on ve y ha by wildl tall ok.” id, is evada W tion. their izes th em ti ey sa ng a N ca ll ors run am t their pr imates of ,000 Putti a day, th ing. The ny the pe m ost at st lif in ll de out 50 pred lls and s.” E io n ’s g taken olous ki d 7-1 to om ab ki “dog te e n at accordin iv e vo th their ll them ada run fr fr tl of on of s, Bat ca ev missi h as on e ral split hers know r from they tion in N that. om e he C ru ar a ot ot r ties la n/ ad urba So the br eir activi repopu ral times s brothe north, an town. N ev hi s. e nced a ve th e to se e, 35, and iles to th l Nevad s job onou 10 Censu nts view and wer pr ra hi ss n m io Je e 20 side 90 r, cent 22, does to th urban re terminat ith father , ntain, -colla y Mou ling, blue — Worth w. Their kids. her Sm man nseless ex stop s Chri were strugg miner e belo ON as a se re Jess hen they , lining up RATI LU ST w id They’ ground, O IL hunt sse sa e /18 PH OT abov them to boys,” Je t we do.” 11/20 a ht taug re Nevad his is wha “We’ shot. “T er a corn

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say she appreciated Glionna’s detailed, nonjudgmental approach to telling a potentially controversial story: “Please convey my thanks to John Glionna for the excellent, and fair, reporting on coyote-killing contests. I’ve shared it with wildlife watchers, my friends at Coyote Project, and my colleagues in the Nevada Wildlife Alliance grass-roots group. This was an informative, revealing, and comprehensive article.”

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Finally, in response to January’s story about UNLV professor George Rhee — who developed an online climate-change calculator, which measures the impact of large policy changes on the climate — Emily Clark wrote in to insist that small, personal acts matter, too. “It’s true that ‘individual changes aren’t enough to solve the problem of climate change,’ but arguably we could all contribute more. Using less electricity, buying local to reduce shipping costs, rooftop solar on every house and covering every parking lot, etc.” Think globally, conserve locally. 2:47

PM


Florence M. Rogers Perez EDITOR  Andrew Kiraly ART DIRECTOR  Christopher Smith DEPUTY EDITOR  Scott Dickensheets SENIOR DESIGNER  Scott Lien STAFF WRITER  Heidi Kyser GRAPHIC DESIGNER  Brent Holmes PUBLISHER

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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 desertcompanion.vegas, 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 Tammy Willis for back issues, which are available for purchase for $7.95.

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10 PEOPLE, ISSUES, OBJECTS, EVENTS, AND IDEAS YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF THIS MONTH

ONE | 2019 LEGISLATURE

Hangin’ 10 to Carson City! As Democrats ride a historic blue wave to the statehouse this month, what’s the prognosis for progressives, the GOP, and the citizens of Nevada? We break it all down.

ILLUSTRATION C hris Morris

FEBRUARY 2019

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BLUE WAVE FAQ

With the dramatic Democratic victories in the midterms, it won’t be business as usual in Carson City when the Legislature convenes this month. Here’s a primer. BY

Steve Sebelius

W

hen it begins on February 4, the 2019 Legislature will be unlike any in recent memory, with a solid majority of Democrats and a historic number of women, not to mention a blue executive branch. What does this portend for the 120-day session? You have questions, we have answers. W H AT I S T H E D E M O C R AT I C A G E N DA F O R 2 0 1 9 ?

Making improvements to public education and healthcare will surely be prime topics, especially since so many of the party’s members campaigned on those issues — including Gov. Steve Sisolak. Democrats will want to continue funding for some of former Gov. Brian Sandoval’s education reforms, while tinkering with others (the Read by 3 program and the statewide funding formula may be in for adjustments). On healthcare, Democrats will want to continue the expanded Medicaid program that gave insurance to thousands previously without it. A Medicaid buy-in program (which would allow anyone to get Medicaid insurance by paying the full cost) might return. W H AT M I G H T C A U S E D E M S TO HIT THE BRAKES?

There are several factors which together might produce a less activist Legislature than some conservatives fear and some progressives hope. First, Sisolak is in his first term, and he surely wants another. That’s a prescription

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for a more moderate approach. Second, Sisolak is a moderate — look at his contentious primary with an actual progressive, Chris Giunchigliani. Third, the Democratic supermajority in the Assembly and the near-supermajority in the Senate will want to prove that Democrats can govern responsibly, if for no other reason than to get re-elected in advance of the all-important 2020 session, when new district lines will be drawn that could determine which party controls the statehouse for the following decade. And fourth, the pragmatic leadership of Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, and the lack of a 14-vote supermajority confronting Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, suggest steadier, rather than radical, lawmaking. HOW WILL THE FIRST FEMALEMAJORITY LEGISLATURE IN AMERICAN HISTORY BE DIFFERENT?

Nevada has had female leaders before — Lorraine Hunt-Bono served as lieutenant governor, and two women, Barbara Buckley and Marilyn Kirkpatrick, have served as speakers of the Assembly. But never before have women made up a majority in the Legislature. State Sen. Yvanna Cancela, D-Las Vegas, puts it like this: “We physically and socially experience life differently than our male counterparts, and without equal representation, our ideas may go unheard. ... I have no doubt Nevada’s majority-female Legislature will result in more thorough discussions and better policy-making. … We’ll be representing all Nevadans, but for the first time, women’s voices will be just as loud as men’s, and I think our state will be better for it.” HOW WILL SISOLAK BE DIFFERENT FROM HIS PREDECESSOR?

Sandoval and Sisolak have different backgrounds: Sandoval was an attorney, former state lawmaker, gaming regulator, and federal judge. Sisolak was a telemarketer and university regent who sued Clark County over property restrictions, and made a fortune before getting elected to the County Commission. Sandoval’s temperament was judicious, while Sisolak is known to be mercurial. But there are likely to be far fewer differences in style of governing than had conservative Republican Adam Laxalt won the election. Sisolak has boasted of being the most conservative Democrat anyone has seen, and Sandoval was always a moderate, nonideological Republican. Both support fully funding education reforms and putting money into economic development projects. PORTRAIT L ucky Wenzel

W H AT C A N R E P U B L I C A N S D O T O E N A C T T H E I R A G E N D A?

Not much. The fact is, Nevada’s Legislature is driven by the majority party. Its leaders pick committee chairs and decide which legislation comes to the floor. Unlike the U.S. House of Representatives, minority party members can’t even start a petition to get a bill to the floor, and unlike their counterparts in Washington, D.C., senators can’t filibuster a bill or require a supermajority to vote. Republicans can certainly offer alternative legislation, make speeches, and use the media to promote their causes, but that’s about it. Only in cases requiring a two-thirds supermajority (overriding a veto, passing a tax) do Republicans have any power, and then only in the state


D E S E R T C O M P A N I O N .V R G A S

Senate, where Democrats are one vote shy of having two-thirds. WILL THERE BE ANY PAYBACK BY DEMOCRATS TO REPUBLICANS, WHO CONTROLLED THE LEGISLATURE IN 2015?

In general, no. It was the 2015 Legislature, in fact, that passed Sandoval’s commerce tax, the first tax on business revenue in Nevada history. (Democrats had tried unsuccessfully for years to enact such a levy.) But if there’s one thing that might happen in reaction to things the Republicans have done, it’s reform of the state’s recall process. Three female state senators (two Democrats and an independent who caucused with them) were targeted unsuccessfully by recalls

in 2018, and Democrats noted that the law doesn’t require the subject of a recall to have committed any malfeasance in office. Moreover, while most lawmakers have to be in office for six months before a recall can be filed, members of the Legislature can be targeted just 10 days after the session starts (when they are required to be in Carson City legislating and unable to campaign to save their jobs, and are legally prohibited from raising money). Look for changes to be made. W I L L T H E Y R A I S E TA X E S ?

Very unlikely. Not only will Democrats be wary of the tax-and-spend caricature, but there’s really no need: Sandoval already cemented in a package of once-temporary taxes and passed the commerce tax. While

lawmakers might redirect some marijuana tax money from the state’s rainy-day fund to the general fund, or edit some of the governor’s spending plan, it’s not likely they will impose new taxes. W H AT W I L L B E T H E S E S S I O N ’ S M O ST CO N T R OV E R S I A L I S S U E ?

There are plenty to choose from, including energy policy following the defeat of the Energy Choice amendment. How much renewable energy should the state insist upon, by when, and how should it be produced? What types of gun control will the majority enact, and what will Sisolak sign? What changes should be made to education funding, and should districts such as Clark get more money because of its unique challenges? ✦

TWO | Q & A

No One Gets Everything They Want

Talking supermajority, the influence of women, and the Democratic legislative agenda with Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson BY

Steve Sebelius

What would you say is on the Democratic agenda for the 2019 session? We are looking at focusing on public education and healthcare. Access to healthcare, cost of healthcare, transparency in healthcare. Those two things are going to be a large part of our focus. We have to focus on the integrity of the process and ensuring that we have an open and transparent and respectful process where we are statesmen, we agree to disagree when we have to, and try to move the state forward. With a Democratic supermajority in the Assembly and almost one in the Senate, how do you think that’s going to make things different? It’s going to be different in that the governor has different stresses that he will have to balance based on the fact that he’s a Democrat. But I think that Gov. (Steve) Sisolak shares an interest, similar to Gov. (Bria)] Sandoval, with moving the state forward, including everyone at the table, having a reasonable FEBRUARY 2019

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B L AC K H H I STO RY M O N T H ?

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approach rather than one that focuses on the fringes.

continue to be a big-tent party and include everybody’s voice.

In terms of the female majority, that’s a historic first in any legislature across the country. How do you think that’s going to make this session different? Interestingly, we had two previous female speakers of the Assembly before the Legislature as a whole was majority female. And so I don’t think that it’s going to change what has already been a commitment to have the values that women bring to the table reflected in our policies. Now, obviously, there are going to be an increased number of women having internal influence. I think that that is going to ensure that those issues that are important to women remain front and center. We’ve been committed to this for some time. So I think it sends a message more than it will change policy.

How mindful are you of the next session, and voters looking to you to see whether the Democratic majority can govern responsibly and if so, will they get rewarded with another term (in the majority) especially in the very critical year of redistricting? Right. We can’t govern two years at a time. We have to have a long-term vision of where we want to take Nevada. We have to show what we can do with that kind of influence. And, quite frankly, if we can do it in a bipartisan way and make sure that we don’t repeat some of the mistakes that were made in 2015 (under a Republican majority) with how the institution was treated, I think it’s good for everyone.

Do you think that the progressive wing of the party is going to push to say, “Mr. Speaker, we have the majority now, let’s start doing all these things that we’ve always dreamed that we can do, and push this agenda as far as we can”? And how will you react to that? It’s important to remember as responsible leaders that there’s no stakeholder group, friend or foe, that gets absolutely everything they want. We have been championing issues important to our progressive community for a long time. So a lot of the issues that are important to our progressive partners we will continue to advocate for in a way that represents the actual population of our state. We are not going to try to be California or Vermont or Maryland; we’re going to be Nevada. And that means we embrace some progressive principles, but not every single thing that works in other states is going to work in Nevada. My intention is to make sure that they (progressives) feel valued and heard at the table. Some of the constituents who come (to Carson City) think, “We’re going to get what we want,” but you never get 100 percent of what you want. I mean, unless you’re (the late former longtime Senate Majority Leader) Bill Raggio. I would guess that if Bill Raggio was in the Senate now it would be a different time, because we had two or three new freshmen at a time back then. I have 19 members of my caucus alone who are in their first or second term. So it’s a different time. But we have been a big-tent party and are going to

What are you going to do to ensure that the minority party feels like they have a voice in the process? I think the Assembly Republicans in particular have an opportunity to be a partner in moving the state forward, and just because I have 29 (Democratic) members doesn’t mean that I stop being speaker of the entire Assembly. I welcome collaborating, coordinating, taking advantage when there are opportunities to have bipartisan efforts, recognizing it’s not always going to be (Q&A has bipartisan. And it’s going to been edited be up to them to decide if for length they want to govern as reand clarity.) sponsible stakeholders, recognizing that there is certainly going to be a reflection in the policies that we advance based on our principles and our priorities, but we’re not going to shut them out. Is there one thing — one bill, one particular issue, one policy priority — that you think, We have to get this done or we can’t go home and call the session a success? We have to improve the quality of our public education and improve the support that we provide that system. I think that has to be a priority. And expanding access to healthcare and lowering costs. ... We of course have to continue to provide a healthy job environment and a healthy financial environment for the state. We can do a service to the business community by providing stability for them, so that we’re not swinging back and forth with undoing tax plans that were advanced two sessions ago. I think the business community needs stability and predictability, and we’re committed to providing that. ✦


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D E S E R T C O M P A N I O N .V E G A S

BILLS, BILLS, BILLS

Just a few of the ideas lawmakers might ponder this time EVERY SESSION,

there are thousands of bills and resolutions introduced in the Nevada Legislature. Some will become laws, others may never see the light of day. (Some are purely whimsical, such as designating the pomegranate as the state fruit or naming neon the state element.) But they all start as bill draft requests,or “BDRs” in legislative parlance. Here are a few to watch as the 2019 session gets underway.

BDR 24-473 (aka Assembly Bill 50): Requested by Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, this bill would merge the odd-year municipal elections with the evenyear elections for state and federal office. Taxpayers would save money, and more people would end up voting for local officials. But those same officials don’t like the idea, because low-turnout, odd-year elections are easier to win, and fundraising is easier when candidates for state and federal office aren’t also asking for cash.

BDR 20-110: Requested by state Sen. Dr. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City, this bill would outlaw prostitution in Nevada. The move follows unsuccessful initiatives to outlaw brothels in Lyon County this year. The defunct Nevada Brothel Association has been revived to fight efforts to stop prostitution in Nevada. Despite Harry Reid calling on the Legislature to ban brothels during the 2011 session, no serious legislative efforts have been made to do so. BDR 43-358 (aka Senate Bill 43): Requested by the state Office of

Traffic Safety, this would lift the ban on traffic enforcement cameras in Nevada. That has been a hard sell in the Silver State, especially after reports have exposed how other cities turned the devices into revenue generators, sometimes by manipulating signal-light times to trap red-light runners. This bill attempts to ease those concerns by imposing a fine of just $50, specifying that tickets would not be reported to the DMV, and by prohibiting insurance companies from using automated citations to raise rates. (Another measure would potentially make all minor traffic citations into civil rather than criminal matters.) BDR 536/BDR 23-650: These bills, under the purview of the Senate Government Affairs Committee, would extend collective bargaining rights to employees of the Nevada System of Higher Education and the state of Nevada, respectively. Republicans are sure to oppose the measures, as they would increase the costs of labor in the state. But in 2017, then-Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak embraced the idea of allowing state employees to collectively bargain. Now that he’s governor, Democrats might

have even more incentive to get these bills to his desk. BDR 755: Requested by Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, D-North Las Vegas, this bill would revise background check provisions for buying firearms. Democrats have been demanding that state officials implement the provisions of Question 1, which narrowly passed in 2016 and required all gun sales — including those between private parties — to undergo criminal background checks. The measure contained a flaw that prevented it from going into effect, but there’s nothing to prevent the Legislature from passing a similar law that could be effective. BDR 15-963: Requested by state Sen. James Ohrenschall, D-Las Vegas, this bill would outlaw capital punishment in Nevada. The state has struggled to implement the death penalty, as pharmaceutical companies have objected to their drugs being used in executions. Studies show the death penalty is more expensive to carry out than even a lifetime prison sentence, but many voters believe it should be available for particularly heinous criminals. FEBRUARY 2019

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4 TALES OF NUCLEAR BUREAUCRACY! THE TITLE PUTS YOU THROUGH a bit of a two-step: Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear ... (ooh, sounds intriguing!) ... Regulator (wut?!). A rogue ... bureaucrat? And, indeed, there is plenty of bureaucracy in Gregory B. Jaczko’s account of his time at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (Simon & Schuster, $26), first as a science-besotted commissioner, then as its politically divisive chairman — both positions he owes to the juice of mentor Harry Reid. But if you care about how government works, or doesn’t, this is anything but dull. “Every disaster makes its own rules,” he writes; he’s talking about Fukushima and the unpredicatability of nuclear accidents, but it’s just as apt for the catastrophe of nuclear regulation, at least as he describes it: a system lousy with conflicts, lobbying dollars, and obsequeous regulators who see themselves as allies of the nuclear industry. A scientist rather than a born politico, Jaczko is often at odds with power companies, other commissioners, even his bosses. (“You’re a f***ing asshole and nobody likes you,” snarled Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s chief of staff.) This comes through in his account of Yucca Mountain: “My tombstone will likely read, ‘The guy who killed the Yucca Mountain project.’ Over that epitaph will be spray-painted grafitti: ‘Clown. Bozo. Inmate.’” As you can see, this isn’t an impartial, objective book, and the nuke industry might object to a point or two. But it’s direly vital stuff nonetheless — his chapter on a near-disaster in Ohio presents a troubling picture of high-stakes ineptitude — that shouldn’t be ignored. Scott Dickensheets

5 OUT OF CONTEXT

E VEN THOUGH I GREW UP IN LAS VEGAS, THE PART I GREW UP IN WAS LIKE A TRANSPLANTED TOWN FROM ARKANSAS. — Poet, scholar, and critic Fred Moten, talking about his local upbringing in the new book What It Means to Write About Art: Interviews with Art Critics. His new book is Black and Blur.

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Research Engine SIX | H I G H E R E D

What does the recent top-tier research designation mean for UNLV and UNR? BY

S

Heidi Kyser

keptics could be excused for wondering if UNLV and UNR made Carnegie’s 2018 list of universities with “very high research activity,” commonly known as “R1” status, by a fluke. The last time the list came out, in 2015, it included 115 schools. This year’s list, with Nevada’s two big public universities, had 130. And whereas the list was published every five years from 2000 through 2015, the latest one came out in December 2018, shortening the wait to three years. Is Carnegie playing the soccer coach who gives every kid a trophy for simply showing up? What does “R1” mean — not just to UNLV and UNR, but also to students, parents, and taxpayers? The answer is complicated. It starts with a point made by the project director of the Carnegie Classifications himself, Victor M.H. Borden, a professor at Indiana University’s Center for Postsecondary Research. In an August 2018 op-ed for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Borden


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laments the “unintended consequence” of his project. He writes that distinguishing doctoral universities by levels of research activity has “contributed to an unfortunate conflation of research activity with quality or excellence.” He reminds us that “having more research activity does not directly indicate differences in quality.” In other words, the list is a taxonomy, not a ranking. UNR and UNLV are assigned to the category of institutions with a high level of research activity. How is that measured? Carnegie’s basic criteria are the number of advanced degrees an institution confers and the amount of money it spends on research. The R1 category is currently reserved for institutions that awarded at least 20 research/ scholarship doctoral degrees and had at least $5 million in total research expenditures. For honorees, it’s a powerful recruitment tool. Acting UNLV President Marta Meana says that R1 status helps to recruit research faculty “because it shows that we care about and invest in that.” And it has a trickle-down effect, adds Mridul Gautam, UNR’s vice president for research and innovation. He rattles off a list of discoveries and patents coming out of Reno in recent years, noting, “These outstanding discoveries, followed by translational work, attract the best of faculty.” Grad students, in turn, follow good professors. UNLV and UNR spend well beyond $5 million on this endeavor — $66.3 million and $105.9 million, respectively, in 2017. Included in those amounts are $25.3 million of UNR’s own money, and $29.8 million of UNLV’s; in other words, funding that doesn’t come from the government, competitive research grants, and so on. What’s the bang for these bucks? Gautam used the UNR medical school’s work on rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases to demonstrate research expenditures’ direct impact on people. “Look at the sub-Saharan fungal meningitis outbreak,” he says. “By the time you take a sample and get it analyzed, it’s weeks, months … They’ve developed tests to do diagnostics very quickly. And they’re commercializing it as well.” Gautam and Meana say that Nevadans benefit, too, through the magic of tech transfer, the process through which research leads to business development, jobs, and economic growth. And that cycle in turn attracts other companies and researchers that support it. Tesla, for instance, would naturally be more attracted to a community with a serious research institution than to one without. The car company collaborates with UNR on workforce development, and in October 2017

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signed a five-year research partnership with UNLV to study and improve its manufacturing processes. Both schools also cited examples of startups resulting from work done on campus, and the influence of local concerns on specific projects. Tech transfer has its pitfalls. A 2017 article in the Journal of American College of Cardiology pointed out the potential conflicts that researchers face when doing commercial work. And a 2018 study by a group of MIT scientists found that a small number of institutions is responsible for most of the commercialization activity, meaning most of the others need to improve their tech transfer processes. Regardless, citizens want to know whether

the institutions of higher learning that they send their kids and taxes to are doing a good job. If they believe those institutions’ jobs is not just information dissemination, but also the teaching of critical thought, experimentation, and exploration, then isn’t investment in research a good way to demonstrate they’re on the right track? Finally, the incentive for the universities to keep improving is built in. R1 status isn’t permanent. When Carnegie starts on a new list, it wipes the slate clean and re-evaluates all potential candidates to ensure they’re worthy of the coveted R1 designation. “The goal going forward,” says UNR’s Gautam, “is to maintain it.” ✦

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7

LEGGO MY LOGO!

With UNLV’s much-criticized logo now retired, we asked four experts to weigh in on some of the city’s remaining sports symbols After all, logos, of all things, have surfaced in the zeitgeist lately, from the City of Las Vegas’ oft-critiqued retro-style rebranding to, in particular, UNLV’s recently unveiled, frequently attacked, and now discarded ... cowboy, was it? It was an attempt to distance the school from its previous mascot, the controversial Hey Reb. But the new version — visually dense, confusing — pleased no one. “At first glance I didn’t see the cowboy with the big mustache and hat,” says designer Stan Evenson, “but just a variety of shapes that didn’t read as quickly as a successful logo should.” And CSN professor Dan McElhattan III wondered about the starburst: “Why was the Las Vegas sign part of the equation?” Okay, that logo has been retired — but as a budding sports mecca, Las Vegas has plenty of other sporty logos inviting expert scrutiny.

Las Vegas Lights

Vegas Golden Knights I like it. The use of the knight helmet with the “V” in the negative area is extremely simple yet very strong. It

The background shape

quickly implies intimidation,

is a Rorschach test: an

strength, a warrior, and of

open mouth? Vintage

course the “V” representing

Sideways Betty Willis

Las Vegas Aces

homage? The vertical

My eye goes right to the A in Aces. It doesn’t

well as a coat of arms to pull

approach is dynamic.

have any of the dramatic flaring that the C, E,

everything together and give

The colors work. The

and S have. At the very least that A should

it a majestic, masculine feel. I

fonts and symbol may

be standing on feet to match those

like the gold, slate gray, black,

not leave a lasting

other letters! And the decision

and white color palette. What

impression, but when

to have its outer shape subtly

doesn’t work for me is the fi-

you see how the identity

reference the swooping sides of

nal design doesn’t feel refined

is applied on banners,

the large A icon above it makes

enough. I think a lot of the

jerseys, and other items,

it look a little like it’s caving in.

shapes could use a very subtle

it will gain momentum

Otherwise, it certainly evokes

roundness to allow for a more

and acceptance. The cur-

Las Vegas in its overall design. I’m reminded

successful reproduction.

sive-type “Lights” needs

of an era when the city offered both The Star-

Stan Evenson, Founder, CEO,

to be more defined in

dust and Star Trek: The Experience. Benjamen

creative director, Evenson

the letters H and S so

Purvis, Design director, Boston Magazine;

Design Group; designer of

they are more legible.

former art director, Las Vegas Weekly

New England Patriots Logo

room-key adornment?

Vegas. Perfect for doing battle on the ice. The shield works

Having the word “Lights” attach to the neon

Las Vegas Aviators

border on one side is not symmetrical. Personally, I prefer bolder sport-motif icons with a heavier font.

I think the Las Vegas Aviators mark is amateur-looking and challenging to identify

Dan McElhattan III ,

at first glance. It’s not clear it’s a pilot. I think it would be hard to figure out what it

Professor of design, CSN

is without the supporting word-mark identifying it as an “Aviator.” I like the idea of

(Disclaimer: These views

the Las Vegas desert reflecting in the pilot’s visor, but the way it is done here needs

are McElhattan’s own

some refinement. The desert landscape reflected in the visor is a bit tricky and a

and do not represent

difficult read at first glance. A good identity should be able to stand-up in black-and-

the views of the College

white or reproduced in one color. This logo is entirely dependent on color. D.J. Stout,

of Southern Nevada.)

Partner, Pentagram; former design director, Texas Monthly

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A case study in the difficulties of being declared dead when, in fact, you’re not BY

Scott Dickensheets

In January, Tammy Thompson VanderHeiden learned she was dead. Or, at least, various agencies and businesses — the Social Security Administration, her bank, her insurance company, even her pharmacy — thought she was. What sounds like the premise for a zany sitcom episode was, in fact, kind of a nightmare for the 55-year-old Las Vegan — one that happens to some 6,000 people a year, according to a 2017 SSA report. Here, in her words (edited for length and clarity), is what it was like.

