Vegas Seven

Arts & Entertainment

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Best Reality-TV Implosion

    Even by the reality-show standards of cable’s TLC—the channel that brought us Here Comes Honey Boo Boo—the high-speed train wreck called Sin City Rules was breathtakingly awful. Debuting in December and gone by New Year’s Day, Rules followed the lives of five Vegas women: clothing designer Lana Fuchs, poker star Jennifer Harman, cosmetics line owner Lori Montoya, Amy Hanley (late mob hit man Tom Hanley’s kid, who was reportedly missing, but not really, in a bizarre kerfuffle) and entertainment reporter/gadfly Alicia Jacobs.

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Best Theater Venue

    Without getting bogged down in the “size matters” debate, let’s just say that big, satisfying things happen at the small, cozy Onyx Theatre. Over the years it’s given us alternative pleasures, including Naked Boys Singing and a female Hamlet. This year alone saw a fabulous Sweeney Todd, a sterling One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and an engrossing The Laramie Project. Don’t forget the numerous specialty shows—stand-up comedy, improv, burlesque and cabaret. All this in an intimate, 100-seat box of a theater.

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Best Community Theater Comeback

    Roaches can survive a nuclear holocaust, so the theory goes, and our Cockroach Theatre thespians are no less resistant to death. Hatched in 2002 as a collection of some of the Valley’s best theater talents, the troupe bounced between venues over the past decade, even disappearing for a while. Resurfacing in March, they finally found a home—Downtown’s Art Square Theatre on First Street—and have roared back with a slew of productions, including Death of a Salesman, Love Song, You May Go Now and Gruesome Playground Injuries.

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Best Music Venue You’ve Never Been To

    Come on in, the music’s fine. So’s the food. So’s the vibe. And pretty much everything else at The Smith Center’s Cabaret Jazz room, the city’s best untapped entertainment resource. Epitomizing elegance, the two-tiered, acoustically excellent venue is somewhere between a hip jazz joint and a sleek concert hall, and has given the city the likes of saxophonist Branford Marsalis, guitarist John Pizzarelli and legendary Broadway/cabaret star Barbara Cook. Next up: singer/musician/composer Billy Stritch, celebrating the songbook of Mel Tormé, on August 23-24./p>

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Best Art Import

    If the much-anticipated Vegas art scene is going to be fully realized, we need more participants like JK Russ and Matthew Couper. The married couple and professional artists moved from New Zealand to Las Vegas nearly three years ago and have been working diligently ever since. He creates haunting Old World-style oil paintings with biting contemporary insights. She creates colorful mixed-media collages and video installations that explore gender and sexuality. Both show prodigiously in and out of town.

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Best New Venue

    From the soulful reggae-blues pop of Maui-born Anuhea, to the heavy Louisiana-boiled Cajun rock of Lost Bayou Ramblers, to the punky-Motown frenzy of Chantal Claret, Vinyl has hosted a diverse array of artists and bands in the year since it’s been open. The sound there is great, the dark-wood bar (with its attractive ’tenders) is fun to belly-up to and we love watching people exiting a butt-rock residency show at the adjacent Joint only to discover there’s something even cooler happening in this little venue in the Hard Rock Hotel.

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Best Broadway Production

    Who knew it was possible to create an ’80s-themed show that’s even kitschier than the decade itself? Yet the Venetian’s Rock of Ages is up to the mock-tastic challenge with a crazy-fun riff on the mullet-and-hair-band goofiness of Reagan-era America. With hilarious snark to spare—and with way more verve than the limp movie version—Rock takes a tongue-in-cheek boy/rocker-wannabe-meets-girl/actress-wannabe story on the Sunset Strip and immerses it in a merry hard-rock set list from the likes of Poison, Styx and Journey. Quite simply: Rock rocks.

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Best Outdoor Gallery

    Don’t call it graffiti; don’t call it guerilla art. The murals that line the alleys of the 18b Arts District—stretching from Imperial all the way up Casino Center to a cluster of bungalows near Hoover—amount to nothing less than an outdoor art gallery. Its curator, Ras One—the fifth-generation Nevadan behind POP2 in the Arts Factory—has managed to recruit street artists from all over the world to create an “ever-changing, ever-evolving” gallery of murals funded wholly out of pocket—his own, and those of his collaborators.

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Best Hair Metal Comeback

    The Rat Pack at the Desert Inn gave way to Elvis at the International who gave way to Celine at Caesars who gave way to … Mötley Crüe at The Joint in the Hard Rock? OK, so one of these things definitely is not like the others—which is pretty much how the Crüe and The Joint prefer to roll: outcasts marching to the beat of their own double-bass drum. So it was a no-brainer that the Hard Rock decided to hire Nikki Sixx and Co. for Las Vegas’ first rock ’n’ roll residency back in February 2012.

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Best Art Show

    David Sanchez Burr’s Beyond Sunrise Mountain at Clark County Government Center Rotunda Gallery earlier this year was a thought-provoking autobiographical multimedia installation. At the show’s reception, a flamenco dancer tangoed while a guitarist plucked nylon-stringed chords, a nod to Burr’s Spanish roots. The artist himself strummed electric guitar—feedback emanating from speaker-housing sculptures of imploded Strip hotels. Black balloons, helium-sapped, fell. Billboards caked with red mud, dried and flaked off.

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Best Actor

    Good-ness, gra-cious, great balls of acting fire! Swallowing the scenery, belching, then swallowing some more, Martin Kaye jumps into the heart, soul and skin of rock trailblazer Jerry Lee Lewis in the resident production of Million Dollar Quartet at Harrah’s. The Brit-born, live-wire actor with the mop of blond curls pounds the 88s, leaps atop the piano and tosses off one-liners with smart-bomb precision, detonating across the stage.

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Best Vegas Movie Moment

    Much funnier than the horrid Hangover Part III, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone satirizes the out-of-control-for-far-too-long egos of the Strip’s headlining magicians. While he’s almost outshined by Jim Carrey’s sado-masochistic Criss Angel caricature, Steve Carell’s falling-star protagonist unveils a neat feat. He manages to potshoot David Copperfield by having groupies sign consent forms even as he invites these ladies to witness the Biggest Bed in All of Las Vegas: “Would you like to see it?” he says.

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Best Rapper

    This has been a breakout year for 21-year-old La’Reonte “Dizzy” Wright. The 2010 winner of BET’s Wild-Out Wednesday competition dropped his SmokeOut Conversations mixtape on April 20 and watched it enter the iTunes charts at No. 2. His smooth flow and “my way or the highway” approach to the rap game is refreshing, especially in an era when rappers starve for a celebrity co-sign. But with magazines such as XXL and some of the biggest music blogs supporting his music strictly because of his talent, Dizzy is ready to blow.

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Best Art-Per-Footstep

    Sure, you can get your culture—and your exercise, too—by walking the First Friday street fair. But if you want to see the most art for the least effort, check out the impressive cluster of spaces along the main hallway of Emergency Arts.

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Best Place to See an Obscure Indie Film

    If you ever get the urge to see an independent or foreign film whose cast features scarcely any cars that turn into robots, you’ve only two choices: Take your chances at the multiplex, which shunts its non-Hollywood fare to one lone screen if it has any such films at all—or go to Theatre7. This intimate Arts District theater is barely larger than your living room, but it brings the goods—everything from the Vegas Indie Film Fest to the CineKink erotic film festival.

X
X