Smith Center Blog

Broadway Las Vegas / Inside the Theater

Test Your Knowledge of Broadway Shows at The Smith Center

When The Smith Center opened in 2012, its top goals included bringing the best of Broadway productions to Southern Nevada audiences. The nonprofit did just that with its Broadway Las Vegas® Series, presenting Tony-winning productions throughout each year – including many shows fresh off the Broadway stage.

Discovering The Smith Center / Inside the Theater

Why the New Rules for Large Gatherings Still Don’t Make it Possible to Reopen

After Governor Sisolak raised the COVID-19 attendance cap on large gatherings and as several other venues in Las Vegas prepare to reopen with restricted capacity, Smith Center President and CEO Myron Martin explains some of the challenges that continue to prevent The Smith Center from reopening in the near future.

Inside the Theater

Loading in a Broadway Show at The Smith Center

A few simple words embody one of the most important parts of a performance: the load-in. This process entails unloading and setting up everything a touring production needs for its performances. Load-ins can involve building sets, installing special lighting and effects, organizing costumes and props and more, often conducted a mere day before opening night.

Inside the Theater

How to Stay Social with the Arts, At a Distance

The pandemic not only brought about the temporary closure of The Smith Center and numerous other performance venues, but many other arts activities remain on hold under public health guidelines. To fill this void for now, The Smith Center offers a few ideas for staying social with the arts, while still keeping a safe distance.

Inside the Theater

Creating the First Broadway Musical, By Accident

The words Broadway and musical have nearly become synonymous since the mid-19th century. Broadway productions now set the highest standard for musical theater, with many performers aspiring to take part as a lifelong ambition. This grand tradition launched with one paradigm-shifting show — the first Broadway musical. And it happened by accident.

Inside the Theater

A Vegas Musician’s Guide to Surviving the Orchestra Pit

When audiences experience touring Broadway productions at The Smith Center, they relish the booming and sweeping melodies flowing from the hidden compartment beneath the stage. But little do many realize, the musicians tucked in this underground space must grapple with numerous challenges to provide a polished, flawless sound.

Inside the Theater

The Invention of the Orchestra Pit

Most theater and dance performances feature live musicians tucked in a sub-stage orchestra pit, blasting and crooning melodies that enhance the show without audiences often realizing it. But this wasn’t always so. As part of The Smith Center’s ongoing blog series exploring the history of theater magic, discover how the orchestra pit originated.

Inside the Theater

How Opera Changed Theater Forever

While audiences today delight in colossal and mesmerizing set pieces, all of this would have baffled audiences from the age of William Shakespeare. Performances in this golden era featured spartan stages, with no sets and often no props. Explore how eye-popping visuals and captivating music eventually became intertwined with theater as we know it today.

Inside the Theater

The Story Behind the World’s First Actor

Live theater began with a man and his love for stories. Most theater and history buffs can name Thespis of ancient Greece, the world’s first known actor, and the origin of theater term thespian. While ancient Greek performances had long featured choreographed choral processions, Thespis sparked the idea for a show the likes of which none had seen before.