Totaling 37 Tony Awards and two Pulitzers, the shows of The Smith Center’s 2017/18 Broadway Las Vegas® Series weren’t chosen lightly.
Myron Martin, Smith Center president and CEO, and Paul Beard, vice president and COO, ensure they see all of the latest shows to select the highest quality productions for each Broadway season.
Following a tireless search, Paul shares why he and Myron selected the new season’s productions.
“We’ve worked hard to provide a great mix of shows that our audiences in Southern Nevada will love,” Paul says.
Plot: Two brothers write history’s first musical in 1595 to compete with William Shakespeare
Paul’s Take: “This show is a personal favorite, because it’s really clever and really funny. There aren’t that many funny shows, and it’s hard to do comedy really well. The opening to this show is the strongest I’ve seen in years. When you’ve got a show that can generate a spontaneous standing ovation in the first 10 minutes, you’ve got something special.”
“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”
Plot: A murder mystery through the eyes of a 15-year-old with an extraordinary mind
Paul’s Take: “This is such a strong show that is brilliantly staged. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen – it takes staging to a whole different level and will be a novel experience for people here. The protagonist in the show is a very special character on the autism spectrum, and his interior state of mind is expressed through all the elements in the production. It’s great story telling.”
“Disney’s The Little Mermaid”
Plot: Following the story of the beloved Disney animated film, a mermaid makes a magical deal to follow her dreams
Paul’s Take: “I have always wanted to bring this show to The Smith Center. It’s a family show with many lighthearted songs that both children and adults enjoy, like ‘Under the Sea.’ Our audiences love these stories.”
“The King and I”
Plot: In 1860s Bangkok, a strong relationship develops between the King of Siam and a British schoolteacher
Paul’s Take: “This touring production has generated such an enthusiastic response from audiences we knew we had to bring it to Southern Nevada. This show has really outdone itself with elaborate costuming, choreography and set design, and we feel it’s the perfect fit for our discriminating audience.”
Plot: Recreating the hit film’s storyline, a bodyguard is hired to protect a superstar and falls in love
Paul’s Take: “This is a good story and people are going to love the music. It’s the songs we know and love, and more. It also stars Grammy nominee Deborah Cox, whose extraordinary talent will carry the show.”
“Rent 20th Anniversary Tour”
Plot: A year in the life of friends living a Bohemian lifestyle in modern-day New York City
Paul’s Take: “We have a new generation of people who will get to experience this timeless show, and the production holds up really well. This show is very true to the original production, with the same powerful story and energizing songs.”
“Love Never Dies”
Plot: The dramatic sequel to “Phantom of the Opera” that continues the story of the mysterious Phantom and his beloved singer
Paul’s Take: “This is a lavish production worthy of its association with ‘Phantom of the Opera.’ The show’s stunning costuming and detailed, elaborate sets will capture audiences’ imaginations. Of course, the haunting melodies by Andrew Lloyd Webber make this production unforgettable.”
“The Color Purple”
Plot: 40 years in the life of a family in rural Georgia, based on the acclaimed novel
Paul’s Take: “The most important thing to understand is this is not ‘The Color Purple’ that was at The Smith Center in 2012. Director John Doyle has completely reimagined the show by stripping it down to its emotional core. There’s a point in the second act that’s so intense and so well realized that it stops the show. This is an uplifting show that is a testament to the human spirit.”
Plot: The life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton
Paul’s Take: “From time to time, a show will come along that vastly exceeds prior expectations. This is such a show. It takes Broadway to a new level.
I think it’s a case of all the elements coming together. You start with Lin-Manuel’s unique vision for the show. He took contemporary vocabulary, hip-hop and also made the show racially diverse to capture the story of Alexander Hamilton. Add to that unparalleled cast performances and you have a new hallmark.”
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