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DC Metro Spotlight: January 2008
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Philadelphia Spotlight: January 2008

Las Vegas Spotlight: January 2008

There's No Business Like Show Business

By Las Vegas
Rita McKenzie in Ethel Merman's Broadway
Rita McKenzie in Ethel Merman's Broadway
The Merm is back! Ethel Merman's Broadway (January 4-6) brings the best songs and the biggest personality of the musical theater's Golden Age to the Suncoast Hotel & Casino. In this revue conceived and directed by Christopher Powich, powerhouse singer and actress Rita McKenzie recreates Ethel Merman in all her brassy glory, singing the Gershwin, Porter, Styne, and Berlin tunes that she made famous, including "I Get a Kick Out of You," "There's No Business Like Show Business," and "Everything's Coming Up Roses."

This month, the Las Vegas Little Theatre revives one of legendary American playwright Tennessee Williams' less celebrated works, Orpheus Descending (January 11-27). The 1957 play, which explores Williams' favored themes of desire and loneliness, is about a young musician named Val who stops off in a small Southern town and befriends Lady Torrance, an older woman who runs a shop there. Directed by Walter Niejadlik, the production will feature Benjamin Watts and Barbara King.

Looking for a musical that celebrates Woman's journey into middle age, but not yet prepared for the heat of Menopause: The Musical? Well, look no further than Hats!, which opens at Harrah's on January 12. Hats! is a musical comedy about a woman who is stressed out about her impending 50th birthday, until she meets a group of ladies who show her that aging can be fun -- with a little help from your friends. Written by Marcia Milgrom Dodge and Anthony Dodge and directed and choreographed by Lynn Taylor-Corbett, the musical features songs by a gaggle of female songwriters, including Carol Hall, Melissa Manchester, Kathie Lee Gifford, Pam Tillis, Amanda McBroom, Gretchen Cryer, Beth Falcone, and Susan Birkenhead. The show has already appeared in cities around the country, but this production is getting a special Vegas-style boost with even better costumes, comedy, and choreography.

Finally, on January 17, the Insurgo Theater Movement opens its latest production, The Water Hen, at the Onyx Theatre. The play, which is getting its first-ever production in Las Vegas, is by Stanislaus Witkiewicz, a Polish writer, artist, and theorist who strongly resisted naturalism in favor of creating plays that were more dreamlike.


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