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Las Vegas Spotlight: November 2006

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A scene from Burn the Floor
(© Luxor Las Vegas)
Last month, we mentioned Liza Minnelli's brief October/November stint at the Luxor Hotel & Casino. The latest exciting news is that on November 25, Liza is planning to give a free concert just for the Vegas "gypsies" -- those hard-working dancers and actors that provide entertainment day-in and day-out on the Strip. It is a tribute to the good old days of Vegas when, 30 years ago, Liza and Sammy Davis Jr. offered a similar free concert.

Burn the Floor, which began performances at the Luxor in September, has now extended its run through November 26. The colorful, energetic dance spectacular features eight different teams who each give ballroom dancing a thrilling new spin. With the recent success of dance-themed television reality shows, Burn the Floor is bound to be a delight for audiences anxious to see innovative and skillful dancers live in a performance full of music and pyrotechnics.

Fans of the much-acclaimed HBO series Six Feet Under will want to check out Las Vegas Little Theatre's production of Five Women Wearing the Same Dress (November 3-19), a play by SFU writer/creator Alan Ball. The dark comedy concerns a quintet of bridesmaids who bond while avoiding the lavish wedding reception, each for their own reasons. The five ladies in question will be played by Penni Mendez, Katrina Larsen, Pamela Rose, Ayla Vain, and Lanae Freeborn.

Theatre in the Valley presents its first show of the 2006-2007 season, She Loves Me (November 10-19). Based on Miklos Laszlo's play Parfumerie, She Loves Me comes from the songwriting team of Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock, with a book by Joe Masteroff. The 1930s-set romantic comedy tells the tale of Georg and Amalia, rival store clerks who dislike each other -- but enjoy happy correspondences with anonymous pen pals. Little do they know that they are actually writing each other. The score includes such classics as "It's Been Grand Knowing You," "Vanilla Ice Cream" and the rousing title song. Performances of She Loves Me will be held at the Valley View Recreational Center in Morrel Park.

Stage Door Entertainment, which has been focusing its energy on contemporary musicals, is now presenting the Las Vegas premiere of Jonathan Larson's tick, tick ... BOOM! (November 10-26). The three-person tuner is an autobiographical piece that Rent author Larson wrote about the personal and creative crises he experienced upon turning 30. Though the piece was originally presented as a solo show by Larson in the early 1990s, playwright David Auburn (Proof) expanded it and, under the direction of Scott Schwartz, the musical was presented in a successful 2001 Off-Broadway run that helped launch the career of Broadway star Raul Esparza.

Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman didn't stand much of a chance for the 2005 Tony Award against juggernaut Doubt, but the pitch black comic drama fully deserves the life it is getting in regional theaters. The Community College of Southern Nevada's production of the show (November 10-19) stars Ben Malisow as Katurian, a short story writer who is brought in for police interrogation when one of his stories is believed to have inspired a murder.

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