W

hat a mess. Oh, my goodness. And every day it’s something new. It’s crazy. Last Friday, I went to check my account balance (by phone). Usually it just tells you your balance, but this time it sent me to an operator, and I asked her, Why am I being sent to you? And she says, Well, we’ve got notification from Social Security that you are deceased. She told me that had put a freeze on my account. So I called Social Security. I was on hold with them for an hour and a half for her to tell me, Yes, in fact, we do have you down as being deceased; you’re going to have come into the office. I immediately went down and waited three hours to be seen. And then, once I’m seen, she was like, Well, it can just be human error. We don’t know for sure. I said, Well, I want to know how somebody can be reported deceased. This doesn’t make sense to me. You need a death certificate, you need fingerprints — you need something to be

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D E S E R T C O M P A N I O N .V E G A S

Tammy Thompson VanderHeiden is very much alive.

sure that that person is deceased. And she said, well, yours says “confirmed.” And I said, Who is it confirmed through? She’s like, I don’t know for sure. Usually it would be the coroner’s office. Now here it is, 4 o’clock on Friday. She says, I’ll change this for you, but I can’t do it until Monday. And then it’s going to take 24 to 48 hours for us to notify the other agencies that we’ve notified that you’re deceased. I’m thinking, Oh, lord, this is gonna be a mess. So I ask for documentation showing that I’m not deceased anymore. She made me fill out a form saying that I’m alive and gave me a piece of paper saying that as soon as their records are updated, I will continue to receive my disability payments. I sent it to my bank because our Social Security checks are directly deposited. I send them the documentation via email on Sunday. I said, here’s the letter. And when I call on Monday to verify that they received my documentation, I’m told that they closed my account and sent the money back to Social Security. Now Social Security is telling me that they don’t have any record of the company sending back my disability to them. So I called my bank, and tell them, Social Security has no evidence of you sending it back. Where’s my money? She says, We can’t even find an account for you. We closed your account. They went in and closed my account after I sent them the documentation. Now I have no idea where my disability check is. What about the money that I had in the PORTRAIT L ucky Wenzel

account other than my disability? They’re going to send that to me within 30 days, with a paper check. So I said, open my account back up. But their system wasn’t able to do that. Even my drivers license was suspended. Then the pharmacy calls me Monday night; I had an infection and the doctor had called in a prescription for me. But Costco calls

me and says, We can’t fill your prescription because we keep getting an error saying that you’re deceased. I said, I’m not deceased. So just let me pay cash, and I’ll work it out with the insurance later. But once I’m reported deceased, they can’t give drugs to anybody with that name. That’s going to be a problem for three or four months, they told me. And then yesterday I was supposed to have injections in my knee. It was preauthorized when I was quote-unquote alive, and my husband said, You better make sure you can still get them. I called, and sure enough, that would have been another big mess because they would have done the procedure, but I found out I wouldn’t have had insurance. So now we have no money. We have no access to money, and nobody knows where it seems to be. All because I was reported deceased. I called the coroner’s office, and they’re like, No it wasn’t from us. I said, Well, then how can somebody be reported deceased? She’s like, Yeah, you’re right. But it could have just been a human error. Somebody needs to figure this out. I had nothing to do with it. It’s not like I reported something incorrectly or whatever. I don’t know how it even happened. Two weeks later, her money is still missing, bills go unpaid, late fees are adding up. “I try to make light of it,” she says, “because otherwise I’d get deeply depressed.” ✦

Black History Month Is for White People NINE | O P E N T O P I C

“All I want is equality / For my sister, my brother, my people, and me” — Nina Simone, “Mississippi Goddam” BY

Maythinee Washington

B

lack History Month has a problem. The problem is the assumption that Black History Month is for black people. Exclusively. It is effectively Blacks’ History Month: a consolation prize of 28 days shoehorning in All Things Black that we should feel lucky to have. The problem of Black History Month is one of ghettoizing black history — not just on the calendar, but in the mind. It is the problem of seeing blackness and black people as specific — therefore niche — instead of seeing that same FEBRUARY 2019

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10

I WAS ANGRY. No. Angry wasn’t the word. But, angry, yes. And? I wanted to slam on my horn, to flip on my brights. I wanted everyone to do it my way — the right way. But acting yet I raged (quietly, inside my car). What was the word? The feeling? Furious? No. But, furious worked, sort of. Another car left its lane early, swept into the other lane too early, slowing down the whole process. You’re doing it wrong! Once again, I fantasized about dropping all of it, the whole tangle and mess of Vegas construction traffic, into the Holland Tunnel approach on the Jersey side. Forty lanes of traffic,

MERGE RAGE

toll booths, and then a continual merging down to two, yes, two lanes. That’s where you learned to merge properly. That’s where you learned to go to the end of your lane and then to take your turn — each lane alternating. A Zipper Merge. Traffic never stopped. Tens of thousands of cars per hour moved fluidly from 40 lanes down to two — well, maybe it was only 20 lanes, but, still, they dwindled down to only two with barely a tap on the brakes. It was the same at the Lincoln Tunnel, the GW Bridge, the Throgs Neck, and dozens of toll plazas on the Jersey Turnpike. Snapping out of my daydream, now I shouted, “Go to the end and take your turn!” The driver ignored my advice because it couldn’t be heard through my closed windows, air-conditioning, and Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! Deeper into the malaise. The new Spaghetti Bowl. Construction cones. Brake lights everywhere. The line of traffic, each lane ending, merging into the other. Jerks not letting the next car take its spot! It’s called a Zipper Merge. Stay in your lane until it ends and then take your turn, one car from each lane moving into a single lane in an easy, alternating flow. When done well, no one ever needs to step on the brakes. That’s how it moves millions of commuters in New York City every day. Yet here, so few understand. Drivers aren’t willing to play the game. Why hinder the flow? Why? Because drivers are afraid of another car getting in front of them, getting ahead by some tiny measure? There’s plenty of room for all of us. Just slow down, go to the, and take your turn! My heart pounded. I counted the cars ahead and calculated. I’d be between the red Lexus and the semi. I liked trucks; they know how to merge. I eased up. The green Prius in front of me hesitated. I shouted through the windshield, “Take your turn!” It didn’t take its spot before the Lexus. My temples throbbed. I was too far forward to allow the truck to pass. Screwed. The Prius took my spot. Thankfully, the truck left me room. I slid into line behind the Prius. Frustrated. That was definitely the word. Gregory A. Kompes Gregory A. Kompes drove the freeways and turnpikes of New York for 13 years before moving to Las Vegas.

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RANT

M E R G E A N D B L AC K H I S T O R Y I L LU S T R AT I O N S : B R E N T H O L M E S

out would be pointless. Road rage was not the answer. And

specific as universal. As in complex. Rich. Worthy. Human. Black people know this already. We know we matter. We know black history matters. It is white people who do not get that black history is their history, too. In her 2016 essay addressing resistance to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C., Shannon Dingle, a white mother to adoptee children of color, writes, “When we, as white people in this country, say a museum of African American history doesn’t tell our stories too, we’re lying. It does. It just tells stories that don’t put us in the best light, stories that show our ancestors on the wrong side of history, stories that we’re simply not proud of.” There is no history without Black History. No American History or European. After all, “race” was a social construct colonizers built to protect their enterprise here and glorify their monarchs and families back home. “White” and “black” were invented by landowners who decided they were “white.” These landowners feared their indentured servants from Europe would find common humanity with their enslaved African brethren and ignite a class revolt. So, the landowners said to their servants, “Hey, you’re beneath me, but at least you aren’t those n***ers over there. We’re both white. And if you play your cards right, someday you could be me!” And so, swaddled in the American Dream and illusions of meritocracy, race was born. Race was invented as crowd control. And with it was born a twoness that fit neatly within the existing Western paradigm of dualism (White vs. Black; Good vs. Evil; Mind over Body) institutionalized through religion and law, codified through behavior. Born was the implicit and explicit divide between mainstream history and niche history, “default” white history and black history. Many think of racism at its most overt — the Klan, stereotyping — but those are symptoms. Racism is about power: systemic, institutional, and yes, historical power. History is told by the victors; history is how they frame themselves to secure their power. Black people already know this. We know it as a matter of survival. White people do not draw the veil back — or even perceive a veil — because their race becomes the


D E S E R T C O M P A N I O N .V E G A S

default. To them, it isn’t even white — white culture, white values, white history — it’s just what is so. Race is not real, but the effects of racism are real. Black History Month is for white people not because it’s a moral corrective or an antidote to racism. It’s because Black History critiques “default” history by providing crucial context. It is a check to systemic power. Carter G. Woodson, the second black man to ever earn a Ph.D. at Harvard, founded what became Black History Month in 1926 to combat erasure of black contribution: “If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.” Ultimately, the problem of Black History Month is one of integration. The word is from the Latin: “to render something whole.” But the popular story of integration in America is instead about letting in. It is a story of black people being allowed into white spaces — schools, fountains, ILLUSTRATION B rent Holmes

drugstore counters previously off limits. It’s Ruby Bridges crossing the threshold of that New Orleans school jeered by white youth and adults, bravely bearing it all under the watchful eye of the National Guard. This version of integration is white people bestowing onto black people. Black people needed to move into the White World, because there was no fathoming that Black Space had value. (Never mind that at the time, black teaching was excellent; it was access to resources that was not.) Integration was one-way assimilation into Whiteness — a condescension framed as heroic and final. Racism fixed! Whiteness is so favorable an outcome that somehow the dehumanization of a child like Ruby Bridges being spat upon by a white public becomes a fitting price to pay to move on a continuum away from black. This is the legacy of “Integration.” Actual integration would have required literally going two ways, bussing white children into black schools — bringing equal funding and access in their wake

— in addition to bussing black children into white schools. The central lesson of Black History is empathy. Empathy is a skill of perspective-taking. Black people developed this as what W.E.B. DuBois called “double consciousness” — the twoness of seeing from one’s black perspective and also from the dominant culture’s white perspective. For white people — and non-black people of color — the opportunity is to cultivate this perspective-taking actively. When you center black history, black pain, and black triumphs, you learn about the problem of race, and see how those most subject to it thrived in spite of it. Paradoxically, to work “to render whole” is to embrace what was created, and look at race unflinchingly as the way through. The ultimate goal of Black History Month is obsolescence. But Black History Month will never be obsolete if the only people who it matters to are black. ✦ Maythinee Washington is a native Las Vegan, actor, and writer. FEBRUARY 2019

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THE EVENT OF THE YEAR IS BACK Join us for the 7th edition of

MARCH 8, 2019 Bellagio Resort & Casino, Las Vegas

TICKETS ON SALE NOW A one-night-only production featuring world-renowned performers alongside Cirque du Soleil® artists to raise funds for One Drop’s global water initiatives.

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A LL OUT FOOD, CULTURE, STYLE, AND OTHER PULSE-OF-THE-CITY STUFF

The Next New Thing C U LT U R E | AVANT-GARDE

Performance art and immersive theater play to a fresh spirit of adventure and performativity in local arts BY

Jenessa Kenway

S

Performance artist Clarice Tara

PHOTOGRAPHY

Anthony Mair

omeone in the impromptu barbershop quartet jokes about performance art being “all bullshit,” setting off a rumble of laughter in an audience of artists, performers, art lovers, and writers, all familiar with the conflicted nature of the medium. It’s another evening of RADAR, a new, regular Downtown performance event. Frequently not as palatable as more traditional painting and sculpture, nor easily defined or understood, performance art can be a difficult medium to establish in a local art community, though it’s been a fixture in some cities for years. Still, it’s natural that an art movement such as this would grow in the shadow of the Strip — and it feels long overdue.

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Prepping to perform, singer Sean McCabe had requested the barbershop doo-wops, adding lyrics poking fun at the performance-artist friends singing backup for him, which included artist (and Desert Companion designer) Brent Holmes and UNLV Art Department Chair Marcus Civin, the two figures responsible for RADAR (short for “under the radar”). Since beginning in November, the twice-monthly event has become a hot spot for performers and audiences seeking nontraditional and theatrical work. For those paying attention, there’s a new spirit of offbeat performativity in the local cultural scene, whether it’s the presentations at RADAR and similar events at the CORE Contemporary gallery, or ventures in immersive theater by Majestic Repertory and The LAB LV theatre companies, among others. The immersive Meow Wolf project arriving later this year promises to up the game even more. This is, of course, not the first surge of interest in performance art locally. The last major outbreak took place around 2012, which included a memorable performance by artist Michael Barrett’s at Trifecta Gallery and a sprawling event at Henderson’s Pop Up Art Gallery, which saw several storefronts in a strip mall devoted to wildly different presentations (Holmes and Yasmina Chavez served garishly colored food; Jevijoe Vitug drank his own urine by way of recalling a survival ordeal from his childhood). Each event prompted questions to whether the medium would finally catch on in Las Vegas. Those galleries closed, and interest seemed to wane, until now — again raising similar questions. As Kate St-Pierre of The LAB LV puts it, “The city has yet to breed a creative counterculture.” Civin’s appointment to head UNLV’s art department, this past May, was a major development breathing fresh life into local performance art. His background in theater and interdisciplinary art empowers the scene, providing it with expertise and institutional authority; he’s teaching a class in performance art, and hired Barrett to do the same. He’s also engaged in a level of community participation seldom seen by a member of the art faculty outside the confines of UNLV. “We’ve got more people putting the focus on performance art,” says Barrick Museum employee Deanne Sole. “Marcus brought that with him. He’s been so passionate about going out into the community.” Leading off this evening’s RADAR festivities, Civin invokes the 1962 film The Music Man, coaxing the crowd to sing, “Thuuuuuuuuuuh Wells Fargo Wagon is a coming down the street / Oh, please, let it be

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for me.” The film — about a man who cons River City into paying for a sham marching band, and then somehow succeeds in creating an actual band — speaks to the nature of performance art. The peculiar actions of this medium can easily be perceived as illegitimate, as if artists are trying to trick viewers into accepting it as art, only to frequently surprise them with unexpectedly profound and meaningful experiences. Sometimes, at least. Civin puts a pillow, printed with a self-portrait, over his head and climbs up a stepladder, unfurling a roughly sketched wanted sign for the film’s con-artist character, Harold Hill, then descending, still pillow-blinded, to strike a cymbal positioned next to the ladder. If the take-away does not seem entirely clear, Civin says that needn’t cause concern for either viewer or artist. “I think of (RADAR) like a lab,” he says. One if its core purposes is to let performers try out ideas. “Artists don’t get a lot of test runs,” he says, before musing, “I bet Carrot Top has some weird things he’d like to try out.” The remainder of the evening’s roster is equally experimental. Chavez’s lesson in making salsa, combined with instruction in salsa dancing, gets the audience grooving with tortilla chips in hand. In another piece, Holmes reads the Wikipedia history of the Manzanar concentration camps as Chavez repeatedly bites him, thereby illustrating the way minor irritations distract us from larger issues. Reminiscent of an infamous 1971 performance by artist Chris Burden, in which he was shot in the arm by a .22-caliber rifle, Barrett shot a BB at Holmes’ bare back as he stood with his hands against a wall. The context of a white veteran shooting an unarmed black man invokes all-too-frequently tragic headlines. The audience did not attempt to intervene — but perhaps this tacit acceptance highlights the social situation that is part of the problem the piece examines. In some cases, performance art is not entirely about the performer. In November, artists Clarice Tara Cuda and Amanda Keating offered a performance at the CORE Contemporary gallery in which viewers interacted with “living mannequins” through window displays, as a commentary on human intimacy in the age of social media. (They reprised it at the prestigious Art Basel Miami in December.) For her event at CORE in late January, titled FEEELINGS, artist Jennifer Henry gathered an extravagantly dressed three-artist panel; atcontinued on page 28

HAMBUHUT (1) THE NARRATIVE prat. ditatia posant ut InPliate the 15-minute filmdolorem 10 Syllables que a pa doluptatur, ipidese quatempos (previously titled #NoMore), a dessitwoman faccullanamed dolowheat doluptatur, young Parker, ipideseassaulted quatempos dessit facculla ast sexually while — maning hat unconscious atfarm a fraterstop party, ped is growing malle, varitals luptatur, ipidese failed byeritage the justice system. quatempos dessit facculla dolowheat “She hears what a lot of victims doluptatur, ipidese heat. hear,” says Reno-based director 2212“‘Why E. Cheyenne Emily Skyle. did you Ave., wait 702-649-6357 so long to report it? We heard you took your own vodka to the party. What did you expect?’” MEBURTGER HETSparty, (2) Sometime later, at another Bortaliate ditatiataking dolorem posant she sees herprat. assailant ut upstairs. an intoxicated woman “She makes an irrational, emotional decision,” Skyle says.


THE TURNING POINT To rob her attacker of his “weapon,” she races upstairs and drags his mattress down into the street. Then she writes the date and details of her assault on it, and sits beside it. Eventually, other women come by and pen their stories onto the mattress, and a movement is born.

REAL LIFE In the film, as Parker’s movement grows, eventually some 300 mattresses are depicted, bearing 528 true stories of sexual assualt submitted by real women responding to the fictional movement’s hashtag, #NoMore. Because #NoMore took on a life of its own, Skyle reverted back to her orignal title, 10 Syllables.

F I L M | DAM SHORT FESTIVAL

You Have a Voice An intense and empowering movie about sexual assault will be just one highlight of one of Southern Nevada’s best film festivals BY

Scott Dickensheets

THE IMPACT The new title, and the impetus for making the film, came from the infamous Brock Turner rape case, in which the victim was often referred to as the “unconscious, intoxicated woman” (the 10 syllables in question). Skyle’s takeaway: “It sounds slogany, but with one action, someone can take away your choice; but with one voice, you can start a movement.”

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DAM SHORT FILM FESTIVAL More than 100 short films, Boulder Theatre; schedule and ticket prices/packages: damshortfilm.org FEBRUARY 2019

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continued from page 26 tendees talked about their emotions, and received Olympic-style scores from the panel, albeit in abstract symbols. The bombastic glamour and glitter of Henry’s work is bursting with Vegas flavor. Audiences are also being drawn into the performance in immersive theater projects, like Majestic Repertory Theatre’s upcoming production of Thornton Wilder’s classic Our Town. “Majestic’s immersive approach,” says director Troy Heard, “is to convert our space into a small-town social hall, with the cast — all people of color — in contemporary clothing, sharing a potluck supper with the audience as the story unfolds all around them. I wanted to stress Our Town as ‘our’ town, a reflection of Las Vegas recovering from the October 1 tragedy.” In addition, Majestic’s space is often given over to Las Vegas show performers trying out experimental ideas, such as The Shit Show by the Spiegelworld clowns, or a recent performance about the female menstrual cycle by Opium contortionist Gypsey Wood. Also commenting on Las Vegas, the recent piece RE:late(D), conducted by St-Pierre and other performers of the experimental LAB LV theatre along with local artists,

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interrogated notions of home that seem a bit foreign in a city characterized by transience. A blur between theater and performance art, the event was limited to an audience of 20 and took place in a typical suburban house. At one point, visitors had to crawl into a couch fort for a bedtime story with artist Stig Zeiner. “The reality is, this is a performative city,” Holmes explains. “Service is performative, your waitress, room service, front desk, taxi driver, showgirls — all these people have to maintain a façade.” The performance art and theater works coming out of this burgeoning community complicate the Vegas façade. Groups like Blue Man and Cirque de Soleil provide the spectacle that Vegas has become known for and, at one point, were the performative avant-garde themselves. It makes sense that their seedlings would sprout beyond the Strip. “The goal is to create this kind of space,” Holmes says, “and see what blooms.” ✦

T R OY H E A R D : A N T H O N Y M A I R ; R A D A R : B R E N T H O L M E S

IMMERSE YOURSELF Troy Heard, above, of Majestic Repertory Theatre, is making audiences part of the show to push local theater in new directions. Speaking of new directions: the RADAR performance-art series, right.


A Wave of Your Hand V I S U A L A R T | INTERACTIVE

That’s all it takes to make the virtual desert bloom in Brett Bolton’s new City Hall art exhibit

It’s an homage to the Las Vegas Valley,” says audio-visual whiz Brett Bolton of Overcast, his projection artwork set to open in Las Vegas City Hall this month. More pointedly, it’s an homage to the human potential to bring the valley to life. Here’s how it works, minus all the technical mumbo-jumbo that actually makes it work: Inside a kiosk in the City Hall lobby, viewers will see a white landscape of mountains and valley, with the image of a cracked desert projected onto it from above. The viewer waves her hand in the projection beam. The resulting shadow acts as a raincloud. “As this ‘cloud’ passes over the valley,” says Bolton’s project description, “it leaves a trail of projected falling rain that lands on the earth and follows the contours of the landscape similar to actual rain. The low rumble of thunder and relaxing noise of falling rain will be heard …” The virtual rain absorbs into the cracked desert, and colorful patterns representing life will sprout. “It creates seeds,” Bolton says. “Each seed grows out in a unique pattern.” Each pass of the hand generates new seeds, new patterns. “The seeds interact with each other as they grow, and it creates really nice patterns.” Every interaction will be different. The patterns are metaphorically representative of new life — they’re not based on calculations of the actual effects of rain in the desert. “It’s an artistic interpretation,” he says. As the viewer stops waving, the human-nurtured life retreats and the barren cracks return. We won’t pretend to explain the technical side of this. “It’s pretty complex,” says Bolton, whose normal line of work runs more toward creating audio-visual effects for rock concerts. “It’s all technology I’ve worked with before, but I’ve never compiled it like this. It’s been a lot of fun to build.” Scott Dickensheets

Design

HOUSING DIVIDED Can Las Vegas avoid the affordable-housing pitfalls suffered by other prosperous regions? Let’s hear from some architects! BY

T.R. Witcher

ON A QUICK WEEKEND TRIP TO California over the holidays, I had a sense of where housing is going in this country. If you’re a one-percenter, you can afford a hillside home above Santa Barbara, looking onto the Pacific. If you’re a professional, managerial type — and you’ve been priced out of Santa Barbara — then you could set up in the pleasant suburban hills of Santa Clara, north of L.A. For everybody else, there are the endless, cheap tract homes sprawling through Victorville. Just watch out for that commute. Eric Strain, principal of assemblageSTUDIO and an architecture professor at UNLV, cautions that Las Vegas may turn into Santa Barbara one day if local architects and planners don’t think more critically about affordable housing. Granted, Las Vegas hardly seems the place to get worked up about the cost of housing. We’re not in San Francisco. But Strain worries that workingand even middle-class Las Vegans are committing too much of their income to housing. Finding a quality unit in a decent neighborhood for

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OVERCAST, BY BRETT BOLTON, through May 9, City Hall Grand Gallery. Reception 5:30p, February 21. brettbolton.net

below $1,000 a month is becoming tougher. “That’s what we have to get past FEBRUARY 2019

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THE

when we talk about affordable housing,” he says. “We’re not talking about taking all these homeless guys

Hot Seat

off the street. We’re talking about bringing in nurses and students and

(Musical)

COME FROM AWAY

THE SMITH CENTER

some service workers in the casinos, people who are actually working in

On 9/11, America shut down its airspace for several days. In-flight aircraft were diverted elsewhere, 38 of them to a small town on the island of Newfoundland. That’s some 7,000 unexpected visitors. This musical imagines the culture clashes that resulted — and the human urge toward hospitality that overcame the barriers and created lifelong friendships. Very timely in this age of refugees. February

the community.” Strain is attempting to tackle housing issues in Vegas from multiple angles. He’s leading a new studio at UNLV that will collaborate with the city on an infill prototype development in West Las Vegas. And on February 6-7, he’s spearheading the Mayor’s Symposium on housing at the Fifth Street School, welcoming a range of top-flight architects and developers to town. Further, the February lecture will accompany a series of Wednesday evening talks on housing that will run through April at the Juhl Lofts, where Strain has been named artist in residence. (This series, called projectHOME, will conclude with a presentation of 2018 AIA Award

19-24, $36-$137, thesmithcenter.com

winners.) Housing has been a focus of Strain’s UNLV design studio for four years, as well as his professional practice. “When you look at architectural history, modernism really started with housing. Housing

Chug, You Lugs: The superhero team-up you’ve been waiting for: Beer Zombies and SkinnyFATS restaurant join forces for a craft beer festival. We’re saved! February 23, 3p, 6261 Dean Martin Drive, $50, Facebook.com, search “beer zombies”

is what Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier and the whole Bauhaus and the Vienna Secession … really started focusing on.” The challenge for Las Vegas will be to think about smaller units, infill opportunities in the heart of town for multitenant units, even housing with more shared amenities and fewer parking spaces. There are changes that might play better for empty nesters or new graduates than for adults in their prime earning years. Maybe Downtown instead of Summerlin. But if the middle class really is starting to split apart, how you live and what you pay for it, may be crucial in stitching it back together. “Would you rather be able to pay $1,200 and not be able to live,” he says, “or pay $600 and be able to live?”

