The Year in Review: Strip & Arts

Jabbawockeez’s Grand and VIP Opening Party at Monte Carlo on Oct. 22, 2010.
Photo: Erik Kabik/Retna/ErikKabik.com



1. Inventive hip-hop dance troupe Jabbawockeez lands a Strip residency at Monte Carlo following the departure of magician Lance Burton.

2. Cirque du Soliel’s Viva Elvis! launches at Aria. The show is endorsed by Elvis Presley Enterprises; Priscilla Presley is part of the production’s creative team.

3. Celine Dion, the hottest-selling artist in the seven-year history of the Colosseum at Caesars, announces she will return to the 4,100-seat venue in March 2011.

4.Emmy-winning comic actor and veteran stand-up Brad Garrett sinks his own money into the Comedy Club at Tropicana, which over the decades has hosted such comic legends as Shecky Greene and Rodney Dangerfield.

5. Announcement that the Cirque du Soleil /Michael Jackson touring arena show will open at Mandalay Bay Events Center in December 2011, fueling speculation that the theater version of the production will be staged at Mandalay Bay Theatre in 2012.

If you build it, will they laugh? Brad Garrett thinks so, and has staked a lot of money to find out.

6. The Twyla Tharp-produced tribute to Frank Sinatra, Sinatra: Dance With Me, opens at Encore Theatre. Sinatra’s family endorses the production, and provides permission to use his original recordings.

7. Wayne Newton closes what he says is likely to be his final extended engagement on the Strip, Once Before I Go at the Tropicana.

8. Veteran Las Vegas producer David Saxe takes over the old Steve Wyrick Theatre at Planet Hollywood, anchored by ode-to-Vegas entertainment Vegas! The Show.

9.The ticket price for Garth Brooks at Encore Theater increases from $143 to $253. Steve Wynn claims the tickets are still “underpriced.”

10. Penn & Teller celebrate 10 years at the Rio with a contract extension through 2013.



1. Figuratively Speaking (Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art) World-class art, provocative curating and a gelato to wash it all down.

A cross-section of John Bissonette's Teetering on the Brink exhibit.

2. Teetering on the Brink, John Bissonette, (Government Center Rotunda) An unforgettable reflection on living in the shadow of the Strip.

3. Ice Next Time, Stephen Hendee (Marjorie Barrick Museum)

4. Unlikely Events, Brent Sommer-hauser (Brett Wesley Gallery)

5. Locals Only, (CENTERpiece Gallery) Shawn Hummel and Sush Machida led the pack. More please!



1. Emergency Arts opens on Fremont Street, featuring art galleries, studios, live music and a coffee shop.

2. The Frank Gehry-designed Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health opens with an art collection to match its contemporary design.

3. Art critic Dave Hickey and art historian Libby Lumpkin leave Las Vegas for New Mexico.

4. Reed Whipple Cultural Center closes down. The city loses a performance space and important art gallery.

5.Citing financial problems in the failing economy, the Liberace Foundation board closes the Liberace Museum, creating a torrent of controversy and harsh criticism.

6. The Dennis Oppenheim paintbrush sculptures finally arrive Downtown, only to be installed incorrectly. They are still not functioning.

7. David Itkin, conductor for the Las Vegas Philharmonic, finishes his three-year contract with great applause from the community—and signs on for another three.

8. Accomplished artist and revered assistant UNLV professor Stephen Hendee is denied tenure through a process led by Mark Burns, the controversial art-department chair, sending shock waves through the arts community.

9. Nevada Ballet Theatreweaves itself deeper into the arts community with innovative partnerships and events, including an Arts District performance and soiree at Brett Wesley Gallery featuring photographs of company dancers and motorcycles.

10.The Regional Transportation Commission completes its ACE Gold Line Project. The bus route brings tourists and locals right through the arts district. Gallery owners say it has increased visitors to the area.



1. Doubt (Las Vegas Little Theatre) Stellar performances, great looking set—easily the best thing on local stages this year.

2. Hedwig and the Angry Inch, (Insurgo Theatre Movement) Kept all the mind- and gender-bending musical’s rock and illuminated the central character’s story with a sensitive, perceptive and balls-out performance from Cory Benway.

Chazz Palminteri, who has acted in dozens of films, has brought his one-man play, "A Bronx Tale," to Las Vegas.

3. A Bronx Tale (The Venetian) Chazz Palminteri’s one-man show: evocative, powerful and wonderfully performed.

4. Macbeth (Las Vegas Shakespeare Company) LV Shakes continues to grow, both in audience and the size of its productions.

5. No Shame Theatre Produced by Troy Heard at the Insurgo Theater space (and currently on hiatus), this free-for-all showcased the incredible creativity in Las Vegas’ theater community.


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