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Fall Arts Guide 2019: Plan your season of Vegas concerts, comedy, new Strip productions and more

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Concerts: 25 shows to keep your ears busy through Thanksgiving

By: Zoneil Maharaj, Spencer Patterson and Leslie Ventura

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Greta Van Fleet (Travis Shinn/Courtesy)

Maluma (September 14, Mandalay Bay Events Center) The chart-topping Colombian singer appeared on Madonna’s June album, Madame X, and his own May 11:11 LP features Ricky Martin, Ozuna and Madge herself. You never know who might pop up onstage …

Meg & Dia (September 15, Bunkhouse Saloon) Onetime Las Vegan Dia Frampton—runner-up on Season 1 of The Voice back in 2011—reunited with sister Meg on July album happysad, behind which the pop-rockers will tour this fall.

The Mountain Goats (September 18, Brooklyn Bowl) Californian John Darnielle has been recording folk-rock music under this name since the mid-’90s, and his live band for his first-ever Vegas performance will include Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster.

DeVotchKa and The Joy Formidable (September 19, Vinyl) The circus-rock of Denver’s DeVotchKa meets up with the dreamy alt-rock of Wales’ The Joy Formidable—with the latter going unplugged for this Hard Rock Hotel double bill.

Rancid (Estevan Oriol/Courtesy)

Rancid (September 26, House of Blues) Punk powers unite when the beloved Berkeley band squeezes in for a club show with support from Pennywise, The English Beat and Iron Reagan.

Greta Van Fleet (September 27, the Joint) Their tour might be called the March of the Peaceful Army, but Michigan’s Zeppelin worshippers have received a decidedly combative response since releasing their debut album last October. Judge for yourself, and be sure to arrive early for opener Shannon & the Clams.

Eagles (September 27-28 & October 5, MGM Grand) The country-rock veterans—whose lineup now comprises longtimers Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit, plus Deacon Frey (Glenn’s son) and Vince Gill—will play 1976 LP Hotel California in its entirety each night, plus an additional set of hits.

Calexico and Iron & Wine (October 2, House of Blues) Tucson Americana outfit Calexico and Carolina folkie Sam Beam (aka Iron & Wine) first teamed up on 2005 EP In the Reins, and they got back together on June’s collaborative LP Years to Burn. Bonus: Both will be playing Vegas for the first time.

Interpol (October 4, the Chelsea) Once regulars on the Vegas circuit, New Yorkers Paul Banks, Daniel Kessler and Sam Fogarino have gone four years since their last show here. They’ll return with 2018 album Marauder in their arsenal, plus a pile of early-2000s indie-rock classics.

Big K.R.I.T. (October 5, House of Blues) Fresh off the release of K.R.I.T. Iz Here, Mississippi’s underground king brings his soulful, country-fried raps to Mandalay Bay on his From the South With Love tour. North Carolina’s Rapsody serves the appetizer.

The Japanese House (October 17, Bunkhouse Saloon) English artist Amber Bain has been rising steadily through the singer-songwriter ranks, landing a label deal with Dirty Hit—the imprint run by The 1975’s Matthew Healy. Catch her feather-light brand of indie pop Downtown.

Ho99o9 (October 18, Bunkhouse Saloon) Pronounced “horror,” the New Jersey duo is a noisy Frankenstein of hardcore punk and hip-hop, and its live shows deliver more carnage than a slasher flick.

J Balvin (October 19, the Pearl) The reggaeton renaissance man played Coachella’s main stage this year, and he continues to break down walls while singing primarily in Spanish. June album Oasis, a collab with Puerto Rican trap star Bad Bunny, is perfect for your pool party—or the live stage.

Neon Indian (Rozette Rago/Courtesy)

Neon Indian (October 23, Bunkhouse Saloon) Who can say how many college students Alan Palomo inspired to drop out, buy synthesizers and join bands? Catch the father of chillwave, who last played here for Neon Reverb 2016.