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(Literature)

THE ART OF LISTENING

UNLV’S BLACK MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE

Random Family author and BMI fellow Adrian Nicole LeBlanc headlines a group discussion about the importance of listening — particularly in the fractious cultural conditions now prevailing. Other guests include UNLV oral historian Claytee White. February 20, 7p, room 101 of UNLV’s Rogers Literature and Law building, free, RSVP at blackmountain institute.org


D E S E R T C O M P A N I O N .V E G A S

(Lecture)

THE DEVALUATION OF ASSETS IN BLACK NEIGHBORHOODS

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If you’re the sort of historically clueless person who assumes African-Americans had access to a level playing field after the end of Jim Crow, plus the gains of the Civil Rights Movement, this lecture is your corrective. Andre Perry, a Brookings Institute scholar, explains how blacks were systematically shut out of homeownership — a major engine of middle-class prosperity — for much of the 20th century, robbing them of inheritable wealth. How much, cumulatively? You’ll have to attend to get that number, but here’s a hint: It runs into the 12 figures. February 13, 6p, free, unlv.edu/calendar

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(Music)

THE MUSIC BEHIND THE GAMES WINDMILL LIBRARY

Video games, that is. Las Vegas composer and musician Aaron Ramsey will explore the world of digital game music — says here the presentation will be “interactive”; also, a “feast for the eyes and ears.” All right! February 17, 2p, free, lvccld.org

Mystery History: Avuncular Clark County Museum and Pawn Stars personality Mark Hall-Patton explores the “forgotten history” of Southern Nevada. February 7, 7p, Clark County Library, free, lvccld.org

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FEBRUARY 2019

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5 ATOMIC STYLE LOUNGE (3)

Street Wise

MAIN STREET 2.0 Or is it Main Street 3.0? Or 4.0? So many new additions to this Arts District arterial! BY

Kristy Totten

LAS VEGAS ODDITIES (1) “Regarding the blood moon ritual,” the shopkeeper says, “it’ll involve yelling and howling at the moon and getting blood poured over your head … oh, I mean wine.” It’s not often you hear those words strung together, but then again, it’s not often you encounter a shop that sells mystical wares, like crystals and tarot posters, alongside morbid curiosities like CPR dummies and letters penned by serial killers. It’s part museum, part witch emporium, and it’s a whole lot of fun to browse. 1228 S. Main St.; 702-477-0430

MODERN MANTIQUES (2) A pinball machine. A vintage Coke fridge. A child-

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sized, tie-dye gummy bear holding a sign that says, “This ain’t a museum; this shit’s for sale.” These are among the kooky, large-format delights that await customers at Jeff Young’s uniquely curated shop. “I’m looking for the odd, unusual, and rare,” he says, pointing to a framed Houdini autograph and a giant, sticker-slapped Extraterrestrial Highway sign that was decommissioned in 2000. Young says he doesn’t specialize in one thing, but he doesn’t have to say it — his meticulously organized collection does it for him. 1300 S. Main St. #120; 702-455-7081

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“Retro” can have a bad rap; the preferred term is “mid-century.” This mid-century beauty salon makes patrons feel like they’re stepping back into the Atomic Age, when people still dressed up to come to Las Vegas, or anywhere, really. Though the lounge has a pastelrich throwback theme, it caters to both modern and vintage styles, occasionally hosting bands, burlesque, and wedding parties. Plus it’s co-owned by Viva Las Vegas founder Tom Ingram, so you know it’s legit. 1237 S. Main St.; 702329-0770

4

3

MAIN STREET MERCANTILE (4) Owner Becky Miller is the “den mom” of Main Street, managing almost every building on its south side between Colorado and Charleston. For the past 20 years she’s working to bring an artsy streak to this historic street, and it seems her vision has finally unfurled. Like a traditional mercantile, she sells everything from fabrics or hardware to custom-made vintage-inspired clothing and pieces snagged from the late, great Williams Costume before it closed. 1235 S. Main St.; 702-592-0929

DAFT JUNK Imagine a thrift store if your yardsailin’ friend with an eye for what’s good picked over it first and only left the interesting stuff. That’s Daft Junk, a curated thrift store that weighs heavy in hipster fare — think Mickey Mouse shirts, World Fair cup collections, and a cookie jar adorned with ’shrooms — and thankfully lacking in weird stuffed animals with spider eggs in their ears (we’ve

all seen it). Best part is the prices are still good. 1056 S. Main St.; 702-380-3299

RECYCLED PROPAGANDA Artist Izaac Zevalking aka Recycled Propaganda is the new kid on the block with his spacious, dualpurpose gallery. Up front is a clean, bright store and wall space to show his art, and in back is a darker showroom he hopes will offer a more interactive

experience. His style is Banksyesque, featuring well-known brand imagery, manipulated to convey a darker meaning. Unlike Banksy, he doesn’t require anonymity; he wants the space to be a place for people of the Arts District to gather. 1114 S. Main St. #120; 702-788-8434

BURLESQUE HALL OF FAME (5) Burlesque is a vital part of Las Vegas history — the reason we

PHOTOGRAPHY

Brent Holmes


FIREBIRD NEVADA BALLET THEATRE PRESENTS

plus RAYMONDA VARIATIONS, LIGHT RAIN (pas de deux) and CRANE/ING, a World Premiere by Nicolo Fonte FIREBIRD Music by Igor Stravinsky • Choreography by Yuri Possokhov Sponsored by: The Plaster Family Foundation RAYMONDA VARIATIONS Music by Alexander Glazounov • Choreography by George Balanchine LIGHT RAIN (pas de deux) Music by Douglas Adams & Russ Gauthier Dream Dancer • Choreography by Gerald Arpino

1

World Premiere! CRANE/ING Music by Giovanni Sollima Aquilarco #6 (Spinning Top Prelude) & Donnacha Dennehy CRANE version II • Choreography by Nicolo Fonte

WITH FULL ORCHESTRA

Saturday, February 16 at 7:30pm Sunday, February 17 at 2:00pm

2 have the adult entertainment we do today. It started with the famous Minsky’s Burlesque operation from the East Coast, and today it lives on at the BHOF, in a nice, new space for its permanent collections, rotating exhibitions, and dance studio. If you’re curious about the art of tease but have commitment issues, check out a “mini class” on First Friday. 1027 S. Main St. #110; 888-641-6465

RADIAL SYMMETRY This 20-ton, architectural work of art by Luis Varela-Rico was dedicated late last year and is worth the walk north. Although it’s metallic and oozes industrial vibes, the artist has said its bowl-like segments are a nod to Las Vegas’ earliest people, the Paiutes, and their wellknown talent for basketmaking. Main and Commerce streets, near the Gamblers General Store

(702) 749-2000 • NEVADABALLET.ORG LIGHT RAIN (PAS DE DEUX) IS SUPPORTED IN PART BY AN AWARD FROM THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS. PHOTO BY JERRY METELLUS

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Angel Cream at Sweets Raku

Sure, love is in the air, but can you eat it? No. That’s why we invented sugary Valentine’s treats like these! BY

F

Sonja Swanson

ancy flowers and frilly cards are nice, but we all know the best way to someone’s heart: through the pancreas. Here are seven ideas for an unforgettably sweet gesture on Valentine’s Day.

Make a reservation at Sweets Raku: Dessert takes center-stage at this offshoot of acclaimed Japanese restaurant Raku. Helmed by pastry chef Mio Ogasawara, the desserts here are colorful and inventive, bringing the kind of experimental form you’d previously only find on the Strip to this cozy Chinatown outlet. Order the Mars, for example, and they’ll pour burning brandy over an unassuming red chocolate dome to reveal the layers of yuzu mousse, fruit, hazelnut wafer, and caramel beneath. Pair your sweets with a dessert wine and opt for counter seating for a front-seat view of the open kitchen. (5040 W. Spring Mountain Road #3, raku-sweets.com)

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Take a tour and tasting at Ethel M: For chocolate aficionados who want an in-depth look at their favorite sweet, head to Henderson for a tour of gourmet chocolate brand Ethel M’s headquarters. Level up with a chocolate tasting class that covers the production of chocolate and the nuances of chocolate flavors. For those 21 and over, a chocolate and wine pairing class is also available. After all, it’s said the reason Mr. Mars opened Ethel M. in Nevada is because of our fair state’s lax laws regarding booze in chocolate. (2 Cactus Garden Drive, ethelm.com) Indulge in over-the-top confections at Sweet Factory: With a flagship store at the Fashion Show Mall, Sweet Factory is itself a confection of a space, with plush booths, carnivalesque lighting, and views of the Strip. You’ll be able to order decadent milkshakes (named “insane milkshakes” on the menu) like the Caramel Sugar Daddy Cheesecake, garnished with a slice of cheesecake, candy, and a rainbow lollipop. Adults will want to head upstairs to the chocolate lounge for chocolate martinis, spiked milkshakes, and chocolate and wine pairings. (Fashion Show Mall, sweetfactory.com)

ANGEL CREAM: CHRISTOPHER SMITH

Sweet Satisfactions DINING | ROMANTIC



Learn how to make French pastries: If you’re ready to bring your sugar addiction home, learn how to make classic French desserts in a cooking class hosted by Sur la Table. Throughout February, they offer courses on croissants, éclairs, and macarons — take the class with your sweetheart, or learn something new to impress a special someone. (Downtown Summerlin and Fashion Show Mall, surlatable.com) Put together a vintage gift basket of old-timey treats: If you’re looking for something more unique than a heart-shaped box of chocolates, put together a gift basket of your own. For loved ones with a penchant for vintage goods, you can stock up on classic candies and sodas at Rocket Fizz. They also sell novelty flavors and hard-to-find brands, not just classic ones, so you can always pop in a bacon, PB & J, or sweet corn soda for some off-kilter fun. (9410 W. Sahara Ave. #120, rocketfizz.com) Share an Instagram-worthy sugardose at Creamberry: Hey, if you’re in it for the ’gram, own it, we say. And you won’t find many desserts to sugar-shock your Insta-feed more than the cotton candy ice cream burrito at Creamberry. Your choice of ice cream is covered in the toppings of your choice, then wrapped in a layer of rainbow-colored cotton candy. Slice that baby in half and you’ve got a colorful, decadent dessert to share. (7965 S. Rainbow Blvd. #140, 702-863-2385) Load up on a buffet of sweets: Sometimes you just want your cake and ice cream and caramel apples too, okay? Lucky for you, U-Swirl Frozen Yogurt and Rocky Mountain Chocolates have partnered up in a venue that serves 15 varieties of serve-yourself frozen yogurt and a bevy of chocolate-dipped treats: Think gourmet chocolate and caramel-coated apples, chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate-covered bananas, chocolate-covered cheesecake … you get the picture. If you manage to try one of everything, let us know. (7660 W. Cheyenne Ave. #126, 702-912-0900) ✦

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Pasta is Prologue D I N I N G | AT FIRST BITE

Eataly, the Strip’s newest import, signals another level in the evolution of the high-concept food market BY

Mitchell Wilburn

S

ometimes an idea seems outlandish until you see it become a phenomenon. Over a decade ago, there was this balding guy in a turtleneck boasting that his company had reinvented the smartphone. This little black-and-silver bar of soap cost $500, cracked with nothing more than a dirty look, and had no handy-dandy stylus or even a physical keyboard. The iPhone might have seemed weird then, but I bet that not many of you are texting on a Blackberry. Am I working up to say that Eataly is the iPhone of Strip dining — amusingly strange but possibly revolutionary? Not necessarily, but I’m not ruling it out. Eataly is the name for these ultra-Italian collections of food and drink and product that have been springing up in any city with enough of the cringingly wealthy that they have their own neighborhood fiefdoms in which to take root. The list of countries hosting Eatalys look like the rankings for global Lamborghini sales. Thankfully, despite this, the Eataly famiglia understands that the Las Vegas PHOTOGRAPHY

Christopher Smith


E A T A LY I N T E R I O R S : C O U R T E S Y E A T A LY

CARB COUNTRY The many flavors of Eataly. Far left, grilled wild shrimp with salsa verde; left, prime rib sandwich with Black Angus beef and porcini rub

Strip is the destination for the world, so the prices are a bit more geared for Vegas meat-and-potatoes middle-market tourists. Emphasis on tourists. Eataly is a beautiful Disneyland of meat and cheese and bread. Every tile and sign and fixture just drips Italian. This is as close as it gets to having a food tour of Italy in your own city. Not only is this all there to eat, it’s there to take home. Ten types of prosciutto, massive wheels of Grana Padano, fresh pasta and fish, and oh my god it makes Whole Foods look like Piggly Wiggly. As a Vegas native, I know how we locals imagine the prospect of visiting the Strip as though it’s a trip to the far side of the moon. I have one rejoinder: Get your freakin’ moon boots on, Armstrong. Eataly is worth every clogged intersection and horn honk. Yeah, I know — Strip traffic, paid parking, crowds, kinda expensive, the 15-minute walk, the possible wait for a table. But if you want to feast like a true gourmand, you’ll have the bounty of a thousand years of Italian cuisine laid out in front of you to stuff yourself stupid with. There’s a feeling of peace that no other cuisine provides, a sense of peace that comes from being full of six types of meat, nine types of aged cheeses, armfuls of bread, and multiple sloshing glasses of wine. Here’s the concept. Three bars: Gran Caffe Milano with small bites, espresso, wine,

amaro, that kind of thing. L’aperitivo is a cocktail spot with a good selection of grappa and spritzes. L’Enoteca is easy to miss, but there’s a dizzying wine selection here, and craft cocktails are also in the plan. Two restaurants: Manzo is an ode to meat, and the spiritual successor to the dearly missed Carnevino. Manzo boasts a rumbling of volcanic culinary talents, and I’ll definitely be returning to see if this is the Vesuvius it promises to be. The other restaurant is La Pizza e La Pasta. It’s far from as basic as the name implies, boasting dishes such as the obscure “vesuvio” cone-shaped pasta in a spicy Calabrian pepper pork ragu, squid ink tagliatelle with seafood, and pizza puttanesca. There’s a handful of worthwhile take-away spots that serve fine coffee, pastries, chocolate, nutella bars, gelato. Good to satisfy a specific craving, but what else? Here’s the big draw: The Market. Each stall specializes in a specific area of Italian

cuisine. Roasted meats, fried street foods, fish, pasta, cured meats, cheeses, Roman-style pizza, and an 11-seat theater for chef demonstrations. This is where you can go around, pick out a meat here, a cheese there, a pasta or what have you, and they’ll take it from the display case to the kitchen, and then to your waiting face at a cafe table or standing bar. It feels kind of awkward and unfamiliar at first — like, I don’t know, a phone without buttons? — but it quickly makes sense. And it’s all amazing. Here’s the entire list of gripes I had with the quality of the food: They used lactic acid curds to make the fresh hand-pulled mozzarella instead of fermented curds. I am almost definitely alone in that gripe, and it’s not even that a huge difference unless you’re tasting the two side by side. What if this is the future? What if food courts were restaurants, or restaurants were food courts? And what if Grand Central Market in L.A. was the second tone of this same chord? Isn’t American exceptionalism all about picking the absolute pinnacle of a myriad of specialties, and shoving them all in your face at once? I submit that this satisfies the same impulse that the buffet satisfied in postwar Vegas. The isolated becomes communal, the few choices become the plethora, the global becomes the Italian, which in turn, of course — like all things valuable — becomes the American. Heaven help us for whatever happens after that, but for now, for Eataly, it’s one hell of a trip. ✦ FEBRUARY 2019

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38 ACROBATICAL RADICALS ENTERTAINMENT

Before it became a Strip behemoth, Cirque du Soleil was an oddball upstart. A reflection on Cirque’s 25 years of defying expectations — and transforming our city’s idea of spectacle

I

Mike Weatherford

t really was like being transported into another world. It was a chilly day in November 1992 when a Cirque du Soleil publicist led me down a walkway into the 56-foot-tall, blue-and-yellow big top behind the Mirage, which had intrigued I-15 commuters for weeks. Inside, a “flying man” practiced his aerial spins, and composer Rene Dupere discussed his influences (Pink Floyd, Brahms, film composer Ennio Morricone) as he broke in a new band. I was behind the scenes of Cirque du Soleil’s Nouvelle Experience show — its first foray into Las Vegas. Outside, the Strip went on as usual. But Cirque was about to unpack. The real objective of Nouvelle Experience was to be a warm-up act while Treasure Island and the Mystère Theater were going up next door. Mystère, which opened on Christmas day 1993, was a huge step for Cirque as well as Las Vegas. The Montreal-based troupe famous for downsizing the three-ring circus (and performing without animals) was moving into its first permanent venue. One so large it had to divide the band on each side of its 105-foot stage and enlist automation and computer technology to fill the 75 vertical feet of space with its acrobats. “I’ll always remember the very first day we were invited into the theater. ... It was over-

whelming,” original-cast dancer Kathleen “Kati” Renaud recalls. After rehearsing in Montreal, “It was so unique and powerful and very, very special. We all knew we were part of a very special moment in the history of this company.” With Mystère, and therefore Cirque, celebrating its 25th full year on the Strip, context may help explain its transformative effect. We’ve all had a lot of time to get used to seeing Cirque titles in six different hotels. (At one point it was up to eight, and will be back to seven with a new Luxor show in October). That’s 104,500 tickets on sale each week. But in 1993? Las Vegas was at

FROM BIG TOP TO BIG TIME Left, the tent for Cirque’s first Vegas show, Nouvelle Experience; right, a February 1995 performance of Mystère at Treasure Island

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N O U V E L L E E X P E R I E N C E : CO U RT E SY C I R Q U E D U SO L E I L ; M Y ST È R E : B R I A N J O N E S / L AS V E G AS N E W S B U R E AU

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a crossroads, between the aging Rat Pack generation and, well, whatever needed to come next — which no one had figured out yet. Vegas was good at old-school spectacle: sinking Titanics, chariot races, and mermaid showgirls in giant water tanks. This was something else. Jaw-dropping acrobatics packaged like a wistful Fellini film. That unexplained “you figure it out” amalgamation of taiko drums, fat men wearing baby diapers, and — in the grand finale — a giant snail. Gibberish talk instead of English, elegiac music instead of marching bands, and a title that represented nothing less than the mystery of life, “the power of life coming on Earth,” Belgian director Franco Dragone explained then. “It was the content (of Mystère) that was different,” Renaud says. So offbeat, so European, so, well, sophisticated, that Steve Wynn’s rivals at Caesars Palace had already backed away from a deal with Cirque. (Years later, Cirque co-founder Guy Laliberte remembered he was “raging” after being told Cirque was “too avant-garde, too esoteric” for Las Vegas. But in hindsight he mused, “Sometimes the deals that don’t happen are the best deals that could happen.”) My slack-jawed delight probably was no different from that of the people sitting around me when the “bungee birds” bounced down from the ceiling, the taiko drums rattled our chests or the hand-balancing bald men hoisted one another like floating spacemen on a slowly revolving dome. None of us had likely stepped into a theater specifically designed for the show they were about to see. But I could see how Cirque was harnessing technology rather than worshipping it. It was accelerating the evolution begun by Siegfried & Roy at The Mirage in 1990, and Starlight Express, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical that opened at the Las Vegas Hilton just months before Mystère. The first re-dressed an old-Vegas act; the second remodeled an old-Vegas space — a sacred one, Elvis’ showroom — into a skating rink. Laliberte also witnessed the Wagnerian opening half-hour of Siegfried & Roy, and realized he could mold the technology of spectacle into something “a little more emotional,” he later recalled. Laliberte’s mother had been among the generations who raved about the Titanic sinking onstage in Jubilee! But Parisian-styled showgirl revues were showing their Ed Sullivan-era roots, and only the Stardust’s 1992 Enter the Night was taking a serious stab at reinventing the genre.

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THE SURREAL DEAL Clockwise from top, scenes from iconic Cirque du Soleil shows O, Love, and KÀ

Mystère rendered that effort unnecessary; the Stardust revue closed a year after O arrived. Mystère had recouped its costs in six months, so a new Cirque at Steve Wynn’s next project, Bellagio, was a no-brainer. And in the last days before the Internet was in every household, Cirque was again able to surprise the world — this time with a $92 million aquatic spectacle, O. A giant red curtain whisked away to reveal the stage was ... a lake. And just when you got used to people flying off pendulums to land with a splash, or high-diving into it from towers, that lake dried up into solid land. Co-founder Gille Ste-Croix looked at the shape-shifting, 100-by-150-foot pool and noted that only a casino mogul as daring as Wynn would agree to such an

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expensive gamble, more than three times the cost of Mystère. But in 2000, MGM Grand Inc. acquired Wynn’s two resorts. “As MGM has grown in the city, we’ve grown right along with them,” says Jerry Nadal, the vice president who oversees Cirque’s Las Vegas product. (Disclosure: Nadal is former chairman of Nevada Public Radio’s board of directors, and Cirque du Soleil is a financial supporter of Nevada Public Radio.) G R E AT U N E X P E C TAT I O N S IN EARLY 2005, another publicist escorted me

into a Cirque rehearsal at the MGM Grand. This time, I knew what to expect. Sort of. Cirque had simultaneously developed two

new shows. Zumanity, which launched with an awkward start at New York-New York in August 2003, was the company’s riff on the Las Vegas adult cabaret show. The goal was make its velvety, in-the-round theater seem as cozy as possible. The MGM Grand production, KÀ, was said to be headed the other direction — some sort of fantasy-themed spectacle with a giant budget. But in 15 minutes, Cirque untethered the stage along with the acrobats. Much of the action unfolded on a 40-foot platform, lifted and tilted by a gantry crane into a near-vertical position. “Anybody in their right mind would look at that and go, ‘These people have completely lost their minds,’” Nadal says now. O had already altered the physics of a performance space. But this took it a step further, combining theater with the narrative of film. When two characters fell off a rocking ship and into the sea, the perspective changed to follow their plunge underwater. I was excited about what this could mean for live entertainment in general — what was next, putting the audience on a motion-simulator? — and for Las Vegas in particular. KÀ mirrored the sky’s-the-limit growth of Las Vegas in the 2000s. “It was the end of the ‘If you build it, they will come,’ period. We and MGM were the beneficiaries of that growth trajectory in Las Vegas, and audiences came along for the ride with us,” Nadal says. While most new Cirque shows took over and/or remodeled existing theaters — Zumanity after Lord of the Dance, Love after Roy Horn’s tiger bite forced Siegfried & Roy into retirement — Cirque multiplied as the Venetian, Paris Las Vegas, Wynn Las Vegas, and CityCenter joined the skyline. Another smash crowd-pleaser followed in 2006: the first licensed use of the Beatles catalog, for Love at the Mirage. Hearing the songs remixed from the original masters for the theater’s 6,000 speakers was amazing in itself, courtesy of Beatles producer George Martin and son Giles. But the narrative theater approach of KÀ carried over into Love, making it an elegy for postwar England and a ’60s celebration by a company born of the hippie era, with creators who had listened to the Beatles’ albums in Canadian communes. C I R Q U E OV E R LOA D? HOW MANY CIRQUES were too many? Laliberte

got tired of the question. MGM Resorts did not. But the next two ventures were humbling. Believe was the first blemish, a terrible mismatch with magician Criss Angel. Both sides later agreed the fever

O : C O U R T E S Y C I R Q U E D U S O L E I L ; K A : C O U R T E S Y C I R Q U E D U S O L E I L / D E N I S E T R U S C E L LO ; LOV E : C O U R T E S Y C I R Q U E D U S O L E I L / M AT T B E A R D

ENTERTAINMENT


D E S E R T C O M P A N I O N .V E G A S

dream of outrageous visuals (bondage bunnies, anyone?) would have been fine for some other magician. Within a year of its October 2008 debut at Luxor, Angel stripped away most of the production trappings. Cirque continued to produce and market the standard magic show his fans expected. And then came Elvis. Rather, Viva Elvis, a salute to a previous king of Vegas that came off as a European vision of Americana, trying to disguise its foreign accent. It was Cirque’s first real Las Vegas flop (Angel’s revamped show ran 10 years). Nadal says the recession was a hidden culprit. Early 2010 “wasn’t the best time” to launch a new show at Aria, “but we were so far down the road with MGM we were kind of on the train you couldn’t stop.” (KÀ still stands as the epitome of the open checkbook. When it opened, Cirque seemed a little embarrassed about its $165 million budget. Once the recession hit, they promoted that number on a billboard.) Viva Elvis closed, and Zarkana moved over from Radio City Music Hall in New York. It ran a respectable three years, but Cirque saturation was evident: That “Wheel of

Nadal now says, “There’s probably a couple thousand former employees in town that decided to stay. They’ve gotten their green cards, they’ve gotten their citizenship.” Cirque performers have ventured into creative collaborations with Nevada Ballet Theater (A Choreographers’ Showcase), and employees show off their visual art in the annual “Parade the Collective” exhibit at Core Contemporary Gallery. Nadal points out that, as a corporate citizen, Cirque made the first million-dollar pledge to construction of The Smith Center, sponsors charity events such as the annual Run Away With Cirque du Soleil, and puts its performers into Clark County schools. “With success has come the ability to reach out and help other people,” Nadal says. “I think a lot of people expect that from corporations now, but that’s always been part of our DNA.” After Michael Jackson One, Las Vegas entertainment drifted to living concert performers — residencies — but even steady-going Cirque is a silent factor in that trend. “I don’t think (production shows) wanted to compete with us and the budgets

Death,” in which daredevils balanced on top of a spinning, carnival ride-like contraption? Awesome. Except KÀ already had one. It was back to a can’t-miss superstar brand with Michael Jackson One at Mandalay Bay in 2013. This one managed to revitalize not just Jackson’s tarnished image but Cirque’s dominance on the Strip, after its formula had grown so familiar that Absinthe played like a Cirque parody in a big top at Caesars Palace. LOWS A N D H I G H S THE 25 YEARS have included heartbreaks. On a hot June night in 2013, company executives were called away from an outdoor launch for the Jackson show at Mandalay Bay. Aerialist Sarah Guiyard-Guillot had fallen to her death during a performance of KÀ. She was married to another KÀ performer, and ran a circus arts dance school called Cirquefit. The tragedy was a reminder of Cirque’s ripple effect beyond the Strip. Renaud remembers the original Mystère cast as “a very tight family,” sticking together for Mount Charleston ski trips or Lake Mead cookouts on their one day off each week. But,

We don’t get too fancy out here. But what we lack in limos and lobster bisque, we make up for in wide open spaces and friendly folks. This is a whole other side of Nevada that’s rich in history, breathtaking scenery, wildlife, ghost towns, horseback riding and off-road trails just to name a few. Best of all, you don’t have to break the bank, so drive out and explore. You’ll find there’s a story in every small town—and an adventure around every bend.

