Locals will get their first peek inside the newly constructed Inspire Theater complex at the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Fremont Street when The Three Wise Guys perform there on Friday, Dec. 27 at 8 p.m.
This spoken-word event is something of a Vegas cultural institution, with performances dating back to 1995, when local writers Dayvid Figler, Gregory Crosby and Geoff Carter first joined up to tell holiday-themed stories at the long-defunct, but much-revered Enigma Garden café. (Disclaimer: Carter is a staff writer for Vegas Seven and editor of DTLV.com, but we won’t hold that against him). The trio regrouped in 2009 after a long hiatus, and will be joined this time by a “plus one”—Las Vegas native and current Oregon resident Dena Rash Guzman, an author, poet and Sunday columnist for online magazine Luna Luna.
“It’s bringing things full circle,” said Crosby, who now lives and teaches in New York City. “It’s nice to bring it back downtown, to an actual theater space that isn’t inside a casino.”
That theater space—which will be show-ready by Friday, although work will continue on the entire complex—is deceptively large for a 200-capacity venue landlocked inside a building that used to house a 7-Eleven. With exposed beams and catwalks rising three stories above the comfortably spaced, fixed theater seating, Inspire offers an intimate experience for both performers and audiences, without skimping on sound, lighting or presentation.
“There’s a lot of thought put into making performers feel special,” said Jennifer Cornthwaite, director of public relations and philanthropy for Inspire developer Future Restaurant Group. “Hopefully people here know they’re in a place that’s so carefully designed for them.”
Inspire will also be home to multiple bars—including one on the rooftop patio offering 360-degree views of Downtown—a coffee shop, and a newsstand that’s set to carry dozens of periodicals from around the world. Although future programming is still being developed, Entertainment Director Laura Herbert assures there will be “lots of experimentation, with opportunities for the public to participate” in the coming months.
“We’re excited about being the first presentation at the Inspire space,” Figler said of Friday’s show. “We’re three writers who have a love-hate relationship with Las Vegas and Downtown. We like to think we have a unique, or at least entertaining, take on Downtown—past, present and future.”
The Three Wise Guys +1, 7 p.m. Dec. 27, Inspire Theater, 501 E. Fremont St., $10 requested donation to Outside Las Vegas Foundation, facebook.com/The3WG.