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Las Vegas Spotlight: September 2009

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Liza Minnelli
(© Rick Day)
Liza Minnelli is back in town for a brief engagement at the MGM Grand September 25-30. The award-winning legend will be performing everybody's favorites, such as "Cabaret" and of course "New York, New York." Speaking of legends, comedy king Bill Cosby will appear at the Mystere Theater on September 5. Another couple of comics-turned-sitcom-stars, Ray Romano and Brad Garrett, will take the stage of the Terry Fator Theatre, September 12-13.

Other notable headliners this month include Kid Rock (September 17), Peter Frampton (September 18), and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (September 19), all playing the Pearl Concert Theater. Nickelback will rock the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 6, John Legend will electrify Red Rock Casino on September 18, and Vegas natives The Killers will slay the Mandalay Bay Events Center on September 19.

Well, it's official: you just can't keep a good cannibal down. That's right, the Insurgo Theater Movement's production of Cannibal The Musical (through September 27) has risen yet again, and this time director John Beane has re-staged it for the Stage Door Theatre at Town Square. Based on the film musical by South Park creator Trey Parker, the piece tells the true-ish story of the only man ever convicted of cannibalism in America. Ticket buyers beware, people in the first few rows are likely to get splashed with blood! Also at the Stage Door is Schoolhouse Rock Live (open-ended), the theatrical version of the educational '70s cartoon series that brought us songs like "I'm Just a Bill" and "Conjunction Junction."

The Super Summer Theatre is giving us one more production this year at the Spring Mountain Ranch, and now that "summer vacation" is over, it's time for Working (September 10-26). Based on Studs Terkel's book of interviews where he talks to everyday Americans about their work lives, the musical features songs by numerous composers, including Stephen Schwartz and Craig Carnelia.

The Las Vegas Little Theatre is presenting two very different plays: Ira Levin's Deathtrap (September 11-27) is a tricky comic thriller about a washed-up writer who may (or may not) kill for a hit, while Recent Tragic Events (September 11-20) is Craig Wright's comedy, set on September 12, 2001, and about a young Minneapolis woman waiting to hear from her sister in New York while on a blind date.

The College of Southern Nevada Performing Arts Center and the Atlas Theatre Ensemble have teamed up to present Reefer Madness: The Musical (BackStage Theatre, September 18-October 4), directed by Chris Mayse and Will Klundt. Inspired by the cult 1936 movie about the dangers of marijuana, this 1998 musical version is a satire about teens run amok, with book and lyrics by Kevin Murphy and music by Dan Studney. For the first of its "Second Season" Black Box Theatre productions this school year, UNLV's Nevada Conservatory Theatre takes on Neil Labute's recent Broadway play, reasons to be pretty (September 18-27). Starting off with an explosive argument between Greg and his girlfriend over a remark he made about her looks, the play goes on to become an interesting look at one man's struggles with romance, friendship, and growing up.


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