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that we have, so now you see a lot more headliners coming in,” Nadal notes. Now 60 percent owned by the private-equity firm TPG — which helped it acquire rival Blue Man Group — Cirque is in “another transitional period” and growth spurt, Nadal says, with big new permanent shows on the horizon in Orlando and in China. Dinner-show and musical-theater experiments in other cities could find their way to the Strip. The Luxor show, Cirque’s first new Las Vegas venture in six years, will be “a significant departure from what we’ve done in the past,” with “a completely different performance vocabulary. It’s not going to be acrobatics-based. It’s not going to be a different version of what we’ve done before.” While we wait for the next one, Cirque has pumped new money and life into Love and Mystère, the latter bringing original dancer Kati Renaud full circle as artistic director. She took a look at the original souvenir program, for old time’s sake. But the goal was to ask, “If we were starting from scratch, what would we do? We wanted to ‘zhush’ it up a bit,” she says. “Elevate it to the next place, to the next level.” Jubilee! played on the Strip for 34 years. But change came awkwardly to that sinking Titanic, or not at all. And there’s one thing Nadal knows from his 25-plus years in Las Vegas. “We don’t want a dinosaur sitting there. You can see people that have remained what they were, and they have come and gone.” The new show, the first since Michael Jackson One, brings back two push-pull questions that have been with the company as long as Mystère’s bungee acrobats: Can Cirque apply its special magic to subject matter beyond its original vision? (Yes with the Beatles and Michael Jackson, no with Elvis and Criss Angel.) And how many Cirques are too many for Las Vegas? (Previous answer: Seven or eight, if you open Viva Elvis or Zarkana during a recession.) But it also has been 25 years since Frank Sinatra last sang in Las Vegas. The fact that he last performed (at the MGM Grand, where KÀ would move in), just five months after Mystère opened, makes for a neat snapshot of that ever-churning Vegas cycle of the new replacing the old. Then again, perhaps Sinatra and Cirque aren’t so different. His signature song “My Way” — that dramatic recounting of struggle and triumph — easily applies to Cirque’s high-flying 25-year career of conquering the Strip on their own terms. ✦



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After a strong showing on The Voice, Megan Rüger has chosen Las Vegas as her career base. “I wanna sing for fans everywhere.”

PROFILE

BIG VOICE, BIG DREAM Nashville transplant Megan Rüger finds Las Vegas the ideal place the chase her rock ’n’ roll fantasy BY

Lonn M. Friend

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V

inyl, the intimate club in the Hard Rock hotel-casino, is packed tighter than a sportsbook on Super Bowl Sunday. For nostalgia-driven fans of the star-studded tribute revue, Raiding the Rock Vault, it’s a special night. Popular Vault alum Todd Kerns returns after jaunting the globe as the bassist for Slash. But once a wide-eyed, mohawked female singer joins the fray for a couple of songs, Kerns isn’t the main attraction. That honor belongs Megan Rüger. As the last notes of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” fade, the opening notes of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” provide a red carpet for her entrance. In a heartbeat, she’s channeling Stevie Nicks in tone and motion. When she’s done, the crowd roars and whistles as she disappears — perhaps some recognize her from her stint on season six of The Voice. She’s got two more spotlight numbers, Heart’s “These Dreams” and, in particular, Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker,” which reveals her true range and power. Clad in a skintight, gold-sequined gown and black spiked heels, she’s drop-dead glamorous, delivering the heart-breaking chorus with everything she can muster. More wild noise from the crowd. Two hours later, back at her far-from-glamorous one-bedroom apartment near the UNLV campus, clad in sweats and a Ramones tee, she’s just Megan Elizabeth Pflueger, a tomboy from Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, one year removed from a decade playing the bars of Nashville, now checking her iPhone to see where the next gig and next dollar are coming from. (She’s never had a booking agent or manager; she’s handled the logistics of a freelance performer entirely on her own for almost 15 years.) “In sheer numbers,” she says, “Nashville had more gigs for me to make money day-to-day. But Vegas has more diverse opportunities in line with my personality PHOTOGRAPHY

Sabin Orr


and style.” That’s not the only benefit of changing cities. “I also get to sing a lot less and make more money in Vegas.” Segue to the Brooklyn Bridge outdoor stage at New York-New York a few days later. The Vegas Golden Knights have just beaten the Calgary Flames two-zip in a matinee contest, and thousands of ecstatic T-Mobile fans are clogging the nearby sidewalks and eateries. Some choose to extend the celebration with the Megan Rüger Band. This audience won’t get just a handful of solo verses from abbreviated hits, but a full-throated three sets of classics (and a couple originals) that really showcase her talent. This is Megan’s current happy place: surrounded by solid players, performing iconic songs for music lovers from all walks of life. At 7 p.m., when she and her bandmates — drummer Chris Reeve, bassist Victor Broden, and guitarist Eric Himmel — hit the stage, it’s 52 degrees. During her three 45-minute sets, the temps shrink as the crowd swells. Megan is anxious and excited because her folks, in town to visit their daughter, are sitting front and center. “Mom always said she was a star; I wanted her to just be a kid,” Dad says. “When Megan was like 2 years old, I’d put on the Doors ‘Roadhouse Blues,’ and when Morrison sang, ‘roll, baby roll,’ I’d roll her around the living room with my foot. She’d laugh like crazy.” The Bridge crowd is swirling when two small children drift from their parents toward the stage, magnetized by the woman busting out a rendition of AC/DC’s “TNT” that would make Bon Scott proud. Megan leans into the mic and tells them, “Don’t you guys move! I’m coming down there to dance with you!” When the song ends, the parents hand the youngsters two $10 bills, which they carefully deposit in the blue tip bucket at the foot of the stage. Megan and the guys — who drove in from L.A. for this gig — will net a modest $225 apiece, so the gratuities matter. “Hey, I’ve been here a year and still living off my credit cards,” she confesses. “Every bit helps!”

MORE SIGNS. MORE HISTORY. MORE BRILLIANT. No doubt about it, the Neon Museum just keeps getting better with more signs being added including the legendary Hard Rock Café guitar. And, best of all, “Brilliant!”, our newest experience, is taking breaths away nightly as the new technology of light mapping brings old signs back to life in a multi-media celebration of this wild, wonderful town’s past.

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Megan Pflueger (“I changed it to Rüger in 2014, for The Voice. I wanted to be more rock, and added the umlauts over the U”)played in bands called 8 Ball Scratch and Shockers. “I sang for the winter snowmobile races, did lots of karaoke, performed the national anthem for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Brewers,” she says. “I still haven’t sung at Lambeau for the Packers, but that’s on my bucket list.” After jamming backstage with Big & Rich during a local festival, her appetite

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PROFILE “The music

business tries to They really get me. I’m a semesfor the spotlight was strong, push an artist ter shy of a teaching credential. so, at age 20, she moved to in a direction Then I managed the bar at Red Nashville. She’ll tell you she that works for Rooster, hosted a blues jam devoted most of her early days their corporate night.” Her last moonlighting there to partying and landing interests but offoray before devoting herself bar gigs on Broadway, one of the ten ignores what full-time to music was golfloudest, wildest, alcohol- and feels right for course cart girl. “I even dated melody-fueled boulevards in the artist. But nobody can mess a golf pro, one of my healthier America. with that girl’s relationships,” she laughs. “On Broadway, I learned how authenticity.” Singer-songwriter Shawn to control a drunk crowd, how Mayer, once a contestant on to sing for four hours with no Nashville Star, was Megan’s pee break, and how to network,” roommate in Music City. “I’ve she says. But her ambitions been in Nashville for 12 years, played every were higher. “I auditioned for American bar in town,” she says. “Megan is a phenomeIdol in 2010 but got cut after making it to nal entertainer with a monster voice to back the Hollywood phase,” she says. “JLo and it back up. She’s got that tough rocker-chick Steven Tyler acted like they really dug me. exterior but the hugest heart in the world. I I sang Nazareth’s ‘Love Hurts’ and killed it! remember when she performed for sick kids Then I did Sheryl Crow’s ‘If It Makes You at the local children’s hospital. I was proud Happy.’ Nailed it again, but not quite good of her on The Voice. The music business tries enough. So I returned to Nashville, a broke to push an artist in a direction that they feel musician with a longer resume.” works for their corporate interests but often Megan landed various jobs to supplement ignores what feels right for them. Nobody her income, the reality of a freelance rocker’s can mess with that girl’s authenticity.” life. “I worked at a school with kids from two In 2014, NBC’s top-rated weekly talent to five. My love of children goes way back.

contest The Voice was ramping up its search for talent. Meg’s friend Rachel, a nurse, urged her to try out, even offering to make the four-hour drive with her to Atlanta because the program wasn’t holding auditions in Nashville. “I was playing every night downtown, killing myself with grueling sets,” she says. “So I went for it. At the first audition, I sang Three Dog Night’s ‘Well I Never Been to Spain’; my dad picked it. … I was invited to the next level and chose the Pink song, ‘So What.’ That got me to Hollywood, so I sang Pink again. I wanted to do an ’80s rock anthem, but I had the mohawk, so Pink fit. “The day you perform for the TV cameras it’s like hurry up and wait, so many contestants and their families clog the studio. People are talking to you from everywhere. And if you don’t rest and preserve your voice, you’re screwed. But I was ready, and I hit that high E. Highest E I ever hit in my life! Blake Shelton pushed the buzzer first. Then Usher. I was shaking with excitement and asked them both who was the bigger ’80s rock fan. Usher said he was, but I picked Blake because I’d met him once in Nashville. Should have chosen Usher.” Sadly, Blake selected

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her opponent during the battle round, the second level of competition. Though she failed to secure the big prize on The Voice, she did have a stroke of good fortune: rooming during the show with Cali Tucker, whose aunt is famed country-western singer Tanya Tucker. “Cali and I were inseparable when we returned to Nashville,” she recalls. “Two years ago, she decided to move here and loves it. Cali sings all over town, is a regular at Green Valley Ranch, and makes way more money here than she did in Nashville, playing much shorter sets. I got an opportunity to be in a rock tribute thing at the Plaza in 2016 called One Epic Night. I came to town and stayed with Cali for a month until the show’s short run ended, but the experience gave me a nice taste of Las Vegas. I dug the energy here. Being in Vegas is great from a performance standpoint, with the level of execution. The bar is much higher here.”

Warner. “We’re cutting a track she wrote called ‘Freak on Repeat,’” says the veteran British musician. “It’s a brutal, rocking break-up ballad with a bit of rap thrown in. Meg’s the real deal; drop-dead looks with killer pipes and tons of attitude.” In her third set, she dedicates 4 NonBlondes’ “What’s Going On?” to Mom and Led Zeppelin’s “Rock ’n’ Roll” to Dad. Then, as cars and pedestrians pass by on the boulevard of endless schemes and broken

dreams, the exhausted entertainer hugs her bandmates, tallies and divides the tips, and takes a dozen selfies with fans. ’Round midnight, she heads home to ice her back, draw a hot lavender bubble bath, and pop two Advils with a glass of red wine. “The next step,” Megan says, “is to finish the record, get a distribution deal, and hopefully hit the road with my band — beyond Vegas and L.A. — to promote it. I wanna sing for fans everywhere!” ✦

❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ BACK ON THE Bridge, Megan is whirling her tight white-dressed dervish on the dance floor with an intoxicated group of Kansas City bridesmaids. Everyone is bobbing and weaving to the lively strains of Cindy Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” From her nights on Broadway, she knows exactly how to work these gals into a lather, and has scripted specific protocols for maximizing their participation — and her profit. “First, get the bachelorette party on stage,” she instructs. “Next, give them my tambourine and some stage props like sunglasses, scarves, whatever I brought that night with me. Toss a shout-out to the crowd, introducing the bride’s name and where she’s from. Have the band play Benatar’s ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot,’ and hint to the crowd and bartenders it’s time for shots all around, including the band. Sing and share the mic and stage with the ladies. When the song’s over, give one more shout-out to the bachelorette, ask her when’s the wedding day, and have everyone in the bar applaud her and say good luck. This would happen almost every night, sometimes multiple parties would come in on a single evening. My tip bucket would overflow. It worked there, and it works here.” These are the things you have to know and perfect as you work your way up the music-industry ladder. Meanwhile, she still takes odd jobs to make ends meet. “I’m watching the cutest 1-year-old in the city,” she bubbles. In her spare time, Megan is writing and recording original material with some accomplished local studio talent that includes former Cult drummer Lez FEBRUARY 2019

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RANGE ROVER:

THE WORLD’S FINEST LUXURY SUV

When the Range Rover was introduced 48 years ago, it changed the way the world went off-road. It embodied capability. It exemplified performance. Over the years, it has come to represent the very pinnacle of refinement and British craftsmanship. The current generation of Range Rover vehicles build on that legacy. And go even further. To experience the 2019 Range Rover for yourself, visit Jaguar Land Rover Las Vegas for a test drive today.

Jaguar Land Rover Las Vegas

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It’s time to jump into our annual superlative-o-pedia™ of the best things in Las Vegas, from hamburgers to hikes — all curated by us, your trusted Desert Companion experts. Let’s get besting!

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SHOP S & SERVICES OUR BESTERS Chris Bitonti, Jennifer Henry, Christie Moeller, James P. Reza, Lissa Townsend Rodgers

BEST CLOTHING STORE

CLUB MONACO

A first-to-market opening late last year at the Forum Shops, Club Monaco is the international retail brand known for its signature clean, modern style, and as the company that recently rebranded to embrace a dual-gender concept. While pieces aren’t technically unisex (they’re designed to fit either men or women), they are designed with a unified vision and intended to be styled genderlessly. It’s a concept that perfectly fits today’s social climate of inclusivity and respecting diverse points of view. Forum Shops at Caesars, clubmonaco.com (CM)

STITCHED

From the supper club to the dance club, from boardrooms to the Boulevard, nearly every time we ask a dandy where he acquired his ensemble, he says Stitched. Offering everything from madeto-measure magnificence, to prêt-à-porter from top names like Ted Baker, Tom Ford, and more, Stitched procures personal stylists and talented tailors to transform your look. Living your best life doesn’t come cheap, but it’s worth it. The Cosmopolitan, stitched lifestyle.com (JPR)

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NEW SCHOOL

Sparkle Cleaners & Laundry

Mint Locker

Offering same-day service a stone’s throw from the Las Vegas Strip, Sparkle Cleaners has been solving Las Vegas’ fashion emergencies since 1981. A rarity in the biz, Sparkle does all its washing and dry cleaning in-house with on-site alterations and pick-up as well as delivery service. That means super quick turnarounds (in two hours if you really need it), perfect pressing with an eagle eye for stain removal, and a friendly face who always remembers locals and visitors alike. 326 W. Sahara Ave., 702-982-1361 (JH)

BEST SUIT STORE

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OLD SCHOOL

This previous winner remains the fave, especially if you live or work near its many drop-off lockers. Create an online account, drop your dirties into a locker, place your order, and wait for the text letting you know your clothes are fresh and fancy (about 36 hours). This low-interaction service was practically invented for the Millennial, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t benefit. Various locker locations, mintlocker.com (JPR)

BEST OUTLET STORE

JOHN VARVATOS COMPANY STORE

John Varvatos remains my favorite local outlet store not just for the stress-free retail therapy it offers, but its perfect marriage of low prices and upscale, boutique-style setting — think gorgeous wood floors, rock memorabilia, and an attentive, friendly, and knowledgeable staff. All that pampering might F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 9

make you forget you’re paying a third of the retail price. Las Vegas Premium Outlets North, johnvarvatos.com (CM) BEST BEAUTY STORES

BLUEMERCURY AND NORDSTROM

Known for expert advice, unparalleled technical knowledge, and friendly service, uber-chic beauty retailer Bluemercury D E S E R T C O M P A N I O N .V E G A S

ST I TC H E D : CO U RT E SY ST I TC H E D ; S PA R K L E A N D M I N T: B R E N T H O L M E S ; M A I N ST R E E T: B R E N T H O L M E S

BEST DRY CLEANERS


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recently opened its first location in Las Vegas. Aside from Bluemercury’s proprietary brands, makeup label Lune+Aster and skincare line M-61, the store also carries a slew of high-end beauty mainstays such as Tom Ford, Trish McEvoy, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, and La Mer. Bewildered? Bluemercury’s experts are there to advise on the how, when, and why of every product. Meanwhile, Nordstrom just revamped its beauty department into a magical makeup wonderland boasting 28 new brands, including Fresh, Sisley, Space NK, Le Labo, and (my favorite) Charlotte Tilbury. The department now also offers services such as custom foundation-mixing, a brow bar, and a beauty concierge. Bluemercury: 1065 S. Rampart Blvd., bluemercury.com; Nordstrom: Fashion Show Mall, nordstrom. com (CM) BEST VINTAGE STORE

PATINA

Vintage means many things. It’s the $3 Polaroid at Savers, the $60 Motley Crue T-shirt at Buffalo Exchange, the $500 brass-and-black fireplace tool set at Retro Vegas. It’s sifting through dozens of dusty booths at the Charleston Antique Mall, or browsing vinyl at 11th Street Records. At Patina, shopping vintage is a series of oohs and ahhs — the stately brass schooner, the classic cocktail glasses,

BEST WOMEN’S CLOTHING STORE Nordstrom BEST MEN’S CLOTHING STORE Stitched BEST SHOE STORE Nordstrom BEST HAIR STYLIST Melanie Thatcher BEST THRIFT SHOP Assistance League of Las Vegas BEST FITNESS STORE Sports Town BEST STORE FOR OFFBEAT GIFTS Las Vegas Oddities BEST THING IN SUMMERLIN Downtown Summerlin BEST THING IN DOWNTOWN Hydrant Club BEST THING ON THE EAST SIDE Kmart BEST THING IN HENDERSON Water Street

READERS’ POLL

BEST THING EVER

the case of handbags and sunglasses, the 1970s component stereo. Patina doesn’t fixate on one decade or stylistic genre; rather, they obsess over emerging trends and curating quality pieces. Well worth many visits. 1300 S. Main St. #140, patinadecorlv.com (JPR) BEST ANTIQUES

SOUTH MAIN STREET

Long before the City of Las Vegas saw Main Street as its one-way ticket to urban revitalization, offbeat retailers, cultural scions, and moms and pops were setting up shop along the old two-lane thoroughfare. With the new wider (and sparklier) walking path, it’s the perfect place to take an afternoon stroll and score a one-of-a-kind antique. Start at Sin City Pickers on Wyoming, then on to Repeats, Main Street Peddlers, It’s About Time Antiques, Patina, Modern Mantiques, Main Street Mercantile, Oddities, Antique Alley Mall, Vintage Vegas, Retro Vegas, ReBar, Martin’s

Mart, Inside Style, and, lastly, Daft Junk north of Charleston, just before things get going in both directions again. (JH) BEST THRIFT STORE

SAVERS

Corporate interloper alert! Okay, but hear us out. Of course, it’s preferable to shop local when reducing your carbon footprint, but don’t overlook this resale powerhouse just because it’s incorporated. The goods you get at Savers are largely the result of neighborhood donations, and the company makes hefty and regular contributions to Big Brothers Big Sisters of

SURVEY SAYS

“All the cool stuff off the Strip.” FEBRUARY 2019

Southern Nevada. Free Savers Club membership equals email alerts for weekly 50-percent off sales, so you can find that they-don’t-makethem-like-this-anymore ’80s-era big-business, big-shoulder-pads blazer at single digit prices. Multiple locations, savers.com (JH) BEST CREEPY STORE

LAS VEGAS ODDITIES

Warning: This place is not for the faint-hearted. It can give you nausea. But get past the vertigo and you’ll discover something … Oh, who are we kidding? This place is so bizarre that you simply have to see it. Human bone jewelry, ancient medical devices, animal specimens preserved in jars, found images, butterfly earrings made of … butterflies. And a case of serial killer memorabilia that will leave you chilled to the bone. You have been warned. Or invited. Say hi to the chameleon. 1228 S. Main St., lasvegasoddities. com (JPR) .

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SHOP S & SERVICES

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P E R S O N A L B E ST

BEST THERAPEUTIC BROWSING CHARLESTON ANTIQUE MALL I used to cringe at the term “retail therapy” because it reeks of the heedless leisure of a Stepford mommy-blogger and, yeah no. Rather, I typically shop the way I imagine a Navy SEAL carries out an extrajudicial killing: Get in, liquidate the target, get out. Then, several months ago, I went to the Charleston BEST WORKOUT

G I N GY V O N M E I J E R : C H R I STO P H E R S M I T H ; WA L D O R F A STO R I A S PA : CO U RT E SY ; C H A R L E STO N A N T I Q U E M A L L : B R E N T H O L M E S

CLASSPASS

ClassPass is a monthly membership that offers drop-in access to fitness studios throughout the city. It’s a perfect resource for those people who suffer from workout ADD or don’t know what kinds of workouts they like or just want to try every crazy new exercise fad. You can experience everything from yoga to CrossFit, cycling, and even open gym time. Plus, it’s a worldwide membership that trim-minded travelers can use in tons of cities. Classpass.com (CB) BEST HAIR STYLIST

GINGY VON MEIJER AT MAKESHIFT UNION CUTTING & GROOMING A fiery redhead with a feisty free spirit, Gingy Von Meijer has been styling Las Vegans since 2007. An original team member at Makeshift Union, Von Meijer takes a gender-neutral approach to natural colors and cuts that suit the client,

not style stereotypes. Curly-haired herself, she’s a master at keeping coils soft and springy in the dry desert. Check out her Instagram (@trippy_gingy) to catch her educational hair films. 1130 Casino Center Blvd. #130, makeshiftunion.com (JH) BEST BARBER SHOP

MAKESHIFT UNION

Owner Larry Reha and the team at Makeshift Union have successfully nailed a trend with their perfectly crafted egalitarian-chic shop in the Arts District. But there’s nothing trendy about their high-craft hair services, which range from braids to blowouts to beard-sculpting. Makeshift Union is simultaneously comfortable and cool, offering dapper do’s, tight lines, and all-around style to boot. 1130 S. Casino Center Blvd. #130, makeshiftunion. com (CB) BEST LUXURY SPA

WALDORF ASTORIA LAS VEGAS SPA

Pricey but oh so posh,

Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas’ spa inside City Center is a contemporary high-end resort retreat with an extra splash of old-school luxury. Definitely splurge-worthy is its “four handed massage” at two full hours — that’s a duo of massage therapists working simultaneously for 120 minutes at rejuvenating your muscles and mental state. CityCenter, 702-590-8888 (JH)

Antique Mall in search of a certain kind of end table, and it took me three deeply immersive, transportive hours and $85 in knick-knacks to not even come close to finding it. I’ve returned several times purely on browsing missions, roving the booths cluttered with everything from taxidermied reptiles to Tiffany lamps. Even if I don’t buy anything, I always emerge with something priceless: a rarefied meditative state induced by intensive, loosely focused visual grazing. Okay, it’s retail therapy. Fine, I’m a mommy-blogger, so what, kill me. 560 S. Decatur Blvd., charlestonantiquemall.com (AK)

BEST BUDGET SPA

A TOUCH OF LAS VEGAS Just off the Strip, A Touch of Las Vegas is a low-key local spa with unique amenities for relaxation seekers of all kinds. If skin treatments, massage, and public bathing aren’t really your thing, try the Private Hot Tub Suites. A room of one’s own (or to share with a close friend), each suite is equipped with a jetted hot tub, infrared sauna, steam room, and rain shower complete with a relaxation area that’s all

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yours to roam sans towel for $60-$120 per hour. 4305 Dean Martin Drive #160, atouchof lvspa.com (JH) BEST DISPENSARIES FOR POT NOVICES

SAHARA WELLNESS AND PLANET 13

There are two kinds of cannabis rookies: Those who want to be gently led to just the right product and those who want to dive into a dizzying array. For the former, Sahara Wellness is a small, locals-geared shop where well-trained budtenders assist customers in finding just the right tincture for pain or the most fun flower for movie night. For those who want it all, Planet 13 is the world’s largest dispensary, stocking everything from buds and bongs to cartridges and cookies. And if the product doesn’t inspire your Instagram, the interactive graffiti wall or the light-up lotus plants will. Sahara Wellness: 420 E. Sahara Ave., 420sahara.com; Planet 13: 2548 W. Desert Inn Road, planet13las vegas.com (LTR) BEST DISPENSARY FOR POT PROS

OASIS CANNABIS

Located in the back of a mid-mod office building on Industrial Boulevard, Oasis has been serving the city since you needed a medical card to get through the door. The selection isn’t megastore-supersized, but it is substantial and

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solidly curated with a large number of brands represented; a good selection of CBD products includes capsules, cartridges and chocolate bars. The staff is rush-toopen-the-door helpful and knows the product, and near-daily brand pop-ups and specials keep customers coming back. The space is minimal, but one of the few design touches is a photo of a sunglassed Snoop Dogg sitting in the Oasis waiting area, hanging in the same area, a nice representation of the store’s down-low, in-the-know vibe. 1800 Industrial Road #180, oasiscannabis.com (LTR)

BEST LOCAL CANNABIS PRODUCT

BODY AND MIND BEEF JERKY

By definition, all cannabis products are local: The law requires that every joint, edible, and vape pen sold in Nevada be made in Nevada. And while many fine products are available, one of the most fun is Body And Mind cannabis-infused beef jerky. Appreciate the oddity of weed jerky — then appreciate the fact that it’s actually quite delicious. Available in peppercorn, teriyaki, and sriracha flavors. Just don’t get so distracted by the savory-sweet taste that you eat the entire bag. bammarijuana. com (LTR)

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT OUR BESTERS Josh Bell Chris Bitonti Scott Dickensheets Veronica Klash BEST PRODUCTION SHOW