Black Lips (October 25, Bunkhouse Saloon) These Atlanta garage-rockers have been touring and releasing music for more than 15 years—without showing signs of slowing down. Singer Cole Alexander is infamous for his stage antics, so you might want to stand back a bit.

Lizzo (October 25, the Chelsea) The Minneapolis-born soul singer and rapper released Cuz I Love You to worldwide acclaim in April, and July’s Tiny Desk Concerts performance on NPR is among the most forceful in the series’ history. Expect nothing less when the Baddest B hits town.

Thom Yorke (October 26, the Chelsea) Still smarting over missing the Radiohead frontman’s December stopover at the same hotel? Here’s your chance at redemption. And if you were lucky enough to witness that spine-tingly spectacle, remember that the Englishman will be pulling from excellent June album Anima this time.

Tom Morello (November 3, Brooklyn Bowl) The Rage Against the Machine guitarist has described his upcoming tour—in support of 2018 solo album The Atlas Underground—as “somewhere between a crazy moshpit, an illegal rave, a subversive art installation and a prison riot.” Miss it at your own peril.

Melvins and Redd Kross (November 5, Bunkhouse Saloon) Longtime underground-rock voices join forces when Washington State stoner-rock faves the Melvins and California power-pop throwbacks Redd Kross share a bill Downtown.

Helmet (November 8, Vinyl) New York City’s alt-metal stalwarts will celebrate their 30th anniversary with 30 shows featuring 30 songs apiece.

Built to Spill (November 15, Brooklyn Bowl) Doug Martsch’s Boise guitar brigade marks the 20th anniversary of iconic indie-rock LP Keep It Like a Secret by playing the album in full (and surely some other stuff, too).

Alessia Cara (Courtesy)

Alessia Cara (November 15, the Chelsea) The soulful 23-year-old Canadian singer and Def Jam artist has already received four Grammy noms and one win. Give 2018 album The Pains of Growing a spin before witnessing her live at the Cosmopolitan.

Madonna (November 7, 9-10, the Colosseum) Experimental June album Madame X found the Material Girl fusing Latin, trap and pop, influenced by her time in Portugal. Hear cuts from it—and lots of classics—when the Queen of Pop plays three shows at Caesars.

Five Finger Death Punch (November 1-2, the Joint) The metal titans have called Vegas home for some time now, so here’s a chance to support your fellow locals, playing a pair of shows behind 2018 album And Justice for None.

Slayer (November 27, MGM Grand Garden Arena) We tend not to buy into “farewell tour” proclamations, but this one could actually be real—judging from the quality of bands lined up to open what’s being billed as Slayer’s second-to-last show ever: Primus, Ministry and ex-Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo.

Plus: Keith Urban (September 6-7, the Colosseum); Duran Duran (September 7-8, the Chelsea); Heart with Joan Jett & The Blackhearts (September 8, the Pearl); The Black Dahlia Murder (September 10, Backstage Bar & Billiards); Cake and Ben Folds (September 10, the Joint); Eric Clapton (September 13, T-Mobile Arena); Iron Maiden (September 13, MGM Grand Garden Arena); Maná (September 14, MGM Grand Garden Arena); Social Distortion and Flogging Molly (September 28, Downtown Las Vegas Events Center); Babymetal (September 30, House of Blues); Steve Miller Band (October 2, 4-5, Encore Theater); Angels & Airwaves (October 4, House of Blues); Robert Ellis (October 8, Bunkhouse Saloon); Journey (October 9-26, the Colosseum); Common Kings (October 13, Brooklyn Bowl); Jonas Brothers (October 18, MGM Grand Garden Arena); Phil Collins (October 19, T-Mobile Arena); Amon Amarth (October 23, House of Blues); Twenty One Pilots (October 30, MGM Grand Garden Arena); Marilyn Manson (October 31, the Pearl); Sara Bareilles (November 1, Mandalay Bay Events Center); Guns N’ Roses (November 1-2, the Colosseum); 1349 with Uada (November 7, Bunkhouse Saloon).

