New Smith Center for the Performing Arts is changing Las Vegas

Posted on: October 25, 2013

“Las Vegas is changing. Not the strip, a symphony of ersatz,” writes Mark Swed in Tuesday’s (10/22) Los Angeles Times. “But funky downtown, always more real, is getting a better face-lift. It boasts an authentic Gehry, the architect’s cerebral-cortex design for the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health…. And around a Vegas-size corner … is the lavish new Smith Center for the Performing Arts. It opened last year, and Monday night … the Kronos Quartet gave the U.S. premiere of Philip Glass’ String Quartet No. 6, which the Smith co-commissioned. This was the center’s first commission and a good gamble in its efforts to help change the town’s artistic reputation. Although relatively restrained by Las Vegas standards, the Smith … is nonetheless built in a grand style. The traditionally shaped main hall seats 2,050 but feels much larger…. The hall serves as the home for the Las Vegas Philharmonic and Nevada Ballet Theatre, and it attracts the occasional touring classical ensemble or opera star. But much of its bread-and-butter is with touring Broadway productions and pop acts equally attractive to locals and tourists. The turnout [at the Kronos concert] was decent, and the crowd resembled the Kronos audience you find everywhere else in the world, namely a cosmopolitan mix of young and old, many stylishly dressed.”

Posted October 25, 2013