THE BEATLES LOVE

Love is the Cirque du Soleil you could watch with your eyes closed, hearing The Beatles remixed through 7,000 speakers. But a fresh look reaffirms the Fab Four’s cross-generational appeal. Cirque retooled its 10-year hit in 2016 to soften the wistful postwar elegy and punch up the ’60s-youth abandon. “Revolution” now sounds a lot like #Resist. The Mirage; cirquedusoleil. com/beatles-love (MW)

Heidi Kyser Greg Thilmont Mike Weatherford

of America’s Got Talent” sometimes delays the magic payoff with so many droll asides you forget where the trick started. While you wait for your favorite standup to return, Piff and nonplussed chihuahua sidekick Mr. Piffles are here year-round. Flamingo; piffthemagic dragon.com (MW) BEST VARIETY SHOW

BEST COMEDIAN

PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON

Isn’t he a magician? Well, yes. But the jokes per minute far outnumber the illusions per hour from the dour Brit (John Van der Put) in the dragon suit. “The Loser

HUMAN NATURE: JUKEBOX

No slight in calling this a “mother-in-law show.” Locals need a wide-appeal, inoffensive (because there’s always that one cousin who’d hate Absinthe), and frequently discounted go-to for visi-

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tors. The Australian vocal quartet covers the jukebox favorites — from the Four Tops to the Backstreet Boys to Sam Smith — in a slick, colorful showcase that classic Vegas built its name on. The Venetian; humannaturelive.com (MW)

BEST NONGAMING STRIP ATTRACTION

STRIP PERFORMERS

P I F F : C O U R T E S Y P I F F T H E M AG I C D R AG O N ; C E L I N E D I O N , L A DY G AG A : C O U R T E S Y C A E S A R S E N T E R TA I N M E N T; Y O U T H FA B L E S : B R E N T H O L M E S

EATALY

Enter an eye-popping palace of Italian delights in the expansive and bustling Eataly in the Park MGM. With more than 40,000 square feet under one ornate, lofty roof, this new emporium of prosciutto and pizza is the setting for an epicurean adventure. Watch fresh mozzarella and pasta being made, then sip vino or an aperitivo. Or sit down for lunch. This is culinary immersion at an unprecedented level. parkmgm.com (GT)

OLD SCHOOL

NEW SCHOOL

Céline Dion

Lady Gaga

She was a sensation when she opened in 2003 — commanding record ticket prices for the time and running at or near capacity during her off-and-on residency, which ends this summer. Sure, her swing-for-the fences ambition created a kitschy, overproduced spectacle in which the star occasionally got lost amid theatrical production numbers. But in time, her natural charisma reasserted itself as the clutter was stripped away. In a way, Lady Gaga’s Enigma unfolds like a compressed version of Dion’s 16-year evolution on the Strip. No wonder Céline was nerding out on Gaga’s opening night, bestowing her awkward-dance blessing on the successor queen. (MW)

Lady Gaga’s stardom is so vast she had to bifurcate into two Vegas shows: the crazed Enigma, spelled by a few nights of Jazz & Piano, featuring the toned-down Lady older folks embraced in Tony Bennett duets. Even Enigma is a bit bipolar. Though twice airborne, the star can get lost amid a dozen dancers, a giant robot, and pop-diva tropes washed in DayGlo and sci-fi anime. A more compelling Gaga emerges when she grounds herself at the piano as the earthier singer from the Joanne album and A Star is Born. Park Theater, mgmresorts.com (MW)

BEST LOUNGE

ROCKS LOUNGE

As much as Las Vegans gripe about traffic, the western edge of Summerlin isn’t that far from anywhere else. Which means lounge lizards valley-wide can enjoy Rocks Lounge. It offers topnotch production for party-band favorites Zowie Bowie and Yellow Brick Road, hosts occasional ticketed acts, and goes Vegas-retro with chanteuses Laura Shaffer and Naomi Mauro. Two

olives, please. Red Rock Resort; redrock.sclv. com (MW) BEST NEW SOUND

YOUTH FABLES

Chillwave meets dream pop in the work of Pete Andrew Reyes, a.k.a. Youth Fables, who’s catching the current wave within indie-electronic music that emphasizes live instrumentation

and a renewed focus on musical performance. Emerging onto the Las Vegas scene from an unlikely heavy post-hardcore background, he has since landed opening spots for Glitch Mob, Washed Out, and Mae, and released the locally celebrated album Among the Nightingales, a good showcase for his sound. youthfables.com (CB) D E S E R T C O M PA N I O N

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DARK BLACK, DISSOLVE EP

“The ability to constantly reinvent oneself.”

Dark Black’s six-song EP Dissolve was released digitally just before the end of 2018 and has already captured a lot of attention in the Vegas scene. Their moody songs swim in post-punk and new wave influences. The tracks are catchy, memorable, and open enough to allow the band to bring more power to them when performed live. wearedarkblack. bandcamp.com (CB)

for Vegas’ first sons, but his soft, dulcet vocals really change the musical complexion and drop the bravado of their previous work. keuningmusic. com (CB)

BEST NEW SOLO ACT

BEST HIP-HOP ARTIST

KEUNING

Dave Keuning may have been the last Killer to announce a solo project, but 2019’s Prismism certainly sounds worth the wait. The songs have the familiar feel and structure that Keuning developed as one of the main songwriters

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EKOH

Local hip-hop fans are more than aware of Ekoh, as he has been grinding it out in our city for nearly a decade. But 2018’s The Detour marked a monumental leap forward for the self-dubbed “heart-hop” F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 9

rapper. While superstardom may still be a long journey away, Ekoh has garnered a massive digital audience by developing real connections with his fans, and has recorded millions of Spotify streams and hundreds of thousands of YouTube views, and his single “Freeverse” even landed in the top 35 on the iTunes Hip-Hop Chart. His growth is genuinely exciting to witness. ekohmusic.net (CB) BEST LOCAL THEATER COMPANY

NEVADA CONSERVATORY THEATRE

More institutional than the Arts District upstarts, Nevada Conservatory has to work harder to attract the under-50 crowd. This has resulted in some

BEST THING EVER

knock-your-socks-off productions, from the 2016-17 season’s Good Kids to last season’s all-female Julius Caesar, to this year’s gothic interpretation of The Crucible, directed by Daz Weller. If you’re hunkered in a Downtown theater bubble, here’s a reminder: Universities are talent hotbeds, too. unlv.edu/nct (HK) BEST LOCAL THEATER ACTRESS

JAMIE CARVELLI PIKRONE

Pikrone fans who are still creeped out by her performances as Detective Morris in Cockroach Theatre’s The Nether (2016) and Diane in Las Vegas Little Theatre’s The Birds (2017) will be relieved to know: She’s got a comedy coming up this month! Catch her in A Public Fit’s Small Mouth Sounds, directed by Ann-Marie Pereth, through March 10. These and a handful of other recent credits should tell you what every local theater buff knows: Pikrone is follow-worthy. facebook. com/jamie.carvelli pikrone (HK) BEST LOCAL THEATER ACTOR

MARCUS WEISS

If you just discovered Weiss from his recent work with A Public Fit (in Nick Payne’s Incognito) or Cockroach Theatre (as the unnamed lead in Duncan Macmillan’s Every Brilliant Thing), you’ve got serious D E S E R T C O M P A N I O N .V E G A S

EKOH: COURTESY EKOH; JAMIE CARVELLI PIKRONE: BRENT HOLMES

SURVEY SAYS

BEST NEW RELEASE

BEST LOCAL MUSIC ACT Rusty Maples BEST LOCAL MUSIC VENUE Veil Pavilion (at Silverton) BEST LOCAL THEATER COMPANUY A Public Fit BEST PLACE TO SEE ART Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art BEST LOCAL WRITER Jennifer Battisti BEST PLACE TO MEET LOCAL CREATIVES First Friday BEST HISTORIC ATTRACTION Neon Museum BEST THING ABOUT NORTH LAS VEGAS Left of Center Gallery BEST LOCAL INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT @nothingtodolv

READERS’ POLL


catching up to do. Weiss’s CV runs from Temple University, where he got his MFA, through Second City, Blue Man Group, Le Rêve, and just about every stage in Las Vegas. He also mentors, teaches, and trains — what you call an actor’s actor. facebook.com/mogli weiss (HK) BEST MOVIE THEATER

BRENDEN THEATRES

While the hotel-casino around it has undergone a major upgrade, Brenden Theatres at The Palms has been renovated, as well, and all auditoriums now feature luxury reclining seats. Brenden also still has the city’s only full-size IMAX screen, along with Dolby Atmos and its in-house large-screen brand, JBX. And Brenden is a longtime supporter of the Vegas film community, hosting local premieres and festivals (including the Action on Film Festival and Sin City Horror Fest). palms.com (JB) BEST LOCAL FILM PRODUCTION

THE BEAST

Known as Rabbit Days when it premiered at the Las Vegas Film Festival in 2016, Ryan and Cody LeBoeuf’s debut feature was renamed The Beast when it finally came out on VOD in August 2018. Whatever the title, it’s a wonderfully unsettling, surreal movie, with a fantastic lead performance from UNLV professor Clarence Gilyard, as an FEBRUARY 2019

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT eccentric playwright who invites an odd assortment of guests to his remote cabin — and then refuses to let them leave. (JB) BEST LOCAL FILM FESTIVAL

DAM SHORT FILM FESTIVAL

Boulder City’s Dam Short Film Festival is Nevada’s biggest film festival and its best, too. The annual celebration of short films (the 15th edition runs February 7-10) offers up 100-plus selections, putting a worthwhile spotlight on an underappreciated art form. The festival is also a great showcase for the smalltown charms of Boulder City, and the organizers always treat filmmakers and guests with the kind of warmth and hospitality that engenders a strong community. damshort film.org (JB) BEST LOCAL FILM MOGUL

DREW MARVICK

Over the last several years, Drew Marvick has transformed himself into a one-man local

horror-movie industry. Since directing Pool Party Massacre in 2017, he’s co-founded Sin City Horror Fest, appeared in numerous productions from other filmmakers, and committed to completing the final film from late B-movie legend Ted V. Mikels. Upcoming projects include producing a holiday-themed local horror anthology, writing and directing Pool Party Massacre 2 — and continuing to enhance the Vegas horror community. (JB)

BEST FIGURE IN LOCAL CULTURE

MARCUS CIVIN

As we note elsewhere in this issue, Las Vegas culture is leveling up its performance-art mojo — a main pillar of the advanced culture scenes Vegas wants to emulate — and Marcus Civin, head of UNLV’s art department, is one big reason why. From organizing events to tirelessly promoting it, he puts a big emphasis on performance as he revamps a department that needs a good dusting off. But it’s not his only

P E R S O N A L B E ST

BEST INSTAGRAM FEED KIM FOSTER

I wouldn’t blame you for thinking I’ve hit the easy button here, since food writer Kim Foster is an occasional (and award-winning) Desert Companion contributor. But this would be my pick regardless. Her feed is the realest thing I’ve seen on the ’gram: photos and lengthy, heartfelt captions — mini essays, really — about life, food, the joys and vulnerabilities of raising a large blended family, and more food. Foster uses all of it, even (especially) the food pics, to explore and celebrate the nooks and crannies of human nature and family life, while never crossing the line from empathetic candor to mere exhibitionism. (SD)

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concern. See also: his hiring of a semester-long “transformation fellow,” a visiting artist who’ll try to bring the art department and the community together. A born collaborator, Civin would be the first to say he’s not doing these things alone — an acknowledgment that makes this designation even more apt. (SD) BEST RECENT CULTURAL AMENITY

B E L I E V E R P R E S E N T S : C O U R T E S Y U N LV ; M A R C U S C I V I N : C H R I S T O P H E R S M I T H ; L E T I C I A ’ S C O C I N A : B R E N T H O L M E S

THE BELIEVER PRESENTS

The Writer’s Block bookstore has played host to many enriching evenings, but its collaboration with Las Vegas-based literary publication The Believer has led to an exciting new event series. There have been three “The Believer Presents” events thus far, and each has been enlightening and entertaining. These conversations between two inspiring literary figures are sure to spark discussions and creativity. thewriters block.org (VK)

FOOD & DRINK OUR BESTERS Jim Begley Brent Holmes James P. Reza BEST TACOS

LETICIA’S COCINA & CANTINA

Tacos might simply be hand-held tortillas folded on three sides around fillings, but they come in a plethora of styles, and local taqueria Leticia’s seems to have mastered them all. The queso tacos are gooey with cheese, and other selections range from chicken tinga to sautéed veggies. For Northern Mexico flavors, grab Ensenada beer-battered fish tacos or deep-fried crispy shells crammed with pork carnitas. Go Tex-Mex with puffy corn masa containers brimming with fragrant chile rojo. Say “¡órale!” to upgrades like ribeye steak and shrimp. Or, tuck in for

Lissa Townsend Rodgers Sonja Swanson Greg Thilmont Mitchell Wilburn

$20 all-you-can-eat street taquizas on Mondays. Fiesta Henderson, leticiascocina.com (GT)

house-ground prime burger for just a couple bucks more (really!) than a Double Double with fries. This juicy, flavor-packed burger also comes with fries, and would be a bargain at twice the price … which it is, outside of happy hour. 3925 Paradise Road, delfriscos.com (JPR) BEST APPETIZERS

BEST BURGER

DEL FRISCO’S DOUBLE EAGLE STEAKHOUSE

Las Vegas is a veritable burger bonanza, but for those times when the In-N-Out drive-thru just isn’t going to cut it, we ditch the desk early and sneak over to the bountiful beef-o-rama that is Del Frisco’s. Here, where steaks are handcut and expense accounts are bloated, the plebes among us can savor a

THE KITCHEN AT ATOMIC

Chef Justin Kingsley Hall doesn’t play it safe with his appetizers, and neither should you when you begin your meal at Atomic. Make sure you get yourself a plate of Nashville hot chicken hearts, which Hall prepares so cleanly, you’ll hardly know you’re eating, well, chicken hearts. Curried hushpuppies are accompanied by the chef’s spicy namesake sauce

BEST ARTIST

JUSTIN FAVELA

For Justin Favela, the traditional iconography of both cultural heritage and Las Vegas are viewed through a whimsical, clever lens. His work in 2018 — in Reno and Denver, which is why locals may have missed what a big year this unconventional artist had — blurred the lines between sculpture, landscape, and installation. justinfavela.com (VK)

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FOOD & DRINK P E R S O N A L B E ST

BEST PLACE TO EAT AFTER A LONG NIGHT TRIPLE SEVEN

As a full utilizer of this city’s 24-hour ethos, I find great satisfaction in our late-night dining options. Along with my standbys — Ichiza, Blueberry Hill, Pho Kim Long, and Du-Pars among them — this little gem at Main Street Station has recently risen to the highest place in my heart and tummy. Triple Seven hits the right spot for the right price every time I swagger in after midnight. Whatever you’re hungry for, this culinary polymath has a great version of it. Tasty burger? They got you. Saimen noodles with barbecue pork (ramen’s little Hawaiian cousin)? Some of the best in town. The oysters on the half shell? Freshly shucked. And, if you’re feeling old-school, the prime rib is on-point, too. This city is rife with excellent dining options at all hours; nonetheless, it would be a mistake to overlook this Downtown wonder. mainstreetcasino.com (BH)

and harissa carrots are a staple from his SLO Boy pop-up days in the Dino’s parking lot. The challenge isn’t finding an appetizer you’ll love; it’s not filling up before your entrée. 927 Fremont St., kitchenat atomic.vegas (JB) BEST WINGS

NAKED CITY PIZZA

Nearly every bar offers them, but not all sling the wings well. Venerable venues like Four Kegs and Tap House reserve a spot in our fowl hall of

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fame, and some nontraditional newcomers (the incredible lemon pepper variation at Cleaver) offer something completely different. But leave it to Buffalo brothers Chris and Michael Palmeri to give Las Vegas a bounty of beautiful wings that is consistently top-notch and exactly what you crave. Now in its 10th year, Naked City is seemingly everywhere these days, but we prefer the original window serving into Moon Doggie’s.

multiple locations, nakedcitylv.com (JPR) BEST PIZZA

METRO PIZZA

John Arena’s Metro Pizza is a prolific local success, supplying pies to the masses for almost 40 years while garnering numerous national awards. Even though there are five locations, those in the know are keen to the fact Arena’s young Jedi pizzaiolo Chris Decker works at the Centennial location, where he experD E S E R T C O M P A N I O N .V E G A S


T R I P L E 7 : B R E N T H O L M E S ; M E T R O P I Z Z A : C H R I S T O P H E R S M I T H ; B AC C H A N A L : C O U R T E S Y C A E S A R S ; B O B TAY LO R ’ S : B R E N T H O L M E S ; C A R B O N E : C O U R T E S Y C A R B O N E

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iments with diverse pizza styles. Keep an eye on his Instagram feed @everythingbutanchovies for the crispy Detroit-style with griddled cheese crust, an inexplicably airy 86th Street Square Sicilian topped with vodka sauce, or the Stella, smuggling meatball-stuffed garlic knots in its crust. multiple locations; Centennial location: 6720 Sky Pointe Drive, metropizza.com (JB) BEST BUFFET

BACCHANAL BUFFET

My countless buffet visits have taught me one thing: All buffets have a dollar-per-pound ratio which closely mimics that of penal colonies — that is, no matter how fancy the buffet says it is, there’s always a sneaking sense of bulk efficiency undercutting all the hype about quality. Except for one strong outlier: The Bacchanal Buffet. Bacchanal Buffet’s food is as fine as any dish from a restaurant with a Food Network star’s face on the billboard. And better yet, it boasts a variety and bounty that screams to the world: Vegas is to America as America is to the rest of the world. In Caesars Palace, caesars.com (MW) BEST JAPANESE

KAISEKI YUZU

If there was ever a restaurant in Vegas that truly embodied Japanese fine dining — without a

BEST SPLURGES OLD SCHOOL

NEW SCHOOL

Bob Taylor’s Ranch House

Carbone

Bob Taylor’s isn’t a splurge in terms of price. But it is a splurge in the experiential sense. Dinner at this historic steakhouse in the northwest valley is never anything less than a lambent, vivid event. The completely unironic Hollywood cowboy memorabilia adorning the walls; the bustling kitchen perpetually launching juicy, mesquite-grilled steaks of every size and cut; the veteran servers who are all smiles, quips, and menu advice; the pervasive whiff of dealmaking and milestone-marking — it all conspires to encourage an expansive mood of genial abandon. You may not have come to Bob Taylor’s Ranch House to celebrate a special occasion, but rest assured that the occasion will be special. 6250 Rio Vista St., bobtaylorsranchhouse.com (AK)

It is absurd, you think, to spend this much on pasta, until you taste it. It is crazy, you are certain, to shine your shoes for veal parmesan, until you realize that the gorgeous crystal chandelier above you originated in a 1960s Ferrari showroom. Captain service. Classic tunes. Private, high-back banquettes. Service that reminds you of the Las Vegas you know only from the movies. And perhaps the best Italian-American food in, well, America. This place was made to seal deals. Dining alone? Sit at the bar and let Robert treat you right. In Aria, aria.com. (JPR)

hint of influence from French, pan-Asian, or New American — it would definitely be Kaiseki Yuzu. The multi-course, seasonal tasting menu showcases elegant, artful sashimi (and so much more) fit for dignitaries, hidden in a Henderson strip mall. 1310 E. Silverado Ranch Blvd. #105, yuzukaiseki.com (MW)

FEBRUARY 2019

BEST MEXICAN

CHILE CALIENTE TACOS Y MARISCOS

Along a curving Henderson backway, a kooky, googly-eyed, sombrero-wearing hot pepper mascot on a sign beckons diners into this lesser-known Mexican eatery. Inside Chile Caliente, find unexpected deliciousness. Molcajetes — the house specialty — are cauldrons gurgling with spicy sauce .

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FOOD & DRINK

BEST ITALIAN

CHEF MARC’S TRATTORIA

Chef Marc’s Trattoria is a little difficult to find, tucked on the backside of an older retail complex at Sahara and Durango. But you should seek it out for its multitude of pastas prepared in-house; sufficiently spicy Utica hot greens layered with hot cherry peppers, cheese bread crumbs, and crispy pancetta; and one of his hallmark specials, tuna Bolognese rife with ground yellowtail mimicking beef. Chef Marc knows Italian, and you should know him. 8615 W. Sahara Ave., chefmarcstrattoria.com (JB) BEST CHINESE

CHENGDU TASTE

Named for the capital of the Sichuan province, this restaurant is a bastion of spice in all its complexity, ranging from the subtle toothpick lamb with

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cumin to the unsurprisingly spicy numb-taste wontons, which, rest assured, deliver on their promise. Even a Chinese menu mainstay like Kung Pao chicken is elevated, while the memorably named Diced Rabbit with Younger Sister’s Secret Recipe is worth navigating among the bone and cartilage for spicy morsels that lay within. 3950 Schiff Drive, chengdutastelasvegas. com (JB) BEST VEGAN FOOD

CHEF KENNY’S ASIAN VEGAN RESTAURANT

Say farewell to that bland standby, the veggie burger. It’s time for meatless Kung Pao beef and General Tso’s chicken to take the spotlight. At this Korea Town Plaza eatery (on the western edge of Chinatown), the vegetable-forward menu features exquisitely crafted specialties from China, Japan, Thailand, and beyond. Traditional dishes abound, like Buddha’s Delight, orange chicken, pad Thai, and wonton soup — all rendered meatlessly. Check out the nigiri sushi with jackfruit and vegan swap-outs for tuna, salmon, and eel. For a novel refresher, go for the fragrant cilantro and turmeric salads. 6820 Spring Mountain Road #111, chefkennysasian vegan.com (GT) BEST KOREAN BARBECUE

HOBAK

There’s good Korean barbecue all over town: Choice cuts of meat,

attentive servers who keep an eye on your tableside sear and sizzle, and plenty of fresh banchan (those little side dishes of pickles, veggies, and more that come with your meal). But for a truly festive barbecue experience, you can’t go wrong with Hobak: It’s a boisterous, buzzing venue with interior décor that recalls vintage Seoul dining districts, with hand-lettered signs and steel awnings. Go for a birthday — servers come out singing, bearing a rice puff ice cream sandwich with a crackling sparkler candle on top. 5808 Spring Mountain Road #101, hobakkoreanbbq. com (SS) BEST NEIGHBORHOOD RESTAURANT

VINTNER GRILL

Thirteen years after opening, Summerlin’s low-

key, high-style Vintner Grill remains a hidden gem and a neighborhood fave. Tucked in an office park off West Charleston, Vintner invites with a warm dining room, a comfortable lounge, a cozy patio, and a chatty bar — all of which pair nicely with a well-selected wine and crafted cocktail list. The Modern American menu (sprinkled with a touch of France and Italy) remains familiar, while the Hamptons-esque vibe has aged very well, enveloping guests like a comfortable pair of designer shoes that still draws the looks. 10100 W. Charleston Blvd. #150, vglasvegas. com (JPR) BEST DESSERTS

SWEETS RAKU

This is the city where a Strip pastry chef can be treated like royalty, given D E S E R T C O M P A N I O N .V E G A S

CHEF KENNY’S: BRENT HOLMES

and combinations of shrimp, octopus, chicken, steak, Oaxacan cheese, strips of nopales (cactus pads), and other savory morsels. Each bowl is a festive, savory Popocatépetl perfect for sharing. More subdued dishes like ceviche tostadas, housemade chorizo burritos, and asada fries are equally fantastic South-of-the-Border finds. For a bonus, there’s karaoke on Saturday nights for your smoking rendition of “Despacito.” 1017 Whitney Ranch Drive, chilecalientetym. com (GT)


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lode of American cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, chorizo, and onions inside a Black Angus patty. Want to carb-load to the max? Order the deep-dish Eddie Spaghetti pizza garnished with noodles and meat sauce. Or keep it light with a vibrant, kaleidoscopic Kick Ass house salad with sweet honey mustard dressing. Wash everything down with a choice of dozens upon dozens of finely curated brews. 2801 N. Tenaya Ave.; 3740 S. Nellis Blvd., acesand ales.com (GT) BEST BREAKFAST

SERVED a fiefdom and a ridiculous budget to make jaw-dropping, Instagram-ready masterpieces. That makes the creations coming from Sweets Raku all the more amazing. They’re no less jaw-dropping than anything on the Strip, but you can eat these legendarily precise, complex confections without having to drop four figures on the 12 courses preceding it — that is, you can skip straight to dessert. Sweets Raku’s menu changes

SURVEY SAYS

“Living in a city that has the best of everything right here!”

almost daily, but when it’s available, try “Mars”, a Hennessy-soaked yuzu mousse with white chocolate, worthy of the Roman god himself. 5040 W. Spring Mountain Road #3, raku-sweets. com (MW) BEST BAR FOOD

ACES & ALES

Aces & Ales helped start the Southern Nevada craft beer revolution more than a decade ago, and its program remains a leader. But its brew-friendly bar bites are part of that success. Buffalo wings doused in “hoti yaki” sauce will pop your top, and cheese reigns supreme with Wisconsin-mode fried curds and Arrogant Bastard Ale-infused balls. Burgers arrive with house-ground prime beef, including the Juicy Lucy, which conceals an oozy mother

By some whim of the kitchen gods, Henderson has become the hotspot for locally owned, up-market breakfast spots, with Served leading the pack. Most of all, this sunny nook on the border of Green Valley Ranch and MacDonald Highlands is Hollandaise Sauce Central. Nearly a dozen varieties of eggs Benedict enliven the morning menu with adventurous ingredients from beef short rib and roasted pork belly to grilled portobello mushrooms and soft-shell crabs. Seasonal specials like duck à l’orange Benedict are also draped in the astoundingly butter-rich, lemony sauce, too. Other inventive dishes are the parsley-laden Thai “green eggs” with griddle-fried Spam and garlic rice; baked herb-roasted prime rib hash; and baked French toast with berries. But seriously, this place

