Concert venues in Vegas could get three new competitors in March 2012 when the Smith Center for the Performing Arts opens.
The center plans to work not just with ballet, symphonies and traditional arts groups, says Myron Martin, president and CEO of the $470 million complex.
It also plans to work with concert promoters to stage rock, pop, country and other touring acts in the 2,050-seat venue -- plus comedians possibly, TV specials, and it may reach out to Andre Agassi's annual charity fundraiser.
I asked if that means Smith will go after softies like Natalie Merchant, or rockers like Nine Inch Nails.
Martin said both are feasible.
"If there's an audience in Las Vegas that wants to go to a local venue that's acoustically great, we're open to it."
The Smith Center also may look for famous people to do acoustic shows in its 300-seat jazz and cabaret space.
And in another previously unannounced bit of news: Martin says the center will open with a 3,000-capacity outdoor venue on the grassy front park.
The shedlike venue would go after pop, rock and country acts, too, at least in spring and fall.
"Would you really have a concert in July? We don't know," Martin said.
The center will break in its Broadway series with "Wicked" in fall 2012.
flash in the pan
"I'm Still Here" -- featuring Joaquin Phoenix doing hookers and blow in Vegas -- has been panned by critics.
"It's the 'Apocalypse Now' of crap," wrote critic Tony Macklin.
The Slate reviewer points out in a pan that the movie has a writing credit, signifying the film is a hoax.
More verdicts? USA Today: "boring." The Detroit News: "unfunny." AP: "pointless." Boston Globe: "torturous." Roger Ebert says if it turns out to be a hoax, "I'm going to be seriously pissed."
Phoenix returns to David Letterman's show Wednesday to promote it. The Casey Affleck-directed Joaqumentary has earned $97,000. Bravo, boys. Everyone hates you now, and for what?
FASHION NEWS: In the children's section of the Hustler strip club store, you can buy a T-shirt for tots that reads: "Sorry boys, I only date rock stars." At Friday's opening of Hustler, Larry Flynt kept promising to give me an interview, but he never did. I filled my wait with strippers. That was all right.
COMING: Maynard James Keenan's A Perfect Circle is reuniting for a five-city tour, including a two-nighter at the Palms. Dates aren't set yet, but they're performing one album one night (Mer de Noms) and another album another night (Thirteenth Step). ... Diana Ross plays Caesars Colosseum Nov. 12-13; tickets go on sale Saturday. ... "View" liberal Whoopi Goldberg plays Treasure Island Theatre on Nov. 12.
SIGHTING: Kobe Bryant and wife Vanessa checked out friend DJ Kid Jay (the official DJ for the Lakers) at Studio 54 late Saturday.
NFL ALLEGIANCES: At Caesars on Sunday, I counted 40 people wearing official NFL jerseys and shirts for their teams. The breakdown: Seven wore Indianapolis jerseys. Five went Green Bay. Four for Pittsburgh and Dallas. Three for San Francisco, Atlanta and Miami. Two for Detroit and Philadelphia. One for San Diego, Arizona, St. Louis, Oakland, Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Washington. None for the rest, although Saints and Vikings fans were in force for the Thursday night game. And Chargers fans were expected to hit sports books for a game against Kansas City.
NEW 'HALO' IS GOOD: Look in the R-J soon for my review of "Halo: Reach." I say: four out of four stars. The solo campaign is good and feels just like old "Halo," basically. The online multiplayer is phenomenal.
QUOTE OUT: "David Hasselhoff is a super handsome dude. He's got like an old Hollywood feeling to him. I think he's going to be elegant." -- Margaret Cho on her "Dancing With the Stars" rival, in an interview with me running in Friday's Neon (in which she says she wants to bang Sarah Palin). Cho performs Friday at the Palms.
Doug Elfman's column appears Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. E-mail him at email@example.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.