There's a fest for that

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Tyler, the Creator (Owen Sweeney/AP)

Punk Rock Bowling, Electric Daisy Carnival and Psycho Las Vegas are barely in our rearview mirror, yet we’re just now getting into the heart of festival season here in Southern Nevada. First up: the sixth-annual Big Blues Bender(September 5-8), which moves from its longtime home at the Plaza to the Hard Rock Hotel, with headliners Gov’t Mule, Robert Cray and Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul anchoring a deep, blues-oriented lineup.

Two weeks later, Life Is Beautiful (September 20-22) returns to the streets of Downtown for its seventh edition with food, art, comedy and a music program anchored by headliners Post Malone, Chance the Rapper and The Black Keys and also featuring Billie Eilish, Vampire Weekend, Zedd, Janelle Monáe, Hot Chip, Carly Rae Jepsen and Toto. Yes, that Toto. And the same weekend, the iHeartRadio Music Festival (September 20-21) lands at T-Mobile Arena, with big names like Alicia Keys, Miley Cyrus, Mumford & Sons and Tim McGraw in tow—with Eilish, Maren Morris, H.E.R. and others scheduled to play the fest’s Daytime Stage, September 21, at the Strip’s Las Vegas Festival Grounds.

The following month, heavy metal and hard rock get the spotlight treatment at Las Rageous (October 18-19) at Downtown Las Vegas Events Center. Acts include Rob Zombie, Bring Me the Horizon, The Used and Chevelle. Meanwhile over at the Festival Grounds, the Metarama Gaming + Music Festival (October 19-20) will fuse esports and live sets, with such acts as Marshmello, Ninja, Snoop Dogg, Logic and Lindsey Stirling slated to provide the soundtrack. Note: This event has been canceled.

And then it’s time for the highly anticipated debut of the Goldenvoice-promoted Day N Vegas (November 1-3), also at the Festival Grounds. A hip-hop mecca of mammoth proportions, DNV will bring top names Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott and J. Cole to town, along with a stacked undercard including Migos, Tyler, the Creator, Lil Uzi Vert, Schoolboy Q, 21 Savage, Lil Nas X, Juice WRLD, Brockhampton, Kali Uchis and Miguel. And if all that’s not enough, the Amazon-funded Intersect—featuring Foo Fighters, Kacey Musgraves, Beck and more—will debut at the Festival Grounds December 6-7 … but that’s a story for another season. –Spencer Patterson

Comedy: These comics are set to split your sides

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Schitts Creek (Willy Sanjuan/AP)

Russell Peters (September 1, the Pearl) Forbes named the Canadian-born Peters one of the highest-paid comedians, and he was one of the first to land a Netflix special.

Demetri Martin (October 5, the Joint) Though he still looks like a college freshman, Martin has been on the comedy circuit since the early oughts, doling out one-liners using low-tech props like a giant doodle pad and a glockenspiel.

Schitt’s Creek: Up Close & Personal (October 19, the Chelsea) Dive deep into Canadian humor when Emmy Award-winning actors Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara and the cast of their hit show sit down for an evening of laughs and tell-alls.

John Cleese (November 1-2, Encore Theater) This comic legend has had a storied career, from his Monty Python days to Fawlty Towers to A Fish Called Wanda and dozens of movies in between, including a stint at Hogwarts. Hear his tales firsthand at these back-to-back appearances.

Nate Bergatze (November 23, Encore Theater) A burgeoning career is a good problem to have, as the comedian can tell you. But first, brush up on your Bergatze by checking out his recent Netflix special, The Tennessee Kid, before he makes his Vegas appearance.

Plus: Kathleen Madigan (September 20 & November 29, Terry Fator Theatre); Iliza Schlesinger (September 21 & November 30, Terry Fator Theatre); Chris Tucker (September 28, Encore Theater); Steve Martin & Martin Short (October 6, the Colosseum; Norm Macdonald (October 4-6, South Point Showroom); Sebastian Maniscalco (October 12-13, Encore Theater); Jim Gaffigan (December 5, Encore Theater). –Genevie Durano

Productions: Check off these new shows on the Strip

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Blanc de Blanc(Pamela Raith/Staff)

Cherry Boom Boom (Thursday-Saturday, Night Owl Showroom) This rock ’n’ roll burlesque adventure opened in August and runs through December at the Hooters Casino, er, the OYO Hotel Las Vegas. It has played Vegas before, though Pussycat Doll Lindsley Allen has completely remade the show since its stint at the Trop three years ago.