BEST GOURMET BURGER Fukuburger BEST HIDDEN GEM RESTAURANT Su Casa (at the Silverton) BEST RAMEN (tie) Monta, Jinya BEST VEGAN VegeNation BEST HANGOVER MEAL Omelette House BEST COFFEE SHOP PublicUs BEST MIXOLOGY BAR Herbs & Rye BEST DIVE BAR Frankie’s Tiki Room BEST THING IN CENTENNIAL HILLS Blinders Burgers and Brunch BEST LOCAL CREATOR OF CONTROVERSY Food critic John Curtas

READERS’ POLL

BEST THING EVER

is all about the Hollandaise — don’t pass it up. 1770 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway #100, servedlv. com (GT) BEST BRUNCH

BARDOT BRASSERIE

Every chef and his mother has put second-stringers on an early shift slinging bennies and “French” toast, but Bardot is rare in putting the entire force of a brand behind it — not to mention the one and only Chef Josh Smith. Truly the only brunch in town where one feels underdressed without a tie. In Aria, aria.com (MW) BEST DINER

VICKIE’S DINER

Vickie’s Diner has been serving two eggs any style since Eisenhower was in the White House and Bill Haley was topping the charts. It used to be Tiffany’s Cafe and the building used to be the White Cross, but former waitress and current owner Vickie Kelesis is still keeping her Uncle Pete’s diner legacy alive. There’ve been some changes to the hours (not quite 24/7 anymore) and the menu (they’ve added salads), but you can still get a hubcap-sized Greek omelet, quicksand-thick chocolate milkshake, and the best patty melt in Vegas. 1700 Las Vegas Blvd. S., vickiesdiner. com (LTR) BEST LATE-NIGHT DINING

FERRARO’S

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FOOD & DRINK third-wave coffee renaissance. No longer must we suffer the over-roasted bitter burden of the behemoth chains, especially when local joints like Downtown’s Vesta have their own roaster parked right inside the cafe. Vesta’s sustainably sourced beans are house-roasted to a bold yet creamy smoothness that glides over your palate rather than attacking it. Even the decaf will have you jumping (perhaps a little less high) for joy. Savor on site, or take some home to brew your own. 1114 S. Casino Center Blvd. #1, vestacoffee.com (JPR) BEST BEER PROGRAM

dining options are often limited to wings and pizza. However, Ferraro’s offers options that are more sophisticated and more filling. From 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., a “Mezzanotte” menu offers discounts on everything from burrata to osso bucco, as well as a three-course tasting that lets you sample the joys of calamari, fettucine, and tiramisu without your tummy keeping you up until dawn. Combined with 50 percent off bottles of wine, it is, indeed, an offer you can’t refuse. 4480 Paradise Road, ferraroslasvegas. com (LTR) BEST DONUTS

REAL DONUTS #1

Fancy donut shops are all the rage as bakers engage in an escalating arms race, attempting to

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outdo one another with edgier ingredients and toppings. But for a taste of the classics, venture to the old West Charleston strip mall housing Real Donuts, where maple logs and apple fritters reign supreme. If you’re feeling adventurous, the inverted cinnamon roll is what qualifies for edgy here. Best go elsewhere for your bacon-crumble-Fruity

Pebbles-whatever; classic donuts are the sole and rightful breakfast food here. 1811 W. Charleston Blvd. #1 (JB) BEST COFFEE

VESTA

Blessed as we are by the percolation of independent coffeehouses across the valley, Las Vegas is benefitting broadly by the

Sure, it’s a chain, but the impressive World of Beer at the Galleria at Sunset does suds with total gusto. Order a giant Bavarian pretzel with brown ale-infused beer cheese to tide you over as you peruse the head-spinning list of brews, including pours from Southern Nevada crafters such as Able Baker and Bad Beat, and international luminaries including Modern Times and Petrus. The chalkboard-decorated room is fun and convivial, and you can even toss some cornhole bean-bags out front. 1300 W. Sunset Road #2940, worldofbeer.com (GT) BEST WINE SELECTION

MARCHÉ BACCHUS FRENCH BISTRO AND WINE SHOP

Call it a smashing success. D E S E R T C O M P A N I O N .V E G A S

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Last year, an errant truck driver plowed his rig through the front door of the venerable Marché Bacchus in picturesque Desert Shores. Thankfully, nobody was hurt, but the foyer and retail area were demolished, along with many bottles of fine vintages. The owners rebounded with a handsome new entrance; a beautifully expanded front lounge area; and an upgraded, Gallic-inspired culinary program that’s perfect for oenophiles. Order by the glass from the impressive wine list, or uncork a top-notch bottle from the shop’s nearly 1,000 wines in stock. Whether you go in for a flinty white or a tannic red, clink glasses with friends and gaze across glimmering, palm tree-framed Lake Jacqueline. Santé. 2620 Regatta Drive #106, marchebacchus.com (GT)

FAMILY & LEISURE OUR BESTERS Scott Dickensheets, Alan Gegax, Veronica Klash, Paul Szydelko, BEST EDUCATIONAL FAMILY OUTING

Greg Thilmont, Summer Thomad

SPRINGS PRESERVE

Special events such as the Black History Month Festival (February 16) and Día De Muertos (November 1-3) are community favorites. But opportunities to learn about local culture, history, and conservation resonate every day at the 180acre regional treasure. Children, especially, are awed when 5,000 gallons of water roar in the Flash Flood Exhibit in the Origen Museum. 333 S. Valley View Blvd., springspreserve.org (PS)

BEST PLACE TO TEACH KIDS SOME HISTORY

CLARK COUNTY MUSEUM

Walking through meticulously restored homes from decades past reminds your kids just how good they have it today. Hear the creaky floors, see the cramped rooms, and imagine using the meager appliances in the collection of buildings on Heritage Street. The Anna Robert Parks Exhibit Hall traces the valley’s saga from

BEST JUICE SHOP

COLDPRESS EXPRESS

Whether you’re a true believer in juicing or a casual sipper, ColdPress Express in Downtown Summerlin has primo botanical combos like the sunshiney Liquid Defense with orange, apple, carrot, lemon, lime, and basil. That Good Green glows with cucumber, celery, kale, mint, spinach, and chlorophyll. Or try a decadent Bee Sting — hot chocolate spiced with cayenne, turmeric, cinnamon, and bee pollen. 2010 Festival Plaza Drive, coldpress express.com (GT)

the Ice Age to the Age of Entertainment, and you might even glimpse Pawn Stars contributor and museum administrator Mark Hall-Patton. 1830 S. Boulder Highway, Henderson, clarkcounty nv.gov (PS) BEST FAMILY DINING DESTINATION

METRO PIZZA

The Vegas-born Metro Pizza mini-empire is piehigh heaven for all ages. Multiple locations offer plenty of table seating for birthday parties and family outings, and gigantic baked wonders such as the Sicilian deepdish 86th Street Square, topped with melty mozzarella and savory tomato sauce, fill tummies galore. Huge platters of leafy Italian salad, rich baked ziti, and chicken fingers round out pizzapaloozas. Tip: Take burgeoning foodies to the Centennial “Test Kitchen” location for next-level pies by award-winning pizzaiolo Chris Decker, who whips up experimental specials. metropizza.com (GT) BEST SPORTS OUTING

GOLDEN KNIGHTS

Amid the sophomore season’s growing urgency for another deep playoff run, fans themselves animate the details above the ice. Help showgirls distract the visitors during warm-ups; assist Carnell “Golden Pipes” Johnson in giving “proof FEBRUARY 2019

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FAMILY & LEISURE through the ‘Knight’”; shout “shame” when a perp is sent to the box; finish the NVEnergy power play announcement; chant “Go Knights Go!” to the rafters. The team has invigorated a sense of community not experienced since the Runnin’ Rebels’ heyday. nhl.com/ goldenknights (PS) BEST SPORTS VENUE

T-MOBILE ARENA

The home of the Golden Knights, UFC, and other events has leavened expectations for the valley’s coming baseball

BEST PARKS OLD SCHOOL

NEW SCHOOL

Sunset Park

Craig Ranch Regional Park

On any given weekend morning in this 52-year-old greensward, you’ll see variety in action: people playing cricket, baseball and softball, basketball, tennis, disc golf, sand volleyball, and more. Dog park? Check. Pond? Check. Miles of walking paths? If that’s your thing, you can do it here. People-watching? Obviously. If you’re not feeling ambitious — probably the best time to visit a park — you can simply chill amid the hundreds of acres of grass and trees and let the world move on for a while. 2610 E. Sunset Road (SD)

Among the newest of the Valley’s many enviable parks is the 170-acre Craig Ranch Regional Park. Amenities on the former golf course include The Amp performance venue, a 65,000-square-foot skate park; four plazas; eight ramadas; three dog parks; two lighted baseball fields; tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts; a community garden; and multiple playgrounds. Among many high-profile events planned this year is the 24 Hours of Country Festival in May (with a preview party on February 23). 628 W. Craig Road (PS)

and football venues. Exquisite to behold inside and out, T-Mobile gets the fan experience just right — steeply pitched, comfortable seating; wide, immaculate concourses; and an undeniable vitality that builds outside in Toshiba Plaza and doesn’t let up until the final horn sounds. t-mobilearena.com (PS) BEST WAY TO AVOID TRAFFIC AND PARKING HASSLES AT GOLDEN KNIGHTS GAMES

THE RTC’S GOLDEN KNIGHTS EXPRESS

This service is a godsend to those who abhor traffic and parking on game day. For $2 exact cash each way, double-decker buses whisk fans from four areas of the valley (with plentiful free parking) nonstop to a drop-off zone at Excalibur, an easy 10-minute walk to

T-Mobile’s doors. More locals are discovering how easy it is. Ridership has increased this season, the RTC reports, averaging 600 passengers each game — just a dress rehearsal for Raider Sundays! rtcsnv.com/ transit/golden-knightsexpress (PS)

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F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 9

D E S E R T C O M P A N I O N .V E G A S


B E S T O F T H E C I T Y 2 01 9

BEST FAMILY SPORT

T- M O B I L E A R E N A : C O U R T E S Y T- M O B I L E A R E N A ; S U N S E T P A R K , C R A I G R A N C H : B R E N T H O L M E S ; B U S : C O U R T E S Y R T C ; W E T L A N D S T R A I L , S T. T H O M A S , W E T L A N D S P A R K : C H R I S T O P H E R S M I T H

DISC GOLF

This is why it’s a family sport: Even an achybacked, wheezingly out-of-shape, middle-aged dude can fling a disc (don’t say Frisbee) with his grandkids. There’s no real skill required to have fun. Many parks have free discgolf courses (recommendations: Sunset Park for the south valley, Mountain Crest Park for the north) and some traditional golf courses have added it. Even if you suck, you’re strolling through pleasant green surroundings together, talking. (SD) BEST PLACE FOR A STROLL

BOULDER CITY

The opening of Interstate 11 in August has not fated Boulder City to become Radiator Springs. Those who are there want to be there, attracted by the community’s many delights. With nary a casino, eminently walkable historic and commercial districts mean serendipitous discoveries — independent cafés, bars, and dining rooms; vintage clothing and collectibles; crafts

and jewelry; murals and sculptures. Strolling has rarely been so rewarding. bouldercitychamberof commerce.com (PS) BEST DAY TRIP

ST. THOMAS

Having spent much of the last century 60 feet below the surface of Lake Mead, St. Thomas revealed itself in the drought and revels in the attention of history lovers. Mormon settlers founded the town in 1865, and its population peaked at 500 before it was abandoned and inundated with Hoover Dam’s construction and the Colorado River’s rising waters. The schoolhouse’s relatively intact front steps spur the imagination. Thoughtfully placed National Recreation Area signs do the rest. Rogers Spring and Valley of Fire State Park complete the drive. nps.gov/lake/ learn/historyculture/ stthomas.htm (PS) BEST HIKE TO CLEAR YOUR HEAD

CLARK COUNTY WETLANDS PARK There’s something

soothing about water. It’s almost magical in the way it can settle one’s soul and bring a serene peace. In Las Vegas, the best place to calmly amble amid duck-filled ponds, to stroll alongside gurgling creeks and a tumultuous wash, is the Clark County Wetlands Park. Start at the Nature Center and let the meandering paths lead you on a one-way trip to chillville. 7050 Wetlands Park Lane, clarkcountynv.gov/ parks (AG)

P E R S O N A L B E ST

BEST OFFTRAFFIC PLACE TO CYCLE WETLANDS TRAIL

Between the southernmost tip of Sloan Lane, which is a block south of Sahara Avenue, and Terrazza Park at Lake Las Vegas runs my favorite stretch of bike path in Clark County. Punctuated by a few brisk climbs, the Wetlands Trail rolls through a desert landscape that smells like creosote and sounds like the absence of automobiles. It’s common to see coyotes, hawks, and roadrunners — as well as other cyclists, so keep your eyes peeled. And if you want to up the ante, head south toward Lake Mead Parkway and jump on the River Mountains Loop Trail for another 35 miles of fun! clarkcountynv.gov, search “wetlands”, 702-455-7522 (HK) FEBRUARY 2019

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READERS’ POLL

BEST PLACE FOR A SELFIE

Though chandeliers are often the focal point of a room, the glittering beaded curtains of light draped within the Boulevard Tower will provide an ornate backdrop for your next great selfie. Whether you’re inside or outside of The Chandelier (the three-level bar and lounge that the lustrous light fixture envelops), you’ll find yourself(ie) picture-perfect while basking in its fluorescent purple glow. (ST) BEST PLACE FOR COFFEE AND BOARD GAMES

GROUNDSWELL LEGIT COFFEE AND BOARD GAMES

Spacious cork tables. Soft ambient lighting. Aromatic hot beverages. All this along with a dizzying selection of board games and card games can be found at Groundswell. Sip a sweet latte while scheming to unmask your friends or family members in a spirited game of Werewolf. The fun here is year-round, whether it feels like 20 degrees or 120 outside. 9730 W. Tropicana Ave. #130, 702-901-8197 (VK) BEST INTERACTIVE/ HANDS-ON ATTRACTION

SPRINGS PRESERVE

The immense and beautiful 180-acre Springs Preserve is one of Nevada’s educational gems, a place where environmental science and culture converge. The Origen Museum puts

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BEST GYM Lifetime Fitness BEST URBAN/SUBURBAN WALK Downtown BEST BIKE TRAIL Red Rock BEST DAY TRIP Hoover Dam BEST FAMILY OUTING Red Rock BEST GOLF COURSE TPC Summerlin BEST THING IN THE UNIVERSITY DISTRICT The university BEST LOCAL TWITTER ACCOUNT @RalstonReports BEST PLACE TO LEAVE A BUSINESS CARD Grouchy John’s BEST PLACE FOR SOME PEACE AND QUIET Red Rock BEST LOCAL INFLUENCER Dayvid Figler

THE CHANDELIER, IN THE COSMOPOLITAN

BEST THING EVER

you safely up-close to a simulated flash flood. Take an old-timey minitrain to the impressive Boomtown 1905 streetscape, and stroll through re-created buildings that bring Las Vegas’ first urban footsteps to life. Inside the cavernous, nearly sci-fi WaterWorks mega-building, use your hands to learn how life-giving water is treated and delivered to this dry region’s residents. When the Mojave Desert weather warms up, be mesmerized inside Butterfly Habitat as lovely, iridescent lepidoptera flit around you. 333 S. Valley View Blvd., springs preserve.org (GT) BEST STAYCATION SPOT

LAKE LAS VEGAS

At lovely Lake Las Vegas, leave the metro muddle behind. The manmade body of water borders jagged, moon-like mountains in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, making for a spellbinding view. The playground offers kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards; or shoot into the air with aqua-propelled jetpacks and flyboards. On shore, golfers swing for the greens at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Reflection Bay. For lodging, local families and adventure-lovers are drawn to the Moroccan-styled Westin Lake Las Vegas, with its huge, two-level Nuala Pool and adjacent sandy beach. Couples on romantic getaways prefer the quieter Hilton Lake Las Vegas and

relaxing treatments at its Spa Ravella. Everybody converges in the Italianate pedestrian passages of MonteLago Village to dine at restaurants like Mimi & Coco Bistro, Le Café du Lac, Luna Rossa, and Proof Tavern. The valley buzz seems so very far away. Lake Las Vegas Parkway, lakelasvegas. com (GT) BEST OLD-SCHOOL VEGAS EXPERIENCE

DRIVE ON STATE ROUTE 159

Undulating alongside the gorgeously lofty, multihued sandstone walls of Red Rock Canyon, State

SURVEY SAYS

“Walking along the Strip on a Sunday morning.”

Route 159 is a Las Vegas time machine. Start your throwback excursion with breakfast at historic, photo-filled Cottonwood Station in Blue Diamond. Next, it’s on to kitschy Bonnie Springs Ranch for a mini-train ride and a stroll through its Wild West-themed Old Town (do it soon; Bonnie Springs will close soon, as early as spring). Picnic in Spring Mountain Ranch State Park and tour its beautiful ranch home once owned by Howard Hughes. Then it’s on to the Red Rock visitor center to take in dioramas that illustrate the region’s prehistory, and also learn about the Southern Paiutes, Spanish scouts, and Mormon pioneers who were here long ago. For an extra-full day of old Vegas history, saddle up for a guided sunset horse-tour complete with a barbecue dinner at Cowboy Trail Rides. (GT)

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S P R I N G M O U N TA I N R A N C H : C O U R T E S Y N E VA D A S TAT E PA R K S

FAMILY & LEISURE


On January 16, Nevada Public Radio hosted its first ever TRIVIA NIGHT? with NPR’s Sam Sanders. More than 700 people and 100+ teams battled it out for 3 rounds of grueling trivia inside Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas. 1ST PLACE: 2ND PLACE: 3RD PLACE:

The Dude Abides Drunken Parents The Tote Bags

Congrats to the winners! See all the photos on Facebook!

P R E S E N T E D

B Y


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ART THROUGH MARCH 31 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

The nation's longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens. 9A–5P, free for members or with paid general admission. Big Springs Gallery at Springs Preserve, springspreserve. org

THROUGH APRIL 28 Infinity Mirrored Room — Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity and Narcissus Garden

Artist Yayoi Kusama’s two installations offer unique wonderlands of lights and reflections where guests become part of the artwork. 10A–7:30P, $15. Locals night every Wed 5–7P, $11. Fine Art Gallery at Bellagio, bellagio.com

FEB. 4–MAY 5 National Geographic presents Earth Explorers

Six themed and immersive environments teach numerous ways in which technolo-

gy, and ingenuity play in making and documenting explorers' discoveries. 9A–5P, free with paid admission or membership. Origen Museum at Springs Preserve, springspreserve. org

MUSIC FEB. 8 Tengyue (T.Y.) Zhang

Award-winning guitarist, Zhang, performs in a concert sponsored by the Lawrence Livingston Downs Trust. 7:30P, $45. Lee and Thomas Beam Music Center at UNLV, unlv.edu

FEB. 8–10 Mahalia! A Celebration of Gospel Presented by Broadway In The Hood

A tribute to the one and only Queen of Gospel featuring Charity “Teena” Leeper. Fri–Sat 7P; Sat 2P; Sun 3P, $44. Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center, thesmith center.com

FEB. 9 An Evening of Brahms Las Vegas Philharmonic pres-

ents Academic Festival Overture, Concerto for Violin and Cello in A Minor, and Symphony no 4 in E Minor. 7:30P, pre-concert conversation at 6:30P, $30–$109. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center, thesmith center.com

FEB. 10 A Musical Celebration of Jewish American Songwriters

Enjoy an all-star cast performing a collage of some of America’s most popular songwriters alongside vintage film and stories. 3P, free. Theater at Summerlin Library, lvccld.org

FEB. 10 Spring Festival Concert

The Las Vegas Shanghai Association presents a seasonal concert. 6P, free. Main Theater at Clark County Library, lvccld.org

FEB. 13 Jazz Ensemble II and the Geri Allen Memorial Combo

vocalist, and songwriter will perform songs from her best-selling albums. 7P, $35–$55. Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center, briaskonberg. com

FEB. 15 O Sole Trio Live In Concert

Your ears will be delighted by the lush arrangements and unparalleled vocals of Erin Shields, Giuseppe Spoleini, and David Shenton. 7P, free. Main Theater at Clark County Library, lvccld.org

FEB. 16 That’s My Story Las Vegas Las Vegas local Jassen Allen performs a wide variety of tunes with a ninepiece band. 7P, $20. Starbright Theatre at Sun City Summerlin, scscai.com

FEB. 16 O Sole Trio Live In Concert

UNLV’s Division of Jazz Studies presents a dedicational concert. 7P, free. Main Theater at Clark County Library, lvccld.org

Your ears will be delighted by the lush arrangements and unparalleled vocals of Erin Shields, Giuseppe Spoleini, and David Shenton. 7P, free. Performing Arts Center at Windmill Library, lvccld.org

FEB. 13 Spring Concert I

FEB. 16 Fiji

The UNLV Symphony Orchestra performs, conducted by Taras Krysa. 7:30P, $10. Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall at UNLV, unlv.edu

FEB. 15 Bria Skonberg The acclaimed jazz trumpeter,

The biggest Polynesian artists of our time lends his golden voice and musical blends to the Pacific Island Sound. 18+ only. 7P, $25–$328. Brooklyn Bowl at The Linq, brooklyn bowl.com

FEB. 17 The Music Behind the Games

Las Vegas composer, DJ, and percussionist Aaron Ramsey presents an interactive program exploring the magic of video game music. 2P, free. Performing Arts Center at Windmill Library, lvccld.org

FEB. 19 Journey Through Jazz

This night’s theme is African-American History Month, featuring Las Vegas-based saxophonist Charles McNeal and his quartet, plus the Palo Verde High School Jazz Band, directed by John Sorsen. 7P, free. Performing Arts Center at Windmill Library, lvccld.org

FEB. 20 Brava Broadway! Celebrating the Great Ladies of Musical Theatre

FEB. 23 Tony Desare: I Love a Piano

The singer-pianist has performed at Carnegie Hall, recorded three hit albums, and appeared on numerous radio and TV shows. 6P and 8:30P, $39–$49. Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center, thesmith center.com

FEB. 23 Encore to Encore featuring Michael Monge

The Las Vegas crooner celebrates the music of Sinatra, Dino, Englebert, and so many more. 7P, $20. Starbright Theatre at Sun City Summerlin, scscai.com

FEB. 26 Takacs Quartet

Joan Ryan celebrates the artistry of Ethel Merman, Liza Minelli, Barbra Streisand, Julie Andrews, and more. 7P, $20. Starbright Theatre at Sun City Summerlin, scscai.com

FEB. 22 Esteban

The popular guitarist plays a blend of classical, flamenco originals, and rock favorites on acoustic guitar. 7P, $39–$59. Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center, thesmith center.com

FEB. 22 Black History Month Concert Africa Love

FEBRUARY 2019

presents a concert celebrating the rich history of blacks in America. 7:30P, $10–$20. Main Theater at Clark County Library, lvccld.org

.

Edward Dusinberre, Harumi Rhodes (violins), Geraldine Walther (viola), and András Fejér (cello) perform their versions of traditional works. 7:30P, $30. Lee and Thomas Beam Music Center at UNLV, unlv.edu

FEB. 27 Guitarist Peter Fletcher Live In Concert Award-winning classical guitarist Fletcher has received critical acclaim for latest last three studio albums. 2P, free. Main Theater at Clark County Library, lvccld. org

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The Guide FEB. 27 The Jazz Eclectic Concert Series (Vol. 5) Featuring Bill Cunliffe and Andy James

The jazz combo will play a selection of originals and standards. 7P, $25–$45. Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center, thesmithcenter. com

FEB. 28 Quaternity

The UNLV Wind Orchestra presents a world-premiere performance by Bruce Broughton with guest soloist, principal trombonist of the New York Philharmonic, Joseph Alessi. 7:30P, $10. Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall at UNLV, unlv.edu

MARCH 1–2 Betsy Wolfe — All Bets Are Off

The Broadway star presents a cabaret about the highs and lows of show business. 7P, $39–$59. Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center, thesmith center.com

MARCH 2 From JSB to Jay-Z

Join pianist Alexandria Le and special guests on a magical mystery tour through the highlights of music history, from baroque master Johann Sebastian Bach to Shawn Corey Carter, better known as Jay-Z. 3P, free. Performing Arts Center at Windmill Library, alexandriale.com

MARCH 2 Time for Three This trio of

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American musicians play songs in a wide range of genres in their own unique arrangements. 8P, $30–$109. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center, thesmithcenter. com

impersonation. Wed–Sat 8P; Sun 2P, $20–$25. Cockroach Theatre, 1025 S. First St., cockroach theatre.com

MARCH 3 Sarah Brightman

In this classic comedy, egotistical radio personality Sheridan Whiteside injures herself while on tour and becomes an unexpected guest of the Stanley family, whose lives she proceeds to disrupt. Sat 7P; Sun 2P, $10. Starbright Theatre at Sun City Summerlin, scscai.com

The iconic soprano who originated the role of Christine in Phantom Of the Opera sings songs from throughout her career, including selections from her new album, Hymn. 7:30P, $54–$249. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center, sarahbrightman. com

THEATER & COMEDY THROUGH FEB. 10 Spamilton: An American Parody

This spoof of a particular hit musical was created by Gerard Alessandrini, the man behind the hit show Forbidden Broadway. Tue–Sun 7:30P; Sat–Sun 2P, $55. Troesh Studio Theater at The Smith Center, the smithcenter.com

THROUGH FEB. 10 Accidental Death of an Anarchist

A man has fallen to his death from a window in a police station. Did he jump or was he pushed? The cops want a cover up, but first they have to contend with an unlikely detective – a certified lunatic with a knack for

.

