The long and the Shortfest of it

This week marks the opening (and closing) of the Sin City Shortfest , today through Thursday at the Onyx Theater in Commercial Center. A single-night pass will run you $20 or you can catch everything for $45. Sure,it’s the perfect event for the arts-starved among us who also have Halo shortened attention spans. Here are seven more reasons to go check out the festival:

VARIETY – Each night two different shows are performed. That is the only time they are performed throughout the entire fest. If one sucks, maybe the other is great. Do you want to miss the greatest short play of the fest and be the laughingstock of all your theater friends?

COMMUNITY – With local theater companies often being bitchy and competitive with one another, this is another step in forming some type of loose local performing coalition (on the heels of The Vegas Fringe Festival). So either this will be a bonding moment for the six theater companies partaking in the event, or an all-out theater war! Either way, it should be fun to watch.

THE WRITERS – Works being performed include pieces from heavyweight scribes Israel Horovitz, Edward Albee and even an adaptation of an opera by Mozart. It’s like you will be at a dinner party with all of them, depending on what the types of substances you ingested before the festival.

THE LOCAL WRITER – Michael Kimm is a known commodity in local theater circles as a director and actor, but this is his first penned play being put up. Says director Sirc Michaels, “(It) focuses on friendship, human need, and how to make a connection in the modern world. It takes place in the same cozy New York City bar over the course of four years and shows the progression of friendships during that time.”

THAI FOOD – You’re in Commercial Center. Two of the best Thai restaurants in the city are housed here: the James Beard Award-winning Lotus of Siam, the fancy heavyweight and
Komol, the lesser-known but equally-as-delicious underdog. For meat, Lotus is the ticket. For vegetarians, Komol is the way to go. (As a bonus, Namaste is getting rave reviews for its Indian food.)

IT’S DIFFERENT – Since Sirc Michaels took over as creative director at The Onyx, he has infused energy and interesting productions into what was becoming a stale slate of plays at the venue. This can be seen in his philosophy for the Fest, “The idea for Shortsfest was to allow groups a chance to showcase their talents as well as meet with their peers and exchange ideas. I cannot speak for everyone involved, but from my point of view the main goal of the festival is to offer a tasting of the best that Vegas has to offer from the participating Vegas production companies.”

SEX – If you’ve never been to The Onyx before, it’s in the back of a sex shop. Even if all the plays suck (which I’m sure they won’t) bring a date and create your own play with your own roles.

Jason Harris is a local stand-up comedian.