Atomic Saloon Show (Thursday-Tuesday, Grand Canal Shoppes) The latest Spiegelworld creation received rave reviews during its Edinburgh Festival Fringe run in Scotland, and on September 8 Las Vegas will find out just how wild this Wild West-inspired variety show can get inside the theater that previously housed the Act.

R.U.N (Wednesday-Sunday, Luxor) The big one lands on October 24, Cirque du Soleil’s highly anticipated action spectacular with a story set in Las Vegas, written by Robert Rodriguez. How far in this Hollywood stunt-inspired new direction will Cirque go for its 10th resident show on the Strip?

Blanc de Blanc (Thursday-Monday, the Foundry) This “Champagne cabaret” from Aussie outfit Strut & Fret opened August 16 at SLS, a nice-sized and well-equipped room that has pivoted from nightclub to concert hall. Now it’s home to the first real resident show since the property reopened in 2014, and Blanc de Blanc’s sophisticated yet party-ready vibes could be an ideal fit as SLS becomes Sahara again. Need a buzzy bonus? You can watch from a hot tub. –Brock Radke

Theater: A stage show to fit every mood

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Jesus Christ Superstar (Mike Nitzel/Courtesy)

Dreaming of getting drunk on literature? Shotspeare’s Macbeth (September 3-4, the Space). Shakespeare’s tragic tale of murderous ambition gets a boozy twist in this fast, fun, alcohol-fueled reworking of an immortal play.

Love to laugh? Noises Off (September 5-21, Spring Mountain Ranch State Park). Technically, it’s part of Super Summer Theatre, but this farce is so hilarious, we couldn’t leave it out of a fall arts guide.

Wanna rock? Green Day’s American Idiot (September 5-29, Majestic Repertory Theatre) The wildly successful Broadway musical—winner of two Tonys and a Grammy—fleshes out 2004 Green Day album American Idiot with a heart-wrenching story.

Ready to revisit adolescence … from a safe distance? The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (September 6-22, Las Vegas Little Theatre) Six misfit middle-schoolers aim to win their spelling bee in a musical The New York Times describes as “effortlessly endearing.”

Adventurous spirit? The Oakey Family Supper Club (September 9-23, Downtown location TBD) The mysterious group Live Action Set will put on this immersive experience, in which the audience joins the mayhem of a dinner party. It’s self-described as “The Truman Show meets The X-Files.”

Prefer being in bars? As You Like It (September 22, Velveteen Rabbit) Shakespeare Institute of Nevada’s Bard at the Bar makes the great playwright accessible with hourlong adaptations in comfy environs.

Dig coming-of-age stories? Fun Home (October 4-13, UNLV’s Judy Bayley Theatre) Nevada Conservatory Theatre brings the Tony Award-winning musical—based on a graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel—to life.

Appreciate murder? Lizzie the Musical (October 18-31, the Playhouse) Poor Richard’s Players present the regional debut of this all-female rock opera inspired by young Lizzie Borden, who may have murdered her father and stepmom with an ax in 1892.

All about drama? August Osage County (October 25-November 17, the Usual Place) This Broadway play was adapted into a film starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. Now, A Public Fit Theatre Company tells the story of a Midwest family in crisis.

Feeling nostalgic? The Flick (November 1-10, UNLV’s Black Box Theatre) Join Nevada Conservatory Theatre in this Pulitzer Prize-winning exploration of the analog life, in which three movie theater ushers try to keep the last non-digital projector running.