F E B R U A RY 2 0 1 9

FEB. 9–10 The Woman Who Came to Dinner

FEB. 11 Dragons Love Tacos

When a boy throws his new dragon friends a spicy-salsa taco party, red-hot trouble ensues. This musical revue of several contemporary children’s books is for the whole family. 10A, $16. Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall at UNLV, unlv.edu

FEB. 15–24 The African Company Presents Richard III Carlyle Brown’s humorous and touching play, based on real-life events, dares to ask the question: Does Shakespeare belong to everyone? Fri–Sat 7:30P; Sun 2P, $25. Judy Bayley Theatre at UNLV, unlv.edu

FEB. 16 Fall in Love with Las Vegas Improvisational Players! LVIP is the only

family-friendly improv in the valley with musical and short-form improv all made up on the spot from suggestions by you, the audience. 7P, $10; $5 kids, seniors, and military. Show Creators Studios, 4455 W. Sunset Road, lvimprov. com

FEB. 19–24 Come from Away

The musical based on the true story of a small town in Newfoundland that took in 7,000 passengers in the wake of 9/11, and the friendships that developed. Tue–Sun 7:30P; Sat–Sun 2P, $36–$137. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center, thesmith center.com

FEB. 21– MARCH 3 Gianni Schicchi

Puccini’s comic opera about family members feuding over a dying man’s fortune, set in current-day Las Vegas. Fri–Sat 7:30P; Sun 2P, $20–$25. Cockroach Theatre, cockroach theatre.com

FEB. 28– MARCH 24 Tight End

Rachel Bykowski’s play about a high school girl’s pursuit to be on the football team. Thu–Sat 8P; Sun 5P, $15–$25. Majestic Repertory Theatre, majestic repertory.com

MARCH 2 Los Monologos de la Vagina

A Spanish language performance of The Vagina Monologues.

7P, $15–$20, Main Theater at Clark County Library, lvccld.org

DANCE FEB. 4 The Sleeping Beauty

The Russian National Ballet performs this beautiful production of the Marius Petipa classic. 7:30P, $20–$50. Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall at UNLV, unlv.edu

FEB. 17 Dance Recital

Zemskov Dance Academy presents different types of dance. 2P, free. Main Theater at Clark County Library, lvccld.org

FEB. 23 Dance Recital

Studio 34 Dance Academy presents a mixeddance recital. 6P, $10. Main Theater at Clark County Library, lvccld. org

MARCH 1–2 Collective Visions

UNLV Dance presents a concert where choreographers, visual artists, composers, and design artists collaborate to produce unique dance environments and visual worlds. 7:30P, $18. Judy Bayley Theatre at UNLV, unlv.edu

MARCH 5 Dancing with the Stars Live!: A Night To Remember Stars and troupe members from the hit TV show in an all-new

production will be showcasing every style of dance seen on the program. 7:30, $39.50–$89.50. Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center, thesmith center.com

DISCUSSIONS & READINGS FEB. 5 The W. Kamau Bell Curve — Ending Racism in About an Hour

Bell is a sociopolitical comedian who is known for his podcast, comedy specials, and paragraph-long book titles. 7:30P, free (tickets required). Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall at UNLV, unlv.edu

FEB. 7 Las Vegas Stories: Forgotten History with Mark Hall-Patton The Clark County Museum system Administrator and Pawn Stars expert talks about interesting and little known stories from Las Vegas and Southern Nevada’s past. 7P, free. Jewel Box Theater at Clark County Library, lvccld.org

FEB. 7 Lives on the Line — Civil Rights Legacy

Hear from local experts as they discuss civil rights achievements and aspirations in this panel discussion and photo presentation. 7:30P, free. Theater at Summerlin Library, lvccld.org


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FEB. 12 Effective Communication Strategies presented by the Alzheimer's Association

Explore how communication takes place when someone has Alzheimer's, learn to decode the verbal and behavioral messages delivered by someone with dementia, and identify strategies to help communicate. 2P, free. Theater at Summerlin Library, lvccld.org

FEB. 21 Do This, Don’t Do That in Your Garden

KNPR's Norm Schilling provides sound advice on how to avoid some of the most common gardening mistakes. 6P, $10 members, $12 non-members. Springs Preserve, springspreserve. org

FEB. 21 Funny Stories with James Judd from NPR’s Snap Judgment Judd connects with audiences as he shares autobiographical stories of “spectacular public embarrassments and utter failures.” 7P, free. Main Theater at Clark County Library, lvccld.org

FEB. 22 Story SLAM

February’s theme is “Love Hurts,” but don’t let the theme get in the way of a good story! Tell or listen to five-minute personal stories. 7:30P, free. The Center for Science & Wonder, 1651 E. Sunset Road, lasvegas storyslam@gmail. com

FAMILY & FESTIVALS FEB. 18 Sustainability Symposium 2019: The Desert Shall Bloom

Renowned actor Jeff Bridges opens this event known as the most innovative, inspiring, and fun sustainability event of the year. 9A–5P, $350. Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall at UNLV, green buildermedia.com

FEB. 16 Black History Month Festival

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Saturday, February 9 at 8 p.m.

Dive in with live music and dance, soul food, cultural art and gift items, a photo exhibit, carnival games, and more. 10A–4P, $6 adults, $4 children (ages 3-17), children 2 and under free. Springs Preserve, springs preserve.org

FUNDRAISERS FEB. 24 A Grand Night for Singing

The Gateway Arts Foundation presents a fundraising concert featuring the classics of Rodgers and Hammerstein. 2P, $20. Starbright Theatre at Sun City Summerlin, scscai.com

Victoria Season 3 on Masterpiece Sundays at 9 p.m.

NOVA: Decoding the Pyramids Wednesday, February 6 at 9 p.m.

MARCH 2 Run Away with Cirque du Soleil

Join Cirque’s artists in a 5K run or 1-mile fun walk including music from cast and crew, photo opportunities with performers, and a circus play area for children. 7A, $20–$40. Springs Preserve, springs preserve.org

Nature: Wild Way of the Vikings Wednesday, February 13 at 8 p.m.

Sammy Davis, Jr.: American Masters Tuesday, February 19 at 9 p.m.

Trusted. Valued. Essential. • 702.799.1010 • VegasPBS.org FEBRUARY 2019

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END NOTE

FEBRUARY 1, 1952: A large group of “incensed housewives” march on City Hall to protest an abandoned pig farm in their neighborhood that has been turned into a “bawdy house of prostitution.” FEBRUARY 2, 1946: “Rare African tongueless toads” have arrived in Las Vegas to be used by Dr. C.L. McVey “in place of rabbits for the A-Z (urine pregnancy) test for women.” FEBRUARY 3, 1928: Vegas Valley pioneer “Shorty” Powers, 54, here since 1896 and despondent over a crippling broken leg, has committed suicide by shooting himself twice, once through the neck, and when that didn’t work, once through the heart, which did. FEBRUARY 4, 1909: Las Vegas has eight artesian wells, promising “blooming gardens, field crops, and orchards” for our fledgling town. FEBRUARY 5, 1910: In the obituaries: Judge Marius Beal, 62, who helped create the Vegas Artesian Water Syndicate, which marked “the beginning of development of Vegas valley lands and water.” FEBRUARY 6, 1927: 700 Texas pecan trees are being sent here to trigger pecan farming. FEBRUARY 7, 1930: Wanted by police for “passing spurious paper after a bad streak of gambling,” Jack Kilgore, a Las Vegas Café employee, is dead after shooting himself in the heart. The body will lie in his house until the coroner, who is out of town for a few days, returns to examine it. FEBRUARY 8, 1999: Nevada is ranked second in the nation for firearm fatality rates, based on the 222 suicides and 128 homicides, or 22.4 gun deaths per 100,000 people, in 1996. FEBRUARY 9, 1915: Undertaker Lloyd Smith has confessed to conducting unlawful experi-

RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY Droll, odd, poignant, and awkward moments from the many Februaries of Las Vegas history BY

Chip Mosher

ments on a stillborn baby given him to be buried — “a crime so ghoulish as to arouse intense disgust in practically every citizen of Las Vegas.” FEBRUARY 10, 1924: The Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies), “a menace union,” has adopted our town for its Southwest headquarters, to, according to a newspaper, “carry on its work of tearing down the whole fabric of business and social life (in America).” FEBRUARY 11, 1949: Star of several Shirley Temple films, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson is performing at the Flamingo Hotel. FEBRUARY 12, 1950: During a Lincoln Day dinner at the Flamingo, Wisconsin’s Republican Senator Joe McCarthy “whips local Republicans into a fire for the coming campaign” by calling for loyalty checks on State Department workers, and referring to J. Edgar Hoover as “the greatest man in Washington, D.C., today.” FEBRUARY 13, 1909: Area dairymen are warned to not handle milk “while having sores on their hands.” FEBRUARY 14, 1983: With a 22-0 record, the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels basketball squad, for the

Sources: Las Vegas Age; Las Vegas Morning Tribune; Las Vegas Review-Journal; Las Vegas Sun

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first time in school history, is ranked number one in the nation. FEBRUARY 15, 1924: Local police “interview” leaders of the Industrial Workers of the World to inform them they are “not wanted in this community, advising them to move on.” FEBRUARY 16, 1918: It is “Soldier Smoke Week” in Vegas, to raise cash to send cigarettes to “our boys in France serving on the rim of the war’s ‘No Man’s Land.’” FEBRUARY 17, 1906: The newspaper boasts that the “yearling Las Vegas” has the largest ice plant in the West, but to survive as a city it still needs “a sanitarium for consumptives, a cemetery, and more shade trees.” FEBRUARY 18, 1955: As high winds “quickly dissipate the mushroom cloud” from the Nevada Test Site’s 32nd atomic test, 63 miles away, thousands of spectators here in town are “disappointed by the unspectacular show.” FEBRUARY 19, 1950: The entire executive board of the local chapter of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis resigns after being denied funds to help with the high incidence of polio here. FEBRUARY 20, 1960: Founder of the Golden Nugget in 1946, Guy McAfee, 71, credited with giving the nickname “the Strip” to Highway 91, has died at Sunrise Hospital.

FEBRUARY 21, 1936: Elks Club custodian Bill Spellman is accidentally shot through the head and gravely wounded as his friend, Walter Houck, tries to give Spellman’s new cowboy hat, while still on Spellman’s head, “an authentic bullet hole” for the upcoming Helldorado Parade. FEBRUARY 22, 1958: Authorities notify Joe Dotson that the building in which he keeps his extra-large petrified dinosaur egg is out of compliance with a city ordinance. FEBRUARY 23, 1976: Angry parent Martin Logan is suing his daughter’s fifth-grade teacher for destroying her copy of Mad Magazine in class. FEBRUARY 24, 1976: Henderson minister Henry Furman pleads guilty to manslaughter for “strangling demons out of his possessed wife, Clara, 30, with a belt, as three of his parishioners watched.” They knew the demons had departed after Mrs. Furman’s lifeless body remained still for the next five days. FEBRUARY 25, 1909: It’s reported that in the state assembly the previous week, wild cheering erupted as the Anti-Gambling Bill passed by a margin of 27-20. FEBRUARY 26, 1910: Las Vegas is billed as “The City of Destiny.” FEBRUARY 27, 1936: Amazingly, custodian Bill Spellman recovers his physical faculties and is expected to live, after Dr. C.W. Woodbury removed the damaged portion of his brain (see February 21). FEBRUARY 28, 1946: Somewhere in our desert valley, rare African tongueless toads squirm in a damp aquarium, awaiting their destiny via urine inoculations to aid the human race with its own fertilization efforts, as the city’s population swells to 20,000. ✦


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GREAT SCHOOLS FROM PRE-K TO POSTGRAD AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN


The Dawson Difference We prepare our graduates to thrive no matter which path they choose in life.

The return on investment of a Dawson education is not measured simply by a diploma, but by an educational experience that prepares our graduates to thrive no matter which path they choose in life. Here, students achieve their individual potential while savoring life and meeting the challenges of the world. 2

MONTH 2015

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DAWSON STUDENT

The future of education is here. Join us at The Alexander Dawson School!

(702) 949-3600 alexanderdawsonschool.org 10845 W. Desert Inn Road Las Vegas, Nevada 89135 MONTH 2015

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@unlvcoe

unlv.edu/education

Discover your potential. Situated in one of the most culturally diverse communities in the nation, the College of Education offers a unique and responsive learning environment that prepares students to be successful and impactful education and service practitioners who transform the communities they serve.

Innovate with the best and brightest. College of Education faculty and students are committed to being a leading source of significant knowledge and a creator of innovative models across the spectrum of education and behavioral health. Our research and scholarship continually shape policy and practice across our areas of expertise.

Your future awaits at unlv.edu/education

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#

Number one preparer of education and behavioral health professionals in the state of Nevada, and the U.S. News & World Report rated “Most Diverse Campus� in the nation.

37 Offering 37 degree programs across all levels of study in: education, counseling, educational policy & leadership, educational psychology, English language learning, and human services.

50+ years

Celebrating more than 50 years of excellence and innovation in urban education research and practice.

More than 24K degrees conferred from the College of Education since 1967, with alumni serving across Southern Nevada and the globe


MAKING the GRADES OUR ANNUAL EDUCATION GUIDE COVERING PRE-SCHOOLS TO COLLEGE BY ELISABETH DANIELS

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as Vegas offers a unique, family-friendly lifestyle with plenty of affordable housing, abundant employment prospects, a range of entertainment options, and a variety of excellent education opportunities—from pre-school to grad school to one-of-a-kind Vegas schools. Clark County School District (CCSD) is the fifth largest school district in the country. More than 320,000 students, ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade, are enrolled in 357 CCSD schools. CCSD also offers adult education courses and special education, as well as partnerships with higher education institutions and community organizations. Several CCSD schools are magnets: themed programs that are designed to attract a diverse student body. These federally funded programs have a specific focus, such as Science, Math, Engineering and Technology (STEM), performing arts, language immersion, or International Baccalaureate (IB) curricula. Letting students study areas of interest that they’re passionate about leads to higher engagement in classes and ultimately a better educational result. There are no tuition, application or entrance fees for magnets. Charter schools are another popular option with parents

who appreciate their flexible curricula. There are 24 of these independently run public schools throughout the Vegas Valley. For undergrads seeking a degree, the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) offers more than 150 degrees and certificates in 70 academic programs, including degree options in fields such as healthcare and information technology. CSN’s Culinary Arts program was named the 7th best culinary school in the nation. Get a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration at the Las Vegas campus of the University of Phoenix. Or, study Hospitality Management or Nursing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Both universities offer graduate-level classes as well. As an alternative to the traditional learning model, Khan Academy is an educational website offering video lessons for kindergarten-through-8th grade, high school, and college students, as well as adult learners—all for free. Other multifaceted learning opportunities include the School of Rock, where kids are educated on the finer points of rock-nroll; discovering how to be a gondolier at the Gondola University at The Venetian; getting hands-on experience with aquatic mammals as a Dolphin Trainer for a Day; channeling a favorite NASCAR driver at The Richard Petty Driving Experience, and more.

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n Founded by Wharton School of Business alum Connie Yeh, 9th Bridge School (310 S 9th St, Las Vegas, 89101) is a premier independent early childhood through elementary school, enrolling students 12 months to 4th grade. The school’s mission is to ignite a sense of discovery through a progressive, student-inspired curriculum designed to foster critical thinking, social-emotional learning and integrated academic skills. Designed to mindfully develop every aspect of a child from empathy to language to math, the school blends direct instruction and deep exploration to extend the curriculum beyond grade-level benchmarks, preparing students to become leaders of their own lives. n Advanced Technologies Academy (2501 Vegas Dr, Las Vegas 89106) is a magnet public high school in Las Vegas with a mission to integrate technology with academics for students in grades 9-12. A-TECH is a Blue

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Ribbon and 5-Star Reward School. Offering 22 Advanced Placement (AP) courses, A-TECH was rated as the Top Magnet School in Nevada by k12niche.com. The school regularly receives national accolades. It was recognized by the Washington Post as the Most Challenging High School in Nevada in 2013, 2014 and 2015. A-TECH architecture instructor Richard Knoeppel was named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year. n n The Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain (10845 West Desert Inn Road | Las Vegas, NV 89135) serves preschool through eighth grade students. Situated on a 33-acre campus, the school balances nurturing and challenge by focusing on the intellectual, social/emotional and physical growth of children. The early childhood curriculum includes exposure to Mandarin, Spanish and Science. Lower School students are equipped with the skills needed to succeed in a global and

digital world. The Middle School curriculum emphasizes college preparation. The Dawson College Bound program serves high-achieving students beginning in the summer following sixth grade with graduation from the program occurring as they matriculate to high school. Alexander Dawson has one of the largest school gardens in the region, The Ruffin Organic Farm. Dawson’s chefs use the farm’s fruits and vegetables in dining hall meals. n n n American Heritage Academy (2100 Olympic Ave, Henderson 89014) is a principle-based Christian private school in Las Vegas serving families from North Las Vegas to Henderson. It began as a small home school group that has grown into a robust private school that accepts students from pre-kindergarten to high school. Academic excellence, along with responsible citizenship and character development, is emphasized at American Heritage Acade-

Nasri Academy

noun

Nas·ri A·cad·e·my | \nas- rē ə-’ka-də-mē\ Definition of Nasri Academy 1. solution to an overlooked, and under-served need for students especially: the only full-time education solution for gifted children in Southern Nevada 2. a private school for the advanced education and unique needs of K-8 gifted children of ALL socioeconomic backgrounds 3. a community of gifted persons organized to advance (STEAM) science, technology, engineering, arts, and math in the youth of Las Vegas 4. a body of established educators widely accepted as authoritative in the schooling of gifted children Synonyms for Nasri Academy Advocate for the gifted, frustration-breaker

To Learn More About Nasri Academy visit

nasriacademy.com C AL L E D U C AT I O N N O W

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702.896.8000 FO R AN APPO I NTM ENT!

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NEVADA

Reasons to

1 2 3

for your

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PREPAIDTUITI

N

CHILD’S HIGHER

EDUCATION

TAKE CONTROL

At UNLV & UNR in 2002, 4 years of college tuition cost $9,480. Today’s cost: $26,880.*

LESS DEBT

In 2017, the average college graduate owed over $35,000 in student loan debt.**

PEACE OF MIND

An estimated 90% of newly created jobs are being filled by those with a college degree.***

Purchase in Nevada & Use Tuition Benefits Nationwide****

Visit NV529.ORG for more info

*NSHE https://ir.nevada.edu/page.php?p=tuition_and_fees_history **www.cnbc.com/2018/02/15/heres-how-much-the-average-student-loanborrower-owes-when-they-graduate.html ***https://www.marketwatch.com/story/nine-out-of-10-new-jobs-are-going-tothose-with-a-college-degree-2018-06-04 ****Certain restrictions apply. See Program Description and Master Agreement for full eligibility rules

Administered by Nevada State Treasurer Zach Conine


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my. Teachers at American Heritage Academy take a tutorial approach to education, using the Foundation for American Christian Education (FACE) methodology. Education focuses on the 4 Rs: Research, Reason, Relate, Record, and students test in the top 10% of the nation academically. Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy (1201 W Lake Mead Blvd, Las Vegas, 89106) is a kindergarten through twelfth grade, tuition-free public charter school. Founded by tennis player Andre Agassi, a native of Las Vegas, Agassi Prep maximizes the opportunity for academic achievement by requiring students to attend school for an additional two hours per day and an additional ten days per year. The students attending Agassi Prep are selected by a public computer-based lottery system. Preference is given to children living in a two-mile radius from the school, which is a nnn

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low-income neighborhood. There are no entrance exams or tuition fees required for students to attend. Students and parents are required to sign a Code of Excellence pledging a commitment to fulfill school requirements, including community service hours. n Basic Academy of International Studies (400 Palo Verde Dr, Henderson 89015), serving grades 9-12, was the first high school in Henderson. Home of the Wolves, the school’s motto is, “The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.” Basic Academy is a candidate school for three International Baccalaureate programs, each of which develop an understanding of languages, culture and global issues. An emphasis on career and technical education includes tracks for business, computers, forensic science and fashion. In 2018, three robotics teams from Basic

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Academy qualified to compete in the U.S. Nationals and World Championships. n Bishop Gorman Catholic High School (5959 S Hualapai Way, Las Vegas 89148) is a four-year, Catholic college preparatory high school operated under the auspices of the Diocese of Las Vegas. Home of the Gaels, Bishop Gorman is known for its athletic excellence. The Class of 2018 received over $30 million in college scholarships, while 30 seniors received athletic scholarships to play at the college level. The school boasts a 98% college-bound rate, and its thespians have been Theatre State Champions six years in a row. n Canyon Springs High School (350 E Alexander Rd, North Las Vegas, 89032) is a public high school serving grades 9-12. Canyon Springs is home to the Leadership and Law Preparatory Academy, a college preparatory magnet program


which offers a four-year program in legal studies. There is a fully functioning courtroom on campus. n Carrington College (5740 S Eastern Ave #140, Las Vegas, 89119) offers the choice of an associate degree or certificate level education in healthcare, one of today’s fastest growing industries. Instructors bring practical working experience from their field into the classroom, and students build their resumes through clinical rotations or externships with local medical professionals. Additional programs include Criminal Justice, Veterinary Assisting, and Veterinary Technology. The Scoop, an online informational portal, keeps students connected with articles and share-worthy videos on an array of healthcare topics and more. n Home of the Bulldogs, Centennial High

School (10200 W Centennial Pkwy, Las Vegas, 89149) is a public high school serving grades 9-12. Students have received National Merit Finalist Recognitions, scholarships, and Military Academy Appointments. The school’s NJROTC Program has repeatedly been selected as the number one unit in the nation. The Bulldogs have earned over 50 division championships, more than 28 region championships, and fifteen state championships. Challenger School (challengerschool. com) is an independent, non-profit private school serving Pre-K through 8th Grade students with four locations in the Las Vegas Valley. The curriculum builds on a foundation of reading, composition, math, history and logic. Recognizing that the stimulation the brain receives after birth create the connections for intelligence, Challenger’s teaching methods maintain the circuits in the brain and helps each child build new ones through a structured and encouraging learning environment. n n

n Chaparral High School (3850 Annie Oakley Dr, Las Vegas, 89121) is a public high school located on the east side of the valley serving grades 9-12. The school’s pioneering spirit is embodied in

Leading

the way in

teaching the

health care providers and educators of tomorrow while

caring for our community.

TOURO 2004

30

Employees who worked at Touro when the university opened

BY THE NUMBERS

78

Students enrolled

20,000 square footage of campus space

2018

288

Employees currently working at Touro

1,485 180,000 4,160

Students enrolled

Touro alumni

square footage of campus space

Learn more about Touro University Nevada. www.tun.touro.edu Call today for a tour. 702-777-3100

874 American Pacific Drive, Henderson NV 89014 Touro University Nevada is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and licensed in Nevada by the Commission on Post-Secondary Education. Touro University Nevada does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, sex, gender, color, creed, national origin, religion , sexual orientation, or disability in its employment, programs, or activities.

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DISCOVER Bishop Gorman

its cowboy mascot and its motto: Rigor, Relevance, Relationships, and Responsibility. In addition to foundational coursework, Chaparral offers Mariachi, Journalism, Culinary, We the People, and Forensic Science classes and recently doubled graduation rates. The school has a robust athletics department with spring, fall and winter sports, including football, soccer, golf and swimming.

Tours & Shadow Days Schedule your Prospective Student Tour and Shadow Day online at:

BISHOPGORMAN.ORG

yourself at

BE STATE. Nevada State College strives to be the difference in Southern Nevada by providing high-quality, workforce ready graduates. We offer students more than 50 majors and minors – from business and criminal justice to education and the sciences – all at an exceptional value. Be bold. Be great. Be State.

