The Latest

This Week in Your City

What’s hip, what’s happening, what’s going on—and what you need to know right now.

New Heights for the Arts

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts has reached a major milestone—170 feet above the ground and ahead of schedule. Construction crews will give Reynolds Hall a crown of steel on Feb. 25 when they place the final beam on top of the structure.

This “topping off” event is significant for the $470 million project, which began last May, because it marks the winding down of the exterior phase and beginning of the interior. Most buildings are 70 percent complete at this point, but the Smith Center’s interior design is so intricate that it will take another two years to finish.

Positioned at the heart of the Smith Center, Reynolds Hall will house a 2,050-seat theater and host a range of Broadway shows and first-run international productions. The Smith Center, which is pursuing LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, will also feature 200- and 300-seat theaters and a 16-story bell tower.

The Clark High School marching band will perform at the topping-off ceremony, which begins at 2:45 p.m., and guests can sign the final steel beam before it is put in place.

So Long, Pussycats

They’ve had a good run, but after almost five years, the Las Vegas version of the Pussycat Dolls are packing up and leaving Pure.

After their final performance at Caesars Palace on Feb. 27, the kittens will cross the street and head for Paris. The burlesque troupe’s creator and choreographer, Robin Antin, says that Risqué nightclub will be renovated for the Pussycats’ second life, which will begin with a New Year’s Eve performance.

Ironically, the Dolls’ move from Caesars comes just as Antin’s other project, Matt Goss, is moving in. That show recently relocated from the Palms and will reopen at Cleopatra’s Barge in a few weeks.

“I have been planning this move for a while,” Antin said. “I thought it was the perfect opportunity to take it to Paris hotel, where I can refresh the concept and take it to a whole new level.”

Still, the end of the Pussycat Dolls Lounge in Pure does not mean the end of the Pussycat Dolls at Caesars: Plans for a PCD-themed bar are in the works, and the existing Pussycat Dolls retail store and casino will remain.

Meanwhile, Pure Management Group has not said what it will do with the soon-to-be-vacated space.

Read On

Nevada Reading Week was founded in 1987 to help promote reading to children but has evolved into seven days of bookish fun for all ages. This year’s version features a wide range of events, including a Green Reading Rewards program and one that encourages kids to pick a book from “the reading garden” at the Springs Preserve (10 a.m.-6 p.m., Feb. 27-March 5, Meanwhile, full-grown bookworms can get their reading week on at an adults-only book release party for local eccentric P Moss’ collection of short stories, Blue Vegas (CityLife Books), at the author’s famous watering hole, Double Down Saloon (8 p.m., March 2, 4640 Paradise Road).

High-end, Low Cost

Fashion4home offers home fashions for less—up to 70 percent less than traditional retailers—but this site is more than just another IKEA ripoff. It sells high-end furniture at bargain bin prices, thanks to a unique system that cuts out the middle men and allows customers to shape the selection. Shoppers vote for their favorite up-and-coming designs and only the most popular models are offered for sale. The best part: Voting does not require a purchase, but everyone who votes for an item that makes it to the virtual showroom floor is rewarded with a 10 percent discount. The downside is that you may have to wait up to 12 weeks for your cutting-edge home fashions to arrive—but shipping is free and, all things considered, the wait is a small price to pay for serious savings.

Beyoand the Yellow Tape

Las Vegas will get a real-life taste of CSI when the California Homicide Investigators Association’s annual conference comes to the Palms on March 2-5. While the stars of the hit TV series won’t be there, some of the country’s leading crime scene investigators will.

The convention will feature a CSI showcase in the Key West ballroom: evidence, photos and artifacts from the most notorious crime scenes and investigations in L.A. history—including items related to the Charles Manson, O.J. Simpson and Black Dahlia murder trials, the death of Marilyn Monroe, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination, and the Symbionese Liberation Army shootout.

And now, the unexpected twist: The display isn’t restricted to CHIA members. The public is being invited to step beyond the police line on March 3 and 4 and review the evidence for themselves—free of charge—from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Scoot Over

Ladies and gentlemen, start your little engines: The 2010 High Rollers Weekend scooter rally is rolling into Las Vegas. Enthusiasts from across the country are descending upon downtown for the annual gathering, which unites riders from across the scootersphere—Lambretta, Vespa or otherwise—and provides equal opportunity for everyone to show off their respective rides. Some mad scootie skills will be on display on Sunday, Feb. 28, during a Gymkhana competition at Fred’s Tavern (4680 S. Decatur Blvd.) while super-modified and retro-reconstructed scooters will be the highlights of the National Build-off competition on Saturday, Feb. 27, in the Golden Gate’s parking lot. There’s a range of after-hours activities planned, too, including a “Block Party” behind Beauty Bar on Friday and a Rat Pack-styled “All-Nighter” event on Saturday in the Plaza’s legendary Copa Room. Feb. 25-28,

Suggested Next Read

That Empty Feeling

That Empty Feeling

Margaret Casey took a job two years ago at the World Market Center and moved to Las Vegas from San Francisco, where she’d lived for 22 years. The native Australian was one of the first residents to settle into a condo at the Newport Lofts downtown. She had spectacular views of the city and the mountains. She was minutes from her office.