It's not just Broadway that's been invading Vegas of late. On March 24, Stomp Out Loud, a new version of the Off-Broadway smash Stomp starts performances at the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino. The show's creators, Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, have reinvented their percussive movement-based entertainment, much in the same way that Phantom of the Opera was re-worked for its Las Vegas run. So Vegas audiences will be getting twice the bang for their bucks in this show, which has a cast double the size of the original, plus some brand new sequences and choreography.
There will be a rare opportunity to see the acclaimed Jerry Springer: The Opera, when a concert version of the show is presented at the MGM Mirage on March 17 and 18. This operatic parody of the infamous talk show, was a major success at the National Theatre in London, but has yet to receive a full production in the U.S. These concert performances, which feature a cast of over 30 local performers, will benefit Golden Rainbow, an organization that provides assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS.
The Performing Arts Center at the Community College of Southern Nevada will serve up Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones (March 2-11), the playwright's 1920 drama about a man who escapes prison and declares himself ruler of a Caribbean island. Not only did the play help to establish O'Neill as a significant playwright, but it also launched Paul Robeson's career when he played the title role of Brutus Jones in a 1924 production (as well as in a 1933 film version).
Mid-month, the Las Vegas Little Theatre will present Richard Greenberg's The Violet Hour (March 15-25) in its Fischer Black Box. The prolific playwright -- best known for works including Take Me Out and Three Days of Rain -- mixes history and fantasy in this play about a novice book publisher who, while trying to decide whether to publish a work by his mistress Jesse (a performer much like Josephine Baker) or his best friend Denis (strikingly similar to F. Scott Fitzgerald), must contend with the arrival of a strange machine that prints pages describing their futures.
Two last chance alerts: LVLT's current mainstage production of Milan Stitt's The Runner Stumbles hits the finish line on March 4; and UNLV's production of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children finally flees the Black Box Theatre on March 11.