Arts briefs: First Friday and more

First Friday



Independence Day may be over for another year, but "Creative Freedom" reigns from 6 to 11 tonight at First Friday in downtown Las Vegas.

This month, First Friday visitors can get in on the act of artistic creation by helping to paint a 30-foot-wide, collaborative mural dubbed "Freedom Wall." Paints and brushes will be provided for participants at the north entrance to the First Friday festivities, on Casino Center Boulevard, just south of Charleston Boulevard.

Other First Friday highlights range from street and interactive art at Get Back Alley, just south of Fremont Street between Sixth Street and Las Vegas Boulevard, to Clay Arts Vegas' raku pottery firing on California Avenue, just east of Casino Center.

A dance competition from Children of the World and the School of Rock's student house band, "The Rifftide Legacy," are among tonight's scheduled performers at the Kids Zone; a petting zoo and carnival games also are on the agenda.

In addition to a filmmaking competition, Las Vegas-based Silver State Production Services will bring an authentic on-the-set vibe to First Friday, offering visitors the chance to experience hair, makeup and wardrobe styling. The company's vintage Air Stream trailers will be parked at the event's north entrance, Colorado Avenue and Casino Center.

As always, plenty of other First Friday options abound, from food and drink to music and art. A full guide, including schedule and parking information, is available online at




The Pink Floyd LaserSpectacular celebrates its 25th anniversary - by exploring "The Dark Side of the Rainbow" tonight at the Henderson Pavilion.

But the multimedia laser and light show is only going where legions of Pink Floyd fans have gone before: along the yellow brick road to Oz.

The laser show synchronizes Pink Floyd's landmark album "Dark Side of the Moon" with 1939's Oscar-winning "The Wizard of Oz," linking the two with colorful lasers, lighting effects and videos, giving both classics an extra "twister."

The two-hour show will close with a best-of anthology, including music from Pink Floyd's other landmark album, "The Wall."

The band's music "is very dramatic and visual," according to producer Steve Monistere . "You can see or imagine images when you listen to their music. Without any lighting effects at all, there is still a show in your mind." And by adding lasers, lighting, video and other effects, the LaserSpectacular allows audiences "to interpret what your mind is 'seeing,' " he adds, "and that is why people love this show so much."

The LaserSpectacular fires up at 8:30 tonight at the Henderson Pavilion, 200 S. Green Valley Parkway. Tickets ($10 for general admission, $20 for premium seating) are available by calling 267-4849 or online at



It's a long way from Las Vegas to Broadway - and even further to London's Broadway equivalent, the West End.

But two upcoming productions close the chasm, thanks to the Las Vegas International Performing Arts Exchange, which joins London's Act Now Entertainment for the shows.

First up: "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," to be presented at 7 tonight and 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday at the Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road. The Tony-winning musical focuses on six youngsters, struggling with puberty and the demands of competition, who learn that winning isn't everything - and losing doesn't necessarily make you a loser.

Following this weekend's "Spelling Bee," students from Las Vegas and London will present the revue "At the Corner of Broadway and West End" at 2 and 7 p.m. Monday at the Cashman Center theater, 850 Las Vegas Blvd. North.

Following Monday's Cashman Center performance, the students will travel to London to present both shows to British audiences.

Advance tickets for both local performances (available at are $10 for students and seniors, $12 for general admission; tickets at the door are $12 and $15, respectively, with optional VIP seating available.



Triple-digit temperatures may be a fact of life these days in Las Vegas, but the Performing Arts Society of Nevada insists it's "Summertime ... and the Livin' Is Easy" Sunday afternoon at the Winchester Cultural Center.

Billed as "a variety salute to love, laughter and the great songs of summer," including pop and Broadway tunes, the program features jazz vocalist Miss Lee Hughes, with a guest appearance by operatic star Joan Sobel, who's currently appearing as Carlotta in The Venetian's "Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular." Also expected to perform: pianist Laurence Sobel, plus Bing Young and Greg Bosler.

The program marks the return of the Performing Arts Society of Nevada, which put its programs on hold last fall following the death of co-founder John Meren , who started the nonprofit organization with Thomas Gallagher more than 20 yeas ago.

"Summertime ... and the Livin' Is Easy" will be presented at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Winchester Cultural Center, 3130 McLeod Drive. Tickets ($15 in advance, $18 at the door) are available by calling the Performing Arts Society at 658-6741.