Into the classics? Jesus Christ Superstar (November 5-10, Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall) It’s the 50th anniversary production of an international phenomenon. The touring rock musical brings the story of Jesus’ final weeks to the stage, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

Mystery-minded? Holmes and Watson (November 13-December 8, Art Square Theatre) Vegas Theatre Company (formerly Cockroach Theatre) presents the West Coast Premiere of a thriller in which the loyal Dr. Watson seeks the real Sherlock Holmes after his mysterious disappearance.

Plus: Wicked (September 11-29, Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall); The Ghosts of Lote Bravo (September 20, Clark County Library); Evil Dead: The Musical HD (October 2-27 & November 18, the Space); The Woman in Black (October 4-20, Las Vegas Little Theatre); Taj Express: The Musical (October 8, Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall); Horrorwood Video (October 18-November 2, Majestic Repertory Theatre); Six Degrees of Separation (October 18-November 3, Las Vegas Little Theatre). –C. Moon Reed

Performing Arts: Three reasons to see The Kronos Quartet at UNLV

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Kronos Quartet (Jay Blakesberg/Courtesy)

1. It’s kind of a big deal. Not every contemporary classical string ensemble has more than 30,000 Twitter followers and has sold 1.5 million records. Formed in 1973 by violinist David Harrington—now accompanied by John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola) and Sunny Yang (cello)—this quartet has amassed a collection of statistics that sound made-up: They’ve released 43 studio albums (and contributed to dozens of albums by other artists—more on that shortly), have commissioned more than 1,000 original works and have adapted pieces in virtually every genre imaginable, from Sigur Rós’ “Flugufrelsarinn” to Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.”

2. They’ve collaborated with some of your favorite artists. Tom Waits, David Bowie, Dave Matthews Band, Laurie Anderson, Amon Tobin, Miles Davis, David Byrne, Nine Inch Nails and DJ Spooky, to name just some. And if your tastes run toward the esoteric, you probably know that The Kronos Quartet’s name is nearly synonymous with those of minimalist Philip Glass and film composer Clint Mansell. The Kronos Quartet works.

3. If you’re still not familiar, here’s a perfect entry point.The Kronos Quartet comes to UNLV in support of A Thousand Thoughts, a “live documentary” created by filmmakers Sam Green and Joe Bini. Green will narrate the doc in real time while the Quartet performs the score live, in essence commenting on its peerless creative legacy while simultaneously adding to it. Nothing like this has ever been done on a Las Vegas stage, and y’know, this town has seen a few things.

THE KRONOS QUARTET September 11, 7:30 p.m., $10. UNLV's Artemus Ham Hall, 702-895-2787.

Plus: Las Vegas Philharmonic: Pictures at an Exhibition (September 7, Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall); Vegas CityOpera: Viva Las Pop-era(September 14, Charleston Heights Art Center); Las Vegas Men’s Chorus: I Sing Because I’m Happy (September 15, Flamingo Library); UNLV Symphony Orchestra: Season Opener (September 25, UNLV’s Artemus Ham Hall); UNLV Jazz Ensemble I & Latin Jazz Ensemble (September 29, UNLV’s Artemus Ham Hall); Magdalena Stern-Baczewsca (September 30, UNLV’s Beam Music Center); Close Encounters of the Third Kind with live accompaniment by the Henderson Symphony Orchestra (October 18, Henderson Pavilion); Nevada Ballet Theatre: Swan Lake (October 24-27, Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall); Las Vegas Philharmonic: The Music of Danny Elfman (November 2, Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall); Las Vegas Philharmonic: Spotlight on Rachmaninoff (November 21, Smith Center’s Troesh Studio Theater). –Geoff Carter

Visual arts: Grappling with change at the first Bullfrog Biennial

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“It’s (Still) Not Unusual,” mixed media by Karin Miller, Mary Sabo and Mikayla Whitmore (Courtesy)

It’s 2019 in Las Vegas. Grown adults are wearing bucket hats and JNCO jeans—unironically. Teachers are on strike. The Riviera is long gone, but the Sahara is making a comeback. There’s a weed dispensary on seemingly every corner. It can feel like the world is changing at lightning speed, and Las Vegans know a bit about impermanence.

