Longing to escape the excitement of Las Vegas for a quieter atmosphere?
Small-town Kansas is as close as Las Vegas Little Theatre’s main stage this weekend when the troupe opens a production of William Inge’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1953 drama “Picnic.”
It’s the early 1950s in a stultifying Kansas town, where the arrival of a handsome drifter shakes up the lives of the town beauty, among others, as they prepare for the annual Labor Day picnic.
Walter Niejadlik directs “Picnic’s” 11-member cast; the production opens at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Las Vegas Little Theatre, 3920 Schiff Drive. Additional performances will be at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through April 13, with an additional 2 p.m. Saturday matinee April 5. For tickets ($21-$24), call 702-362-7996 or visit www.LVLT.org.
OPENS AT COCKROACH
Be careful what you wish for — as “Edmond’s” title character discovers in David Mamet’s 1989 drama, which opens a three-weekend run Friday at the Cockroach Theatre.
The play focuses on a successful New York businessman who — acting after a fortune-teller tells him he’s “in the wrong place” — walks out on his wife to seek some massage-parlor comfort, only to fall into the Times Square underworld. Levi Fackrell directs.
“Edmond” will be staged at the Art Square Theatre, 1025 S. First St., at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; additional performances are at 8 p.m. April 3-5 and April 10-12, with additional matinees at 2 p.m. April 6 and 13. For tickets ($16-$20) and more information, visit www.cockroachtheatre.com.
HOT CLUB PLAYS
From the beginning, movies and music have been inseparable.
And the Hot Club of San Francisco proves the point this weekend with “Cinema Vivant,” an evening of vintage silent movies accompanied by live gypsy swing music.
Two Ladislaw Starewicz films — “The Cameraman’s Revenge” and “The Mascot” — will be featured at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Historic Fifth Street School, 401 S. Fourth St. For tickets ($10 in advance, $15 on Saturday) or more information, call 702-229-3515 or visit www.artslasvegas.org.
JAZZ LEGENDS, STUDENTS
TEAM UP FOR FESTIVAL
Learn by doing. It’s not only a time-honored educational method, it’s a blast — at least this weekend, as the fourth annual Las Vegas Jazz Invitational returns to the Las Vegas Academy.
Student musicians from across the U.S. are invited to learn from, and perform alongside, working musicians during two days of performances and workshops.
Leading the lineup of pros: the Jeff Hamilton Trio, Christoph Luty, Tamir Hendelman, Corey Christiansen, Jeff Tower, Stanton Moore, Peter Epstein, Pepe Jimenez and Nate Kimball.
Performances will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the academy’s Lowden and PAC theaters, located at Clark Avenue and Ninth Street. Festival passes ($20) grant access to 29 performances, three master class clinics and all concerts by the pros. For more information, visit www.lasvegasjazzfestival.org.
A weekly card game provides a window into friendship and life in “Six No Uptown,” a comedy-drama co-written and directed by Las Vegan Adlaide “L.A.” Walker, to be performed Sunday at the Clark County Library.
Set to the rhythm of a weekly game of bid whist, the play focuses on the comedy, and tragedy, in the lives of a diverse group of friends. Walker was inspired to create the play by the works of local artist Annie Lee, whose paintings have been featured in “The Cosby Show” and movies such as “Barbershop” and “Coming to America.”
The play’s set will feature work by Lee, who will attend the performance, unveil new pieces and sell prints and originals at the event; actor John Toles-Bey (“Midnight Run,” “Dude, Where’s My Car?”) will honor her during a brief recognition ceremony.
“This play is about people we all know and life with some drama and humor mixed in,” explains Walker, who co-wrote the play with Terry Horton and Cassandra Sanders. “It is drawn from my own experiences and the life stories of my friends and family.” Iria L. Ephriam, Leah Baskin and Bruce Van Eddins lead the cast.
“Six No Uptown” will be performed at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Clark County Library, 14021 E. Flamingo Road. For tickets ($10-$35), call 702-754-4844, email Horton at Terry@jilig.net, or visit www.eventbrite.com.
GO ACOUSTIC AT SMITH
It’s always a “Straight Tequila Night” when John Anderson’s onstage.
The Grammy-winning singer of honky-tonk favorites such as “Black Sheep” and “Swingin’ ” joins another country staple, Tracy Lawrence, Friday at The Smith Center.
The two country veterans team up for an acoustic evening that reminds fans that “Time Marches On” — to borrow the title of one of Lawrence’s hits — but it’s always time to “Find Out Who Your Friends Are.” (To borrow another.)
Anderson and Lawrence will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, 361 Symphony Park Ave. For tickets ($29-$99), call 702-749-2000 or visit www.thesmithcenter.com.
If you just can’t get enough of the Tony-winning “Les Miserables,” don’t be miserable, because the Tony-winning musical (which just returned to Broadway) opens a monthlong run Monday at the Summerlin Library Theatre, courtesy of Signature Productions.
Based on Victor Hugo’s novel, the sung-through “Les Mis” follows Jean Valjean and his quest for redemption in 19th-century France after he’s spent 19 years in jail — for stealing a loaf of bread.
“Les Miserables” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays through Saturdays, through April 26, at the Summerlin Library and Performing Arts Center, 1771 Inner Circle Drive; additional Saturday matinees are scheduled at 2 p.m. April 12 and 26. For tickets ($30 for adults, $28 for seniors and students), call 702-878-7529 or visit www.SignatureProductions.net.
— By CAROL CLING