Rita Moreno
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
Rita Moreno
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
The much-awarded, much-loved stage and screen star Rita Moreno (best known for her fiery performance as Anita in West Side Story) will appear for one night only, October 3, at UNLV's Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall. If you're one of the millions of people who has been following the America's Got Talent reality show competition, you'll be happy to hear that you can see the winner perform live at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on October 17. Also appearing at the MGM Grand this month is guitar god Santana (October 4) and Mr. "Margaritaville" himself, Jimmy Buffett (October 18 & 25). Saturday Night Live alum Norm MacDonald will do stand-up at the House of Blues on October 4, while Barry Manilow does his show Manilow: Music and Passion at the Hilton Theater on several dates throughout the month.

There are two notable productions coming up at the College of Southern Nevada this month. Peter Udell and Gary Geld's musical version of the 1965 Jimmy Stewart film Shenandoah (October 24-November 9), a Civil War-era family drama, will play at the Nicholas J. Horn Theatre on CSN's Cheyenne campus. Also at the Nicholas J. Horn, CSN will host two concert readings of Michael Lazar and Richard Oberacker's new musical adaptation of Dracula (October 18-19), complete with a 15-member orchestra and a cast of 20 performers from such local productions as Phantom and Mamma Mia! The readings, which benefit both CSN's Performing Arts Center and Family Promise of Las Vegas, will also include a silent auction and VIP reception.

Several local theater companies invite audiences to take a walk on the dark side this month. Las Vegas Little Theatre presents The Distance From Here (October 10-18), Neil Labute's look at a disaffected teen and his dysfunctional family, playing in the Fischer Black Box. Speaking of dysfunctional families, check out Shakespeare's tragic tribute to doomed love, Romeo and Juliet (October 3-5), at Sonata Park in a free production by Shakespeare at Play and the City of Henderson. Over at the University of Las Vegas' Judy Bayley Theatre, a man is haunted by the ghost of his dead wife in Conor McPherson's Shining City (October 3-12). And you can of course expect plenty of dark and unusual stuff at the 6th annual Beckett Festival (October 15-November 15), featuring productions from Test Market Theater, LVLT, Asylum, and more.

A timely show for the whole family, The Kid Who Ran for President (October 3-12) plays at the Reed Whipple Cultural Center in a production from the Rainbow Company. Based on the book by Dan Gutman, this civic-minded satire is about a sixth-grade boy who runs for President of the United States. There is even more family-friendly theater over at the Summerlin Library Performing Arts Center, where Signature Productions' Beauty and the Beast (October 20-November 22) comes roaring back to life. The production of the Disney stage musical played in Las Vegas earlier this year as a part of the Super Summer Theatre season at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park.