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Las Vegas Spotlight: October 2006

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Liza Minnelli
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
The fall season is in full swing with most of the local theater companies presenting new productions this month. But first, a little news. Or let's say, big news: Liza Minnelli is coming to the Luxor! The Tony Award and Academy Award winner is scheduled to do only a handful of shows (October 12-14 and November 23-25) , so get your tickets quickly.

And here's some more news: Stomp -- that rambunctious celebration of dance, tap, and percussion that has played Off-Broadway for 12 years -- will soon be making its clomping and clattering return to Vegas for a sit-down run. The production is expected to start performances in spring of 2007 in a specially-designed theater at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino (formerly known as the Aladdin).

Looking at the here and now, Josh Meurer stars in Larry Shue's beloved farce The Foreigner (October 2-November 4) at Signature Productions. He plays Charlie, a shy man who, while vacationing at a fishing lodge in Georgia with his friend Froggy, pretends that he doesn't speak English so that he can keep to himself. Unfortunately for Charlie, the ploy has the opposite effect, and he ends up getting embroiled in all kinds of intrigue with the other guests at the lodge. Gary Lunn, Kathleen Etor, Chris Lyons, Eric Torres, Ashley Hansen, and Jake Blasdell also star in the production.

UNLV presents Private Lives (October 6-15), Noel Coward's most enduring work. The droll comedy is about quick-witted sophisticate divorcees Elyot and Amanda, who have the hilarious misfortune of ending up at the same hotel in adjoining rooms as they honeymoon with their new spouses.

Las Vegas Little Theatre's Fischer Black Box hosts Martin Sherman's controversial play Bent (October 12- 22). The show focuses on Max, a gay man living in Berlin during the Third Reich, who gets rounded up by the Gestapo. When it premiered in 1979, Sherman's play was considered groundbreaking for helping to shed more light on the Nazi persecution of homosexuals. It still packs a punch today.

Meanwhile, The Performing Arts Center at the College Conservatory of Southern Nevada brings us All My Sons (October 13-22), playwright Arthur Miller's classic drama about a manufacturer who knowingly sold defective engine parts to the army during World War II.

Lastly, there's something so right about doing a production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (October 21 -November 12) in Nevada, the only state in the union that (officially) appreciates a good brothel. Whorehouse is the story of Miss Mona Stangley, who quietly runs her cathouse near a small Texas town. Even the local sheriff overlooks the illicit nature of the business, but when a nosy reporter finds out about it, Mona is eventually forced to close up shop.

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