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Las Vegas Spotlight: April 2006

Before the Parade Passes By logo
Alexis Christian and Joey DeBenedetto
in Parade
(Photo © Willene Wadkins)
Musical lovers will be in seventh heaven this month as a variety of excellent shows from the modern era of musical theater pop up all over Vegas. A tuneful revue, a Sondheim favorite and a couple period pieces are all playing in Las Vegas this April!

At the Community College of Southern Nevada Performing Arts Center, Parade has come to town. Written by Alfred Uhry and Jason Robert Brown, Parade tells the true story of Leo Frank, a Jewish man who in 1913 was convicted of killing a young girl who worked in the factory that he operated in Marietta, Georgia. Though it lost the top honor at the 1999 Tonys, it did snag the book and score prizes for Uhry and Brown. Because of its large cast and heady subject matter, Parade doesn't get produced as often as it should, so catch it while you can -- through April 9.

Speaking of dark shows with deceptively fun titles, SFS Entertainment presents Cabaret through April 30 at the Starbright Theatre. Betty Sullivan-Cleary directs this production of the much-produced Kander and Ebb musical about the goings-on amongst inhabitants and patrons of Berlin's Kit Kat Klub as the Nazi regime rises around them. The memorable score includes songs such as "Willkommen," "Don't Tell Mama," and, of course, the title song. From the original

Thanks to Signature Productions, you can go Into the Woods until April 22 at the Summerlin Library. The Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine musical brings together some of the most beloved (and not so loved) fairy tale characters of all time, from Cinderella to the Big Bad Wolf, as they all try to make their wishes come true. Often considered to be one of Sondheim's more commercial shows, Into the Woods has two of the songwriter's more anthemic songs, "No One is Alone" and "Children Will Listen." Despite the seemingly child-friendly premise, though, Into the Woods does take some dark turns, so only take the kids if you feel they're mature enough to handle grim material.

Starting April 27, Theatre in the Valley will be presenting Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire's musical revue Closer Than Ever. The collection of 23 smart story songs -- some of which were cut from Maltby and Shire's other shows -- introduce you to a memorable lot of characters experiencing the ups and downs of life.

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