THREE POWERFUL PLAYS
The proverbial American melting pot is boiling over. Multiculturalism has been replaced with suspicion (or worse) in this weird Trumpian era. But the Las Vegas theater community is countering political uncertainty with three very different plays that all tackle a clash of cultures.
Nevada Conservatory Theatre and Cockroach Theatre present Disgraced, which netted the 2013 Pulitzer for playwright Ayad Akhtar. It follows a tumultuous dinner party hosted by a Pakistani-American lawyer and his white Islamophile wife. “The brilliance of the play is the way in which identity and perception are shown to be complexly and unpredictably related,” writes Los Angeles Times theater critic Charles McNulty. March 31-April 9, Black Box Theatre at UNLV’s Ham Hall; April 14-16 & 21-23, Art Square Theatre; times and prices vary.
Over at the Space, The Nigerian Spam Scam Scam greets its culture shocks with hilarity. In the name of art, playwright Dean Cameron responded to one of those mass emails from a Nigerian “millionaire.” The correspondence became fodder for this play, which he performs alongside actor Victor Isaac. It’s a modern-day epistolary tale, complete with cat pictures. March 31, 8 p.m.; April 1, 7 & 10 p.m.; $35-$50, the Space, 3460 Cavaretta Court.
A 70-year generation gap separates firebrand grandmother Vera from her 21-year-old grandson Leo in Las Vegas Little Theatre’s 4,000 Miles. Amy Herzog’s play explores how the characters do (or don’t) overcome that gap. March 24-April 9, 8 p.m. (2 p.m. Sundays), $15. –C. Moon Reed
UNLVINO AT VENETIAN, RED ROCK RESORT AND PARIS
Of the annual fundraiser’s three events—Thursday’s Bubble-Licious at the Venetian, Friday’s Sake Fever at Red Rock Resort and Saturday’s Grand Tasting at Paris Las Vegas—the most fun and relaxed option is also the cheapest. Indulge in sake, craft beer and spirits, along with sushi burritos, noodles and other savory snacks, poolside on the middle night for $75-$100. March 30-April 1, unlvtickets.com. –Brock Radke
TWIN PEAKS COSPLAY MIXER AT DISPENSARY LOUNGE
You’ve been binge-watching Twin Peaks since you first heard David Lynch was getting back in the director’s seat (his first time helming a major TV production in 22 years). And while the debut of the cult classic’s third season is still a month and a half away, it’s never too early to get in on some murder-mystery cosplay. Whether you’re the quirky and perceptive FBI Agent Dale Cooper or homecoming queen and murder victim Laura Palmer—or if you’ve always just wanted to play Log Lady—now’s the time to geek out with fellow fans of the beloved ’90s drama. The cherry pie is worth a stop. March 31, 8 p.m., 2451 E. Tropicana Avenue. –Leslie Ventura
LAS VEGAS HEMP FESTIVAL AT CRAIG RANCH REGIONAL PARK
Las Vegas’ gift for unalloyed optimism is such that our city is hosting its fourth-annual hemp festival many months before our first, legal recreational-use cannabis dispensary opens its doors. This daylong event, whose website suggests it might draw attendees in the tens of thousands, features weed-industry experts talking about the leaf. plus a veritable package tour of 1990s artists—including Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s Layzie Bone, Sons of N.W.A. (literally the offspring of Dr. Dre and Eazy-E), Lyte and America’s Faygo-fueled kabuki sweethearts Insane Clown Posse—presumably rapping about it (and also, inevitably, “f*cking magnets”). Also scheduled: the Grower’s Cup Awards; an additional stage of rap, reggae and legit zombie bands including Black Bottom Lighters, Lady Reiko and Still Not Dead; and a crowd that could serve as an unofficial dry run for this September’s Juggalo March on Washington. April 1, 11 a.m., $50-$200, lasvegashempfest.com. –Geoff Carter
OLD 97’S AT VINYL
How long have Old 97’s been waving the alt-country flag? Let’s put it this way, when Rhett Miller, Ken Bethea, Murry Hammond and Philip Peeples first started playing together, Uncle Tupelo was still a living thing. Twenty-three years after releasing debut album Hitchhike to Rhome, the 97’s original foursome is still going strong, having just dropped full-length No. 11 in February.
“It’s been fun to see the timelessness of lyric-based, roots-based music,” Miller, the band’s primary singer and songwriter, told Vanyaland.com last year. “The idea that a song can exist just by playing an acoustic guitar … It’s not based on loops, it’s not based on something you made from a computer or a sequencer. It’s just a song.” New LP Graveyard Whistling piles 11 such songs onto the Old 97’s pickup truck, which pulls up to the Hard Rock Hotel on Sunday. With Ha Ha Tonka, Paige Overton. April 2, 8 p.m., $22-$45. –Spencer Patterson
1984 AT THE SCI FI CENTER
After the election of Donald Trump, dystopian sci-fi novels including George Orwell’s 1984 began climbing the sales charts, and now indie movie theaters around the country are showing the 1984 film version of 1984 (starring the late John Hurt) as a protest against Trump administration policies, with a portion of proceeds going to local charities. April 4, 6 and 8 p.m., $10. –Josh Bell
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The SoCal pop-punkers sign up for 16 dates beginning Memorial Day Weekend.
"I remember saying to my parents that all I wanted to be was a juggler in Las Vegas, so this is all pretty hysterical."
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