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Las Vegas Spotlight: January 2009

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Shear Madness, the Guinness World Record holder of the "longest running play in American theater history" title, has had audiences in Boston and Washington D.C. in stitches for years and now makes its way west to Las Vegas. This partially improvised mystery comedy, which asks the audience to help solve the scissor-stabbing murder of a person who lives above the "Shear Madness" hair salon, officially opens at Town Square on January 2.

On January 4, Stomp Out Loud hangs up its garbage can lids and exits Planet Hollywood. But a brand new, original show will be moving into the Planet in early spring (imagine that, a new show on the Strip! And it's not by Cirque du Soleil!). Peepshow, starring former Spice Girl Mel B and Kelly Monaco, and including music by Andrew Lippa, has been conceived, directed, and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, the director/choreographer of Legally Blonde and choreographer of Hairspray. Apropos for semi-seedy Vegas, Peepshow is a lush burlesque show featuring evocative music, seductive fairytale sets, 20 sexy dancers, and a touch of humor. As the creator of the beloved annual charity strip show Broadway Bares, Mitchell has been doing these types of shows on a regular basis for years in New York -- and now he'll have a chance to dazzle Vegas audiences with his naughty touch.

A variety of musicians are headlining at Vegas' many concert venues in January. Neil Diamond is coming to the MGM Grand on January 2. Also on January 2, the Stone Temple Pilots will play the Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino, while ZZ Top and their big beards will be rocking The Joint on January 3. The House of Blues will host funk master George Clinton on January 4. And if you're looking for something completely different, glide on over to the Orleans Hotel & Casino to catch Disney on Ice: High School Musical (January 7-11).

The Atlas Theatre Ensemble takes on Charles Mee's Trojan Women 2.0 (January 15-31), a tragic tapestry that borrows heavily from Euripides and Berlioz's Les Troyens, updating these older works and adding modern influences like pop culture references and soap opera. Directed by Chris Mayse, Trojan Women 2.0 will be presented at the Onyx Theatre.

Gary Lunn, Barbara King, Shawn Hackler, Tracy Blackwell, John Pinelli, and Courtney Sheets make up the three couples in Alan Ayckbourn's How the Other Half Loves (January 9-25), a wacky but dark comedy about infidelity and marital strife hitting the Las Vegas Little Theatre mainstage this month.

Just as the month comes to a close, UNLV will present The Chasm (January 30- February 8), a thesis play by Laura Neubauer. The story of three men who find an abandoned gold mine, The Chasm will play at the Black Box Theatre.


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