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Las Vegas Spotlight: November 2007

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Jerry Seinfeld
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
A host of the funniest people on earth take the stage at Caesars Palace for The Comedy Festival (November 14-17), presented by HBO and AEG Live. Now in its third year, the festival will feature headliners Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and Ellen DeGeneres, as well as great actor/comedians like Eddie Izzard, Kevin Nealon, and Wanda Sykes. Also on the schedule are the latest editions of popular comedy events including Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam and Blue Collar Comedy: The Next Generation.

Las Vegas Little Theatre invites you to go down the Rabbit Hole (November 2-18) this month, with their mainstage production of David Lindsay-Abaire's play about a husband and wife struggling to deal with a terrible family tragedy. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Rabbit Hole is a dramatic departure from Lindsay-Abaire's more kooky works like Fuddy Meers and Kimberly Akimbo, but, as with all his plays, this one is also full of humor and warmth.

UNLV takes on the Golden Age classic Fiddler on the Roof (November 23 - December 9), playing at the Judy Bayley Theatre. Based on the stories of Sholem Alecheim, Fiddler is about Tevye, a poor Russian Jew who struggles to accept the changing world as his daughters are being married off one by one. The Jerry Bock/Sheldon Harnick score includes musical theater standards like "Tradition," "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," and "Sunrise, Sunset."

Also at UNLV in November is Ruth and August's Goetz's play The Heiress (November 9-18), taking place in the Black Box Theatre as a part of the Theatre Department's Second Season. Based on the Henry James novel Washington Square, The Heiress is about a young woman who falls in love with a man who may only be marrying her for her inheritance.

At the College of Southern Nevada, the Department of Fine Arts will be presenting a double bill by playwright Karen Hartman, Gum and The Mother of Modern Censorship (November 9-18). Set in an unspecified Islamic fundamentalist country, both one-acts examine oppression from different sides. In the more serious Gum, two sisters grapple with desires that their culture frowns on, while the satirical Mother of Modern Censorship centers around the woman who holds the title of Chief Music Censor for the country. Directed by Sarah O'Connell, the plays will be performed at the BackStage Theatre.

Test Market's annual Samuel Beckett Festival (November 21-December 15) has grown a lot since its first modest outing five years ago, when it included only one full-length play and a couple shorts. A number of local theater companies are getting in on the action this year, including Insurgo Theater Movement, Cockroach Theatre, and LVLT. The festival will include productions of Beckett's Happy Days and Act Without Words, as well as Jayme McGhan's The Methuselah Tree, Neil Labute's Autobahn, and John Patrick Shanley's The Dreamer Examines His Pillow. You can bask in all the Beckett and company that you can handle by getting a $120 festival pass -- the same price as just one ticket to a Broadway show!

There's still time for you and your kids to catch Signature Productions' Peter Pan, as the show continues on through November 10. The Signature mounting has already met with some very positive reviews from the Vegas press, with particular attention paid to the fine production values and to the lead performance of Justin Rodriguez (as a rare male Peter Pan, a role more often associated with the likes of Mary Martin and Cathy Rigby).

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