Inside a red barn in the middle of the Nevada desert, 35 artists will tackle questions about the ways we handle our ever-changing environment. They’ll gather for the inaugural Bullfrog Biennial, October 25-27, at the Goldwell Open Air Museum near Rhyolite. The event’s Las Vegas-based organizers, Sierra Slentz, Checko Salgado, Brent Holmes and Joel Spencer, say it was born from a sort of postapocalyptic-art vision—a “daydream around a campfire,” Slentz says.

“I had always been interested in the open air museum and the red barn that’s just kind of out there in the middle of the desert,” Slentz says. Late Belgian artist Albert Szukalski created the 15-acre outdoor sculpture museum in 1984. His iconic, ghostly cloaked sculptures are collectively known as “The Last Supper.”

The 2,250-square-foot Red Barn Art Center, a multipurpose studio and exhibition space, once hosted artist residencies—something Slentz hopes to revive with the Bullfrog Biennial. Together, the group decided on flux as the inaugural theme, “how things can change very quickly overnight,” Slentz says. “In Vegas, buildings can implode, water disappears. And some things are super-slow, like the urban sprawl of our Valley, [which] goes through different phases. So the theme is the documentation of change, whether it’s slow or fast, and how you perceive your landscape changing.”

After putting out a call to artists, the curators selected 35—half from Nevada (Holly Lay, Su Limbert, Karin Miller, Mary Sabo, Mikayla Whitmore and others) and half from elsewhere—to present during the three-day weekend, which kicks off on Nevada Day. The event’s name nods to the Bullfrog Mine that once sat within the Bullfrog Hills near Rhyolite. While business for early prospectors boomed in 1904, profits began dwindling three years later. Their landscape, too, was forever altered.

The Bullfrog Biennial October 25-27, times vary, free. Goldwell Open Air Museum, Rhyolite, goldwellmuseum.org.

Plus: Jeff Scheid & Erica Vital-Lazar: Obsidian & Neon: Building Black Life and Identity in Las Vegas (Through September 12, Dr. Pearson Community Center); Water in the Desert group show (Through September 28, Winchester Cultural Center Gallery); Tasteful Nudes group show (Through October 25, UNLV Student Union Art Gallery); Yasuaki Onishi: Permeating Landscape (Through October 27, Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art); Leobardo Bracamontes: Lobo Loco (September 4-November 2, Core Contemporary); David Baird: A Survey (September 5-October 26, Priscilla Fowler Fine Art); Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya: Connective Tissue (September 13-February 22, Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art); Tim Burton: Lost Vegas (October 15-February 15, Neon Museum). –Leslie Ventura

Literature: The New Yorker's Amy Kurzwel brings her 'graphic memoir' to Las Vegas

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Amy Kurzweil (Courtesy)

The recipients of this year’s Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute residential fellowships are an intriguing group that includes ascending authors (Kristen Arnett, Lisa Ko), a podcaster and Believer deputy editor (Niela Orr), a versatile poet and storyteller (Vi Khi Nao), an Egyptian journalist and author who was imprisoned for his work (Ahmed Naji) and Brooklyn-based Amy Kurzweil.

All of them have fascinating stories to tell, but with Flying Couch—a fascinating “graphic memoir”—Kurzweil, a New Yorker cartoonist, has illustrated hers in precise black-and-white detail. An autobiographical account of the lives of three women—Kurzweil, her psychologist mother and her grandmother Bubbe, who managed to escape the terrors of the Holocaust—Flying Couch is at once a history lesson, a deep dive into Jewish identity and a wholly relatable account of simply getting on in the world.

While on a cross-country road trip to Vegas, Kurzweil took a moment to talk about her work.

Flying Couch is an epic. How long did you work on it? The book took around eight years, from original conception to the end. I was doing a lot of other things in between, like becoming an adult and learning how to live in the world. But I started the book when I was in college. It was my first time drawing comics. … I thought drawing cartoons would be easy, and I quickly learned that it wasn’t. … I spent a few years practicing drawing; I took a class or two, drew people on the subway, trying to get something out of my illustration style and make it more polished. Then I decided to go back and draw the book again.

