The Smith Center celebrates its fourth holiday season with its most stellar lineup of seasonal programming to date. The festive fun has already begun with Elf The Musical, which took to the stage over the Thanksgiving week in Reynolds Hall and ‘Twas a Girls Night Before Christmas: The Musical, which appeared before wondering eyes for its world debut inside Troesh Studio Theater.
And now as December kicks off, we welcome an advent calendar of acts to get you into a festive frame of mind.
Steve Solomon goes the old fashioned route at Troesh Studio Theater for My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m Home For The Holidays (Dec. 2-6). He’s actually stuck in an airport for the sequel to My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish and I’m in Therapy, serving as his own ensemble cast as he relates the trials and tribulations that occur when Hanukah and Christmas happen in the same household.
Expect more joyful noise when Clint Holmes for the Holiday comes to Cabaret Jazz (Dec. 3-6). Holmes, one of the most dynamic entertainers to set foot on the stages of Las Vegas and perhaps most worthy of inheriting Sammy Davis Jr.’s “Mr. Entertainment” honorific, will be joined by his wife Kelly Clinton for a few duets in a show that’s quickly become a holiday mainstay. There’s no better time to be introduced to the classic showmanship of “Las Vegas’ very own treasure,” as Jersey Boys music director, Keith Thompson, describes Holmes.
Thompson will be appearing in Cabaret Jazz himself when he conducts the seven-piece band backing singer Travis Cloer for Christmas at My Place [Dec. 7]. Cloer, who played Frankie Valli onstage in Jersey Boys, named the show for his newly released album and includes a digital download of it with the price of a ticket to his 6:30 pm or 8:30 pm shows.
Las Vegas Philharmonic’s annual holiday concert is already a tradition, with this year’s presentation in Reynolds Hall including a screening of the animated film The Snowman with a live score presented by the orchestra and a sing-along [Dec. 5-6].
It wouldn’t be Christmas in Vegas without Nevada Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker [Dec. 12-13, 18-20], but NBT is now able to deck Reynolds Hall with scenic design that wasn’t consistently possible before the 44-year-old troupe found a new home at The Smith Center.
Possibilities opened for singer Kristen Hertzenberg and Philip Fortenberry too after Cabaret Jazz’s opening enabled them to do Christmas shows. The former female lead in Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular joins “the hands of Liberace” from HBO’s Beyond the Candelabra for Holidays from the Heart [Dec. 19], an encore of their sold-out presentation from last season.
New Year’s Eve at The Smith Center features the debut of Erich Bergen, Bob Gaudio in the stage and screen versions of Jersey Boys, as host of a musical extravaganza featuring Clint Holmes, Broadway performers Norm Lewis and Capathia Jenkins, and Hunger Games star Patina Miller. Bergen, who stars with Miller in CBS’ Madam Secretary, gets to celebrate his Dec. 31 birthday while helping deliver the most ambitious NYE celebration at The Smith Center yet. As the Smith Center itself does for Las Vegas culture, Bergen and company bring a touch of class to New Year’s – one that ends the holiday season on the right note.
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