Located just across the street from the new city hall, the Smith Center is the first venue of its kind in Las Vegas. Designed to put Vegas on the same cultural playing field as similarly sized cities, the Smith Center has done that and then some. Since opening in March 2012, the 2,050-seat theatre has hosted major touring productions ranging from The Color Purple to Wicked, and a lot more in between.
In addition to the larger theatre, Smith Center also has two 250-seaters, the Cabaret Jazz Theater, an intimate space for music and other performances overlooking Symphony Park, and a studio theatre, frequently home to performances by the Nevada Ballet Theatre.
In addition to the centre’s larger Broadway shows in the 2013 season, such as Les Misérables, Evita and The Book of Mormon, music from artists as varied as Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy and the Kronos Quartet is the norm here. Throw in the occasional eclectic speaker (actor Alan Alda, for example), and you have a line-up that appeals to a broad audience. What’s not to love? For a city that values its entertainment value, the Smith Center is long overdue. It’s hard to imagine Bugsy Siegel ever envisioned Las Vegas visitors sitting down to chamber music—this isn’t your grandpappy’s cigar-chompin’, fistful-of-dollars wagering, showgirl-grabbing cowtown anymore.