You published the book in 2016, not long before a political sea change emboldened a wave of public bigotry. Could you imagine writing this book now, against this ugly backdrop? I think I can. I mean, it feels like the book has only become more urgent, and that it sort of needs to be in the world. I think something I like about my experience is that I wasn’t writing it to respond to any current climate. I wasn’t writing it to respond politically; [it was a] very basic, personal, emotional need to grapple with this history and how it had affected me. If I’d had an awareness of the resurgence of white nationalism and the bubbling-under-the-surface of racism, anti-Semitism … I think I would have maybe been tempted to be a little more heavy-handed, if that makes sense. When you’re afraid that you’re going to be misunderstood as an artist, you want to push your message too much. I’m glad that I didn’t have to contend with that, that I could just write it as a somewhat sheltered person grappling with their own identity.

Plus: David Schwartz: How Jay Sarno’s Wild Life Changed Las Vegas (September 5, Clark County Library); Poetry Matters: Elizabeth Quiñones-Zaldaña and Vanessa Couto Johnson (September 6, Nevada Humanities); Rasar Amani: The Vinyl Take (September 6, the Writer’s Block); Author signing: Scott Deitche (September 19, Mob Museum) The Believer Presents: Sarah M. Broom in Conversation With Claytee White (September 23, the Writer’s Block); Alumni Reading Series: Megan Merchant (October 14, UNLV’s Beverly Rogers Literature and Law Building); Las Vegas Book Festival (October 19, Historic Fifth Street School); The Believer Presents: An Interactive Comic by Matt Huynh (October 22, Cockroach Theatre); Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival (November 2, Clark County Library).

Screen: He has the power!

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(Courtesy)

Las Vegas-based filmmaker Robert McCallum has made documentaries about Jim Henson, 8-bit Nintendo games and the cult metal band Kittie, so he knows his geeky pop culture. McCallum’s latest feature (co-directed with Randall Lobb) is Power of Grayskull: The Definitive History of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and that title is no lie: Grayskull is indeed a definitive (and exhaustive) chronicle of the fantasy character created by toy company Mattel in the 1980s, covering everything from the initial concept drawings to the various animated series to the 1987 live-action movie. It’s perfect for hardcore fans or anyone interested in the ways niche fandom has come to dominate mainstream culture. Available on DVD and digital video September 3. –Josh Bell

Celebrations of Pride

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(Christopher DeVargas/Staff)

The national celebration of LGBTQ Pride happened in June, but Vegas likes to do things differently. Our Valley observes Pride in October, and this year it will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots with the theme “Honoring the past, celebrating the future.”

The Pride Kickoff Party & Turnabout (October 4, Hamburger Mary’s) will be hosted by the Pride royal court and features performer Zion Savage, plus guests. The following day, the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada hosts its Life’s a Riot Honorarium (October 5, the Palms), which celebrates pioneers in the LGBTQ community.

The month’s focal point, the Pride Festival (October 11-12, Downtown Las Vegas Events Center) features a Human Rights Campaign-hosted pride rally along with the celebratory and glamorous Pride Night Parade (October 11, Downtown) in the Valley’s cultural epicenter, featuring a new route starting at Fourth Street and Bridger Avenue.

The Bears Las Vegas group invites “bears, cubs, chubs, otters and their admirers” to Bears Roam the Ranch (October 11, Fun Hog Ranch) with a beer bust and drink specials until 2 a.m., while the Drag Kings of Las Vegas take over Downtown with theKings of Pride (October 11, Artifice), starting at 11 p.m.

Had enough booze for one Pride? Head outdoors for Pride OUTside (October 13, Calico Basin, Kraft Mountain Loop), a hiking excursion for all ages. Wear comfortable clothes for this casual hike, and bring your own snacks. Temptation Sundays closes out Pride week by the pool (October 13, Luxor), just before Vegas Urban Pride (October 18-20) kicks off for Vegas’ urban LGBTQ community, with events like the Exotic Carnival Nights hosted by the City of Doms. –Leslie Ventura

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