1300 Nevada State Drive | Henderson, Nevada 89002 | 702.992.2000 | nsc.edu

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n With a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1, College of Southern Nevada (csn.edu) is a fully accredited institution offering over 180 degrees and certificates in more than 70 academic programs—with 24 degrees and certificates available entirely online. There are three main campuses in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson, as well as multiple sites and centers throughout the Southern Nevada area. A variety of clubs, activities and organizations are offered to keep students engaged and connected. The CSN Coyotes are national baseball champions and are also represented in team softball, soccer and volleyball. n The highly-rated Coronado Prep Preschool (2650 Sunridge Heights Pkwy, Henderson, 89052) provides Infant Care, Toddler Care, Two’s Care and Preschool for 3- to 5-year-olds. Coronado strives to develop readiness skills and instill a love for learning at an early age in a home-like environment. Families are encouraged to visit and participate in daily events through a “open door” policy that includes a newsletter, weekly memos, and a live video monitoring system in which parents can watch live from anywhere with a cell phone or desktop computer. n Rated the #7 charter school in the 2018 Best High Schools in the U.S. News & World Report, Coral Academy of Science Las Vegas (7951 Deer Springs Way, Las Vegas, 89131) a K-12 state sponsored tuition-free public charter school with emphasis in the areas of Math, Science, and Technology. CASLV has five campuses throughout the Las Vegas valley: two in Las Vegas, two in Henderson and one at Nellis Air Force



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Base. Named a 5-Star Quality School two years consecutively, CASLV has produced two students who achieved the Gold Medal of the Congressional Award. Service and leadership programs include Key Club and Civil Air Patrol. n Crescent School of Gaming and Bartending (4180 S. Sandhill Rd, Ste. B8, Las Vegas, 89122) fulfills the demand for professionally trained bartenders, beverage managers and casino dealers. Using “hands on” teaching methods, students gain a thorough understanding of the gaming and bartending businesses. Gaming students become conversant with the rules, techniques, systems, procedures, equipment, and theory in their choice of several casino games. Bartending and Beverage Management programs develop mastery of the art of mixing drinks quickly and properly. The Crescent Schools are one

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of the few accredited Bartending/Beverage Management and Casino Dealing schools in the United States. n Through partnerships with the Culinary Union 226, Bartenders Union 165, and 28 major properties on the Las Vegas Strip, Culinary Academy of Las Vegas (710 West Lake Mead Blvd, North Las Vegas, 89030) provides students with real-world training in 12 different classifications. Academy students gain handson experience by cooking for the Westside Bistro, the Academy’s restaurant, as well as preparing and delivering meals to the needy in the community. n Del Sol Academy of the Performing Arts (3100 E Patrick Ln, Las Vegas, 89120) offers a comprehensive high school experience, in addition to selected magnet curricula. Students may choose one of the following magnet majors: Costume

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Design, Dance, Mariachi, Band, Orchestra, Vocal, Music Production, Technical Theater, and Theater. Magnet students have access to community internships, Artist-in-Residence programs, and performance opportunities. As they partake in a challenging and rigorous curriculum in all content areas, students have the unique opportunity to study the performing arts—while still benefitting from a comprehensive environment rich in athletics, visual arts, service organizations, clubs, and countless student activities. n East Career & Technical Academy (705 Vegas Valley Dr, Las Vegas, 89142) is a comprehensive magnet high school that offers several distinct program areas of study. Students select their program of choice when applying for admission. Students can choose coursework in Education, Medical Professions, Culinary Arts, Enter-


tainment Marketing & Hospitality, Automotive Mechanical Technology, Information Technology Systems, Construction Technology, and Electronics Technology. Rigorous coursework, hands-on projects, job-shadowing, and internships will give students first-hand experience in their selected program areas. In addition, students can earn college credits through the 2+2 Tech Prep program and through Advanced Placement Courses. n Everest College (170 N Stephanie St, Henderson, 89074) offers a choice of career training with programs as wide-ranging as health care, business, information technology, legal and skilled trades. Students may also earn their degree completely online. Everest offers students online associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Students choose an Everest education for its hands-on training, small work groups, flexible class scheduling, industry-experienced instructors, being taught with tools and equipment that professionals use, learning centers and the option of online courses.

reimagine E D U C A T I O N

Nearly twenty years ago, three educators challenged the status quo in graduate level healthcare education. They believed all students could be competent, at very high levels, but only if they were taught differently. They believed that not only could the bar be raised, but that innovation must trump tradition. They believed that the Six-Point Mastery Learning Model would prepare students better than ever before, and that they would transition into healthcare fields with ease, prowess, confidence and mastery. Roseman University has been reimagining education since our inception in 1999. Using the Six-Point Mastery Learning Model, we train students to thrive and practice in today’s complex world of medicine and patient care. Challenge. Reimagine. Roseman. Learn more at roseman.edu

n Faith Lutheran Academy (2700 S. Town Center, Las Vegas, NV 89135) is a private Christian School in Summerlin. Faculty and staff focus on providing a safe, nurturing environment with a quality, Christ-centered education for students from Kindergarten through Grade 5. Students are encouraged to grow in their faith, to develop their gifts and talents, to serve and respect others, and to be well prepared leaders in their education in this digital age. Faith Lutheran Academy is accredited by AdvancED and the National Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA). n n Foothills Montessori School (1401 Amador Ln, Henderson, 89012) is a private school that provides children ages 3-14 with an education based on the Montessori method. Key elements include a low student-to-teacher ratio to ensure ample attention, a multi-age classroom structure to encourage student mentorship

11 Sunset Way | Henderson, NV 89014 | 702-990-4433 10530 Discovery Drive | Las Vegas, NV 89135 | 702-802-2841 10920 S. River Front Parkway | South Jordan, UT 84095 | 801-302-2600

roseman.edu | @rosemanuhs

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and a focus on individual progression without peer competition. Areas of study range from math, science, geography, and social studies to history, language, foreign language, music, art and physical education. The campus features an amphitheater, multi-purpose room and state-of-the-art science playground. n Gilbert Magnet School for Communication and Creative Arts (2101 W Cartier Ave, North Las Vegas, 89032) is an elementary magnet school serving pre-kindergarten through 5th grade children. The school’s guiding philosophy is that the arts are a way to learn and a way to live. The curriculum centers on integrated instruction and a climate for teacher learning and collaboration, infusing artistic and creative methodologies. The authentic integration of the arts into content areas and school-wide events strongly encourages and supports students’ academic success and positive character development. n Henderson Christian Academy (2750 Robindale Rd, Henderson, 89074) is a private Christian preschool the Henderson and Las Vegas communities. With small class sizes and a nurturing family atmosphere, Henderson Christian offers families a well-rounded Christian education with encouraging teachers who have an intimate sense of each child’s personality and needs. Henderson Christian accommodates children from 6-weeks-old to full-day kindergarten students. The school also offers before- and after-school programs. n n Henderson International School (1165 Sandy Ridge Ave, Henderson 89052) is private, preschool through 8th-grade coed college, preparatory school. The school’s STEAM curriculum focuses not only on science, technology, engineering, and math, but also on art. The international emphasis includes a homestay boarding program that provides opportunities for students from around the globe. The school is also a satellite site for The Western Talent Search, offered through the Center for Bright Kids. E D U C AT I O N N O W

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n Jo Mackey Academy of Leadership and Global Communication (2726 Englestad St, North Las Vegas, 89030) is a 5-star magnet school serving pre-k through 5th grade students. Jo Mackey’s program is built around a philosophy of 3 Cs: Positive Character, Strong Citizenship, and Outstanding Communication, all elements that are needed to be successful leaders in a global society. The school is named for Mrs. Jo Mackey, who came to Las Vegas around 1925 and devoted her life to the under-privileged and to the handicapped, being handicapped herself. Her legacy is carried on through student participation in service projects, which are undertaken by students in every grade level. A team of Jo Mackey students attended the 2018 Robotics World Championship. n Kiddie Academy of Henderson (870 Coronado Center Dr, Henderson, 89052) is an educational daycare modeled on the Life Essentials® educational philosophy, which includes family-style meals shared with other children, computer literacy and character education. Core curriculum is supplemented with Music & More, weekly 30-minute lessons filled with music, stories and activities designed specifically for each child’s age. CampVentures is designed for children up to age 12. Children spend quality time participating in water play and physical fitness activities, and some age groups can go on fun and educational field trips throughout the summer. n n Known for their back-to-basics approach to learning, Legacy Traditional Schools (locations in North Las Vegas, Southwest Las Vegas, and Henderson) is a non-profit network of tuition-free, A-rated public schools that emphasizes a rigorous education, including the arts, physical education and extensive athletics and extracurricular activities. The curriculum develops highly-capable learners with a dynamic pace of study, high expectations, self-contained K-6 classrooms, the Spalding Language Arts curriculum, the accelerated Saxon Math curriculum, and more.

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n Las Vegas Academy of the Arts (315 S 7th St, Las Vegas, 89101) is an award-winning magnet high school. Located in the center of the Las Vegas High School Historical District, the Las Vegas Academy serves students in grades 9 through 12. Students may pursue a major in band, vocal music, dance, guitar, international studies (French, Japanese, and Spanish), mariachi, orchestra, photography, piano, studio art, technical theatre, theatre, visual design, and World Jazz studies. Students attend classes in 86-minute blocks, as compared with the standard 50 minutes in a comprehensive high school, allowing for more intensive instruction. n Las Vegas High School (6500 E Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, 89142) is a public high school and home of the Wildcats. Along with attending challenging academic classes, students can participate in sports, CTE courses, the school’s performing arts program, or its AJROTC program. Students can also join one of the 40 different clubs and organizations on campus. The Wildcats have won numerous championships, and their athletics programs are recognized as some of the best in Nevada. n Milan Institute of Cosmetology (710 S Tonopah Dr, Las Vegas, 89106) offers career training in beauty, business, healthcare, industrial, information technology, and massage. Because instructors are professionals in their respective fields, they bring relevant, on-the-job experience to the classroom. Excellent training and job placement assistance enable students to become enterprising professionals. Because Milan is well known to employers for providing the most advanced, up-to-date curriculum, graduates can more easily gain employment and advance in their new careers. n n The Nasri Academy for Gifted Children (5300 El Camino Rd., Las Vegas 89118) serves kindergarten through 8th grade students. Understanding that gifted children are unique and require a specialized learning environment, Nasri provides students with hands-on, collaborative, integrated experiences, to tackle


Soar! Coral Academy of Science Las Vegas (CASLV) believes in empowering our community by investing in our youth. We foster an environment based on 21st Century skills: Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Communication and Creativity. When students are free to think and dream, anything can be accomplished.

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS

APPLY TODAY!

Applications to this award-winning school are being accepted now. The first lottery cut off date is February 28th, 2019 Apply online: caslv.org/admission

SANDY RIDGE CAMPUS GRADES 7-12 1051 Sandy Ridge Ave. Henderson, NV 89052 (702) 776-8800 (702) 776-8803 (Fax)

WINDMILL CAMPUS GRADES 4-6 2150 Windmill Pkwy. Henderson, NV 89074 (702) 485-3410 (702) 722-7218 (Fax)

TAMARUS CAMPUS GRADES K-3 8185 Tamarus St. Las Vegas, NV 89123 (702) 269-8512 (702) 269-3258 (Fax)

CENTENNIAL CAMPUS GRADES K-8 7951 Deer Springs Way Las Vegas, NV 89131 (702) 685-4333 (702) 685-7525 (Fax)

NELLIS AFB CAMPUS GRADES K-8 42 Baer Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89115 (702) 643-5121 (702) 643-5138 (Fax)

EASTGATE CAMPUS GRADES K-7 7777 Eastgate Rd. Henderson, NV 89011 (702) 489-9797 (702) 489-9191(Fax)


Unmatched Academic Results

real world projects. Programs include Entrepreneurship, Junior Achievement, Specialty Workshops, Parent Education, Community Service Projects, Robotics, and Innovation & Design. n Nevada Career Institute (3231 N Decatur Blvd #201, Las Vegas, 89130) is a for-profit college offering Diploma, Associate Degree and Certification Programs in health care that can be completed in less than a year. A leader in allied health education, Nevada Career Institute offers affordable training programs in Medical Assisting, Surgical Technology, Medical Insurance Billing, and Massage Therapy. Programs combine rigorous classroom studies with hands-on training. A choice of day or evening classes accommodate busy schedules, and some coursework is available online.

Open Enrollment has begun!

Come see for yourself at an Open House! Tuesday, February 5 and 12, 8–6 Saturday, February 23, 9–1 Desert Hills 410-7225 8175 West Badura Avenue

Los Prados 839-1900 5150 North Jones Boulevard

Green Valley 990-7300 1725 East Serene Avenue

Summerlin 878-6418 9900 Isaac Newton Way

An independent private school offering preschool through eighth grade © 2019, Challenger Schools Challenger School admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

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n Nevada State College (1300 Nevada State Drive, Henderson, 89002) a four-year public college offering more than 35 majors and minors. Known for its small classes and experienced faculty, fields of study include the liberal arts and sciences, and more. Students can learn in-class or online, or a hybrid of both. All instruction is career-focused, so technology and a hands-on approach are high priorities. Recognizing that education goes beyond academics, Nevada State College also has a robust and diverse student life with a variety of clubs and organizations and the opportunity to participate in student government. n Nevada State High School is a public charter school serving grades 11-12. With a laser-focused mission to support students in an authentic college environment, the school allows juniors and seniors to earn both high school and college credits through Nevada’s dual enrollment law. The school has five locations in Henderson, Downtown Las Vegas, Southwest Las Vegas, Summerlin, and Sunrise, and one in Reno. The high school strives to complete students’ core college classes, but some students have gone beyond the basics to earn an associate’s degree before graduation.


Session 1: May 20 – June 7 Session 2: June 10 – July 12 Session 3: July 15 – August 16 SUMMERTERM.UNLV.EDU

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n Northwest Career & Technical Academy (8200 W Tropical Pkwy, Las Vegas, 89149) is a public magnet school serving grades 9-12. Northwest Career & Technical Academy emphasizes college preparation and offers several programs for students to choose from: Engineering & Design, Hospitality, Mechanical

n HIGH SCHOOL

n C O L L E G E / U N I V E R S I T Y / V O C AT I O N A L

Technology, Culinary Arts, Construction Technology, Early Childhood Education, Teacher Education, Kindergarten, Medical Professions, Media Communications and Biotechnology. There are over 50 clubs and activities for students to participate in, including Anime Club, Future Business Leaders of

CONTINUING E D U C AT I O N

EXTENDING CAMPUS TO THE COMMUNITY Professional Development | Personal Enrichment | Custom Training

Whether you want to earn a professional certificate, expand your understanding of emerging technology, learn a language, or discover your creative side, we have a class for you. We also partner with businesses and groups to create custom training opportunities. CONTINUING EDUCATION

ced.unlv.edu

DIVISION OF EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH

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702-895-3394

America, Hip Hop Club, Physics Club and Robotics Club. n Named for the Palo Verde trees that surround it, Palo Verde High School (333 S Pavilion Center Dr, Las Vegas, 89144) is a public high school in Summerlin serving grades 9-12. The mission of Palo Verde is to prepare students to realize their academic, creative, emotional, physical, social, and career potentials as contributing members of a multicultural society in an international community of mutual respect. The school achieves this mission through challenging coursework, a robust athletics program and an array of activities. n Rainbow Dreams Academy (50 W Lake Mead Blvd, Las Vegas, 89106) is a public charter school serving students in grades K-6. Located in a 13,028-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, students are educated and prepared to challenge their intellect, maximize their talents, respect themselves and others and take pride in their heritage in a nurturing learning community. The curriculum integrates English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, reading, computer technology, fine and performing arts and Spanish with an infusion of African American history and multicultural learning. With the philosophy that music and dance can be vehicles for social change, Rainbow Dreams offers three Music & Dance Programs. n Rancho High School Academies of Aviation and Medical Sciences (1900 Searles Ave, Las Vegas, 89101) is a “school within a school� inside Rancho High School. Part of a comprehensive high school serving grades 9-12, the RHS Academy provides students with rigorous and relevant learning experiences within the magnet programs as well as in the general curriculum, and students can choose from electives such as orchestra, theater, dance, band, choir, and art. After-school athletic programs and club activities are also available. The Rancho High School Medical


Academy is the head-start program for those interested in becoming doctors, dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians, & nurses. “Real-life” medical work, including virtual autopsies, suturing, and CPR, gives students insight into the medical field. The only one of its kind in the District and one of only a handful in the United States, Rancho High School’s Academy of Aviation offers two dynamic and unique programs for students interested in aviation and aerospace. Other offerings include the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Dual Enrollment Program and Biomedicine. n Robert O. Gibson Middle School Leadership Academy (3900 W Washington Ave, Las Vegas, 89107) is a magnet school serving grades 6-8. The Leadership Academy fosters the academic success, personal growth, and social development of middle school students through service to their communities. The curriculum centers on English, Math and Science, and uses the real world as a classroom in which students develop as leaders who take initiative, solve problems, work as a team, and demonstrate their abilities while addressing real community needs. Eighth graders can participate in the Dual Language Immersion Academy, a bilingual program of Spanish and English. n Roseman University of Health Sciences (11 Sunset Way, Henderson, 89014) is a private, non-profit university with campuses in Henderson, Summerlin and South Jordan, Utah. The University is comprised of the College of Dental Medicine, offering an Advanced Education in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics/MBA residency and Doctor of Dental Medicine program; College of Pharmacy, offering a Doctor of Pharmacy and Professional Continuing Education; College of Nursing, offering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing and RN to Bachelor of Sciences in Nursing; and an MBA program. Roseman’s programs are unique in that they utilize the Six-Point Master Learning Model. SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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n E L E M E N TA R Y

n MIDDLE SCHOOL

n Sandy Searles Miller Academy of International Studies (4851 E Lake Mead Blvd, Las Vegas, 89115) is a globally recognized International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme serving Pre-K through Grade 5 students. It’s the first school in Nevada to receive the top magnet school award in the USA. Miller is recognized as a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) school. A partnership with Desert Research Institute provides students opportunities to engage with scientists in various fields of study. Miller provides Spanish instruction to all students. Students are involved in their learning through inquiry and discovery in an internationally-relevant and rigorous program of study. In 2018, two Sandy Searles students were selected to serve as state ambassadors for Fuel Up to Play 60, a health and wellness program in collaboration with the NFL and USDA.

n HIGH SCHOOL

n C O L L E G E / U N I V E R S I T Y / V O C AT I O N A L

n Shenker Academy (9001 Hillpointe Rd, Las Vegas, 89134) is a preschool in Summerlin. Shenker’s curriculum framework is based on the Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory and the four developmental domains of child development: social, emotional, cognitive, and physical. Teachers create lesson plans following the eight multiple intelligences that also work on the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development for each individual child. The daily and weekly curriculum is planned around the children’s age, individual, and group needs. n Sierra Nevada College (4300 E Sunset Rd # E1, Henderson, 89014) is a private, four-year institution on the shores of Lake Tahoe in Northern Nevada with a campus in Henderson. Sierra Nevada College combines the liberal arts and professional preparedness through an interdisciplinary curriculum that em-

phasizes entrepreneurial thinking and environmental, social, economic and educational sustainability. With an 11-to-1 student-teacher ratio, students learn from faculty who hold prestigious advanced degrees and have distinguished careers in their field. The Henderson campus offers several masters degrees in Teaching & Education. n Home of the Mountain Lions, Sierra Vista High School (8100 W Robindale Rd, Las Vegas, 89113) is a public high school in Spring Valley serving grades 9-12. The school recently produced two National Merit Finalists, and several students have gone on to attend prestigious institutions such as Stanford, Berkley and West Point after graduation. Known for its strong robotics team, Sierra Vista won the respected Community Award in Robotics and was a Robotics World Qualifier. They were State Finalists in Cross Country, Wrestling,

NOT ALL CLASSROOMS HAVE FOUR WALLS.

Embrace Discovery at SNC Tahoe. La Tahoe is the crown jewel of the Sierras, drawing generations of Lake explorers, writers, adventure-seekers, researchers, and entrepreneurs. Those qualities define the academic experience at SNC Tahoe, where professors know your name and teach beyond the classroom, in the living lab of the mountains and lake. Our innovative Freshman Immersion Semester and Junior Professional Year ooer more than just an education they ooer you the future. Your future. Contact us today - find out more. SIERRANEVADA.EDU Phone 886.412.4636 admissions@sierranevada.edu

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2018-2019 SEASON and Volleyball, and the school won a National Championship in Orchestra. Silver Sands Montesorri Charter School (1841 Whitney Mesa Dr, Henderson, 89014) is a hybrid charter school that serves grades K through 8. Silver Sands Montessori is the only public Montessori school in Southern Nevada. Students from kindergarten to eighth grade engage in cultural and social studies as well as learning practical life skills, Spanish, art, and music. As part of the Montessori method, children are taught to develop independence, respect and an understanding of cultural differences.

T.Y. ZHANG

Friday, February 8, 2019 • 7:30 p.m.

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n n n The Adelson Educational Campus (9700 Hillpointe Rd, Las Vegas, 89134) is a preschool-through-grade-12 independent private school based on Jewish values and identity. The Adelson Educational Campus consists of two schools: The Preschool/Lower School for students from 18 months through 5th grade and the Upper School for grades 6–12. The Adelson Educational Campus strives to develop students into caring, perceptive, engaged thinkers, who are fully prepared for top universities at home and abroad. Learning takes pace in a dynamic environment where students thrive academically by gaining invaluable skills and insights through authentic scholarship. In 2018, Adelson was named the most beautiful private high school in Nevada by Architectural Digest.

Touro University (874 American Pacific Drive, Henderson, 89014) is non-profit, Jewish-sponsored, private institution focused on the health sciences and education. Touro offers a wide range of degree programs in allied health sciences and education, as well as osteopathic medicine. The Touro campus is also home to both a full-service patient health clinic, staffed by practicing faculty members, and a multidisciplinary Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. In addition to serving the community through care, both facilities serve as on-site learning laboratories for students across the disciplines.

$45

Sponsored by the Lawrence Livingston Downs Trust Tengyue (T.Y.) Zhang, 2017 first prize winner of the Guitar Foundation of America International Concert Artist Competition, comes to Las Vegas.

TAKÁCS QUARTET

Tuesday, February 26, 2019• 7:30 p.m. $30

A UNLV Chamber Music Society Concert The New York Times recently lauded the Takács Quartet for "making the most traditional of works feel radical once more."

DANÚ

with members of the Coronado High School Madrigal Singers Wednesday, March 6, 2019 7:30 p.m. $50 · $40 · $30 · $20

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Start your St. Patrick’s Day celebration a little early with one of today’s leading traditional Irish ensembles. Danú’s virtuosi performers hail from Waterford, Dublin, Donegal and Cork.

pac.unlv.edu

702-895-2787

Although unanticipated, artists, dates, and times are subject to change without notice.

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n E L E M E N TA R Y

n MIDDLE SCHOOL

n Recognized as a top research institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (unlv.edu) is a public university situated on 332 acres roughly 1.6 miles east of the Las Vegas Strip. UNLV has more than 350 degrees to choose from. The Honors College provides a distinct course path for undergraduates with an state-of-the-art curriculum and access to academic and career advising, including a dedicated Academic Success Center. UNLV is also becoming a home for the study of robotics and unmanned aerial systems industries, with high-quality research opportunities and associated academic programs. UNLV has celebrated programs in hospitality administration, creative writing, nursing, law and dispute resolution, entertainment engineering, architecture, sciences, fine arts and more. UNLV also has a number notable graduate schools, including the William S. Boyd School of Law, which is particularly well regarded for its legal writing program; the College of Education; and the College of Business. The Lee Business School offers five master’s degree programs, including the Executive MBA, and nine undergraduate programs, and is among just 181 business colleges and schools worldwide to hold international dual accreditation in business and accounting by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. UNLV is also home to the prominent Black Mountain Institute, a literary center dedicated to promoting discourse on today’s most contentious topics. UNLV’s Performing Arts Center is a home for the arts in Southern Nevada, nationally known for its musical and theatrical offerings. The popular Rebels athletic teams compete in the NCAA Division I Mountain West Conference. The Science and Engineering Building boasts over 200,000 square feet of laboratory and teaching space, high-tech conference rooms and integrated research areas. Opportunities for research are available through the university’s academic hubs, such as the Center for Gaming Research, the Center for Infor-

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n HIGH SCHOOL

n C O L L E G E / U N I V E R S I T Y / V O C AT I O N A L

mation and Communication Technology and the Arnold Shaw Popular Music Research Center. UNLV School of Dental Medicine is the only four-year accredited dental school in Nevada. UNLV’s Summer Term, a division of educational outreach, is a self-supporting program which empowers students to get ahead and graduate sooner. By offering additional opportunities to earn college credit students reap the benefits of attaining up to an additional eighteen credits for undergraduate students, and twelve credits for graduate students, ultimately fast-tracking their degree. n Valley High School (2839 Burnham Ave, Las Vegas, 89169) is a public high school, serving grades 9-12, that also offers two widely recognized magnet programs: The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and Middle Years Programme. The school is also home to the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism (AOHT), which develops employable skills using project-based learning. Valley High School’s athletic program is known as the Vikings. Valley also offers a variety of co-curricular activities in addition to athletics: Band, Choir, Mariachi, Fine Arts, and various clubs. n Variety School (2800 Stewart Ave, Las Vegas, 89101) serves special needs students with physical, intellectual or emotional disabilities. The school features vocational training centers for a laundry, a kitchen and restaurant, a recycling center, a graphics center and a greenhouse. Students spend time in each area, learning a skill of their choice, with a goal of preparing them for the workforce. Some students come for behavior modification and are transitioned back to their home schools once they’ve completed their program at Variety. Some must stay for extended periods of time; many remain until they reach 22 and no longer can attend. n Opened in 2009, Veterans Tribute Career and Technical Academy (2531 Vegas Dr, Las Vegas, 89106) is a public high school serving grades 9-12. The

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school has the distinction of being the only school of its kind in the state of Nevada focusing on preparing students for careers in public service. Instructors with enforcement, emergency medical response and dispatch careers provide students with firsthand knowledge and training. Partnerships with the Las Vegas Metro Police Department and other public agencies give students a leg up when applying for public service positions. n Walter Bracken (STEAM) Academy (1200 North 27th St, Las Vegas, 89101) is a pre-k through 5th-grade public magnet school with an award-winning program that emphasizes Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math. Ranked among the top 5% of all elementary schools in the Clark County School District, Bracken STEAM offers students labs focused on earth, life, and physical sciences as well as access to outdoor gardens, tortoise habitats, and investigative field trips, which provide additional opportunities for hands-on discovery. All students participate in gardening and help to maintain the multiple school gardens. With computer labs and 1-to-1 iPads, students become familiar with technology for data collection, analysis, interpretation, and publication. In 2018, Bracken STEAM was named a National Elementary and Secondary Education Act Distinguished School by the National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators. n Western Governors University (nevada.wgu.edu) is an accredited online university offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees for busy adults in four high-demand sectors: business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. With a flat-rate tuition, WGU employs competency-based education, an innovative learning model which measures student learning rather than time spent in class. Created for working adults with full schedules, students learn at their own pace through 24/7 access to coursework and resources.




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