A dream comes true for Southern Nevada

By Debbie Hall

Photos by: Mark Bowers

More than two decades in the making, The Smith Center opened March 10 to a star-studded evening hosted by award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris and included Academy award-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson; Broadway stars Brian Stokes Mitchell, Sherie Rene Scott, Cheyenne Jackson, Laura Osnes, Benjamin Walker and Montego Glover; country star Martina McBride; lead singer for Train, Pat Monahan; Carole King; Mavis Staples; Willie Nelson; Merle Haggard and Grammy Award winner Emmylou Harris.

“Tonight we celebrated more than the opening of The Smith Center,” said Myron Martin, president and CEO of The Smith Center. “We celebrated this community’s commitment to the arts and to creating something important and lasting for the people who live here and for generations to come.”

Located in downtown’s 61-acre urban development, Symphony Park, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is a public/private partnership offering performances by resident companies as well as first-run touring attractions. The 5-acre cultural campus features three performance spaces: the 2,050-seat main performance area in Reynolds Hall; Boman Pavilion’s 258-seat Cabaret Jazz and 250-seat Troesh Studio Theater. There is also a 1.7-acre park that will offer outdoor concerts.

The inaugural 2012 Broadway Las Vegas series will bring Broadway musicals to the Smith Center stage including “Mary Poppins” (May 22-27); “Million Dollar Quartet” (June 12-17) and “Memphis” (July 18-22).

Also, the campus will be the new location of the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum. Through affiliations with the John F. Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child program and the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, along with creative programming designed for students, The Smith Center will seek to expand arts education for all Southern Nevada students.

On May 5, Nevada Ballet Theatre’s 40th Anniversary Gala was held as the company’s official debut at The Smith Center taking center stage in their new performance home. The program included guest artists, ballet highlights and live music with the Las Vegas Philharmonic. For more information on upcoming performances, visit nevadaballet.org.

On May 12, The Las Vegas Philharmonic concluded its season with Dvorak’s “New World” which captures the American spirit, Beethoven’s “Consecration of the House,” originally composed to celebrate the re-opening of the Josefsradt Theater in Vienna, and the celebratory “Pine of Rome” featuring brass players in the house as well as on stage. The Las Vegas Philharmonic 2012-2013 season will be held at The Smith Center and for more information, visit lvphil.com.

Before the show or during intermission, fine wine, champagne, beer, cocktails, soft drinks and snacks will be offered on any level of Reynolds Hall or Cabaret Jazz from a number of bars.

The Smith Center will feature monumental outdoor and indoor sculptures, as well as other works of art throughout its campus. Available to view throughout the year, the custom commissioned art pieces will add to the thriving arts community. A tribute to The Smith Center’s namesake, a bronze statue of Mr. and Mrs. Smith created by nationally known and celebrated artist, William Behrends, will be showcased in an outdoor location near the west entrance of Reynolds Hall.

For more information about The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, visit thesmithcenter.com. Keep up with news and events on Facebook.