It’s one of those pleasant offshoots of the Strip: A soprano with a background in opera moves to Las Vegas for a gig as Christine in Phantom—the Las Vegas Spectacular, falls in love with the community (a reciprocal relationship), then starts performing off-Strip in intimate solo shows that have her crooning and belting anything from Bonnie Raitt to Young MC.
Whether she’s slowing up-tempo pop songs into soft, dreamy melodies, belting out love songs, owning country or dipping into the Broadway songbook, Kristen Hertzenberg reaches out to her audience with so much personality, skill, emotion and vocal power that it’s no surprise Desert Companion named her Best Torch Singer this year.
This weekend, Hertzenberg (recently of Million Dollar Quartet) performs in Spellbound—described as a “love-haunted set of blues, rock, jazz, folk and country”—at Smith Center’s Cabaret Jazz. The eight-piece ensemble backing her includes musicians Martin Kaye, Benjamin D. Hale, George Bryant, Joel Ferguson, Steve Flora and Pablo Gadda and vocalists Lisa Davis and Jolana Sampson.
Spellbound September 27, 5 and 8 p.m., $29-$45, Smith Center’s Cabaret Jazz, 702-749-2000.